Dimapur city is known for its enterprise being the ‘commercial capital’ of Nagaland state, however, it is also overwhelmed by perennial traffic jam. The severity of traffic congestion in Dimapur city has increased in the recent years. Traffic movements are at the slowest pace resulting in intolerable increase of travel delay. Roads are getting heavily congested with network of private transportation, auto-rickshaws, two-wheelers and rickshaws contributing to the staggering jam while the expansion in the road and other alternatives have not been proportionate with this increase.
Despite the fact that traffic congestion prevention has made some progress, Dimapur still struggles to deal with it effectively. So much time is wasted on traffic. The common tendency is to point the cause of traffic congestions on the traffic police and the poor system of management. There has been repeated public poll and reports highlighting the evils of lack of traffic regulations, need to enforce stricter law and order, challenges faced by traffic personnel. Some blame it on poor town planning leading to narrow road. To be practical, the possibility of expanding the road without changing the structure of Dimapur city will require smart engineering, if not some divine involvement. Illegal parking on the road and on-road parking of vehicles are everyday situation.
The number of population increasing in all the areas under Dimapur city could be a reason behind the recurrent traffic congestion problem. Acquiring a private vehicle is no more a case of luxury, travelling in auto-rickshaw is most suited due to the climatic condition and, while these factors might be contributing to the problems, the attitude of citizens does not help. According to commuters the current traffic management in Dimapur is ‘poor.’ To start with, lack of traffic rules and basic road etiquette is unsophisticated. Many people have acquired the skill of driving but are still illiterate about safe and right driving conduct. Overtaking from the wrong side, parking on the wrong lane, not using the signal indicators etc are some of the most common mistakes seen in the roads of Dimapur.
Hindsight, simply talking about the problem and the cause without conveying the solution and respond is an unhelpful indicator. In order to start thinking about addressing the traffic congestion in Dimapur, people in the position of power and policy making would require having an intentional and resolute will to find well-researched and proven solutions to traffic problems in other cities. The impact of health and environment due to lasting traffic congestions is often neglected. Awareness and discourse has to be initiated to create mass consciousness on danger of pollution, accidents and related hazards. To be part of the solution, people who drive frequently can mostly help by simply following the traffic rules and right driving method.
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