Several unauthorised structures by the roadsides and footpaths continue to cause traffic congestion and pose inconvenience and disturbances to commuters in Imphal city, as concerned government authorities remain silent spectators.
The problem of traffic congestion persists in Manipur’s capital city despite the notification issued by the state Public Works Department (PWD) against unauthorised constructions and structures, including extension of shops on footpaths and roadsides.
The PWD had given a deadline of July 6 for removal of all unauthorised structures in a bid to ease traffic congestion. However, till date, there is no visible sign of any action taken by the concerned authorities past the deadline.
The notification issued by executive engineer, Imphal West Division, PWD on June 27 stated: “It was found that several unauthorised constructions and extension of shops, railing, balconies, verandah, stair, ramp encroaching along the roadside, footpath and drain, including stacking of construction materials, debris and others resulting in inconveniences and disturbances to commuters, causing frequent traffic jams and non-availability of parking area”.
It further mentioned that all such unauthorised construction and others should be removed within 10 days ie by July 6.
In the order, 10 streets of Imphal City are mentioned. They are Thangmeiband Road (Khoyathong junction to New Assembly); Youth Centre Leirak, Thangmeiband; Hijam Dewan Leikai, Thangmeiband; Chingakham Lampak to Lamphel Supermarket; Watham Leirak to Lairenhanjaba Leirak; Nagamapal to PHYLO; Road opposite DM College NCC office; Kangjabi Leirak; RIMS traffic Rotary to Lamphel Sanakeithel and Lamphel SuperMarket.
However, concerned authorities have failed to act upon the PWD notification. Owing to the inaction to remove all unauthorised constructions and structures and encroachment on footpath and roadsides, commuters continue to face inconvenience and traffic congestion in the heart of the city daily.
Following Chief Minister N Biren Singh's instruction, eviction of illegal encroachers is still continuing at different places in the valley area. Biren had also said that the present government will mete out equal treatment to those illegal encroachers as per law of the land.
During a ground survey by the Imphal Free Press in Imphal city, several unauthorised encroachment, including stacking of construction materials, debris were seen on roadsides and footpaths of the streets of Imphal city, including the 10 streets which are mentioned in the notification issued.
Among the 10 streets mentioned in the notification, Thangmeiband road (Khoyathong junction to New Assembly) is one of the major important roads. And during the sitting of Manipur Legislative Assembly, a huge number of state police personnel and central forces are deployed along the road to free up the traffic. It may be mentioned that the second session of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly is scheduled on July 25.
During an interaction with the Imphal Free Press, one of the shopkeepers along the road, Tomba (Name Changed) said, “I support the notification issued by the government to clear the unauthorised constructions and stacking of construction materials on the roadside, even on footpaths.”
“Already the PWD has issued notification to clear them but no action has been taken yet. Due to the unauthorised construction and stacking of construction materials, the road has become one of the most congested streets in the Imphal city,” Tomba said.
During the survey, most of the footpaths are seen encroached by shopkeepers, fast food stalls and automobile service centres. On the western side of the same road, unauthorised constructions could be seen, including several shops and others.
Even on the RCC slab of Naga Nullah, construction materials are seen stacking which give hindrance to the commuters who came to park their vehicle.
On the western side along the stretch from Kangjabi Leirak to Khoyathong Junction, many illegal parking spots were seen and some businessmen used the roadside to run their business.
On RIMS road, besides the unauthorised constructions on the footpath, a huge number of illegal parking are seen on both sides of the road which causes hindrances to the commuters and to those emergency patients who came to RIMS.
Recently, traffic control police, Imphal West, under the supervision of superintendent of police (traffic), Wungpam Kasar had conducted a drive against illegal parking in Imphal City to ease traffic congestion. During the drive, several illegal parked vehicles were seized and were made to pay fine as per MV Act.