TODAY -

Against Magic/Winger Culture

Mohammad Imtiyaj Khan *

A hop on bus departing from Samurou bazar
(Photo 1) A 'hop on' bus departing from Samurou bazar



Recently, under the JNNURM, plans of acquiring more buses have been approved essentially to revive city transport in India. To be specific, 10,000 buses will be acquired under this scheme.

In Manipur, currently two routes viz.,
1. Canchipur to Lamlong and
2. Maharani bridge/Thong Nambonbi to Samurou (Photo 1)
are in operation under HOP ON BUS SERVICE.

But there are very few passengers (Photo 2) probably because people are not aware of this service or the low frequency of the service, and the ticketing system is undesirable.

Actually the ticketing system kills one's desire to hop on to these buses. It works like this: Once you board the bus, you are charged Rs. 10, irrespective of your destination (Photo 3).

In my opinion, slight modification to the ticketing system could be introduced to popularise the HOP ON BUS SERVICE. In the first route, Canchipur to Imphal should be Rs. 5 and Imphal to Lamlong Rs. 5. Similarly, Samurou to Heirangoithong should be charged Rs. 5 and Heirangoithong to Imphal Rs. 5. Not only this, monthly/seasonal pass should be issued to office-goers or whoever seeks it.

Vacant seats of 'Hop-on' Bus Service bus
(Photo 2) Vacant seats of 'Hop-on' Bus Service bus



However, there is cut-throat competition to HOP ON BUS SERVICE from TATA MAGIC and WINGER service (Photo 4). There are so many MAGICs and WINGERs that if new options (such as more buses under HOP ON BUS SERVICE) are introduced it will be equivalent to denying these MAGICs and WINGERs their right to survival.

Any step towards introduction of new options should entail the following:
1. Stop proliferation of MAGIC/WINGER service in peaceful and mutually benefitting ways
2. Suitable compensate/rehabilitate the people living on MAGIC/WINGER service
3. Sensitise public that bus is better option and govt only should provide bus service.

On the first ever journey of this author on HOP ON bus, I heard MAGIC/WINGER drivers shouting angrily at the bus at Wahengbam Leikai bus stand. They even threatened that they would sit in protest against HOP ON buses.

'Hop-on Bus' Service ticket which costs Rs. 10 for every passenger irrespective of their destination
(Photo 3) 'Hop-on Bus' Service ticket which costs Rs. 10 for every passenger irrespective of their destination



Personally, I am against MAGIC/WINGER culture because it is certainly less comfortable than any bus. Moreover, MAGICs/WINGERs have increased the traffic congestion and noise pollution without giving substantial advantage to passengers.

Not only this, the oil/fuel consumption has risen dramatically since the introduction of MAGICs/WINGERs. As a result of this, there is often man-made scarcity of oil/fuel in Manipur.

So far, there is no immediate plan of taking up CNG as fuel for these ubiquitous vehicles. As a progressive thinker, I believe that MAGIC/WINGER is one step behind bus and it matches perfectly with Manipuris' careless attitude of "chalta hai". In 10 years of Ibobi's government Manipuris have successfully gone one step behind. This is not acceptable.

MAGICs and WINGERs
(Photo 4) MAGICs and WINGERs (source: unknown)



Actually, why only HOP ON BUS service? What happened to MSRTC? Is the corporation completely dissolved now?

Or, are the staff drawing salaries without any office work? It is high time MSRTC is revived and all the transport services taken under its fold for profitable operation. There are new MCS officers ready to join work. Why don't one of these young and energetic heads choke out a revival strategy for the dormant corporation?


* Mohammad Imtiyaj Khan (M.Sc., Ph.D. (submitted), UGC-NET qualified) wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is Former Senior Research Fellow, CSIR-CFTRI, Mysore and can be contacted at nohimbo(at)gmail(dot)com
The writer currently resides at Salam Manung, Makha Leikai, Lilong Haoreibi, Manipur
This article was posted on May 12, 2013.



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