The astronomical rise in numbers of four-wheelers, passenger three-wheelers and other motor vehicles have created enormous pressures on commuters and administration (particularly the state’s tiny traffic police force). Simultaneously, traffic jams have become a regularity in many stretches in the roads of Imphal city during rush hours and temporary blocking of roads for official purposes. In particular, traffic snarls are a daily occurrence during the evening-post-office hour traffic rush at the heavily congested Paona Bazar and the constriction of Sanjenthong bridge over the Imphal river. Besides the psychological affect on the drivers and occupants from the vehicles moving at snail pace and the hazardous honking and cacophonous reverberation of the engines, the economic costs of such jam-packing of vehicles though largely ignored is huge. In the fights for little spaces damages are caused to the vehicles mainly from rear end and side on collisions. Extra oil is spent and valuable working hours are lost. The negative effects of traffic congestion multiply during sudden road block by the administration for official activities. For example, due to the Martyr’s Day observation today impromptu closures of roads at several points were imposed overlooking the requirement of prior public notifications. To make matter worse, all the officials enforcing the orders were placed at the extreme ends of the closed road segments instead of stationing few of them some distance ahead to beware the commuters of the situation. The negligence of the authorities prevented the drivers from planning their travel routes. For example, a motorist travelling from Uripok to Soibam Leikai suffered as the traffic policemen blocked the BT Flyover and another team of policemen diverted the vehicle towards Paona Bazar. The tedious journey from there to Hafta ( right turns from Checkon traffic point was halted) passing Sanjenthong bridge and Palace Gate, at a meter a minute took more an hour. Had advance information been provided to the public, the same destination could have been covered in a quarter of the actual time taken by taking the less-crowded Khoyathong-Minuthong route. The liability of the traffic jams can be very hard to determine. The municipalities and state apparatus are responsible for fixing and maintaining proper traffic flow in order to manage the potential risks and discomfort to the travellers. The problems of traffic jam are headed for monstrous escalation in Imphal and smaller towns and if the authorities lack the knowledge of the present defects or have the knowledge but do not have a plan or are negligent to act about it, then travelling in these roads will become an increasingly cumbersome exercise.
At the same time, many of the pre cast cement and iron cover of the manholes of the tunnels of Imphal Sewerage Project have either misshapen or loosened. The cover has lost its flatness, jutting protrusions and jig-jagged chunks of concrete and becoming potential causes of serious and lethal accidents. The attention of the authorities is drawn on this issue. Further, many of the newly laid roads are showing signs of weathering and the top layer have already worn away to the point of exposing the base. The authorities will be appreciated if action is taken up for repair in the intervening period before the onslaught of rains. Rain can speed up the process of formation of potholes which in turn can be major cause for accidents and damages to vehicles.