IMPHAL, March 21: The problem of traffic congestion in the city areas have been highlighted to the house in today’s Assembly session by Trinamool Congress MLA (Dr) I Ibohalbi and Kh Joykishan.
In a Calling Attention motion MLA Ibohalbi said, ‘Beginning from 10 am till 3 pm the roads in Imphal city specially roads adjoining Raj Bhavan and Johnstone School besides Keishampat, Nagamapal and Khuyathong roads remain jammed on a regular basis.’
He said, ‘Office goers cannot reach their offices in time, even lawyers cannot make it to the courts to represent their clients in time, we need to find a solution.’
During peak office hours, chaotic traffic jams are evidently witnessed in the city which causes severe inconveniences to the public.
Dr Ibohalbi added, ‘There is no cooperation between the various government departments. A proper planning is necessary regulating traffic and transport. There is a need for a clear cut policy in this regard.’
The MLA also charged the Transport department of doling out driving licenses without proper verification and that commercial vehicles like diesel autos have been given ferry permits at random.
The Trinamool leader said, ‘When Dr Ng Bijoy was in the opposition in the last assembly he had brought up the issue of developing a ring road to ease traffic congestion. I feel that proper city planning and timely execution is a must.’
Trinamool Chief Whip Kh Joykishan of Thangmeiband lambasted the government for restricting vehicular movement in Thangal and Paona Bazar.
He said, ‘It has added more problems to traffic management. Diverted vehicles continually caused traffic jams in the adjoining roads.’
He charged that it was the heavy vehicles of security forces which had created traffic congestion in the Khwairamband Bazar area before the ban; and the traffic police could not stop them from double parking in the Thangal Bazar and Paona Bazar.
‘The residents of Paona Bazar and Thangal Bazar are suffering. Being also a residential area, people need to carry out certain functions and they need vehicular access to their residences during the daytime’, he added.
The Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh while replying to the motion acknowledged the fact that Imphal is an unplanned city.
He said, ‘Proper planning is a must, but the problem lies in how to do go about it. We are open to suggestions from the members of the House and from organizations alike to deal with the problem.’
‘Being a mix up of both a residential and shopping area, we have problems in applying traffic norms. The present ban of vehicular traffic inside the market area is not permanent’, he added.
CM Ibobi said, other causes for the traffic woes are rise in population and the unchecked growth of vehicles. He said that the government cannot acquire land to expand the market area and have to focus on expansion of the satellite towns.
Mentioning that the government has taken up measures to broaden the roads from Kwakeithel to Khagempalli, Singjamei Bazar to Heirangoithong, Thangmeiband to Sanakeithel he stated that, the Surface Transport Ministry has been approached to divert the NH 37.