The state capital is presently experiencing traffic congestions and traffic jams on a scale never witnessed before, and the problem is bound to increase with time. With rising expendable incomes and introduction of newer and better vehicles, the people of the state are thronging the automobile dealers and business is brisk like never before. From what was considered a basic necessity, automobiles have come to represent a status symbol for the owners, so much so that it is now common for many to own different kinds of vehicles for different purposes. The result, as everybody have experienced, is increased congestion and inconvenience. What was once a trip that took a few minutes has now consumed a good part of an hour or more depending on the time of the day. Add to it the abject absence of civic sense of most motorists who still doesn’t have a clue to even the basic rules of traffic and parking and we now have a deteriorating crisis threatening to bring the small capital to a grinding halt.
While it is heartening to notice that the chief minister has expressed concern on the issue and posted his personal views on social media, the ground reality is far from satisfactory. Many busy intersections are seen without any traffic personnel even during the peak traffic hours, and the few who are trying to control the situation are often left with a chaotic situation, with the state police personnel deployed to stand in as traffic regulators- a job they are neither trained nor prepared for.
The absence of a permanent and systematic parking arrangement is another aspect contributing to the mayhem. In a place such as Imphal where parking spaces are at a premium, the lack of a proper traffic management system is sorely felt by all and sundry.
While ad-hoc measures are being experimented at home to ease the problem, the state government should prepare a team of delegates to participate at the event which will definitely be immense help in devising ways and means to tackle the worsening issue at the earliest. It is time to walk the talk and time is of the essence- in more ways than one.