Manipur is one of those few places which are said to have only two seasons- rainy season and dry season, which could be more precisely explained as dusty season and the muddy season. This however doesn’t apply or mean that the State is deprive from enjoying the other atmospheric changes experienced round the year as elsewhere in the world. But this only implies that when it is raining, which is about six months in a year, it is only mud; and when not raining it is all about the dust. Monsoon spreads across June to September and then continues sporadically till November in this part of the world. Mud or otherwise dust has today become an integral part of the land. Now whenever the State welcomes the rains, it is almost like welcoming muddy roads. Potholes are filled with water making them more dangerous than they already are. Dust from the road sides left out when the roads are tarred gets carried on to the road surface by vehicles. What makes it even worse is just after the rains, the roads are filled with mud slushes making them slippery for the motorists. The drains are clogged, resulting in flash flood every time it rains continuously for an hour or so. Much has been said and a lot more written on the pitiable conditions of the roads in the State. Nevertheless, the roads continue to writhe under prolonged government apathy and the public’s thoughtlessness for the past many years. Although a few of the roads were widened and tarred some years back, today most roads have been reduced to a chain of potholes. Amidst such an ignominious state of affair, incessant rainfall which has continued during the past few months has only aggravated the condition. Road inspections have been galore in the state, more so along the national highways, nevertheless, the road conditions have only continued to deteriorate. Not much seems to be moving in the right direction, notwithstanding the almost daily assurances of “everything’s okay, we are moving in the right direction” one gets to hear from the government and its players. Despite of all the continuous shouts and repeated assurances from the government and its agencies to usher in an era of development and working for the upliftment of the State, not much improvement has been witness in the condition of the roads. The government’s apathy or lack of interest in the development or maintenance of the roads has left the roads in pitiable conditions. But then the public cannot always blame the government for all ills and forget their own insensitivity towards the issue. Ours is a place, where anyone can enforce a bandh or a blockade or burn down government offices to make heard their demands, even if such agitations are preceded with declarations of imposing democratic forms of agitations in the agitators own words. However, it is better to confine today’s topic to the road conditions and leave the discussion on public agitations for another day. People have never shied away from digging up the tarred roads during the frequent agitations witnessed on a daily basis in the State or to lay pipes for personal water connections. The end-point being, no matter how much the government yells of bringing development or promoting tourism into the State, nothing will be possible, unless there is improvement in the road conditions.
Leader Writer: Wangkheimayum Bhupendra Singh