Even though there are obstacles in streamlining of the traffic flow in the state particularly in Imphal city, the present government led by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh seems to be working hard to solve the traffic menace.
Since his government came to power, he had shown his seriousness to the issue of traffic woes. He had announced to reinstalled the electronic traffic signals and even appointed a Superintendent of the traffic police.
After a long gap Manipur witnessed the sitting of the Traffic Regulation and Parking Committee meeting on April 25, 2018 with the Chief Minister in the Chair.
A sign of relief was felt to everyone on assuming that the coming of the new government will stop worrying the nightmare of the traffic chaos.
However, for reason best known, all the announcement made was not converted into action . Installation of Traffic signal is not completely implemented. The appointment of Traffic police SP makes no meaning as powers has not been entrusted for taking up action against traffic violators and moreover till today there are still lack of proper manpower, equipments and other infrastructures.
The fall out of the first TRPC meeting after N. Biren Singh led the government turned disaster as an announcement without a second thought provoked a massive protest from daily wage earners - the Diesel Auto drivers. The announcement of the CM to ban the diesel auto in Imphal city was one of the mistake committed by the government.
Having said so, it is worth appreciating the government as it keeps continuing its work to find way to solve the traffic menace.
Lately the traffic rotary has been shrunken; the unnecessary road maiden has been reduced.
These are some of the immediate measure to ensure convenience to commuters. But will it help.
There is increase of vehicles everyday and the volume of vehicles increase in Imphal increase with the increase of the vehicle.
While it is necessary to widen the road, it is also equally important that people driving vehicle follow traffic rule. And when it comes how to make the drivers follow the traffic discipline it is not the driver alone that should be responsible but the traffic police that need to be alerted.
Today, after the IMC machinery stop collecting the garbage, the condition is even worst then before.
On the parking issue which is the root of the traffic chaos it is well known to everybody that from Keishampat junction till Thangal Bazar any roadside seems to be converted as parking space.
Even as the TRPC is the sole authority to allot parking area, no specific parking area has been allotted at any specific place. Yet, there was a resolution to charge more fee if a vehicle is parked more than its necessities.
Following that the Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) is franchising NGOs to collect parking fee from anywhere where they felt necessary. Still now the IMC authority continues to offer permission to any NGO for collecting parking fee.
For reason best known those, NGO collecting parking fee never bother on where the vehicles were park at the roadsides particularly at Paona Keithel. Double parking, triple parking were allowed if they are paid the parking few. No, authority of the IMC or the traffic police counter check the way that the NGOs arranged the parking system.
The connecting road in-between Paona Keithel and Governor road has never been officially declared as parking space yet vehicles use to park as the road has been close at the other end of the governor road for security reason. How could the IMC allow NGO to collect fee for parking at this site when it was not declared as a parking site by the TRPC.
Imphal city is already facing problem due to road side vendor which the police received severe criticism from section of people when they tried to clean it. Now, the parking arrangement at Paona Keithel and Thangal Keithel should be properly checked and those fail to comply with government order should not be allowed to continue their service, a former police officer told this reporter.
He further added that the IMC or the traffic police should immediately announced the parking site and that penalty should be given if the number vehicle cross limit provided to them.
The first one year of the state government heard many promises that people had eagerly waiting for. It’s now over 2 years, N. Biren Singh Govt. seem to completely forgotten what he promised and assured to the people.
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.