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Gangtok seeks modern solutions to mounting traffic woes

IANS  |  Gangtok 

Sikkim's capital city -- otherwise known for being plastic- and litter-free with disciplined traffic, where lane-driving is the cultural norm -- is facing huge traffic congestion, just like other metropolitan cities.

The only road connectivity to is NH10, which forms the artery of the in the city. The major problems are traffic congestion, lack of parking space, lack of public and inadequate footpaths which cause vehicle and public conflicts.

This is especially critical for Gangtok, which, as a mountain city, has inherent constraints of space. The city is now considering alternative, non-road modes of like cable cars to ease public mobility.

The government's (UD&HD) conducted a consultation and workshop last week on finding to the traffic problems in Gangtok, a city of almost 180,000 people.

It is crucial that a workable alternative is found and implemented as soon as possible before the city is choked up completely, experts opined.

Various stakeholders, including representatives from UD&HD, Law and Order, 17 Mountain Division, Feedback Infra, & (NHIDCL), (UMTC), Mercerdez Benz and the Truck Drivers' Association, besides state government officials, were present at the workshop.

A Comprehensive Mobility Plan for was presented by based on a study made on the city's terrain and traffic movement. It provided of decongestion through cable cars and creation of ring roads that help movement on Gangtok's inner and outer ring roads.

were drawn with other cities around the world with similar problems like Suwon in South Korea, in and in Colombia, whose topography resembles in many ways, and suggested the measures they have taken -- like skywalks, eco-mobility festivals and the like "to instil a sense of ownership to the public utilising these public commute services".

UMTC provided a detailed presentation on Techno-Economic Feasibility of Cable Car as Public A study based on the of Gangtok, while keeping in mind safety measures, said that locations have been identified as stations and a model drawn for cable cars to be implemented as a mainstream They also cited various examples of cities from all across the globe that use cable cars as their mode of transport and concluded that it would work if integrated in with other modes of

Urban Development Minister N.K. Subba, in his address, said: "More interactions and awareness programmes, like this one, on traffic decongestion and urbanisation is the need of the hour. We are at the start of something historic."

He also talked about future projects that the government of is planning to undertake to tackle the traffic menace, like widening of various roads at busy junctions and construction of sidewalks for efficient pedestrian movement.

warned that "it is absolutely crucial for our sensitive ecology that all stakeholders and entrepreneurs take into account the sustainable development goals while working out effective strategies to tackle this common problem. We all, as a society, need to work collectively and responsibly".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 12:34 IST