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The new MVA; how serious is the government?

The talk of the town nowadays is the new Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2019 and its resulting effect out here. It is good on the part of Manipur Government to enforce stringent traffic rules after the parliament passed the said Act. But cannot say how long this will be in effect, as such drive have happen many times in the past but for not long.  
The crackdown on commuters violating traffic rules is a commendable step owing to the alarming rise of accidents happening in the state. Also recently Breath Analyzer was distributed by Chief Minister N Biren to detect drunk driving in the state. It is ironic and amusing that such things are done in a dry state. A recent viral video on Social media shows a cop taking breathalyzer test of a person and can be seen saying his reading is far above the permissible level. What? Does this mean Manipur is no longer a dry state or is the state government planning to remove the Dry state status?
With the recent stringent drives in different parts of the state cracking down on traffic violators, one cannot help thinking about the Diesel Autos plying in large number in the state. Don’t these Diesel autos fall under the purview of the new MVA Act and who gives the required permission to ply in the road as commercial vehicle? Or if so, what is the capacity of passenger in such Auto? Everyone knows these Diesel Autos are noisy and is way above the permissible level. Many experts have pointed out the ill effects of these Autos in the past and why is the authority still turning a blind eye to this nuisance?
The authority has many places to look into other than cracking down on people driving without helmet or driving license. Footpath meant for pedestrians can be seen occupied with shop owners displaying their goods causing hindrance to commuters. Yeah, crackdown on such things happens once in a blue moon and that also for a short period of time only. Parking space is also a problem in the state, mainly in Imphal area. Competent Authority needs to come up with a viable and practical solution to the ever increasing Parking woes in the state. After all parking problems is also one of the many factors adding to the congestion in the city areas.
If there are law enforcers, there will be law breakers too. For example, there were reports of having a Facebook page which updates about the location of Traffic police in the state and the ways to evade them. If the government is serious about the safety of the public, a little out of the box thinking is required. Instead of imposing heavy Challans on drivers without helmet or driving license, they can provide a helmet and License form on the spot against the fines collected from the drive. It doesn’t mean letting go a person without helmet after imposing a hefty fine is safe for that particular driver.
Not just issuing challans and imposing fines to the public will be a lasting solution to the ever rising Traffic problems in the state. Traffic safety should not be left alone to the public, there are many ways the government can work to ensure traffic safety in the state. Oh yeah, if these current drive are for just namesake by the Government like we have seen in the past, then it is alright!!

Maheshwar Gurumayum

William Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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