Shillong bustles with tourists practically every day but one knock-on effect of the boom in visitors isn’t so welcome – extra cars on the roads.
Private vehicles from the neighbouring state and Assam-registered tourist taxis can be seen filling up Shillong’s roads, especially over the weekends.
Added to the city’s neverending growth of its own vehicle numbers and chaos ensues. On a side note, sometimes what makes Assam vehicles increase Shillong’s traffic woes is that many of them use Google Maps or other map apps to try and get around the city but are then led down dead ends or even up a set of stairs.
Tourists, drawn to this state by its natural beauty, are the victims of traffic as well as they spend much of their valuable time trapped in jams.
Speaking on the matter, Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh today said that he has asked department officials to engage with their counterparts in Assam so as to take them on board as far as the movement of cars is concerned.
Pointing out that the matter has to be discussed in an amicable manner, Lyngdoh said that if Meghalaya arbitrarily decides to stop Assam vehicles, the neighbouring state may also hit back with similar restrictions.
Lyngdoh, however, expects that the problem could be reduced to a certain extent after the 100 luxury vehicles for tourists are launched by March next year for the purpose of ferrying tourists, though how adding even more vehicles – especially these large luxury ones – to Shillong’s congested roads will improve the situation is yet to be seen.