Shimla: Grappling with mounting traffic congestion, the city municipal corporation though has roped in a consultant to draw up a long term master plan but even an expanded fleet of buses with a limited road network has failed to improve public transport services and ease up commuters’ woes.
Not disheartened by the current state of affairs, HK Gupta, a divisional manager with Himachal roadways (HRTC) says, “with the new inter-state bus terminus (ISBT) at Tutikandi likely to become operational soon, traffic congestion on the main arterial road will decrease.”
With the circular cart road bearing the major traffic burden, moving out the ISBT may remove one bottleneck but planners over the decade have considered sky rail, lifts and boring tunnels to provide alternate routes and modes of transport for de-congesting roads.
Project director at HP Roads & Infrastructure Dev. Corp., BB Kalra says, detailed project reports for three tunnels criss-crossing under the city are ready and have been proposed for funding.
While plans are being drawn up to link the new ISBT with city transport services, municipal corporation on Wednesday appointed Urban Mass Transport Co as consultant for preparing a road and transport master plan for the city.
“The plan will study short, medium and long term needs of city mobility, which includes non motor lanes like cycling and walking paths,” said municipal commissioner AN Sharma,
GS Bagga, a retired railway officer who spent many years manning Shimla station, laments the increasing number of private cars that have choked the roads and even by adding 75 new local buses provided for by Jawaharlal Urban Renewal Mission scheme have failed to improve public transport services.
“Perhaps an hourly local train shuttle service between Tara Devi, or Jutogh and Shimla could provide some relief on that route at leas” he said.
Gupta says new proposals like common mobility tickets, intelligence information systems are under active consideration for improving mass transport services.
Only a better mass carrier service will repose confidence in the commuter to desist from using a private car as it provides a better passenger car unit ratio of using the existing road network that could help to de-congest the city, he said.