TODAY -

Public transport system in Manipur
- Imphal Times Editorial :: June 29 2017 -



The need for a viable public transport system in the state and especially in the valley areas has been felt for a long time, and the move by the Biren-led state government to reactivate the public transport services should be hailed as one of the more pragmatic and necessary decisions given the rapidly increasing traffic congestions and correspondingly decreasing civic sense of motorists.

However , reports of the newly reintroduced inter- district and city bus services by the state government running at a loss hardly makes for interesting news, for the outcome has been expected, and one experienced before.

The previous government even tried to privatize the operation but couldnít find any taker .

What is interesting is the fact that despite the claim of loss which obviously would mean that there isnít any passenger willing to avail of the service despite the low fare and fairly good conditions of the buses, the roads around the city are still chock-a-block with private passenger service providers who would not have remained in business had there been no passenger .

The contradictory situations clearly points to a grave anomaly- either in the planning of the routes or schedule or in implementation and monitoring the whole operations.

Considering the lack of parking spaces and increasing traffic which inevitably increases pollution and noise, the public transport system presents a better and more sensible alternative to the people of the state, and should be presented as such.

The government think-tank should consider ways and means to persuade the public to rely more on the public transport system rather than to use their own private vehicles as far as possible.

Increasing parking fees might be one of the means to dissuade vehicle owners from using their private vehicles.

Another move that would make a significant difference to the traffic problem being faced by the public at present would be to limit the area of operation of autorickshaws to the peripheries of the city and preventing them from entering the heart of the city , at least during the peak rush hours.

Perhaps an opinion poll or campaign involving the public can throw light as to the root cause of the public transport services not being able to take off and be commercially viable despite the pressing need for it.

Another aspect of the problem could be the lack of monitoring of the operations on the ground.

Most of us who have used public transport services in other states would have been familiar with the practice of inspectors of transport making random checks on various routes regularly and penalizing ticketless travellers.

Also a means of checks and balances on the transport crews can also make a difference to the whole operation.

There is no reason why the public transport system cannot be a success in the state.

But for that to happen, various steps need to be taken up.

Taking into consideration the opinions and suggestions of the public who are the end users would go a long way in forming a practical and acceptable plan of action.



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