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Public advocacy group irks over alarming vehicle growth and air pollution in Agartala
TIWN Feb 21, 2017
Public advocacy group irks over alarming vehicle growth and air pollution in Agartala
PHOTO : Finance Minister placing budget at the Assembly. TIWN Pic Feb 20

AGARTALA, Feb 21 (TIWN) While welcoming the announcement of build up two multi-layered parking spaces in Agartala to manage the problems of parking of motorised vehicles, the leading environmental group expressed critical concern over alarming growth of personalised vehicles and air pollution in the city.

The activists of ARPAN Society appreciated the decision of the government in budget speech of finance minister Bhanu Lal Saha regarding upgradation of motor stands and truck terminus in Agartala and building of multi-layered parking at Old Motor stand and Battala to make walk-able and motor-able road space free from parking.

ARPAN’s Secretary Biswendu Bhattacharjee said that for the first time the state government spares a thought despite they have been persuading the same demand for past many years aiming to increase mobility of the city and ensure pedestrian rights and safety.

He however, disgraced that there was no commitment of the government for adopting parking policy and the strategies to contain the growth of small and individual vehicles or any step to strengthen public transport system in Agartala city.

ARPAN has been contemplating for implementing parking policy, making all pedestrian strips encroachment free, regulate tri-cycle rickshaw and arrest the growth of personalised vehicles by ensuring dedicated, affordable and assured frequency bus service in the city between 6 AM and 11 PM.

Moreover, the state government did not take any step to increase the bus fleet in the city area to increase mobility and cut down emission by reducing the use of personalised vehicles, Bhattacharjee alleged in a statement and added the bus brought under JNNURM for the city dwellers were connected to other sub-divisions and districts violating the project mandate.

“The city people, residing within 5 kilometre radius cannot avail bus service thereby, solely dependent on auto-rickshaw and personal vehicles because of faulty policy of the government. More than 150 buses given by central government for city people were leased out by the government to private parties on business model. As a result, the buses are running by the will and wishes of the operators on profit motive only,” Bhattacharjee mentioned.

He argued that the government had been advised for several times to run the centrally sponsored buses on service mode like schools and hospitals but it is yet to happened and by that time the private operated damaged more than 50 percent good buses by running them in long and bad roads.

“The high court of Tripura has also directed the state government run the bus covering all the areas of the town in a frequent interval in dedicated and affordable manner under urban transport corporation but it is flouted,” he added.

Because of huge growth of personal vehicles, CNG runs autos and massive construction works level of pollution in Agartala has increased at alarming level in past few weeks. Since there was no rain in post monsoon after October last and Municipal Corporation has no action of watering on the roads and proper management of waste the air pollution in the city becomes an irritant, Bhattacharjee pointed out.


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