TODAY -

Condition of roads and traffic in Imphal

Khelsoril Wanbe *

Traffic condition in Imphal city sometime in August 2012 :: Pix - Hueiyen Lanpaor
Traffic condition in Imphal city :: Pix - Hueiyen Lanpao



One cannot deny the fact that some roads of Imphal city have undergone significant changes during the past decade or so. The mega sewerage project considerably affected the road development process in the city. However, in the recent months, some good changes have taken place on some of the roads that were involved in the said sewerage project.

To name one or two; the roads connecting Ching-meirong and Khoyathong, and the RIMS road connecting RIMS and Nagampal have improved much, but the only difficulty in passing through the latter road being the haphazard parking, which needs immediate attention of concerned department/ authority to help minimize the problem. The stretch of national highway from Kangla to Singjamei also is in a presentable mode now.

Undeniably, development works have been happening in Imphal in recent years and the process is, apparently, still going on. However, it is also an equally undeniable and obvious fact that the Imphalites are increasingly facing seemingly insurmountable traffic and road problems owing to different factors.

During the past decade, we have been witnessing and experiencing a big boom in the number of vehicles both two and four wheelers in Manipur that has tremendously complicated the traffic crisis. Who is to be blamed for this ? Perhaps, no one. The fact that rapidly increasing number of people in Manipur are able to afford vehicles of their own could be taken as a sign of our economy making progress or something else.

The bikes, the cars, the autos are overflowing the streets. In the 1990s of the previous millennium/century the number of vehicles on the Imphal roads was comparatively much fewer. There were much fewer models of cars, bikes and others on the roads. Being part of a bigger world in which mechanical explosion has been taking place at a more rapid pace, we, too, are experiencing and witnessing it in a phenomenal way.

The imperative need, obviously, is to improve and upgrade our roads to meet the traffic challenges of the 21st century. Indeed, the overall road conditions of Imphal are still very deplorable. Some roads do not even deserve the name now; they rather look like fishery pools on which people struggle to move back and forth. In this state of affairs, it will not be convenient to try to attract tourists from other places.

Good roads are indispensable for the development of tourism. Good roads not only in Imphal but in all parts of the State. All the districts need to be well connected if we wish to see all round development. We need to realise that transport and communications are essential infrastructure for development of a land. Our progress will continue to be slow if we continue to neglect this area.

If even roads of the capital city are in such a highly deplorable state, one can imagine how bad the roads in the hills and far-flung areas would be! There might be big plans for future development, but if the execution of the plans, projects and schemes take inordinate period of time, how can we keep pace with the world. We should not take pride in only the things in which we are faring well; we need to do well on the infrastructure development front as well.

Coming back to road and traffic problems, particularly, in the crowded Imphal city, a lot of improvements need to be made. Strict and systematic parking arrangement need to be formulated. Traffic police are, of course, trying hard to maintain traffic order; people also need to co-operate with them. And in keeping with the changing time and needs the traffic police need to be befittingly trained and equipped. We have seen on TV channels how strictly and efficiently order and discipline are maintained on their streets and roads by the police.

Not only on the city streets but on the roads and highways, police need to keep strict vigil to maintain proper traffic law and order. The problem must be a part of a much bigger one, but efforts and endeavours should not be spared by the administrators, police and public to maintain discipline and order on the streets, roads and highways. Money should not be the only thing in mind; duty needs to be an important part of life. We have seen how many firemen sacrificed their lives for their countrymen when WTC was attacked by terrorists on 9/11. The spirit of sacrifice should also be something to be valued and respected.

In recent times, traffic accidents have risen at an alarming rate. There must be many factors. Rapid increase in number of vehicles combined with reckless and unskilled driving can also be one contributing factor. There appear to be many underage bikers who have been given licence without proper verification and so on.

Although it's true that reckless and drunk/ drugged driving can be done by even matured drivers. But, it will go a long way in curbing the accident problem if strict age verification is done at the time of awarding licence. It will also help much in reducing the alarming increase in the number of bikes on the streets. This observation is being made only in the interests of the lives of young bikers and their possible victims.

We seem to be witnessing some kind of bike culture which may be due to the booming Indian economy. In this context, road conditions, definitely, need proper development and improvement. Another thing, probably less important yet important, is that in the attempt to avoid large potholes on the one hand and swollen roads on other where lids of sewerage pipes are situated there are always dangers of accidents taking place.

On the day of Kut festival, the Mizo singer, Mami Varte said something like Manipur is wonderful and beautiful and that she would like to come here every day and the final question thrown at the finalists of the beauty contest was concerned with question of how we can improve our tourist attraction.

I too agree that Manipur is a beautiful place and its power to attract tourists can be tremendously enhanced if our roads are properly developed and constructed. Not only the streets and roads of Imphal but also all the roads and highways should be properly developed in order to bring about economic and all round development.


* Khelsoril Wanbe wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on November 30, 2013.


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