Jolt from the wrecked bus Circus on the roads

    22-Dec-2022
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Let the jolt from the wrecked bus wake up the sensibilities of the Government. More importantly let it jolt awake the public from its self induced stupor. If Manipur does not wake up to the reality then be sure December 21, 2022 can repeat and a repeat of a human tragedy can only be an outcome of a people refusing to learn lessons from the past. Stop playing with the lives of the people on the roads of Imphal and elsewhere. Poor visibility is a likely reason that has been spelt out for the bus to plunge off the road, best exemplified by the decision of the Government to ban all study tour or excursions till January 10, 2023, but things can take a more nasty turn when this ‘poor visibility’ is induced by the refusal of the people to see that the road is meant for all commuters and motorists and not only them. This is a common scene witnessed on the roads of Imphal on an almost daily basis. Lack of respect for the others using the road. Refusal to acknowledge that the road is meant for everybody and not just one particular individual. These are traits written in bold on the roads of Imphal everyday and things get worse when it is the wedding season or when some ‘enterprising individuals’ suddenly decide that the roadsides can be used as parking lots for their vehicles. This is most visible at any busy leirak in Imphal and things get worse when two vehicles are parked on either side of the road. Manoeuvring through this man made traffic mess needs patience not to speak of driving skills and all for what ? Just because Tomba or Chaoba next door decided that the roadside is the best place to park his vehicle. Examples are galore. Parking one’s vehicle plum in front of the gate of a private residence and at times plum in the middle of a busy road, blocking the free flow of traffic. Over taking from the left and then suddenly veering towards a vehicle which has stuck to its lane and here is a perfect recipe for a crash between two vehicles. A refusal to look beyond one’s immediate need and put all these together and here is a perfect recipe for road mishaps to occur anytime, anywhere on the roads of Imphal. It must be the same in the other district headquarters and implicit in all these is the presence of a people whose underlining character would be one of selfishness and the refusal to look beyond one’s immediate need. The Sangai Express has already talked many times on how such a mentality add to the traffic snarls with no one refusing to learn that Red means stop and Green means move. Lane driving is a concept which people just simply refuse to learn and the root cause of this adamant behaviour is a reflection of a selfish people and there can be nothing more disturbing than this. Honking from behind, when everyone knows that the vehicle in front has stopped because the traffic has turned Red is yet another manifestation of a people who does not care about fellow motorists.
Let the Noney tragedy open the eyes of everyone concerned to the fact that road safety has much to do with how people approach life. It is the ‘Only Me’ attitude that can sum up the perfect script that is on display everyday on the roads of Imphal. Every man to himself seems to be the dictum ruling the mindset of the people and it is this mindset which is visible to all in the manner in which school going children are packed like the proverbial sardines in a can. It was some time back that The Sangai Express forwarded a picture of a school van over packed with young school children to the honourable Chief Minister and it was not long after this that an advisory was issued restricting the number of school kids that a school van should carry. Like all Government notification, the advisory appears to be only on paper for a look at any of the school vans will tell the real story today. It is keeping this in mind that the Chief Minister himself announced yesterday that action would be initiated against any school van found carrying children more than the prescribed number. One also wonders what the different school authorities have been doing all these years. Shouldn’t they lay down the rules and regulations and put a cap on the number of children a school van should transport ? Here is calling out to all private school authorities to do the needful, for what one is talking about here is the safety and security of the young school going children.