SHILLONG, Dec 15 – A no-nonsense Meghalaya traffic police department today compelled a Cabinet Minster to pay a fine of Rs 1000 for illegally parking his vehicle at the busy Police Bazaar area here with onlookers hailing the cops’ move.The incident happened at about 4 pm when the Police Bazaar area was teeming with vehicles and the traffic police on the spot was having, as usual, a harrowing time to control the traffic. The policemen during that time noticed a brand new Scorpio ML 05 TC 004 (a) with red lights parked at an unauthorized area at the busy intersection, an eye witness said.
The policemen on duty got to their work and summoned a towing truck to the spot. However, Community and Rural Development Minister, Saleng Sangma appeared at the scene and claimed the vehicle as his.
The traffic policeman immediately tore out a fine receipt slip (No. 1737) and asked him to pay the mandatory fine of Rs 1000 for traffic rules violation. The Minister relented, paid the fine and whizzed off.
“This is the way policemen should carry on with their work. If Lawmakers breaks the law, they must be treated as lawbreakers,” one of the onlookers said.
Apart from the Minister’s vehicle, an Army bike bearing registration number AS 1J 9853 was towed away during the same time. “We aren’t going to spare any violators, especially during this busy festival time,” a traffic police official posted at the site warned.
Meanwhile, pedestrians’ life has become difficult since the main avenue leading to the shopping arcades in Police Bazaar is in utter disarray with construction works on.
Unattended culverts, rocks, potholes and open drains have made shopping dreadful. The Urban Affair Department has dug up the whole area to beautify it from October this year, but worryingly there aren’t any significant safety measures undertaken to clear the huge piles of rocks and barricading drains and potholes.
“This whole beautification thing could have started after the New Year celebrations as the project is unlikely to be completed within a few days or months. And what is the idea to dig up the entire stretch, instead of taking up the work in a phased manner,” an irate shopper said negotiating some of the culverts and potholes left by the department.