Margao: The unauthorized stops by private buses in Margao has turned to be a menace for the city traffic system. The problem has increased to such an extent that the traffic problems of Margao has made their way into the top three demands of the people of Margao in this Municipal elections.
From Old Market and ends as the Margao Navelim fly-over ends will show how the buses in Margao halt at every corner traveling at a snail's pace sometimes causing major problems to the traffic in Margao. The Margao town is saturated leaving no scope for either widening of roads or having bus stops. With no bypass road, the interstate busses too are sometimes seen entering the town and becoming the reason for havoc.
To understand why there is an absolute deadlock in solution to the problems it is important to understand that buses making halts in the city must be only at the authorized bus stops which are indicated by the display of a board which is installed on the stop being 'notified' by the District Magistrate, on receiving the report of the Traffic Police & Transport Department.
This in turn is done after the Margao Municipal Council passes a resolution recommending a Bus Stop which in turn may have received a petition from a Ward Councilor or a local commuter, which after studying the same has found it to be in order.
An eminent resident of Margao and Herald columnist Jose Marie Miranda pointed out that the Margao Municipal Council has absolutely ignored their responsibilities towards the problems of parking and traffic in Margao town. "Along with a permanent solution to Garbage issues of the MMC we are expecting the new council to resolve the traffic and parking problems" he said.
The Margao city has grown in leaps and bounds but number of bus stops from KTC Bus Stand to the boundary of Margao (near Navelim Church) is inadequate. Same in Cine Vishant - Aquem route.
The number of building complexes that have come up in the last two decades has to be considered while sketching the Traffic Plan and accordingly, the Bus Stops must be notified. Take the example of the bus stop at Kamat Cafe near Lohia Maidan, the next stop could be on the Navelim side of the flyover. So, unauthorised stops are made at George Garments and just before the flyover.
The Margao Municipal Council was asked by the Directorate of Municipal Admin to set up and activate the 'Municipal Road Safety & Traffic Management Committee', which is meant to focus on these types of problems and find solutions.
The offences booked against bus drivers making unauthorized stops in the city are not computerized, otherwise it would have been useful to understand how acute is the problem. When asked the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Traffic Prabodh Shriwaikar he said "Our traffic cell has been proactive in booking cases and bus drivers who indulge in any kind of unauthorized practices. The Road Transport Office should also help in keeping the situation in control" he suggested.
A regular commuter Sandesh Velip said "The roads in Margao are blocked only with one bus waiting to pick their passengers. This causes a long block. There has to be some system in the public transport in the Margao town" he said.
Roland Martins, Convenor of the GOACAN which works for traffic safety and improvement pointed out that there has not been a Traffic Plan for Margao. "Moreover, there is no ring road City bus system that could connect Damodar & Kare College in Comba with Chowgule College in Gogol or District Library at Navelim with Ravindra Bhavan in Fatorda" he pointed out.