Gangtok is facing a big issue with traffic jam; although everyone has their own opinion of how things should be done or how the traffic management needs to be done. But a big kudos to the traffic police for streamlining and managing the traffic.
Gangtok, it is learnt, is coming up with road junction and roundabout design. Hopefully, this kind of project will bring relief to the capital in a few months.
Just like many, I too fear the city going metamorphically into any other saturated hill station. There is no time for precaution now, but only intervention. A vehicle is no more for social status, but a liability, making the person-vehicle ratio the highest in India.
This little city does not need opinion and critics anymore, just necessary action. Steps like increasing bus frequency and maximum use of public transportation, decentralisation of inter-city taxi stand, walkability improvement plan, smart and comprehensive mobility plan, etc., can help ease the traffic issue. But most importantly, the problem needs adequate thought from every individual.
No one understands a city better than a city planner and sadly, Sikkim is the only state in India with no town planning cadre.
We now face the inevitable, unless proper steps and measures are taken – the city’s traffic needs a solution for both short and long term.
Also, I feel that there are a lot of solutions but no right opportunity. The city is in desperate need of a team with engineers, architects, finance experts and planners to exclusively work on it.
It is understandable that Gangtok cannot be changed anymore but the only way we can work is to better what we have.
By Niranzan Kapil
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