Thursday, March 4, 2021

Life jammed

If there is any major problem facing Kohima and Dimapur in a gigantic way, it is the traffic mess coupled with the most difficult aspect of parking of vehicles. But the State Government remains unrepentant over its failure to fulfil the responsibility of bringing about any noticeable improvement in traffic condition in the State, particularly Kohima and Dimapur, which is in a pathetic state and in continual deterioration. The failure of the State administration apart, what is also unfortunate is the kind of politics that our leadership prefers to play in such matters than choosing to go to the bottom of problem and look for remedy. The authorities, like others, remains mute spectator to the deteriorating traffic conditions that readily poses danger to human lives and robs the public of its right for a decent and an orderly civic life. It ought to be their primary concern but they seem to have abandoned such concerns in favour of their political pursuits. In the process, they are shying from their social responsibility as the citizens of this place. The state of unruliness that dictates behaviour of a large segment of our people in the conduct of their day to day lives does not help their political cause either! That needs to be underlined to them. The civil society and other important citizenry too are responsible for the mess that is piling up around by not using its might and influence in restoring order on our roads. Today Kohima and Dimapur have turned into a jungle of constructions. None of the big structures that have come up illegally have even an inch of parking space available to cater to vehicular load that these give rise to. Roads apart, even pathways meant for pedestrian movement have been consumed to provide for their parking needs. As if the above constraints were not enough, new hazards are adding to the woes of traffic management. Main roads have openly become sale points for vendors. This second-sale point system, though completely illegal, is gaining encouragement from the administration partly due to their callousness and partly due to the pecuniary interest that it involves. The malaise is spreading from area to area and the administration is opting to remain indifferent. No wonder traffic jams are here to stay and our tomorrow will always continue to remain jammed. They say the universe is expanding. And that should help with the traffic. Our traffic is also mounting but roads are getting choked. We have cars but we don’t have expressways. Our chief minister and his ministers, advisors and top bureaucrats travelling with escorts may never have experienced being stuck in a traffic jam for hours. But being in a jam, shelled in your car, is not an ordinary feeling or experience. It is like being held up in a vast space, which may probably look like a black hole. You feel blind, breathless and bushed. Like a helpless and lifeless creature, you see no getaway. You are just stuck in a noisy disorder. You are irritated, feel trapped but still struggle to make ends meet, reach destinations and meet deadlines. But with all desperate efforts to get out, your car proves to be a convenient place to sit out traffic jams. However, a pragmatic reflection can also develop when you are stuck in a traffic jam. Like German Scientist Sebastian Thru who said, “I’ve developed my passion for cars that drive themselves from being stuck in traffic for many, many, many hours of my life. I don’t know what it adds up to, but I feel like I’ve lost a year or two just in traffic. That’s big to me. That’s a lot of time, a lot of money that I just lose on the road”. Indeed going by the time we spend in traffic jams every day, it amounts to loss of many productive years of our life. The student travelling to exam centre; a patient referred to hospital; a school kid waiting to be in class; a teacher rushing for students and many more. All squander time in honking anarchy, dusty ambience and frozen travel.