People live on edge when Sangai Festival comes to the city

The annual Manipur Sangai Festival-2017 is just round the corner and the state government has already started its routine dusting and moping of all roads leading to main venue creating all sorts of nuisance to the commuters. In such a scenario, mending of potholes could be done peacefully during the night-time, but it is not happening.

If we are talking about day-time particularly during office hours, the narrow roads of Imphal are already over-crowded. At such timing partial blocking of roads creates more problems to the commuters and the traffic police alike. Narrow roads, too many vehicles and poor road condition create a chaotic atmosphere.

It is a one hard task for traffic police to control the situation; to make the matter worse, people break traffic rules too often. Instead of waiting for two minutes, some people look for narrow short cuts and out of the way short cuts. At some instances people make complete U-turn risking their life and also of fellow commuters.

It is a good thing that the government is repairing the roads even if it is for a special occasion like Sangai Festival but one particular concern for people is government should maintain quality. It created lots of nuisance to the people whenever road mending work has been undertaken. Why don’t the government maintain the quality if it is so hard for the government to repeat the process too often?

It is the duty of the government to maintain the quality of work they are undertaking and road repairing and mending work should be performed at regular interval. Why wait only for certain Sangai Festival?

For the last nine months, road development work has been put on hold in most areas of Manipur because of varied reasons. First, because of Election Code of Conduct; development work has to be put on hold and then after the election it was decided that BJP led alliance will form the government. Since the BJP led government is coming to power after a long time, they took few months to settle down and complete the formality of government formation.

Arguably, the new government led by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh was busy for some time with other important duties, in Chief Minister’s own words for bridging the gap between hills and valley. According to the Government they have been able to do so by taking up steps like solving the contentious Churachandpur issue etc. and it was a right step. The concern of the government was highly commendable and there is no doubt about the importance of that particular issue.

Anyway, by the time they started taking up road development works like black topping and mending of potholes it’s already rainy seasons and the government had to slacken the process. According to the Chief Minister’s own admission, since the black-topping of roads cannot be done in rain, the work has to be halted till the rain stopped and that is also the time the conditions of roads have been deteriorated to kind of a worst case scenario.

Thankfully, the government now has been able to pick up the momentum of road development works and it’s almost winter so it is good time for black topping of roads. Now the onus is on the government to maintain quality. It is clear that that the State government takes time to start road mending work in any particular area of Manipur, so it is a humble request from the side of the citizens, please maintains quality.

Once the Sangai Festival kick-starts another sets of problems will be created for the daily commuters. If the experience of the last few years is anything to go by, then traffic jam and lack of parking slot is going to create lots of problems.

People of the state love Sangai Festival; there is no doubt about it, the kind of huge turnout witnessing for last many years are clear evidence. As far as the last year edition of the Festival is concern, there was nothing new in comparison to last few editions.

In spite of the blockbuster response shown by the people of the state, the organizers failed to bring more colors and variety to the premier tourism festival of the State. Hopefully, this time the organizers may just raise the bar to certain higher levels! E-ticketing system was a really welcoming step, because it is hard to get ticket for Saturday, Sunday and the last day of the festivals. Last time the queue at ticket counter on last day was so long that by the time one gets to enter inside, it’s almost time to wrap up the show. In such a scenario, people don’t want to stand in the queues and black-marketeers started mushrooming. Hopefully, organizers will pay attention to this type of fraudulent practices and do something to control it this time.

Once inside the festival premises, a cup of tea started costing fifty rupees and a plate of plain noodles two hundred rupees. Unreasonable price rise give burden to the people. Organizers should look into these matters as well and initiate punitive measures if required to penalize the offenders.

Another aspect of the Sangai Festival is proper security apparatus at the main venue, so that no untoward incident happens. The security has already been beefed up around the main venue and adjoining areas and it is a right step. On some earlier occasions, bomb blast related incidents had happened inside the festival premises and casualties reported.

The security personnel are doing a commendable job but having said that tight security measures may create disturbance to the people who come to enjoy the festival. So, the security personnel should also be needed to be briefed about the importance of soft skill like interpersonal communication.

Whatever the pros and cons of the festival are; the excitement and mirth created by the festival is such that it feels like living on the edge whenever Sangai Festival comes to Imphal city. Apart from traffic problem and limited parking slots, it is like a people festival. If we find nothing new inside, we will watch each other face! Sangai Festival means we will collide with every friend and relative we happen to know inside the main venue! Anyway, it’s fun and great opportunity to meet up with long-forgotten friends.

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