Amazing facts in Darjeeling hills

Vivek Ghatani

Newspapers early morning flashes a story saying that the fire officials in Kurseong are more worried about growing traffic snarls amidst an acute crises of water during this time of the season. The buzz precariously is how far an obstacle it would be if the fire engines would have to pierce through this snarl during an emergency.

Kurseong, Kalimpong and Darjeeling Traffic Jam
Traffic Jam in the hill

The pathetic difficulty that the fire personnel would have to face during such times has a numerous examples. When a journalist is this vague region (the three hill sub-division of Kurseong, Kalimpong and Darjeeling) has had to cover a fire incident story, the first allegation from the general people shots up saying, “The fire personnel were late to reach the spot. Had they reached on time the fire would not have spread in such a way”.

The allegation from the people affected is a must think issue but on the contrary it is not the fire officials who should be laid on the onus. The onus should lie in the hands of police administration who manages the traffic and the civic officials who have the responsibility to develop the roads and infrastructure for free flowing traffic.

The traffic system in all four towns including Mirik popularly called the ‘Lake town’ is in a state of haphazard mockery. Years have gone by, people have been electing councillors to the four civic boards every five years but solving the water crises and traffic system for the hills has become a by-gone era. So, it is amazing that the civic officials are not blamed but fire officials are.

In Kurseong itself both the administration and the civic officials have held more than a few meetings to tackle the menace but with minimum outcome. The meetings ofcourse must have had bills in the government accounts for tea, snacks and other expenses in the long run.

The pathetic condition of the roads, an example of which can be held of the National Highway 55, has found no respite since 20 odd years. The contractor engaged for repair of the road must have filled his pockets with a bunch of notes bearing Mahatma Gandhi eventually for one to find that the road in reality is not yet functional.

To have frequent traffic snarls in a small town like Kurseong reflects the management on traffic system. It reflects the civic board’s inability to construct a profound parking space for the vehicles which adds on to the difficulty of the department that manages traffic. And hence a sense of worriness for the fire officials.

Amazing it is however that the police administrations are not blamed for not managing traffic properly.

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