The number of vehicles has increased greatly over the years in Kohima, requiring proper traffic management and enforcement of rules. However, with our laid-back attitude, things are very slow, like our traffic. It is high time we wake up from this deep slumber because lives are also at risk.
Coming to the point, it is a one-way street from the Ao Church junction to the Razhü Point and back. The streets are wide enough for unhindered movement of motor bikes and scooters (two-wheelers). But, the hindrance is our four(and more)-wheeler (vehicle) drivers; most seriously lack awareness, while some are suspiciously arrogant. The result is that the two-wheelers also get stuck in the traffic snarls, because they do not have space to move either left or right. A short drive from the Razhü Point to the Assam Rifles camp gate in the afternoon will give a clear picture. Some vehicle drivers drive to the extreme right whereas some drive to the extreme left. Then there are those drivers who believe in the center. Result – 2 wheelers standing with the others in still traffic.
This patch of the road is also very tricky with the drains on the right (as one drives towards the Ao Church). The drains slope towards the hill. I have personally witnessed 2 motor bikes skidding into the drains during the last few years because vehicle drivers do not give enough space for maneuvering. Recently a scooter rider lost his life near the Assam Rifles gate.
This also brings us to the entitlement of use of the road. If the Governor, Chief Minister of any VVIP from outside is travelling, way should be made, because of security or convenience. But the rest, be they the common man or the VIP (our society is choked to the brim with them) should be taught, forcibly if required, to respect traffic rules. No one is above the law. This band of VIP’s also include the police, Assam Rifles, etc. who ride rough-shod over everybody else. They are always in a tearing hurry. Gentlemen, please leave your residences early and remain in line, because all of us travelling the streets have destinations to reach where equally busy schedules await. ‘Time is money’ for the common man too. And please, the concerned department, ensure free passage for ambulances with critical patients. Here, priority should be given over anybody else, no matter who!
If I may be permitted to make a humble suggestion – The Razhü Point-Ao Church junction has drains on the right hand side, which is disastrous for two-wheelers. If the concerned department decides to take up the matter, the left-hand side of the road may be reserved for use of the two-wheelers.
Besides the above, traffic rules are openly flouted in many parts of Kohima. Some drivers just park near the middle of the road, so that one side of traffic comes to a standstill. Some of these are near traffic points, but traffic controllers are badly intimated by the bullies, some of whom are drunk. The least we can do in this DRY STATE is park such drunk drivers in the lock up for the night, besides imposing a hefty penalty. Vehicles are also randomly parked in the numerous No-Parking zones all over town, which is one of the major causes of extremely slow traffic.
We pray that the concerned department does something about our traffic woes. Please start penalizing errant drivers, no matter who they are. It can only create a better place to live in. And, Kohima is supposed to be on its way to Smart-Citydom!
Prof. G.T. Thong
Lower Agri Colony, Kohima
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