We at kalimpong.info try not to editorialize news stories related to Kalimpong. But sometimes we must express our opinion.
Kalimnews (kalimpongonlinenews.blogspot.com) does a fine job of local Kalimpong news coverage, and more. The coverage sometimes goes beyond news and begins to includes local opinions, or rumors, not necessarily verifiable or substantiated, but still a welcome and non-mainstream-media source of information about Kalimpong.
Along that vein is this report on Kalimnews today about “Possibility of auto-rickshaw’s operation in Kalimpong”.
From the report (below) it is evident that this is just ‘local talk’ or mere speculation at this point. But it is dangerous talk. The worst mistake that could possibly be made by the already short-sighted official ‘caretakers’ or ‘decision makers’ of Kalimpong would be to introduce auto rickshaws as a mode of public transportation. Such a step would result in unmanageable and harmful issues with respect to Safety, Congestion, Noise Pollution, Sound Pollution, especially if coupled with an already rapidly deteriorating traffic situation in the town.
These issues are self explanatory so one hopes not to have to elaborate. However if someone still wants to know why we feel these adverse issues would arise please leave a comment and we will try to explain.
Below is the report from Kalimnews. Please read and let’s hope that sanity and rational thought prevails.
Recent plying of auto-rickshaw in Gangtok, located over 5000 feet ASL, has generated enthusiasm among the hill people on the possibility of its movement in neighbouring regions also. Kalimpong, which is located at lower height than Gangtok i.e. on about 4000 ft ASL, could very soon experience similar movement of auto-rickshaw in the town, the local people hope. Earlier one private auto-rickshaw popularly called tempo used to ferry the township. It also used to reach Dr. Graham’s Homes hill which is situated at an elevation of more than 4500 feet. Presently, a few three tier mini-tata also use to visit Kalimpong from Siliguri. Hence the possibility of commercial running of this three tier mini cab has gone up in the town. Since the cost of petrol has gone up and local passengers have already started to prefer share taxis for their short journeys, now the time has come to start auto-rickshaw services in the town soon, said Dilip Ranjan Biswa, a local taxi owner and driver. If it is so then I have to give a serious thought to change the mode of conveyance in future, he added. According to the educated people, it would be a best step if the local cab drivers opt to shift their business towards scientifically devised modern tempo services which are eco-friendly (pollution free to some extent) and cheaper than vehicle. They believe if the local people and administration support this idea then Kalimpong will become a auto-rickshaw hub in future. Local passengers would definitely prefer to take ride of this service instead of existing local taxi service which is costlier.
It is recalled that recently a group of foreigners had visited Gangtok, capital of himalayan state, on auto-rickshaw and they had not felt any difficulties in climbing the high terrain from Singtam to Gangtok. If it could happen in Gangtok why not in Kalimpong? Local people have started to gossip. Now it is upto the local administration and transporters to think for change in the hill town. If they start this new venture then smooth plying of tempo from Kalimpong town towards Algarah, Lava, Gorubathan, Rhenock, Teesta, Melli, Rangpo, Durpin, Bongbusty etc. by accomodating 5-6 passengers could easily materialised, say the experienced persons of the field.