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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Traffic chaos 

Monday, 19 June 2017 13:42
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Traffic in Dimapur is in a chaotic situation today. Huge increase in the number of private and public vehicles plying on the narrow and congested roads of Dimapur have disrupted life to the extent that nobody expects to reach his or her destination safe and in time once stepping out of home. The situation is compounded by the total deterioration in the condition of roads in the town. In fact, one can say that there are literally no pliable roads in Dimapur. From Chumukedima to Dimapur town, the National Highway is in a pathetic state with large potholes lining the roads. There are literally no roads from Purana Bazaar till Diphupar Junction. The roads inside Dimapur town are in no better condition. Clearly if a person can be judged by the shoes he wears, can we also judge the efficiency/inefficiency of the government by the condition of the roads? But let's not talk about roads or its absence in Dimapur; and concentrate on the serpentine gridlock that commuters faces every day in Dimapur, costing time and money. The absence of planning is evident from the regular traffic jams that we face on a daily basis. However, this is made worse by total inability and incompetence of the traffic police to control and manage city traffic. There is total lack of traffic sense among the drivers as well as those who regulate traffic. One is unable to imagine where this is going to lead us to. There are no plans of widening the city roads; there are no plans of building by-passes and subways; there are no plans of constructing overhead bridges for the pedestrians; there is no concrete and decisive programme of removing encroachment of footpaths; there is no seriousness about removing the hawkers from creating congestion in traffic and there is no punishment for those who grossly violate traffic rules like parking at odd places, stopping in the middle of the road or auto rickshaws stopping at will without care. Dimapur traffic is presenting a glorious picture of chaos and confusion. The traffic police often look as helpless onlookers allowing the vehicle drivers use their freewill. And the senior officers of the traffic department are leisurely sitting in their air conditioned office rooms. Traffic jams in the city have become every day routine and people have now stopped complaining about it because complaints are not heard nor remedied. The story of traffic on National Highways is not different. There appears to be no road safety policy. Again we will deal with that issue another time. We are aware of people driving on the road without driving licenses or using fake licenses leading to road accidents, and we also see plying of unfit vehicles on the roads which often become the cause of road accidents resulting in fatalities. And clearly authorities need to check this on a war footing. This will be a major step in improving the safety of road traffic and doing away the logjams that have become the bane of smooth and safe traffic. The State Transport Department is not the only department which has to carry the burden of regulating the traffic and removing its bottlenecks. Objectively speaking, modernizing city traffic either in Dimapur or in Kohima is a multi-departmental venture. Funding and planning are at the root of the project. Most importantly, there has to be full scale transformation in the culture of traffic police establishment. Corruption is endemic. We do not know what steps the authorities can suggest to uproot corruption from this department. Unless exemplary punishment is given to the tainted and corrupt functionaries, corruption may not be eradicated. The culture of dedicated services needs to be inculcated in the traffic police staff impressing upon them that their negligence or dereliction of duty is bound to result in unnatural death of innocent and precious lives.


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