The Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) has drawn up an elaborate plan to ease traffic movement, including regulating the movement of battery-operated rickshaws or Totos and shifting some bus stands.
Mayor Gautam Deb held a meeting with the Darjeeling district magistrate, the Siliguri Metropolitan Police (SMP) commissioner and other officials at the SMC on Friday on this.
"We are checking the TIN (temporary identification number) and other necessary documents of Totos. We will work closely with the regional transport office with regard to the TIN,” Deb told the media after the meeting.
According to Deb, the civic body has provided around 4,300 TINs to Toto owners to drive in civic areas. SMC sources, however, estimate over 20,000 running in the city.
Sources said these Totos are one of the major reasons for traffic snarls. “We have also noticed that many Totos come to town from outside the civic area. Keeping this in mind the civic board has decided to regulate the movement of Totos within the civic area,” said source.
The SMC has also decided to relocate the local bus stand. Most local buses operate from the Siliguri bus stand near Siliguri town station. “This will soon be shifted to Tinbatti More. The state transport department has provided around 3 acres for a new terminus. It should be operational from October,” said Deb.
All long-distance buses operating from Siliguri Junction area will be shifted to Paribahan Nagar of Matigara, 2km further from the existing location.
Some bus owners are unhappy with the relocation. The mayor will meet them next week, said a source.