| A defunct traffic signal in Patna. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Traffic signals have seen the green light again, almost.
The urban development department has sent the cabinet coordination committee a proposal to install 97 electronic traffic signals in different areas in the city. The plan is expected to get a go-ahead in the next cabinet meeting.
The department has floated tender notices. Interested parties are being invited for the bidding process so that the work could be awarded to an independent agency. The traffic signals would be installed at Dakbungalow roundabout, Income Tax roundabout, Hartali Mor and R- Block among other areas.
Urban development minister Samrat Choudhary told The Telegraph on Wednesday that the electronic signals would be installed in the city by the end of this financial year. “It has been decided that 97 locations in the city would get the new traffic signals. The project has been approved now and sent to the cabinet coordination committee. The signals would be electronic and have closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras for the city’s monitoring,” he said.
Traffic signals were first installed at 17 locations in the city in 2005. A traffic police officer said in less than six months, the signals started developing snags and stopped working. Although the agreement stated the company, Webel Mediatronics, was responsible for maintenance for five years, no attempts were made to repair the signals.
With the administration already being hit by the Webel contract, it is now careful about preventing a repeat.
The minister said: “Once the signals are installed, police will take over the functioning and a separate control room would be set up. The agency chosen for the job would have to maintain the signals for three years — they would be strictly monitored. The CCTV cameras would be an advantage for the city’s surveillance.”
The residents, who have heard of such projects off and on, are yet to be convinced though. “Traffic signals have been out of order for almost 10 years now. There have been no real efforts to make them work. Until the new project takes off, it would be difficult to say anything. But then like any big city, Patna, too, should have signals for proper traffic management,” said Kedar Kumar Singh, a resident of Kankerbagh.