TODAY -

Road Safety For A Week?
Traffic managers need to work consistently for public convenience rather than concentrating on smooth passage of VIP vehicles.

Seram Neken *

Traffic condition in Imphal city
Traffic condition in Imphal city :: Pix - Hueiyen Lanpao



Once a VVIP or a VIP has to pass the city roads, security personnel including the traffic police find a hard time to halt the public and disturb their convenient passage. Usually, the road congestion is worsened by the passage of important peoples.

Talks on traffic rules and regulations come up only during the observances of road safety week. There is neither durability nor sustainability of the maintenance of traffic regulations in Imphal. Sometimes the police perform their duties heart and soul, the other time they are negligent enough to cause accidents and undue jams.

Although the state police sometimes conduct hectic drives for helmet use for obvious reasons, such drives are not durable in practice. During the VVIPs or VIPs passage, the traffic police personnel including high profile police officers remain concerned and vigilant about smooth traffic control to show off their dutiful appearance. As soon as the VIPs leave, the public vehicles are left uncared for on the congested streets.

The menace of road congestion in Imphal city has been due to various reasons.

First is the drastic increase of private vehicles,
second is the lack of proper public transport facility,
third is the inadequate parking area,
fourth is the location of government offices and schools in the congested city areas,
fifth is the ignorance of bicycles' importance,
sixth is the non-functioning of traffic light system,
seventh is the untrained traffic police,
eight is the lack of consistent generation of traffic awareness among public,
and ninth is the breaking traffic rules by most security vehicles and VIP vehicles.

In the absence of any durable policy, a number of heavy vehicles disturb the city during daytime. At many places, traffic is disturbed by heavy vehicles used for cleansing works or for supplying water.

Manipur does not have a road safety policy, traffic policy or whatever name we may give. To cross the Khwairamband for an urgent work, it is better to walk on foot or ride a bicycle. It serves our urgency of purpose. The inadequacy of parking space for motor vehicles and traffic jam often jeopardize our urgency. The city commuters face a lot of inconveniences while shopping in the market because of unavailability of parking space.

On the other hand, the police (traffic) personnel frequently hear scolds from both the public and the authority for their inability to control the huge numbers of two-wheelers and four-wheelers congested in the market.

If there is no proper parking at all, the roads will consequently be congested. The foot-paths are often utilized by the shops nearby as their display spaces, or street vendors usually occupy the foot-paths. The commuters face inconveniences to walk on foot-paths. The security forces or traffic police often break the one-way rule, as if they are all excluded from the traffic rules and regulations.

In connection with the observance of road safety week, the writer suggests the following measures for a better traffic in Imphal city:
1. If possible, the Raj Bhavan (Governor's residence) may be shifted to a suitable location so as to have space for a huge parking in public interest. Those who need to frequent the governor can very well visit him with costly vehicles and tight security within minutes, whereas the poor traders and public need such a space inside the market.
2. The government offices including the Family Welfare department and the Public Works Department may be shifted to a spacy location to give room for the market and parking.
3. The schools in the city including the Johnston school and Nirmalabas need to be shifted to the periphery of the city. It will also give a good educational environment to students.
4. Plying adequate number of public carrier vehicles to disallow all types of motor vehicles inside the market area is highly required. The city bus shall ply around the city in a frequency of 5 minutes during daytime.
5. Huge Parking places around 2 kilometres range from the main market may be established. The city buses shall carry people from parking area to the market on payment of a minimal fare.
6. All vehicles except for those maintaining law and order and traffic in city shall be banned to enter the Khwairamband Market. Vehicles of security people which are not on duty and those of VIPs shall also be disallowed to park inside the market.
7. Loading and unloading of goods by heavy vehicles including water tankers may be permitted only during the night.
8. Cleaning or cleansing of the city may be done during night time only.
9. The traffic police shall be equipped with hi-tech equipment and vehicles for effective performance of their duties.
10. Heavy fines and penalties shall be levied from disobedient public.
11. Bicycle riding may be encouraged among the public. It saves road and parking spaces, besides minimizing pollution, improving health and economy of the users. The whole population of Manipur employees, students, commuters, be led to ride bicycles for one day in a month.


* Seram Neken wrote this for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) as part of 'The Voiceless Speaks'
This article was posted on January 17, 2014.


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