Friday, 24 March 2017

Editorials 


Upgrade Imphal addresses

We have written on this theme many times before, and we write again to remind those contending to form the next government of a pressing need of today. It may not command the passion as many of the emotive issues political parties in contentions are flagging as their pet projects now, but one which would do immense good to make Imphal fit and ready for the future. The trouble with cities is, they grow faster than hold memories of their pasts have on them. The great American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, anticipated this when he advised home builders to go as far away from the city as he can, and when he thinks he has gone far enough, to go five miles more, for the city will be upon him sooner than he imagines. We are witnessing this exponential growth in Imphal too. Forty years ago, practically everybody knew each other; the number of cars on the streets could be counted on the fingers on any given day; the most popular vehicle was the bicycle and indeed as many visiting writers were fond of characterising the place, Imphal literally swarmed with bicycles during office going and returning hours; a lot many more loved and managed on foot; restaurants were few and their menus differed little; roads were narrow but they were adequate; fatal road accidents were literally unheard of; people had much less money to spend, but there were no less content than now. Life in short, was slow and idyllic, perhaps even rustic. Quite naturally, to grandparents of forty years ago, even that pace appeared break necks and their stories of their younger days appeared to children of the time to be a strange era where everybody was on foot and a few on bullock carts. Almost everybody was a farmer, and besides that, also basket makers, carpenters, plumbers, cattle herder, poultry keeper etc.

Times have always been changing, but the acceleration at which the pace of this change has been happening (remember the confounding “per second per second” measure we learnt in high school maths) has jumped many folds in the last one decade or so. In physical terms, Imphal is no longer the same city. Most of the familiar landmarks have disappeared. The famed mango tree at Keishampat, the mounds, the ponds, the crooked bunyan tree, the weeded moat, and many more such coordinates are no longer existent. In their places are an ever increasing number of buildings. Spacious homesteads with lawns and gardens that once were common have all been split amongst several generations of siblings, making the old images of these places unrecognizable. Yet, memories of the old world linger on and this is nowhere more evident than in the manner Imphal postal addresses are organised. They still depend on the old, broad coordinates around these vanishing landmarks. This may still be somewhat okay for local residents and local postmen can still locate addresses of residents specified only by these old landmarks. But as the economy gets more sophisticated, constantly mobile professional classes, such as company executives, bank staff etc., who are transferred to the city and take up temporary accommodations would virtually have no postal address. They have to use “care of” appendages, but it is no longer uncommon for local house-owners to rent out their houses while they themselves are away in other cities and states according to the needs of their own professional callings.

The moot point is, Imphal city planners must think of remapping the city so that every square meter of the city will have a scientific and easily locatable coordinates. Scientifically calibrated house numbers, street names, lane numbers, crossroads, junctions, sub post office pin codes, etc., must be made mandatory now. No doubt, those trained for this mapping job will know which calibrating system will be most effective for an unplanned city like Imphal, and they must be put to the job. To quote Frank Lloyd Wright again, an architect must necessarily be a poet, but equally he or she must be a visionary capable of seeing at least ten years ahead. If these qualities are not there in the person, he should not call himself an architect. The way Imphal has been allowed to grow in the past few decades is a loud testimony that planning of the city was in the hands of politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats and architects, who care little for these qualities. Look at the way the drainage system has disappeared; look at the way most of the lanes in the city are hardly the width of a motorcar; look at the missing pedestrian pavements on its roads and the list can go on. Forty years ago probably these attributes were not necessary. But it must be said what was needed then were never missing. For instance, on either side of all roads, there were huge drains that we locally knew as “khongban”. These have been gobbled up by land greed and the city authorities have made little or no effort to think of their replacement. This unpreparedness to meet the challenges of the time is also stark in the manner in which Imphal postal addresses are organised. Things are bad, but not too late for the authorities to wake up and do something.

2-Mar-2017 / IFP Editorials / 0 Comments

Comments


No comments found for this entry!


Random Items 

International Day of Forestry

THOUBAL | Mar 21 Divisional Forest Officer, Thoubal, Range Forest Officer, Kakching and Unique Wildlife Protection Committee (UWLPC), Manipur jointly organised International Day of Forestry 2017 at various places of Thoubal and Kakching district on March.....

22-Mar-2017 | Correspondent | 0 Comments

Spectacles distributed

IMPHAL | Mar 21 Free spectacle distribution programme was organised at Loktak Power Station today as part of CSR-SD programme. The programme was inaugurated by Bedi Ram, chief engineer (in-charge) Loktak Power Station in the presence of senior officials,.....

22-Mar-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

Not RPF

IMPHAL | Mar 21 The outlawed RPF has denied any relation with one Khangembam Inao alias Keiyum, 40, son of Kh Shyam Kumar, of Kumbi Isingchaibi, currently lodged at Singjamei Chingamakhong Chongtham Leikai, who was nabbed by Imphal west police commando o.....

22-Mar-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

‘Dialogue must go on for lasting peace’

IMPHAL | Mar 21 The Governor of Manipur, Najma Heptulla, expressed happiness over successful conduct of the 11th Manipur state assembly elections and conveyed that it has reaffirmed the strong faith of the people of the state in democracy. A release sai.....

22-Mar-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

Five days residential camp

THOUBAL |Mar 21 Nehru Yuva Kendra, Thoubal is organising five days residential camp on Mahatma Gandhi Yuva Swachhta Abhiyan Evam Shramdaan Karyakram at the RDS Training Centre, Khongjom from March 21 to March 25. The programme organised under Ministry o.....

22-Mar-2017 | Correspondent | 0 Comments

Nagas and India will share power, coexist: Muivah

Newmai News Network DIMAPUR | Mar 21 Naga leaders strongly voiced for the Naga unity and reconciliation today. They said without unity and reconciliation the Naga movement will move backward instead of progressing forward. Celebrating the 38th Naga Rep.....

22-Mar-2017 | Agency | 0 Comments

RK Imo vows to remain with Congress

IMPHAL | Mar 21 “I was and will always remain faithful to the Congress party,” said RK Imo who was re-elected on Congress party ticket from Sagolband constituency, during a felicitation programme at his residence of Sagolband Bijoy Govinda. He added tha.....

22-Mar-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

CM moves Vote on Account for 4 months

IMPHAL | Mar 21 Chief Minister and finance in-charge, Nongthombam Biren Singh today moved a Vote on Account for four months beginning April along with the budget estimates for the next financial year 2017-18 in the Assembly today. Presenting the budget .....

22-Mar-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Job fair at Imphal

IMPHAL | Mar 21 National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), Imphal in association with National Career Service Ministry, Ministry of Labour and Employment, government of India is organising a Job Fair on March 27 at Lamyanba Sh.....

22-Mar-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

Kanchan to represent state at Femina Miss India

IMPHAL | Mar 21 Miss Manipur Queen 2017 Soibam Kanchan Chanu is slated to represent Manipur in the national level Fbb Femina Miss India, 2017 to be held in Mumbai in June this year. This was announced designer Robert Naorem in a press meet held today at.....

22-Mar-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Arms and the Man

In his book “My Century”, a collection of 100 inter-linked short stories celebrating the 20th Century, each of the 100 stories summarising the mood of each year of the century from the German perspective, Gunter Grass characterises the atmosphere in pre-F.....

22-Mar-2017 | IFP Editorials | 0 Comments

Career guidance

CCPUR | Mar 21 A one day talk program on Career Guidance and Counseling organised by State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) Government of Manipur was held today at Synod Hall, IB Road. The program was attended by students from differen.....

22-Mar-2017 | Correspondent | 0 Comments

Latest Comments