Shillong, March 2: The Meghalaya government is considering a proposal to introduce cable cars as an alternate public transport, to ease traffic congestion in the city.
As the problem of traffic congestion in the city and in the outskirts is affecting the daily life of the commuters, the need was felt need to operate cable cars as Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong said the state Government now has funds from the integrated transport to be funded by the World Bank to make the project operational.
The issue was discussed in a one-day workshop was organized to study and deliberate on urban mobility for Shillong at the State Convention Centre on Monday.
The aim of the workshop was to deliberate and prepare an action plan on the recommendations of the study on Urban Mobility for Shillong City conducted by the Meghalaya Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation Ltd. (MIDFC) and the Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Meghalaya Integrated Transport Project (MITP), a World Bank Funded Project.
A global consulting firm, Dalberg was entrusted by the Meghalaya government to undertake a study by focusing on the citizens’ needs, sustainability and unlocking economic growth.
Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong inaugurated the workshop.
Talking to the media, Tynsong said, “We are waiting for the recommendation to be made by the seminar and I am sure they will bring in some good recommendation and then the Government will take a call on that.”
“I have already asked the workshop on Monday to please submit us the recommendation wherever possible we will accommodate some recommendation,” he added.
Talking about the key discussion in the workshop, Tynsong said, “We also discussed about the cable cars, because now a day we need to have maximum cable cars again that issue has challenges where we need to carry along every stakeholder’s everyone on board like as I said landowners or may be the Government land or maybe the cantonment land or may be the defence land so that has to be taken care of .. We are waiting for the recommendation to be made by the workshop,”
Asked the proposal for cable cars is not new since earlier Government too from time and again suggested cable cars which never materialized, Tynsong said, “Why nothing materialize prior to 2018, it was just because they don’t have funds but this time through the integrated transport to be funded by the world bank we do have funds.”
He, however, said how much fund will be allotted for the purpose will depend on the DPR to be prepared by concern technical expect.
Asked what all major concerns need to be addressed, Prestone said, “See the major concern one is if you talk about the education institution located within Shillong because we will not be able to remove them so how to address this challenges.”
The Deputy Chief Minister also admitted that there are some linkage problems in the road sector specially the one related to the land issue.
“We do have some linkage problem in road sector where we need to maximize the linking roads wherever possible, but again we do have challenges where again land issue takes place, we don’t have land and even if we have land sometimes we need to negotiate with the concern landowners or may be with the concern department or may be with the cantonment board,” he said.
Last November, the Indian Government, the Government of Meghalaya and the World Bank signed a $120 million project to improve and modernize the transport sector of the state of Meghalaya.
The loan will have a maturity of 14 years including a grace period of 6 years.
Further, the Deputy Chief Minister also stated that all concerned stakeholders will be taken into the board and all the line departments have to be involved in the process of identifying and then preparing of the DPR.
Asked, he also said that flyovers often meet with stiff opposition due to the land tenure system, “If you talk of flyovers the land requirement is more, and when the land requirement is more you understand very well nobody like to part even with one inch of land you need to understand the real issue where we face challenges.”
The study conducted by Dalberg focused on the needs of the citizens, sustainability and unlocking economic growth and with this vision in mind, ten key suggestions were made for improving mobility systems in the capital city.
The suggestions include introducing high-frequency people-friendly public buses; the building of Ring Roads so as to divert traffic from National Highways; introduction of Cable Cars as an alternative to road-based mobility; creating walkable culture corridors onnecting places of tourist attraction to encourage walking; providing smart streetlights in Municipal areas; introducing nonfuss school buses; establishing next door markets to decentralize daily need markets; reduction in street parking by curbing illegal parking in Municipal areas; introducing car cap policy to reverse trends in car ownership and creating a self-sufficient new Shillong township.