IMPHAL, November 25: The new traffic regulations enforced exclusively for the ongoing Manipur Sangai Festival, of late has created a complete pandemonium within Imphal especially in the evening during rush hour, apparently due to inefficient planning on the part of the tourism department.
After being marred with controversy for undermining IMC, the tourism department has treated the transport department similarly.
An independent investigation conducted by IFP found out that the ‘shuttle services of buses’ meant for ferrying visitors during Sangai Festival has turned out to be an utter failure. Even as it was discussed that 70 buses would be arranged for the purpose, the transporters are finding it hard to keep up with the figures with no takers for the service.
Speaking to IFP, a transporter revealed that the reason behind the failure was due to inappropriate allocation of parking spaces at the surrounding area of Sangai Festival including Andro parking which was notified as exclusively for buses operating for shuttle service.
“With so many parking spaces being provided to private agencies, people are finding it more convenient to bring their own vehicles rather than wait for bus service”, he observed.
An order issued by the Police department on November 19, mentioned that idle parking of vehicles will not be allowed on both side from Sanjenthong to Thangal General statue, the lane from Advanced Hospital to Harikhagok crossing and Thangal General statue to Minuthong bridge.
At the same time, unmarked vehicles without pass will not be allowed beyond Bheigo Saw Mill crossing, Haokip Veng crossing, Mahabali Picket crossing and Harikhagok Makhong crossing etc.
But, regardless of the restriction, parking spaces have been created along the stretch of Thangal General statue towards Minuthong (western wall of the former RDS High School) moreover, idle parking are also unchecked on the other side of the road despite the ‘no parking’ board being put up.
The scenario is similar along the Andro parking stretch of Wangkhei.
It may pertinent to note that a transport sub-committee for the Manipur Sangai Festival, 2013, of the transport department was also formed. On November 19, the committee in consultation with the police department had a deliberate discussion on the arrangement made by the committee.
As part of the outcome of the meeting, the parking arrangement be made by the Imphal Municipality Council charging Rs 10 and Rs 5 for four wheelers and two wheelers respectively in consultation with the local clubs.
But in contrary to that, the tourism department allegedly had sanctioned parking lots arbitrarily.
Besides this, the private agencies who are setting up parking lots are charging Rs 20 for four wheeler vehicles and Rs 10 for two wheelers.
While the armed police and traffic control police are doing their best to ensure smooth flow of traffic, the transport department also on the other hand are undeterred by the factor being faced, operating handful of ‘shuttle service.’