IMPHAL July 9: The initiatives of the state government to regulate traffic along the major city roads by installing electronic traffic lights system has remain a fruitless effort.
The five signal points installed at five traffic points at Imphal Head Post Office, Nityaipat Chuthek, Keishampat Junction, Khoyathong and North AOC since the beginning of the current year have failed to address the congestion of traffic which has resulted in the traffic police stationed at the points to manned the traffic manually as done before the installation of the traffic lights in the city.
Official sources echoed that the main issue is the lack of cooperation from the side of the public. The short distance between the traffic points, the volume of traffic along the major city roads and the ever increasing number of vehicles is another main hassle.
The source added that there has been failure in the computerized direction for synchronization of traffic lights as the back up batteries located at the traffic points sometimes fail, which cause confusion to the commuters and aids in occurrence of traffic jams.
At present, there are more than 1,30,000 registered vehicles including two wheelers, autos, light and heavy motor vehicles plying inter district and the main transit centre is at Imphal area.
Konjengbam Mubi, an office goer told IFP, “ As going to work is a routine affair, running into traffic jams mainly at Nityaipat area and western gate of Kangla has become a daily affair, the traffic lights always blinks yellow and traffic regulation is handled by the police. The size of the traffic islands at the Governor’s gate and Kangla gate, I feel is too big, it should be smaller so that more volume of traffic can be accommodated”, he opined.
The official source maintained that the zebra crossings have eroded at certain points due to road conditions, pedestrians face a risk while crossing the roads specially during peak office hours, the zebra crossings needs to be repainted by the concerned department and have to be monitored by the traffic police in the interest of the public even if the traffic lights fail.
Further, the awareness drives conducted by the traffic police for the public to follow traffic signals have been more or less ignored and the exercise has been futile, the same source maintained.
It maybe mentioned that the government took up the initiative of installing traffic lights at 17 traffic points around Imphal city at a projected cost of Rs 193.95 lakhs after the state MAHUD department submitted a proposal to the union ministry of urban development for which it had released a sum of Rs 96.88 lakhs as a one time payment.
Another issue faced by the traffic police personnel is a standing government order which was made on May 2 last banning parking of vehicles at Thangal and Paona Bazar. The telltale rows of vehicles parked at the road sides of the said areas clearly indicates that, the order has not been enforced or followed by the public.
A traffic police who wished to remain anonymous told IFP that the first ones to violate traffic orders are the VIPs and top level officers themselves.
“We have put up no parking signs and they mostly park in the particular prohibited areas, the army vehicles also disregard the ‘one way’ traffic norms. They law makers make the rules and they are the ones to break it first since they hold high office, we are also reluctant to enforce the rules as our job could be at risk,” he said.
It may also be mentioned that the order by the Traffic Police for motorists to wear helmets have also been ignored and left unaddressed.