The murky scene in Imphal city is failed traffic management. The standard of Imphal which is preparing to host hundreds of foreign tourist if not Thousands will be shown by the way that traffic movement is being managed in a systematic ways.
Each time when the issue about traffic regulation came in the limelight, some traffic police will be seen on roadside of crowded Imphal city stopping vehicles to check their documents, license etc. But the fact is that while doing so public face more inconveniences with the road more crowded.
Everybody knows it is illegal to drive vehicle without license or proper registration certificate of the vehicle. But sometimes people use to forget things that were supposed to be with them. But it is not necessary that all the vehicle driver were halted and checked as long as they follows the traffic rules. Saying so checking can be done at somewhere where people will not be disturbed and not at the middle of the city like the one seen near GM Hall. Traffic police should be more focus on smooth flow of vehicles and should find who do not understand the meaning of stoppage line drawn a feet away from the zebra crossing. Thanks to the government, Imphal today sees electronic traffic signal at the traffic island at the western gate of Historic Kangla ford. Some of the difficulties faced by traffic policemen were somehow relieve. But are the people following the electronic traffic signal? Had the traffic police on duty fined any violators at that point?
The fact remains that the concerned authorities have failed or perhaps lacks proper understanding on how to manage the traffic regulations.
The meeting of the Traffic regulation and parking committee convened by Chief Minister is not of much help, and one can only wonder if words of the Chief Minister are being converted into realities by the authority of the concern department.
Queries put up to the concerned departments have only resulted in more bewildering responses- a classic example of the effectiveness of passing the buck around that has been at work in all government set ups.
While formulation of policies and systems to control and regulate traffic may be a beginning in the right direction, the fact remains that the increasing number of vehicles need additional space to accommodate them and juggling acts of the traffic system by the experts, however efficient and experienced they may be, will not bear fruit. Construction of additional parking spaces at strategic locations, bypasses and flyovers, and most importantly providing subways at important and crowded junctions will go a long way in reducing these problems. Construction of public utilities does not automatically guarantee improvement- their proper usage is as important- an obvious example being the use of footpaths by the vendors and shopkeepers to stock and ply their goods forcing the pedestrians to walk on the road. The need to streamline and re-orient the traffic police personnels is also being felt by the public. Turning a blind eye to the irregularities being committed by the drivers of various public and commercial transport vehicles in consideration for a “quick handshake” has been well documented- despite the dangers and inconveniences such greedy acts causes. The present government ministers and high ranking officials may not be feeling the burden such traffic jams causes as they seem to have a prerogative of the right of use of the road over the common public but unless some concrete steps are taken up very soon, the only option that would be available to them would be to use their feet with their retinue of escorts and assistants wading through the impossible traffic- surely a distracting relief for the stranded common public on the road.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.