Vehicle population (two-three-&-four wheelers) has increased exponentially in the past couple of decades in Nagaland indicating an economic growth leading to increased incomes. However, this does not indicate development ~ as much as high-rises and malls selling branded consumer items do not indicate development. At best, they indicate disposable incomes, the sources of which are yet to be ascertained. Inter alia, development means a rational and rationalized management of tangible wealth and assets. However, this Editorial isn’t about the complexities of the definitions, concepts and paradigms of development but about the vehicle population that is adding to mobility woes, loss of working hours and time of the human population. Particularly at Dimapur right up to Chumukedima, one spends hours idling away at traffic jams, with stress levels soaring. So, while our vehicle population has increased and the sizes of most of our roads have either remained the same or have decreased due to unregulated roadside markets and vendors, traffic jams are a natural consequence. Moreover, if arterial roads are repaired and maintained in Dimapur and its suburbs, these traffic jams, especially on the highway which seems to be perpetually on the make, could be reduced. But another very serious problem causing these traffic jams is mis-management of traffic ~ particularly within the municipal areas. Every town and city has stringent rules regarding the plying of different sizes of vehicles at various times of the day but in Dimapur, such rules don’t seem to exist ~ or are not implemented and enforced. Particularly in the afternoons, say by 3 p.m., traffic comes to a grinding halt because of heavy trucks and buses being given preference. Normally, in other towns and cities, heavy vehicles are allowed entry only after 8 p.m., and before 6 a.m. What is so special about Dimapur that such rules are unobserved in favour of heavy vehicles? Talks in the town are abuzz that such vehicles are good sources of pocket-money for those with vested interests. If so, this needs to be investigated. Further, it must be said that in the past few months, traffic management at Dimapur and surrounding areas have deteriorated. We don’t know the inside intricacies and intrigues of the Traffic Police, under the state Police Department, but clearly things are going awry as far as traffic control and management are concerned and inarguably Dimapur needs a very strict head of traffic management and equally well-trained and disciplined Traffic personnel, who will not brook any traffic violation from anyone ~ VIP or no VIP, including uniformed personnel in Police, Army, etc., vehicles. This needs immediate and urgent attention because the public’s time is precious and must be respected. And, whatever happened to the rule of mandatory helmets for riders of two-wheelers? It is imperative that the top bosses of traffic management must be seen leading the way and guiding the traffic on the ground to ease traffic congestions, which will then translate into respecting the public’s time.
Now, while it is true that during the festive season excess Power is used, abused and misused, it must also be said that even before the festive season began, Power supply in Dimapur was not the greatest. But because of generators and invertors our lives became more comfortable and convenient and the public no longer complains as before. However, that is no excuse for the Power Department to be lax. For one, the Power Department is a service providing Department and the public pays through the nose for this basic service. Besides, infrastructure such as quality and uninterrupted Power supply is our constitutional right. If for some very valid reason, Power supply is disrupted and/or load-shedding becomes necessary, the Power Department must inform the public. In the past few months there has been frequent interrupted Power supply and/or load-shedding at any time of the day and night but the Power Department has had no courtesy to inform the Public, not even the time of load-shedding, which is an abuse of people’s rights. Every night power supply fails Dimapur for hours but because of generators and invertors and because during winter everyone goes to bed early, we don’t notice. However, for those of us who work every night, this is an abuse hence unacceptable. It is equally unacceptable for bureaucrats and technocrats to deign to explain, when they do, in technical jargon. The explanation must come from the Ministers/Advisors in-charge because being elected means being accountable.