Imphal Traffic: A Commoner`s Perspective

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By Dr Jayadeva Phurailatpam

In this cold weather, getting up early in the morning and pushing myself to drive to my workplace is a real pain. If you can afford the luxury of having a driver, the tension of traffic jams in the small streets of Imphal city must not be an issue. But for me, every single day comes out as a struggle, especially during the office hours.

Though Imphal city has smaller area compared to its counterparts in India, the time to cover the destination takes extraordinarily longer.

Reasons are various. It may be due the potholes of various shapes and sizes (Nagamapal areas are famous for varieties of potholes since decades!) or the many unlicensed or rather untrained share autorikshaws and not to mention the increasing number of `new`™ cars that we see on roads with various registration numbers starting from AS, ML, WB and ending to GJ!!

All these add to the chaotic traffic that we see daily.

The autorikshaws are uncountable and uncontrollable on Imphal roads. They reached every hook and corner of the city and adjacent districts. They are a boon for many middle class families and young students. But unfortunately, most of the drivers seem less responsible. Many of the drivers, abruptly stopped at the middle of road when they see a passenger waiting. The vehicle coming behind the autorikshaw may not realised and end up having an accident. Even I had experienced similar situation and ended up with a broken headlight. Lucky enough for me, there were no casualties.

Manipur has become dumping ground for other states old cars and other vehicles. Hardly a day goes, without seeing cars with registration number of all the possible states of India (one including a Maruti 800 with Gujarat registration!). Some also includes from neighbouring Myanmar. The temperature of Manipur has been increasing every year, I wonder if the unchecked number of cheap vehicle emitting noxious fumes may come out as one of the reasons for the climate change.

As for the number of potholes in and around Imphal city, I am so used to it that I am literally adapted now. The Nagamapal road has plenty of potholes of various shape and sizes. That road happens to be one of the most crowded and important link to the market areas and RIMS for people coming from the northern part of Manipur. Just crossing the 1.5 km road takes almost 20 to 30 minutes in office hours.

In addition to these, the Sanjenthong Brigde that was supposed to be completed before Sangai festival 2014 is still in its skeletal form. I wonder how many more Sangai festivals it will take to complete and help in diverting the traffic in Minuthong and Thumbuthong.

Lastly, as the person who happens to be driving cars or two wheelers, we should be bit more responsible and try following the traffic rules. Five minutes late would not affect you much than a broken leg or even worse, death!

Though I appreciate the traffic policemen and policewomen for their hard work in averting the traffic jams in various traffic junctions, I would also like the concerned higher authorities to look into some of the preventable issues above, so common people like myself doesn`™t have to feel the heat every day before work time.

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