TODAY -

Traffic jam and 13th August

SS Yengkokpam *



Like every year, the people of Manipur will be celebrating the Patriot's day on the 13th of August. It is supposed to be a day to remember and rejoice the bravery of our forefathers.

Young and old alike will take part in the celebration but in the last few years this particular day has also turn into a day of frustration for many who were caught in the traffic jam created by the high thinking Government people.

On this particular day, the main road of Kangla-pat that stretches from Khoyathong turning to Governor's bungalow gate and BT road remained closed to the public vehicles only to accommodate the VVIPs and VIPs who would turned up to lay wreath at the Shahid Minar at BT park.

Though the programme might last for a few hours , these said roads remain blocked for the whole day creating traffic jam in many other roads in its vicinity.

Manipuris as such always want to move in the fast lane in the case of traffic and reckless driving is a fashion followed by one and all. Overtaking being our inherent quality, some wise guy will even try to move ahead from the wrong side blocking everyone's passage creating more chaos to the already uncontrolled situation. And not to forget that we can park our vehicles anywhere.

It is high time for the responsible officers to do their duty and prove to the people that they are not totally corrupted. Lack of man power and other resources should not be an excuse anymore.

If inefficiency in the performance while performing their duty is blamed on their lack of training then recall every traffic officers for fresh trainings. The pen wielding officers should enforce their authority and order the hand swinging officers to perform their duty properly.

Some traffic police-men/women can be seen running after auto driver for tips for allowing them to park in the no parking areas. And I thought we gave tips only to waiters and lobby boys in restaurants and hotels.

Since the name of auto drivers has come up, let's discuss on them too. Apart from providing convenient services with increased availability at every places and every minute, they are also known for their rash driving. Their driving fashion includes sudden turning without giving signals, sudden stopping in the middle of the road, trying to overtake without thinking about the other vehicles and many more.

They seem to know only one thing. The likely passengers on the way and to pick them up before others do. Every day we see a train of autos along the BT road and they slowed the traffic by their cunning nature of overtaking and crossing over to other's lane.

So, on the 13th of August, these autos will run amok on the other routes and we can guess what will be the condition of the traffic on that day. But the public also have the same type of bloody nature as these auto drivers.

Patriots day comes once in a year and they will throng the road with their big car, small car, bikes and moppets. With the only rule of not following any rules, everyone will be driving and honking.

We have seen every day the traffic condition along the stretch from Khoyathong to Governor's gate. When these vehicles that ply along this road are diverted, then the responsible people who are going to man the traffic on this particular day need to be well aware of the enormity of the problems.

Every turns, every junctions should be watched and controlled properly. Flow of traffic at the Keisampat junction should be maintained properly as not to hinder the traffic movement along the Keisampat Waheng leikai road.

The old aged VIP culture with their mentality of the roads belonging to them cannot be overlooked. In our democratic society, the uniformed guys rule with an autocratic hand which holds a gun that points at every other person. Gypsies and Boleros move at their own wills and whims.

What's wrong with the police vehicles and their overtaking other vehicles ? Are they always chasing criminals but never catching them? Blocking the whole stretch of road so as to facilitate the free movements of few VIP vehicles and causing inconvenience to the masses would only prove the VIP culture at its highest form.

Now the cattle and horses have joined their ranks. The numbers of cattle and other animals straying on the roads have increased in the recent days. Sometimes they also block the entire road causing traffic jam. They are no less than those people with hollow mind whose driving causes traffic jam everywhere.

Adding to this chaotic situation is the many potholes decorating almost all the roads in Manipur. The mosaic pattern of this decorated road makes every vehicles to swing and sway as per the pattern of the mosaic. This way of driving though beautiful is dangerous to other vehicles and passersby.

With the monsoon commencing, the dimension of these potholes will only increase to elevate the danger level. The growth of these potholes hinders the movement of the traffic and it is the time for one to show their driving skills.

Ever year on the 13th of August, I have gone out to witness the stage-show of Bir Tikendrajit either at MDU Hall at Yaiskul and GM Hall at BT road.

Each time, I have encountered traffic jam at Nagamapal, Waheng Leikai and Keisampat junction because of the restriction of vehicular movement at Kangla Pat road that stretch from Khoyathong to Governor's bungalow gate.

So, this year I will skip the usual routine and celebrate the Patriot's Day at home. I believe like-minded people like me will also stay at home to avoid getting into the traffic jam and save themselves from that frustration. After all, we need to give the VIPs a free ride.


* SS Yengkokpam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on August 19, 2017.



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