Nothing can be so confusing and worse in Imphal city than the chaotic traffic flow. Though the number of vehicle mainly passenger service has increased manifold with the changing times, the main roads have not been widened extensibly to meet the traffic volume. Moreover, there is no availability of sufficient parking slots, leading to man-made traffic congestion. Travelling on some main road stretches in the city has become an ordeal especially during peak hours as if in metropolitan cities. During the rush hours in the morning and evening, the city’s traffic moves at a snail’s pace. The honking of vehicles and the wail of ambulances that struggle to find a way through hordes of motorists, on some road stretches, resonate for a long time.
Alongside, crossing the roads is a nightmare especially for senior citizens and children in absence of pedestrian crossing. Frequent occurrence of road mishap which has claimed lives of many is a pitiful example of putting human’s life at stake at the cost of unplanned traffic mismanagement. If there is security-escorted VIP movement or public rally which is common in the city then traffic troubles only worsen. Abject lack of pedestrian crossing, effective traffic signals and traffic personnel at the main junctions add more to the cup of traffic’s woes. But all thanks to the one-way and traffic diversion mainly in Thangal and Paona Bazar areas. At least these have vindicated the importance of imposing traffic regulations. Yet, on a critical note, there is little which traffic police personnel can do in this regard given the imbalanced scenario. Having said this, they should not be left unsung as earnest efforts are put in by them to strictly enforce traffic rules and regulations.
On December 29 last year, Director of Transport in exercise of the power conferred under 115 and 117 of MV Act, 1988 ordered ‘No Parking Zones’, ‘Parking Places’, ‘One-Way Traffic’ and certain traffic regulations in and around Imphal city with immediate effect. According to the order, Thangal Bazar, Paona Bazar, Alugali, BT Road, MG Avenue and Dharmasala fall under ‘No Parking Zones’ while ‘One Way Traffic’ applies to vehicles entering from BT Road along Paona Bazar and Thangal Bazar. Sadly, there is little sign of strict implementation of rule so far. Overruling the official’s order, vehicles continue to park in the areas in an unorganised manner. This proves the city’s unpreparedness when it comes to prompt traffic regulation.
Even as the government acquires residential lands for road widening by paying handsome compensation to owners, there has not been considerable ease in the city’s traffic flow. Though the government cannot be blamed for the massive increase in number of vehicle and subsequent traffic congestion, many are of the view that traffic measures put in place to soothe vehicular movement in the city are ineffective with utter absence of better lane management and seamless transit between the main roads. In this regard, what is called for is strict adherence to lane driving, in simple words – disciplined driving. After all, traffic regulation cannot be left entirely to the law enforcers alone. The public as a responsible commuter should follow certain regulations. It may also be added that widening of roads only will not solve the raging traffic woes in the city. It is high time for the government to come up with prompt and innovative traffic measures besides imposing one-way route and road diversion. In a small city like Imphal where there is limited road spaces and parking slots, certain traffic regulations such as imposition of speed limit, pedestrian crossing in the main roads, parking restriction and lane width restriction which can give the impression of a more organised mobility would make good traffic sense in the days to come.
Leader Writer: Rakesh Lourembam