Relieving Parking Pains
There is no escape but to endure the snail-paced traffic if you drive through Kohima town during the peak hours, as hundreds of vehicles choke the narrow lanes and by-lanes. For the residents, it is a daily affair; they find no merit in complaining, while it’s excruciating for visitors and tourists. A closer look at the traffic congestion points to a lack of parking spaces, as vehicles parked on the side of the road consume a significant space. With little scope for widening the roads in the state capital due to the difficult terrain, unplanned development, and human settlements and commercial establishments along the lanes and by lanes, the only feasible means to ease traffic congestion is restricting citizens from parking vehicles on the roadside. But executing such plans is easier said than done. Amid this dilemma, Kohima recently got two multi-level car parking lots that can reportedly accommodate up to 305 vehicles. This is a welcome development that can ease traffic congestion, provided people make good use of the facilities. It was also a smart move to revive the otherwise de-sanctioned (centre) projects by diverting them to Kohima Smart City Development Ltd. (KSCDL) under the Smart City Mission. Apart from this, the CEO of KSCDL also updated that it has taken up two more multi-level car parking lots with a capacity of accommodating 120 cars each. These projects, once completed, will help address the traffic issue in the state capital.
Now, similar facilities should be extended to other urban areas in the state, especially Dimapur, because the traffic situation in the commercial hub of the state is deteriorating by the day, and it won’t get any better with the number of vehicles continuing to increase. The rapid urbanisation in the adjoining district of Chümoukedima will also compound the issue. Like Kohima, the interior roads in Dimapur, except the National Highway – 29, are narrow. On top of that, a lack of parking spaces has forced people to park their vehicles on the roadside, thus obstructing the traffic flow. Civil society organisations have urged the concerned authorities to address the issue on several occasions, but to no avail. Though the lack of basic amenities in urban settlements, including Dimapur, could be attributed to the defunct urban local bodies, the state government can’t turn a blind eye to certain obvious issues. Dimapur and Chümoukedima districts certainly need parking lots. Business communities should also step up by providing parking spaces on the premises of their stores for customers. This will also boost their business. And if the government of Nagaland seriously wants to attract investors to the state, building all-weather roads and easing the traffic is a must, because no firm worth its salt will like to invest in a place where they will waste hours in traffic.