Menace on the roads of Imphal
The report was straight and simple. The type which any student of journalism would understand and which are usually taught to cub reporters. That is mention the four Ws of when, where, what and why and the lone H, that is how. At least this is what The Sangai Express tried to stick to while reporting the story of a road mishap that claimed the lives of two young girls, 22 and 18 years young. This was the report and while there are just no words to explain or try to understand the pain and anguish of the two bereaved families, this should raised so many disturbing questions, such as how safe are the roads of Imphal. As the report mentioned, the mishap occurred near a traffic point and traffic points are places where traffic signals are put in place and where many traffic cops are on duty to regulate the flow of traffic and movement of people. The question is, were the traffic lights in order at this particular traffic point where the accident occurred ? This question has been raised in the backdrop of the fact that at the moment, many traffic lights at so many important junctions do not seem to work. And if at all they do work, how religiously do people follow them ? Are traffic lights put up there as decorative pieces or are they there to dispense an important function. The two young girls reportedly died after a water tanker rammed into them near the traffic point and this is where it becomes important for the Government to mull over the idea of keeping off all heavy vehicles from the roads of Imphal till a certain hour, say till 6 pm during winter and 7 pm during summer. Why allow heavy vehicles during the peak hours, and any hour before 6 or 7 pm may be seen to be rush hours.
Road safety. This is something everyone seems to talk about but which no one seems to have given any serious thoughts to. And just where road safety figures on the priority list of the people may be seen on the roads of Imphal on a daily basis. Blindly overtaking from the left. Driving without helmet. Overspeeding. Not caring about the traffic lights put up at different traffic points all over Imphal. Not understanding or not caring what green, red and the yellow signal signifies. It is not so much the traffic volume that could be putting the people at risk while moving around the roads of Imphal, but the devil may care attitude of many behind the wheels. On top of this the growing train of thought that one way rules and regulations are there to be broken and parking at no parking zones is the accepted thing. No wonder it has become some sort of a duty for traffic police to put their men on the busy roads of Imphal to tell the motorists not to park their vehicles at any place they want. The Government too need to think out of the box and see how traffic rules may be implemented more strictly. For starters, the suggestions that the Government need to seriously think whether allowing heavy vehicles on the roads of Imphal during peak hours is reasonable or not. Moreover think of ways to provide parking space for the numerous taxis that enter Imphal from different districts on a daily basis. Traffic nightmare can be said to be a significant indicator of an unplanned city and Imphal seems to fit this well.