Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Shattered System of Transportation

It is welcoming that the Department of Transport, Govt of West Bengal has taken some significant initiatives to eliminate the long-drawn woes of the passengers mostly dependable on road-transport. The recent deployment of a good many Volvo buses is not only a problem solver to some extent to ever-increasing passenger-load but worth-watching too. The glam look is also playing a fine quotient to the passengers like a pleasure never before.

But the transport system in Howrah is still miserable enough. Almost all the main roads are labyrinthine and clumsy and a lion’s share of them is occupied by several number of illegal and shabby make-shift shops as squatters. Barring Kona Expressway bearing the tag, a lease of life and quite a few, all are deplorable, slothful and typically unplanned. It is to our utter surprise that to travel a distance of a mere 5 km, 1 hour or so is exhausted. There are several routes still to be discovered all over the city.

The connectivity among the various fringes of north and south Howrah is an absolute worry for the commuters. To reach the extreme north of the city like Bally, Belur etc. from Botanic Gardens, it takes at least one and a half hour time with not less than one break journey, which is absolutely frustrating and sarcastic in these days. Moreover, there is not a single route vehicle plying through this route. The narrow stretch of the Grand Trunk Road from Bally to Botanic Gardens is an utter dismay with hundreds of multipurpose vehicles like bicycles, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, trolley-vans, taxis, mini-buses, buses and ever busy pedestrians heading to a destination which is already overcrowded. The situation has reached to such a momentum that covering this distance on foot is more than a sigh of relief. The tortuous routes through which public buses like 52, 55, 57, 58 and some minibuses ply are indescribably horrible considering the traffic-jam, discomfort and waste of invaluable time by the passengers.

It is better late than never that the concerned authorities should come forward to lessen these long-drawn woes of the commuters. Various modernized plans are required to be drawn and implemented. Even stringent steps must be undertaken for widening of roads even by issuing ordinance, rooting out the squatters and slums abutting the roads etc. etc.

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