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Traffic jams – Shillong’s woe

 

Editor,

Life on the street is very stressful not because the roads are muddy, or bumpy with potholes but because too many vehicles clutter the roads and cause excessive congestion. The journey from Jingkieng Nongthymmai to Iewduh (Bara Bazar) may take one full hour which could be commuted in 40 minutes if one just sweats out on foot.  Besides the presence of countless local taxis and private vehicles on the roads, the deployment of a fleet of JNNURM buses send out the signal that the journey would be joyless, stifling and tardy. The long traffic jams which are common sights on the roads of Shillong have literally turned our lives unproductive and sluggish. .

           For years now successive Governments have not dealt with this issue by restricting  and  rationing the issuance of  new private vehicle registrations. Everyday new vehicles are hitting the same roads, same by-lanes and same footpaths. What is more disquieting is that the local taxi — the permit for which has fully been stopped by the Government some years back are still being issued by the concerned authority from the backdoor? One local taxi driver reveals on condition of anonymity that he obtained the permit recently by paying 2.65 Lakh. His vehicle is prefixed with ML 05 P. Why don’t the authorities blow the whistle to chase out the dishonest transport officers who are involved in the corrupt practices?

  I believe, no one want to stand against the plans and policies of the government for generating revenue and thereby improve the economy of the state. But one doubts that mere issuance of permits for new vehicles and thus over- cluttering the roads is a good revenue earner. It only except fattens the wallets of the transport department staff. Even logically speaking — the swifter the communication, the larger the scope for growth of trade, commerce and thus much more development and profit.

            It would therefore be wise on the part of the Government first to think out the long-term plans to expand the infrastructure. The wider roads, flyover are a must for the Shillong town.  The free and smooth running of the vehicles can only ensure faster development and that only makes the state smarter and richer. Merely owning new brand of vehicles will be an embarrassment for the wealthy as those vehicles which are meant to drive at great speed are actually moving at less than 20 kilometers per hour.  .

Yours etc.,   

Salil Gewali,

Via email

Digital technology falls flat

Editor,

The introduction of Digital Initiatives through the launch of National Portal Scholarships Website might appear a blessing to the common citizens and especially our students but for me it proved disastrous. When I personally logged in on behalf of my children, I experienced that the online application for Pre-matric and Post-matric Minority Scholarships was a futile exercise due to technical failure, non-updation, unsystematic or negligence from authorities concerned (viz. State Education Dept.). Some of the peculiar observations is that the website is applicable only up to Class V in spite of the fact that the recent last date is fixed for 31st August ’16 (luckily extended upto 30th Sept’16) and that Minority Scholarship is also meant for Post-matric as well. Hence I cannot imagine how the State and Central Govt. boast of providing better accessibility to the masses when they have failed in this basic utility service. Other issues concerning the Online Scholarship application is that one cannot upload pending documents in spite of the fact that final submission is not completed. Secondly, the option for filling complaints is fake as the complaintstatus is void and unregistered even after Letters to the Editor must have the full name, address and contact number of the writer, even if they are sent by email. Only letters with the requisite details will be published. having filed for the same. Hence I appeal to the authorities concerned not to play games with ourinnocent students thereby depriving them of the assistance due to them.

Yours etc.,

G Sun, Via email

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