CM Holds Fort From Fuel Price To Parking Lots, Traffic Snarls Linked To Rise In Vehicles

Traffic snarl in Imphal which has become a routine affair. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, May 16: Attributing the problem of traffic congestion in Khwairamband Bazar area to the unprecedented increase in the number of vehicles in Manipur, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has explained that hike in the price of petroleum products like petrol and diesel is a worldwide phenomenon following rise in the price of crude oil, over which his Government can do nothing about.

Speaking at the flag hoisting function of an INC candidate in the upcoming election to Imphal Municipal Council (IMC), Ibobi said that the number of motor vehicles, including four-wheelers and two-wheelers in Manipur has crossed over 1.80 lakhs by the beginning of 2011. This unprecedented increase in the number of vehicles plying on the roads of Manipur has led to the problem of traffic congestion in Imphal city, more particularly in Khwairamband Bazar area.

Ibobi pointed out that such phenomenal increase in the number of vehicles is something that one would not find even in China and Japan where even young children are encouraged to walk for 3 to 4 kilometers. But in Manipur, young children are being taken for a ride in cars soon after getting up from bed in the morning giving no scope for physical exercise at all. Walking is good for health and it would lessen traffic congestion, he added.

So, taking into consideration the problem of traffic congestion, Inter-State Bus services would be introduced in the near future and steps would be taken up  to identify what type of vehicles should be allowed in the Bazar area.

Moreover, the Government is planning to set up proper car parking lots at different parts of Imphal city apart from construction of a multi-storied parking lot.

On the issue of rise price of petroleum products, Chief Minister Ibobi said that it is worldwide phenomenal which the State Govt could do nothing about.  The price of crude oil has risen in all the countries and a State like Manipur cannot remain unaffected. So, increase in the price of petrol and diesel in Manipur is not because the Government want to cause suffering to the people, Ibobi explained.

On the issue of street vendors, Ibobi categorically stated that the demand for proving plots to all the women vendors coming from different parts of Manipur for selling vegetables and other consumable items in Khwairamband Bazar is out of the question and it is demand which could not be conceded to even God himself came down to take up the matter.

The State Government has already decided that street vendors would be allotted plots at Lamphel Super market complex on first come first serve basis without any consideration on whether they have license or not, Ibobi said, adding that talking over the matter with women vendors is a big problem and there may be some relief if more women councilors get elected in IMC to take up such issues.

He also maintained that many women have been able to make significant contributions to the society following the reservation of 33 percent seats for women proposed by late Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi.

On other developmental issues, Ibobi said that to solve the problem of flood from overflowing water of Nambul river, the Government has taken up steps to construct retaining walls and procure a machine costing around Rs 4 to 5 crores which could drain the excess overflowing water within 2 to 3 hours. In addition to this, a solid waste management project for Imphal area is being taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crores. IMC should be responsible for proper implementation of the project once it is completed.

With Imphal included among the mission cities selected for development by the UPF Government, the developmental works of the city would continue. So, no one should construct high rise buildings without consulting the authorities concerned. Construction of new buildings inside the city should be monitored and IMC should decide on the area of residential and commercial purposes, the Chief Minister said. MLA of Uripok A/C L Nandakumar, MLA of Lamsang A/C W Brajabidhu, Chairperson of IMC RK Ranisana, president of Uripok Block Congress Committee Y Jayentaram and youth secretary P Shashikanta were among other leaders who were present at the function.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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