Growing traffic congestion in Imphal Time to act is now

Something should be done. Time to move out from the drawing board room, to borrow a line from the corporate world, and actually get down to working on ways to ease the growing traffic congestion in the heart of Imphal city. Those who come under the VIP tag may not actually experience this, for their whistle blowing security escorts will go out of their way to clear the traffic for them to proceed smoothly, but what one is talking about here is the situation that the common man finds himself in everytime he steps out to go somewhere in Imphal. To drive home the point, here is a living example. Tt takes more than 35 minutes to go by car from Thangmeiband to the office of The Sangai Express and things get worse when it is the wedding season and when some VIPs decide to move around the roads of Imphal. As for the market place like Nagamapal or Khwairamband Keithel, the best option for anyone would be to put the feet into motion and walk-this is for those who happen to live somewhere near to the said market places but how about those who live beyond the walking distance ? No sign that the Government has given any serious thought to this, but the traffic volume is growing by the day and it will only get worse with each passing day. Add a selfish and unthinking group of people and what one sees on the roads of Imphal will come uncomfortably close to a circus ! Despite the heavy traffic, with cars and two wheelers trying to squeeze in and make their way forward, it is quite a common sight to see motorists yapping away on their mobile phone while at the same time negotiating their vehicle through the mad rush. Something has to give. Let the police or traffic police pull up their socks and nail the ‘mobile weirdos’ under some heavy penalty. Makes no sense in endangering not only their lives but also others with their selfishness and thoughtlessness. The Government will also need to study the feasibility of building more flyovers to ease the traffic flow. The change in school timing and office timing can only work to a certain level and it is time to seriously think of alternate motorways to lessen the traffic chaos that one sees on the roads of Imphal on a daily basis.
Planning or rather town planning. This is what is needed to keep pace with the changing demographic visage of Imphal. Popu- lation will increase and so will the number of motor vehicles and with banks more than willing to provide car loans, one can only imagine the scenario on the roads of Imphal in the next few years. Another way of dealing with the growing traffic congestion may lie with looking at the feasibility of horizontally expanding Imphal. It is hard to believe that from a needle and a nail and some barbed wire to the most sophisticated smart televisions to refrigerators, one has to proceed to Paona Keithel, Thangal Keithel, BT Road, MG Avenue, all located in what is known as the commercial areas of Imphal. Add the vegetable sellers, fish mongers and others at Khwairamband Keithel and all roads in Imphal lead to the said four places mentioned above and here is the perfect recipe for traffic congestion. The Government should now seriously look at the offices and schools located at or near the said four places and look at the feasibility of having them shift to other more suitable places. It will take time, no doubt about it, but now is the time for the Government to seriously study the feasibility of coming up with a plan for a New Imphal. For this the Government will need to look beyond the present Imphal and see how a township may be developed at some other place. This will take time, but for starters, let the Government study the feasibility of putting a cap on the number of vehicles each marriage party should have. It is on record that traffic congestion gets that much more worse during the peak of the wedding season and something ought to be done.