‘An exercise in futility’ would perhaps best describe the ongoing determined attempt of the state traffic police to control and maintain proper parking rules and regulations in the city. The seemingly harsh observation which is more an opinion than a qualified assessment is derived from the experiences, narrations, discussions and reactions from concerned public and bewildered motorists who have pointed out certain highlights to drive home the truth of the present situation.
The present efforts of the state authorities particularly the Imphal West Traffic Police to streamline parking methods as well as to regulate and prevent illegal parking so as to ensure minimal resistance to traffic flow in and around the city is a much needed exercise in light of the steadily increasing vehicular traffic in the city. The state has seen and experienced a rapid surge in the volume of traffic during the last decade which, while being a good indicator of increasing disposable income of the people in the state, has been proving to be a worsening problem as regulating traffic is becoming an increasingly challenging task. And the challenge is only set to get even more difficult.
The most pertinent question then is how the existing resources in terms of manpower and available spaces be utilized to ease the increasingly worsening traffic woes in the state capital. The initiative of the state government to revive the state road transport is laudable, but as of now, there are few takers which indicate an inherent flaw in the arrangement which the state think tank need to review, identify and address. Lack of dedicated parking spaces for public transporters such as autorickshaws, wingers etc around the periphery of the heart of the city, as well as the lack of a feeder transport system to ferry the public into the heart of the city has been a major stumbling block in the effort to regulate traffic in the heart of the city. The state run public transport system can be effectively used to provide the necessary service. Proper and highly visible demarcation of parking spaces with strict enforcement to comply with the authorities will definitely yield the desired result.
Unless all the factors contributing to traffic congestion are taken into consideration and an inclusive plan to tackle the issue is drawn up and put into action, no amount of patchy albeit spirited efforts will bring the desired result.
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.