The Meghalaya High Court has ordered the state government to devise strategies to alleviate traffic congestion in Shillong.
Hearing a PIL, a bench comprised of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W Diengdoh stated on Thursday that the petitioners made several suggestions, which it hopes the state government will consider.
“Though the matter has been pending for a significant period of time and new ideas are bandied about each time,” the court said, “there must be long-term and short-term plans on a more detailed basis than what has been presented thus far.”
“Funding may be an issue, but there are national and international agencies that can be tapped, and some kind of private-public partnership can also be explored for the purpose,” it added.
It stated that one of the measures is to ensure more school buses, particularly for schools concentrated in the Laitumkhrah area, but that the proposal has received a low level of response.
The court suggested that a state government official persuade parents to use the school buses for their children, assuaging their concerns about security and delays.
The court also ordered the state government to investigate whether staggered inflow and outflow of students at each school, as well as staggered timings, could help relieve congestion.
The advocate general stated during the hearing that experts have recommended that ropeways be built for regular commuting rather than just for tourism.
Construction of the Western Bypass and other roads is also underway, according to the advocate general.
More than 70 per cent of Shillong households own at least one vehicle, according to the state government. Traffic congestion is caused by the hilly terrain and the high number of vehicles.
Moreover, the matter will be heard next on June 24.
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