Morung Express News
Kohima | September 29
Initially, when the ‘Odd-Even’ system was introduced to minimise movement of vehicles, the capital city, Kohima witnessed smooth traffic flow with no jams as the public initially practiced ‘strict compliance’.
Owing to the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to minimise non-essential movement of vehicles for better traffic management in the capital city, the first order for ‘Odd-Even’ system for movement of private vehicles, including public transport was introduced for eight days from June 22 to 30.
This was followed by continuation of the system till July 15 which has eased traffic congestion to a great extent. Many were appreciative of the new move and even opined that the system should be followed all through the year.
However, the compliance as well as implementation seems to be short-lived. With some exemptions and except on Sundays, the latest order on September 1 clearly stated that odd and even numbered vehicles are to play on alternate days as Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for odd numbered vehicles and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for vehicles with even numbers.
The order also stated that violation of the restriction order would be liable to be penalised under Section 177 & 179 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.
On the contrary, in recent days, there has been no compliance of the restriction order, and Kohima traffic slowly resumed its usual routine of congestions and jams.
While some citizens have been religiously adhering to the order, it can be seen that most of the citizens have forgotten the rule, barring the exemptions being made for some vehicles and government employees.
“My husband and I have been firmly adhering to the restriction order and we take public transport on the restriction days of our vehicle number. However, it is discouraging to see our people refusing to comply with an order” said Mhalo who works in a private firm.
When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Kohima, Gregory Thejawelie Sote conceded on the existing defaults, and the 'indiscipline' of the citizens. Otherwise he viewed that traffic congestions had eased in the earlier part.
On being enquired if this system would continue, he said, “we are trying to further enforce it and may continue to do that.”
However, the implementing agency disputed that the order is being enforced, that people are cooperating and that traffic has improved in the past few months.
On being contacted, DSP Traffic, Manom Wallim maintained that the order is being enforced. “On the outside, it may seem that it is not being enforced and people are not adhering to it but comparatively people are cooperating and we are also enforcing it,” he said.
When asked on non-adherence of the order and random plying of both odd-even numbered with no restrictions, Wallim maintained “We are enforcing it and then there are certain exemptions where we cannot really bring them under the purview of this order.”
He also reasoned that factors like interstate movement of heavy trucks, functioning of the government offices in full swing, checking of vehicles being conducted in various locations etc should be taken into account.
On the other hand, a traffic personnel speaking on anonymity viewed that the ‘odd-even’ system is not being complied with by both parties as there has been random plying of vehicles on all days.
The traffic cop also disclosed that while North Traffic has been conducting checks in various places, South Traffic conducts checking in only one location at PHQ junction, whereas people have started taking diversions to avoid checking.
With the latest odd-even system order issued on September 1 expiring on September 30, data on total number of people being penalised and the total amount of fine being imposed for non compliance could not be availed.
Enquiry about the data was of no avail as officials kept passing the buck, each claiming to not have the records with them.