[ Junroi Mamai ]
As Monday approaches, the capital’s dwellers brace themselves up for the agonizing time they have to face while getting on the road for their destinations within the capital complex.
Only those who have to commute the distance between Itanagar and Banderdewa on NH 415 every day can relate to the untold sufferings one has to endure while negotiating the traffic amid the heat and the damaged roads.
Like every year, the monsoon has rendered NH 415 and various feeder roads in the sectors across the twin capital towns completely unmotorable and pothole-riddled, while the slow rate of work to upgrade the road to a four-lane highway is adding to our woes.
Most the office-goers have to leave for their offices much earlier in the day in order to make it on time.
“I leave at least two hours earlier to make sure that I reach office on time – usually around 8 am, when there are fewer cars on the road,” said a government staffer who lives in Nirjuli and drives to work in Itanagar.
Numerous school and college students also struggle with the problem on a daily basis to reach their institutes on time.
“It’s the same story every day. It has become tiresome. Traffic is unbearably congested, and on top of that is the sweltering heat. It’s worse when you have to sit in a Tempo, as the traffic barely moves,” said a student from Doimukh who attends school in Naharlagun.
Matters get even worse during medical emergencies. There are times when patients scheduled for specific treatment or surgeries are compelled to wait for the doctors to arrive as the doctors unfortunately get ensnared in the unforgiving traffic jams.
A woman claimed that on the day her father had been scheduled to have an operation at a private hospital in Naharlagun, they were made to wait for over an hour for the doctors to operate as the anaesthetist, who lived in Itanagar, had apparently been stuck in traffic that afternoon.
“My poor father had to lie on the operating table for that long as doctors and nurses awaited the anaesthetist to arrive. We were already tense at that moment, and all those hours of unnecessary waiting made us even more anxious,” she said.
There are numerous instances when traffic congestion caused troubles much more serious in nature for people in urgent need and emergency.
Amid all the troubles many of the capital’s dwellers have to endure, it is pathetic to note that the attitude of the authorities towards addressing this nagging issue has mostly remained nonchalant. Apart from the slow pace of work on NH 415, the fact that the execution of the Naharlagun-Borum bridge and the Itanagar Division IV bridge has been delayed following non-release of funds by the state government is disheartening. Once these bridges are completed, traffic would ease to a great extent. The capital’s dwellers deserve to be relieved of this perpetual harassment urgently.