Boulders in the middle of a busy road
June 27: The boulders, which have been lying on the city’s main roads posing a threat to commuters, continue to remain in the same places, despite an assurance by traffic superintendent of police Bibekananda Das 10 days ago.
These stones have been placed to demarcate bus stops and the roadside parking places of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation but create traffic congestion and have turned the city roads into veritable death traps for commuters, especially during the evenings and at night.
These foot-high or more unmarked unpainted stones merge with the colour of the road, making detection difficult at night.
They were spotted in different parts of the city, including Bhangagarh and Bora service bus stops, on the busy G.S. Road and near Anuradha cinema.
Residents said city buses, motorcycles and other vehicles frequently hit the stones and if these were not removed, a rider might have to pay heavily. The fact that most of the streetlights do not work only enhances the possibility of accidents.Das today said he would instruct “his men” to remove the stones.
A source in the city police department said there was no rule for keeping stones on the main roads to mark bus stops. “There is no such system in place to put stones on roads. If we want to put a barricade we make them with painted plastic cones so that if one hits them one does not get hurt.”
Statistics show that the city is already one of the most accident-prone areas in the state and the boulders only add to the menace.
After an analysis of accidents that took place last year, the 108 emergency response service identified 52 places in Kamrup district as accident-prone areas.
These include Ulubari, where 186 accidents took place in 2010, Bamunimaidam (127), Ganeshguri (103), Silpukhuri (80), Beltola (254), Dispur (250), Jalukbari (222) and Noonmati (209).
Dhiren Baruah, president of the Save Guwahati Build Guwahati, an NGO, blamed the administration for the situation. “Nobody is concerned about civic affairs. That is why the authorities do not bother to remove the stones,” he said.
Given the dark mood of protests that has enveloped the city over the last few days, it also seemed imperative that the stones should be removed at the earliest.
A traffic policeman, however, assured: “It is true that the stones can cause accidents but there is no need to worry about these being used as missiles for they are rather big and heavy.”