A day before Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari is scheduled to arrive in the city, representatives of the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) and Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) jointly announced a number of decisions and plans on Wednesday to ease traffic snarls in Siliguri.
Gadkari will lay the cornerstone for the 13 km, four-lane road connecting Siliguri’s northeast and northwest ends on Thursday. The route will go via Darjeeling More, the city’s main entrance. For the project, the Center has approved about Rs 1,000 crore.
The Siliguri mayor Gautam Deb and SJDA chairman Sourav Chakraborty held a joint news conference here on Wednesday, the day before Gadkari’s arrival, and they announced the installation of new parking spaces, two new bus terminals, and more CCTV cameras throughout the city.
Chakraborty informed reporters they had already asked the Darjeeling district magistrate to identify certain parking-friendly sites in and around Siliguri.
“As we held a meeting today (Wednesday), the mayor came up with certain suggestions, he mentioned five prospective locations where parking places can be developed. We will soon start working on it,”.
Siliguri, which is overrun with cars, has a persistent parking issue. On a daily basis, cars are parked randomly along many busy thoroughfares, constricting traffic lanes.
The long-distance private buses that depart from the vicinity of Tenzing Norgay Central Bus Terminus and off Hill Cart Road for Calcutta, the Northeast, and Bihar, according to SJDA sources, should be relocated to Paribahan Nagar in Matigara, which is northwest of Siliguri.
“Another new bus terminus will come up at Naukaghat More (in south parts of Siliguri). We sought assistance from the state, the SJDA and the municipal engineering department to reduce traffic congestion in Siliguri in the next six months,”
“If more cameras are installed, the traffic wing take appropriate action to ensure smooth traffic through important roads and crossings,”.
Political experts believe that Trinamul’s attempt to engage the BJP in a debate over infrastructure through such abrupt statements by local civic officials and development agency representatives.
The Center has announced significant infrastructural projects for the area, which are being highlighted by BJP leaders.
It is clear that the saffron movement is prepared to use the infrastructure card in the upcoming LokSabha elections in 2024, as well as the rural elections in Bengal in 2023, they noted.
“The Centre has made major allocations for infrastructural projects for the improvement of rail, road and air connectivity of this region and BJP will surely highlight these projects. Trinamul, too, intends to prove that it is keen on developing the infrastructure of the city. It is good if such competition persists asit would eventually benefit the city and the region as a whole,”.
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