STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 19th Dec:
With more than 3 lakh vehicles registered till March this year in the state, traffic control police (TCP) are having a tough time in trying to manage the ever increasing volume of traffic in Manipur even as traffic jams are becoming daily scene, with exception to Sundays and holidays, on major roads and junctions of the state, especially in Imphal area.
According to report from the directorate of transport, the state has 3,40,211 registered vehicles till March, 2017. Number of different types of vehicles are 12,255 trucks; 1,669 medium trucks; 1,174 mini trucks; 188 water tankers; 471 oil tankers; 31 LPG bullet tankers; 1294 buses; 131 medium buses; 81 mini buses; 5,521 passenger Tata Magic and Winger; 6,270 school & passenger vans; 37,966 cars; 17,429 Gypsy, Bolero, Scorpio & similar vehicles; 2,32,743 two-wheeler vehicles; and 2013 tractors.
With increase in number of vehicles, traffic volume on major roads is also increasing, making it difficult not only for the public to commute but also for the traffic police to manage the daily traffic snarl.
The Imphal-Moreh road stretch from GPO to Kalimai Mandir is one area where constant traffic jam could be seen every day with exception to Sunday and holidays. There are several important government offices along this short stretch, which include official residence of chief minister, Manipur police headquarters, secretariat office, post office, SBI secretariat branch, BSNL office, directorate of transport office, CID office, AG office, BSEM and others. With almost all the offices lacking in-campus parking facilities, staff and visitors of these offices are parking their vehicles at the roadside.
Even though ministers and administrative secretaries park their cars inside the office complex, escort vehicles remain at the roadside. Triple row parking along the stretch occupying half of the road has become a common sight.
As a consequence, the entire stretch from GPO to Kalimai Mandir is haunted by traffic jams throughout office hours.
On the other hand, allowing parking at the roadside from GPO to Nupilal Complex stretch is also causing inconveniences to vehicles coming from Sanjenthong and Singjamei sides. At the same time, passenger auto-rickshaws could be seen occupying most of the road on the southern side of BT Flyover throughout the day. Moreover, commuting through Paona and Thangal Keithel is a big challenge with parking space occupying half of the road. The situation is same at other traffic points of Imphal area on all sides.
Meanwhile, traffic control police are having tough times in trying to control traffic congestions and ensure free flow of traffic. Majority of the commuters also either do not know the traffic rules or simply ignore them. One-way, zebra crossing and footpath have no meaning to most of the commuters as they always violate these traffic rules whenever they get the opportunity.
In any traffic congestion, commuters always attempt to escape through the congestions by any means without giving a second thought if their actions could cause further congestions or traffic jams. At traffic points, no commuters have respect for the zebra crossing as they go ahead of the marked line blocking passage for pedestrians to cross the road.
Even though the directorate of transport has been carrying out traffic drives to check incomplete documents and violation of road safety rules, no initiatives have been taken up so far by the authority concerned to check violation of these simple traffic rules, which increase the chances of traffic jams on the road.