TODAY -

Night Plaza: Outlook of a developing Manipur?

Bharati Yumnam *

A view of the Night Plaza
A view of the Night Plaza :: Pix - Tomy Chandam



Manipur was enlisted among the 23 Fast Track Cities under the Smart Cities Misson proposed by the Government of India. According to the Urban Development Ministry, the entitled cities were to launch their own smart plans and visions within a prescribed time frame. The representatives of the 23 cities which were not able to make it to the first list of 20 official cities were hereby selected to make proposals for the upcoming round. Manipur, dejectedly, was not able to make it to the list of 20 cities. The whole point of discussing the layouts of the Smart City plan is for a better state development in the aspect of law and order, and structural or economic configuration.

The present day productive scene of Manipur is a true despondency. The shops open earliest by 8 in the morning and shut down by 7 in the evening. The street vendors however have a near to sleepless living with putting up their stalls primitively by 3:30 in the morning and wrapping up latterly by 6, stretching their time up to 8 pm in hope of any last customer who would drop by to buy etables for their comfortable dinner.

On the other hand, the economic capacity of other cities is a complete dissemblance. The hubs there open lately by 11 in the morning and earliest by 8 and ensure all the shutters down by 9 or extend till 11pm. While Manipur sleeps in the crippling situation of being on the verge of an economic blockade imposed by midnight on any day of the year and survive the unreasonable hikes of commercial goods, other states are buzzing a healthy night life. Apart from the large shops, there are certain vendors which function only during nights. The hearty night life productivity contributes a huge part in the economic domain. Now, which state do we expect to show better productivity?

With a warm motive to encourage a special space for night life, the BJP led government of Manipur has launched 'Night Plaza' on 2nd Oct, 2017, which is certain to trail every Saturday and Sundays from 7 pm to 10 pm along the roadside of Kangla moat starting from Governor's gate to Khoyathong PWD office junction road stretch. The first night of the gathering witnessed hundreds of enthusiastic and excited visitors strolling around the discrete stalls, focusing mainly on food variations. Other stalls included accessories and novelty stuffs which apparently attracted many purchasers. Dejecting all notions, everything was predominant.

The Arpora Saturday Night Bazaar of Goa is a Saturday special 'economy booster' which darts from 6pm until late midnight. It is a world famous barter attracting many tourists and the locals. It offers a mishmash of entertainment with cuisines at reasonable prices and live music shows with local music uplifters, dresses and souvenirs. Everything is available at reasonable price with loose bargaining accessibility, making it economic-friendly and thus attracting many people.

Personally, I have been a part of the Night Plaza of Dimapur, Nagaland that ambles every four days on the month of December, every year without fail. It is a non-governmental initiative, purely taken up by several NGO's and SHG's to hype up the night life. The gaiety gives a carnival like consciousness, providing delicious Naga food and traditional attributes with colorful momentos. Without fail, there would be either a local band or a community entertaining group performing at a bright corner, pulling the crowd. Sometimes, they were accompanied with art and music enthusiasts from other parts of the globe.

Overall, the 4-day carnival would administer a festive environment in the city. It has witnessed many out-of-the-town and out-of-the-country visitors. On the contrary, we have our own newly inaugurated Night Plaza of Manipur. The roads were blocked and normal operation was overpowered. The main problem ascertained on the first day of the parade was, inconvenient traffic management.

Let us imagine a case of medical emergency. It won't be a lovely thought to compromise anyone's safety for the functioning of a mere night bazaar in the heart of the city! Secondly, most of the stalls were limited to only food and the lion's share of the population had to deviate with the absurd doubling rates. Manipur has Sangai festival, Shirui festival and many other fetes with a contrasting chief motive each, socializing from the other mainstream fairs or so.

I believe, Night Plaza must have some distinct features of it's own that shall beckon more visitors. The Night Plaza must be endowed with equivocal essence of it's own that shall distinguish between the normal-day markets and the night-life markets. It is important to add an extra layer of cherry toppings to promote the beauty of night life instead of making it just another 'Mee gi Mela'. Otherwise, what is the use of the night bazaar if we are to get the same products in the day and in a cheaper and reasonable price?

A different area must be provided, specially for the Night Plaza operation. This will account a better functioning of the Plaza and no accustomed traffic will be interrupted. If not a disparate space, various concerned departments must take up different steps to ensure the frictionless running of the mart. It would be a logical action to have a special 'Night-Plaza-only' police patrolling team to ensure orderliness and prevent any kind of misconduct.

Talking about it, what is the use of Night Plaza if we don't have a secure night life on the first account? Several local music enthusiasts could be provided an encouraging dias in the Night Plaza. It would be a serene frame: dim lights, a good crowd, inviting aromas of all good delicacies with a colorful backdrop. The dreamy ambience would be polished with heterogeneous music performances every weekend. Adding to it, the line up can include several live performers of the state.

Also, development must be with concerns of the whole state and not only a little part of it. The aggregate must be a part of the night-life scenes to ensure a promising avant grade vibe. The stall operators can open their stalls in mobile vans which can minimize the complexities of the execution and post 10pm chores. The expectation and motive of the whole concept of such initiatives must not only limit to the economic advancement.

Our Night Plaza must make dignified names in the National and International dailies someday. To achieve this and every required goal, the concerned authorities and departments must take up total responsibility in brimming swing. It is for the welfare of the state and public concerns that different sectors of the government are starting to plan such institutions. If the public is not contributing in the establishment, no small steps towards sucess would be worthy.

It is the adequate responsibility of the public to acquire some basic civic senses and keep the city clean and garbage free. Let us hope that this positive step changes the present day law and order and the economic condition of the state. Then soon enough Manipur will be able to become a tough economic institution.


* Bharati Yumnam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at bharatiyumnam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on October 16, 2017.


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