Commuters in a jam
In the past seven years, the MDDA has proposed the widening of the Chakrata Road a number of times but on account of ill-planning, nothing concrete has taken place
Umesh Dewan
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, November 3
Owing to the nonchalance of the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA), the traffic problem on the busy Chakrata Road has gone from bad to worse.

Traffic chaos on the road has acquired an alarming proportion and there is hardly any space for parking. Commuters jostle with one another, which often leads to minor accidents. This has resulted in a considerable fall in the number of shoppers, leaving the shopkeepers high and dry.

Inquiries reveal that narrow roads (18 metre) is the root cause of the traffic problem on the road. In the past seven years, the MDDA has proposed the widening of the road a number of times but on account of "ill-planning", nothing concrete has taken place.

"In 2002, the MDDA prepared a plan for widening of Chakrata Road from 18 metres to 30 metres. It announced acquiring land of shops on one side of the road for the purpose and for setting up of a city centre", said Rajesh Goyal, secretary of Chakrata Road Onkar Road Kalyan Samiti.

A majority of shops on both sides of Chakrata Road, that are on lease, while welcoming the widening of the road, opposed the proposal to acquire their land on one side of the road.

In the wake of the protest by shopkeepers, the issue was put on hold. After almost five years, MDDA came out with a re-development plan in year 2007.

"Though shopkeepers on both sides of the road were willing to give six metres of their land for widening purpose but to give undue favour to afew shopkeepers on the left of Chakrata Road, the authorities insisted on acquiring land on right side of the road.

“This would have left several shopkeepers and residents homeless", pointed out Sushil Virmani, secretary of the Chakrata Road Vyaapar Sangh.

Meanwhile, the traffic problem on the road has grown manifold. From Clock Tower to Prabhat Cinema, the traffic remains choked. The lives of pedestrians remain under threat on this stretch.

"It almost takes 20 minutes to cover a distance of just 150 metres", rued Jatin, lamenting the authorities were showing little interest in sort- out the problem.

Meanwhile, shopkeepers on Chakrata Road say they are ready for widening of road but land should be acquired on both sides of the road. President of the Chakrata Road Vyapar Sangh, Shashikant Goyal, said a number of times they had met the MDDA authorities but to no avail. "If the situation does not improve, we will be left with no option but to shut our shops", he said.

The shopkeepers also demand that those uprooted from Chakrata Road be provided shops in some other market. 



Blame it on growing traffic volume
Figures recorded from April 1, 2008 to August 31, put the number of new vehicles registered with the local authorities at 11,381. This means every month, city roads see an addition of 2,000 vehicles
Divya Semwal
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, November 3
Chaos, accidents and congestion has become the order of the day on Dehradun roads. The problem of traffic jams has become gigantic. And with the traffic police miserably failing to find a concrete solution to the problem, hapless city residents have to suffer in silent despondency.

Commuters are put to grave inconvenience on account of increasing density of vehicles and poor traffic management.

Be it Rajpur Road, Chakrata Road, Prince Chowk, Saharanpur Chowk, Dharampur or Parade Ground Chowk, it is the same picture - commuters desperately trying to find their way out of jams to reach their destination.

Figures recorded from April 1, 2008 to August 31, put the number of new vehicles in the city at 11,381. This means every month, city roads see an addition of 2,000 vehicles, including two, three and four-wheelers.

"In spite of Dehradun becoming a state capital, traffic management here remains extremely poor. During the evening hours, there are massive traffic jams at various stretches of Rajpur Road.

It is time the administration finds a viable solution to the problem", says Rohan Srivastava, an engineer.

A large number of schools are located on city’s main roads. The traffic situation becomes worse during school opening and closing hours. Several parents have expressed anxiety over the problem of traffic chaos.

Says Gyan Bhaskar Maithani, a student of Bright Lands School, "It is so frustrating to have to wait outside the school , more so when you have to attend tuitions".

One of the reasons for the traffic problem is lack of parking spaces in city markets.

"Subways and overhead pathways at strategic locations are the best way to deal with the problem.

To begin with, these can be constructed in front of Scholars Home, St. Joseph's Academy, the Doon School, Convent of Jesus and Mary, Chakrata Road, Ann Mary School on GMS Road and Hilton School on the Saharanpur highway", suggested civil engineer Atul Rawat.



Coming, eco tax on tourists
The tax at Rs 5 per tourist will be collected from anyone visiting Kolhu Khet situated mid-way between Mussoorie and Dehradun. The move has the backing of local businessmen
Anmol Jain
Tribune News Service

Mussoorie, November 3
The Mussoorie Municipal Committee proposes to levy eco tax on tourists, the receipts from which it plans to utilise for cleaning the hill resort. O.P. Uniyal, chairman of the committee, said they intended to impose the tax at Rs 5 per tourist and a proposal to this effect was being put forth in the coming meeting for approval. It then will be submitted before the state authorities for approval.

The tax will be collected from every tourist visiting Kolhu Khet situated mid-way between Mussoorie and Dehradun. Local residents will be exempted from the tax. According to Uniyal, it is estimated that the municipal committee could generate Rs 50 lakh per annum through this initiative. "The collections through eco tax could be utilised for initiatives like controlling plastic waste, beautification of The Mall and development of basic amenities for tourists," he said.

"The tax can also be seen as a way to sensitise the tourists on the need to keep the town clean during their visits here,” Uniyal maintained.

The move has been welcomed by other members of committee too. "This initiative will make the civic authorities self-sufficient to an extent," said Kedar Singh. Local businessmen also back the initiative. Rajat Kapoor, owner of a popular hotel and restaurant here, believes that the collections through the tax would help clean Mussoorie, thereby attracting more tourists to the town. This in turn would mean good business. 



Telecom circle awards service medals
Tribune News Service

Haridwar, November 3
Uttarakhand Telecom Circle Dehradun organised a Vishisht Telecom Service Medal Ceremony at Haridwar on Saturday. Chief  guest R.K.Aggarwal, BSNL board director, New Delhi, in his speech stressed on providing consumers the best service and lauded the work of the 10 officers and employees who were awarded at the ceremony.

The award carries a prize money of Rs 21,000 with a silver medal and a citation. The awardee officials and employees include RP Godiyal, Ranjit Kumar, Rajesh Kumar Bhatt, Surendra Pal, Buddhi Singh (all from Dehradun), SS Barthwal from Haridwar, SS Jangpangi (Almora), Tula Rawat (Almora) and SS Rautella from Nainital.




I completely agree to the fact that the people of Mussoorie town are facing acute water shortage. And it is sad to know that the two main government departments are not ready to take the responsibility and are busy playing the blame game. 

Being a famous hill station, Mussoorie attracts loads of tourists throughout the year. And this is one of the main reasons why the town is facing water shortage. As it was mentioned in the story that there is huge gap between the demand and supply of water here, we would like to ask the government and the concerned department that why aren’t they sit together and come to a solution. Why are they blaming each other. 

They should know that ultimately it is the public who suffers. We agree that water shortage is a main problem in the hill stations but we need get into a solution. I request the people of Mussoorie to understand the need and start saving water.

—Ram Mohan, Mussoorie

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words at [email protected] or write in at: Letters, Dehradun Plus, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |