HC issues notice to Tripura Govt for traffic mismanagement

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Agartala, Aug 10 (UNI) Gauhati High Court's Agartala bench has issued six weeks returnable notice to the Tripura Chief Secretary and 11 other state authorities last week with regard to traffic mismanagement and poor planning in urban areas in the state.

The Association for Research on People And Nature (ARPAN), a private research and civil rights pressure group, had filed a PIL in the Double Bench of Gauhati High Court in July, seeking justice on the issues.

Addressing mediapersons here today, ARPAN officials alleged that footpaths on both sides of city roads in Agartala were of no use for the pedestrians while drains of some busy roads were open, which caused serious accidents.

They pointed out that the cause of traffic congestion in the city was intermixing of slow and fast moving traffic and peddle rickshaws as they did not bother about traffic rules or signals.

Old and outdated vehicles were being allowed to run on the roads at par with the new ones which slowed down the traffic movement especially during busy hours, they added.

The PIL had also mentioned that old vehicles, including passenger buses, auto rickshaws, school buses and goods carriers, were moving on the city roads without caring for environment.

The traffic police conducted checks on two-wheelers only, for pollution control certificate, though 90 per cent of the new modern bikes are mechanically modified with pollution resistant techiques, the petition underlined, adding that the Emission Testing Centres were issuing pollution control certificates to almost 95 per cent of the vehicles.

Agartala has very less tree cover which could provide shade to the pedestrians and supply necessary oxygen to neutralise carbon dioxide pollutants emitted from vehicular traffic.

Moreover, the petitioner society noted that the authorities cut down all the big trees without planting compensatory forests.

ARPAN also alleged that traffic and transport officials were not conducting enforcement against overloading in passenger carriers, improper use of lights at night, pollutants emitting vehicles, excess fare collection and misbehaviour with the passengers. Traffic police are active only on VIP roads from Raj Bhawan to Police Headquarters during office hour, the petitioner's advocate Arun Chandra Bhowmik alleged.

Referring to the issue of wearing helmet, Mr Bhowmik stated that traffic authorities forced the drivers and riders of two-wheelers for wearing plastic caps in lieu of BSI marked helmets prescribed under Motor Vehicle Act.

''Dumping of municipal waste, solid waste and construction material on roads has become a serious problem for the city dwellers but both Urban development and Municipal authorities are inactive over the issue which leads to road accidents as well as creates public inconvenience,'' Mr Bhowmik added.

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