Shimla likely to adopt ‘odd-even’ formula, make circular road one-way to cut traffic congestion, air pollution
SHIMLA- On Saturday, to devise ways and means of decongesting roads in Shimla, and to regulate traffic in a better manner, a meeting was chaired by additional district magistrate (law and order) GC Negi, in which officials from other departments also participated. The idea of adopting the odd -even formula for vehicles was also discussed, besides plans to have one -way traffic in Shimla town, and how to deal with congestion caused by tourist buses.
Earlier, the same solution was suggested to reduce vehicular emission based on a European Commission-sponsored study conducted for evaluating greenhouse gas emissions in Shimla town. According to the study, Shimla city has a total energy consumption of 16, 07,996 Giga Joules and the total GHG emission is 218,898 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of which electricity amounts to 59 percent, petrol 12 percent and diesel 28 percent.
The Himachal Pradesh capital is a “fit case” for car-rationing odd-even scheme on the pattern of Delhi because emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses accounted for 35.91 per cent of total emission, had told Deputy Mayor of Shimla Municipal Corporation Tikender Singh Panwar in a statement in April this year.
In December 2015, to reduce noise and air pollution, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had also directed the state government to consider making one-way traffic on cart road in Shimla.
For past four to five years, Himachal Watcher has been trying to create awareness among people in Shimla regarding rising traffic and completely unchecked vehicular emissions. Both the Govt. and public didn’t consider it a critical issue. Media, too, didn’t notice it. Himachal Pradesh Government including tenure of both Congress and BJP should have foreseen eventual rise in traffic and air pollution long ago, but none of them cared to think and plan. They couldn’t foresee that capital will need more parking spaces and widened roads. Apparently, the ministers and politicians lacked vision and bureaucracy enjoyed perks of power, unwilling to move a muscle.
So, now when driving even a small car has become nightmare in Shimla city due to regular, long traffic-jams and vehicular pollution is on rapid rise, the administration is not left with much choices except enforcing odd-even formula, turn major roads like circular road in one way, and slashing additional tax on diesel vehicles.
Moreover, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had expressed helplessness saying there was no further scope of development in Shimla except some widening of the Circular Road.
Government is considering deviating tourist flux by developing new tourist spots, which is a long term project. The administration couldn’t implement beautification schemes in Shimla city only, so there is no question of developing new spots. In brief, Shimla should embrace itself for odd-even and on-way formula. Also, maybe we can expect people to vote and elected better leaders next time, who are actually solution oriented, endowed with vision and are willing to commit to betterment of Himachal.
With Inputs from Times of India and PTI