Saturday, July 13, 2024

Traffic mess

Today (Wednesday) traffic literally came to a standstill in Dimapur as long traffic jams were seen in almost all major junctions leading to the town till late evening. This is becoming a daily routine in Dimapur, particularly on Mondays and Wednesdays. Indeed traffic congestion continues to remain a huge problem here. It increases as the use increases, and is typified by slower speed, longer travel, and increased vehicular impasse. When traffic demand is colossal, the movement of vehicles slows the speed of the traffic run, and this result in traffic congestion. Honking of cars, dusty roads, pot holes on roads and experience of nightmare ride in the car; all this is becoming routine here in Dimapur. The city has witnessed squirt/gush in the usage of private vehicles, cars, bikes, autos, etc. during the last more than a decade. The city people’s penchant for private vehicles over public transport system has disrupted the pace resulting in traffic congestion on roads, journey delays, wastage of work hours, air pollution, etc. It has now become one of the major challenges facing the government and the society. The huge flow of private cars on the road has been further compounded by unregulated rise in the number of auto rickshaws; while cyclists and pedestrians have switched to two-wheelers. Ironically, most of the footpaths are absent, making pedestrians most vulnerable for road space in the midst of quick moving vehicles, particularly two-wheelers. The absence of parking lots and vendors occupying road space illegally has also reduced travel speed and mobility. Traffic management work occasionally and maximum times are out of order. Though the traffic authorities have put in various measures to improve traffic flow but in the absence of regulation, commuters willfully violate the directives. At several places, haphazard parking of vehicles hampers traffic movement. Some shopkeepers even park their vehicles on congested roads outside their shops leading to traffic jams and causing inconvenience to people. These days’ people have limited time and bigger jobs to perform, however, the prolonged traffic jam on the city roads are shattering their plans. Traffic chaos is common from Purana Bazaar to Burma Camp to Tragopan Point, on both sides of Nagarjan Junction to the flyover, from City Tower to Dhobinullah and at Bata charali to Holy Cross Junction, creating gridlocks everyday that refuse to come to end for hours. The opening of the Old Dhansiri Bridge has also resulted in traffic jams in the Purana Bazaar Junction, which can be seen extended till the Padumpukhri Junction on Monday’s and Wednesdays. At the same time, the woe of traffic is worsened by the frequent stops by auto rickshaws anywhere in the middle of the roads. The roads are very narrow and haphazard parking by irresponsible vehicle users compound the situation. No doubt, there is a shortage of space in Dimapur to combat traffic issues, but proper planning is going to help a lot. In fact due to the tremendous increase in vehicular traffic, the role and importance of traffic police has augmented in the present time, when the number of vehicles on the road is increasing at an unprecedented pace. Unfortunately the management of traffic, both on the roads and footpaths in Dimapur is not up to the mark. It is poor in nature and suffers from under the weather unempirical and dilapidated traffic management. The question of the traffic management, therefore, has been a topic of debate for everybody and the agencies responsible for its (traffic) management have been a stimulus for public disparagement. It is important to mention that the traffic police is not the only agency which could be held responsible for the messy traffic management. In fact there are a large number of agencies or departments in the state government which constitute the traffic management system and are directly or indirectly responsible for the management of traffic. But it is unfortunate that there is lack of co-ordination between traffic management departments and they are reluctant to shoulder their responsibilities so that a favourable traffic system could be brought into force. One cannot deny the fact that the population of people has increased at a fast speed in Dimapur. In order to keep pace with the times, the people need better and quick transport facilities and management to make full utility of their precious time.