Guwahatians aren’t happy with the new 2-way route at Paltan Bazar
GUWAHATI: Two weeks since the Guwahati Traffic Police (GTP) introduced new commuting routes in the city, residents of the city are finding it a problem adapting to the changes. While the Paltan Bazar area has always been reeling under massive traffic jams during the peak hours, the conditions have become more chaotic since the implementation of the new route, feel Guwahatians.
Recently, the route from Paltan Bazar traffic point via Paltan Bazar Police Station to Godhuli Bazar crossing was changed from one-way road to a two-way road, while the route from Nepali Mandir via SAI Stadium to Godhuli Bazar point remains one-way on which only small vehicles are allowed to commute.
However, residents of the area have been complaining of increased traffic congestion caused due to the new routes.
“I think this is the worst decision ever taken by the administration. I am a resident of Paltan Bazar and trust me life has become pathetic ever since the new routes have been put into place. Earlier, it used to take 15 minutes from Pan Bazar flyover to Hotel Amabarish via Nepali Mandir, now it takes over 30 minutes. The situation is same while travelling back as well,” Tushar Jalan, a resident of Paltan Bazar told G Plus.
Another resident, Shaikh Shamim Nawaz, opined that it has become a nightmare to commute through the route several times a day.
With the surmounting pressure of vehicular traffic in the city, routes in Guwahati were altered in the last week of August to accommodate and ease the burden of traffic on city roads.
Speaking exclusively to G Plus, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Amanjeet Kaur said, “Earlier, it used to take 10-15 minutes to reach Ulubari from Paltan Bazar. But, to reach AT Road from Ulubari, which is the same distance, it used to take over half an hour. We took the decision to make the road from Paltan Bazar to Ulubari two-way in order to equalise the pressure and congestion on both the roads.”
She further added that whenever a change is implemented, it takes some time for people to get accustomed to it. She believes that people will become comfortable with the new route in a few days.
City buses flouting traffic rules prime reason for traffic at Paltan Bazar
In Guwahati, buses are the primary means of public conveyance. However, commuters of private vehicles claim that bus drivers lack respect for the traffic rules. The newly introduced route only allows buses and other big vehicles to commute from Ulubari to AT Road via Paltan Bazaar Police Station while restricting the small vehicles to take Nepali Mandir route.
“Buses used to block the entire routes of Rehabari, Lokhra Road, and other vicinities in the area. The foremost reason behind the traffic near Nepali Mandir was city buses violating traffic norms and stopping at undesignated spots. With this new route introduced, buses can take the two-way route, freeing the smaller vehicles to smoothly travel via Nepali Mandir road. The decision has been taken keeping in mind the benefit of all the commuters,” claimed DCP Amanjeet Kaur.
Commenting on the decision of the traffic police to change the route, city resident Ranjan Singha said, “The traffic officials are surely trying to find the best solution to decongest the road. Having said that, city buses stopping erratically away from the bus stands and at times in the middle of the narrow roads for passengers has always been a big concern.”
In the same vein, Basumatri Rishi, another resident of the city who commutes via the route everyday for work said, “Earlier, when it was one way had to face problems, now with the two-way, we are facing problems as well. I believe that the administration should first apprise the city bus drivers of the rules of road.”
Further, with no major expansion of the roads despite a sharp rise in vehicles, commuting has become one of the biggest problems that the citizens face on a day-to-day basis. Kaur informed G Plus that although the condition of Paltan Bazar road isn’t proper at the moment, the Public Works Department (PWD) has been asked to improve the road condition which will lead to smooth vehicular movement.
Citizens’ lack of conscience to blame for traffic congestion: DCP (Traffic)
While the general public keeps finding the fault in the administration and tend to oppose every new move, there isn’t much that they themselves do to better the situations. Speaking to G Plus, DCP (Traffic) Amanjeet Kaur said, “A city is not just run by the administration; the citizens too have a huge role to play.”
She elaborated by saying that the residents of the city lack patience and driving ethics. Often, they park their vehicles at ‘no parking’ areas, break traffic rules, and rash drive. One instance that she emphasised on is the constant honking of vehicles at red lights. “In most advanced cities, you will not find traffic police controlling the traffic where there are traffic lights. But in Guwahati, traffic police are present in abundance because the citizens lack conscience and are always in a hurry,” she added.
Kaur further added that illegal street vendors block the roads which in turn create trouble for commuters. She said that the new Paltan Bazar route will be implemented permanently and with this, the street vendors will go away. Life will become easier for people commuting from Ulubari to AT Road.