JORABAT, Aug 1 - Though the National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002 restricts parking of vehicles on highways, the legislation has not been implemented effectively on the city outskirts.
Illegal parking of vehicles on the roadside has claimed lives of motorists in the past few years when cars or bikes have hit stationary vehicles from behind on the NH-37 stretch between Jorabat and Khanapara.
Voicing concern over the haphazard parking, Dibyajyoti Medhi of the Kamrup Metro district unit of All Assam Students� Union (AASU) said, �We have observed that illegally parked vehicles on the NH-37 become death traps, particularly in the monsoon or winter, and also in the early morning hours. This illegal parking on the highways contributes to a major per cent of the road accidents in the area.�
As per traffic norms, heavy vehicles can be parked only on the designated bays on a national highway. Violation entails fines, depending on the category of the vehicle. However, the Jorabat traffic police has failed to take action against those violating the norms.
According to conscious local residents of the area, there is an urgent need to increase the number of parking bays for trucks and to set up amenities for drivers to mitigate the problem.
Meanwhile, the Jorabat AASU members have also brought to the notice of the authorities the unruly behaviour of MGT Motors (a Tata Motors heavy vehicles dealer and service centre at Jorabat) by way of illegally parking a large number of trucks on the link road at Jorabat.
�At some point of time, even a small four-wheeler has to struggle to pass through the link road as the trucks parked here by MGT Motors create a heavy traffic jam. If police fail to take action against the haphazard parking by this business unit, it is only a matter of time before a major accident takes place. In that case Jorabat police will be responsible,� a local said.
Recently a team comprising AASU�s Kamrup Metro district unit president Kusha Rangpi, general secretary Dibyajyoti Medhi and the student body�s central committee members Tapan Kalita and Simanta Thakuria, handed over a memorandum to the City Police Commissioner urging him to take steps against the illegal parking of heavy vehicles along the National Highway-37.
The memorandum also demanded reduction in the size of the opening in the divider near the CRPF Gate No 1 at Ninth Mile as it creates a chaotic situation during peak hours since large numbers of heavy vehicles make use of this opening to cross over to the petrol depot (Perfect Service Station) on the other side of the road, resulting in heavy traffic snarls. �Many heavy vehicles also come along the wrong side of the road for a refill at the petrol depot,� a local said.