‘Jamtok’, a name infamously earned by Gangtok in the recent years. The Gangtok-Ranipool highway on weekdays may be a sight to see and pass your time, but not a site where you would want to get stuck. The long trail of motor vehicles stretched over kilometers from Gangtok to Ranipool takes forever to reach their destinations.
Traffic congestion which has gradually worsened through these years in the capital town now concerns the citizens. The concerns however come in the form of complaints without conscience rather than seeking for solutions. Not only in the highway, traffic seems equally congested in the alternate routes as well.
Despite of the traffic personnel regulating the traffic, the commuters face tough time in commuting. Frustrated commuters are witnessed ranting over social media with pictures of slow moving train of motor vehicle.
“Being stuck in the traffic and sitting idle inside the vehicle leaves us frustrated. Sometimes we end up being late to work which ruins our mood for the whole day,” expresses Amar Pradhan, a commuter.
Amar feels that one of the major causes for the congestion is people travelling in their own cars rather than opting for public transport or pool vehicles.
“People should use public transport in a larger scale and on a regular basis,” he adds.
As per the traffic personnel, the traffic jam occurs during the peak hours which is the morning and the evening school/office hours. Also the tourist season adds woe to the worry.
Irresponsible driving, double parking, traffic rule violation, narrow roads, connecting roads, etc. are other main factors that lead to traffic jam, mentions an on duty traffic police.
However, the major cause leading to traffic congestion is the high number of vehicles caused by population and economic development.
The prime solution to this problem is to encourage people to use public transport. The government must play a vital role in this encouragement. Also, inadequate infrastructure doesn’t bear the capacity to handle the traffic issue. Besides, the highway and road network is incapable of meeting the requirement of increasing number of vehicles. Coping with these difficulties, the government should make an investment in the traffic facilities, mainly, improvements in public transport.
As per the traffic police, traffic congestion in Gangtok has increased dramatically since last few months (since October last year). The ‘car culture’ may also be termed as one of the main causes. A car per individual creates much trouble.
Road widening is impossible for the highway as there are already structures built on both the sides. However, proper parking spaces can me made.
Lack of conscience is one among the many factors and this plays an important role. Everyone is in a rush to reach somewhere and many times our convenience to travel creates inconvenience for others. Irresponsible overtaking and parking and impatient driving even if there’s no emergency, leads to a lot of traffic hassle.
Getting stuck for hours and being delayed may be the immediate result of the traffic jam. But one also cannot over look the damages done in the long run. Increase in vehicles and vehicular movement leading to traffic jam cause air pollution which becomes one of the reasons for respiratory diseases. Along with it much time is wasted and productivity goes null. Overall the impact is on a larger scale on human health, environment and economy.
It is high time for all of us to be aware and responsible. With efforts from every individual combined with the efforts of the government, traffic congestion will get some relief.