Cars to vanish from ‘No Driving Zone’ HB Road, Fancy Bazar
A new project has been undertaken from Khubchand point to Hotel Alka, Fancy Bazaar, by transforming the stretch into a “No Driving Zone.” The move has been opposed by the traders and residents of the area on the grounds that it will hamper the normal life of the public.
The project to be undertaken at Hem Baruah Road, Fancy Bazar, is proposed to be a walkway project and no vehicles will be allowed to ply towards the parking at the old jail complex through the road. A large number of families residing in the locality for around 100 years have senior citizens, women, school-going children and office-goers all of whom use private vehicles for commuting on a daily basis. As the Mohendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital is nearby the residents, especially the elderly citizens, frequent the hospital and in emergency people use their vehicles on the road. Turning it into a No Driving Zone will totally disrupt the life of such people.
Hem Baruah road is the main arterial road of Fancy Bazaar and therefore the traders have opined that under no circumstances the flow of traffic through this road be stopped or diverted. “The decision is arbitrarily taken and far from the consent of the stakeholders of the entire area. Our consent for such a decision affecting our lives and livelihoods was not taken at all during the decision. Majority of the people in the area do not approve of the project,” said one of the members of Hem Baruah Road Residents’ and Traders’ Association, Iftekhar Hussain, while speaking to G Plus.
Hussain said that earlier the footpath in the area was widened in the name of beautification in spite of objections from the local citizens and now the footpaths have become peddling havens for the street hawkers and vendors and poses a big problem for free movement of all pedestrians. “The widened footpaths are now in a dilapidated condition where people often twist their ankles, stumble and fall and have become a concern for public safety but the authority turns a deaf ear when such issues are raised. Also a carnival was arranged in December, 2013 without consulting the local people where the entire traffic flow to the area was stopped for a few days and due to the carnival the businesses had to bear heavy losses,” informed Hussain.
In a memorandum submitted by the Association to the Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation it was mentioned that vehicular parking in the area was abolished for the free flow of the traffic through the area and parking space was allocated inside the old jail complex but for the convenience of the general public battery operated carts should be operated from the jail complex till Khubchand point in a systematic manner. It was after the digging of the road that the traders came to know about the walkway project and that the entire stretch from Khubchand to Hotel Alka will be a no driving zone.
The SS Road, which has been virtually fully occupied by street vendors and hawkers, is full of dirt and filth. If the HB road is made a No Driving Zone, it is a reasonable assumption that the hawkers will occupy virtually the whole road for which pedestrians will face many problems. “The SS Road from Sikh Temple point to MG Road, MM Road and parts of SRCB Road are still unusable for the general commuters over the years due to the encroachments by street vendors and is totally occupied by the hawkers. The earlier government had failed to safeguard the interest of the general public at large and the shop owners in particular.
Hussain said that there are around 10,000 shops in the entire stretch and the employees will be affected due to the walkway project as customers who pass through the road to park their vehicles in the jail complex will have to go through the MG Road which is a long route and this will act as a deterrent for them to come to the market.
“We earn our livelihood from our business establishments which we own at the aforesaid location and given the situation with the continuation of the said project we will lose business and thereby our very livelihoods will be in jeopardy,” said one of the shopkeepers.
The MG Road and JC Das Road are always overburdened with traffic and any more traffic diversions through these roads will be catastrophic in terms of time and money loss.
• Hem Baruah Road in Fancy Bazaar to be made No Driving Zone
• The traders of Fancy Bazaar opposes the walkway project undertaken by GMC
• The traffic of HB Road will be diverted towards MG Road and JC Das Road