‘Smart’ lights add to risk on Bhubaneswar streets
Commuters are having a tough time plying through five major junctions on the National Highway-5 that runs through the city as the “smart” traffic signalling system has become defunct at these spots.
The lights are part of Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited’s smart traffic signalling system have become defunct at these places.
As the lights are not working at these junctions, traffic problems become rampant at the places with congestion and confusion adding to the commuters’ woes. Traffic violations have also become a frequent issue at the junctions because of the defunct lights.
“The yellow lights keep on blinking all the time, confusing us to much extent. Problems double up when the traffic police personnel leave their posts during busy hours. It is highly risky, mainly for the pedestrians, as the vehicular movement is very rampant on this highway,” said Acharya Vihar resident Sampada Jena.
The authorities have installed the adaptive traffic signalling system on the junctions at Vani Vihar Square, Acharya Vihar Square, Jayadev Vihar Square, CRPF Square and Fire Station Square on the highway. The smart traffic lights have also been installed at 53 other junctions in other parts of the city.
While the lights are working at almost all other junctions, they are lying defunct on the five busy intersections along the national highway ever since it was installed there earlier this year. “These junctions are important compared to others, and it is unfortunate that the lights are not working here only,” said Unit-III resident Uttam Sahoo.
The state government, along with other allied agencies, is focusing on the safety of pedestrians in line with the Supreme Court direction. It has taken several initiatives to accomplish the task, mainly with awareness campaigns through posters, banners and other medium.
“The junctions had no traffic lights earlier, which was good. Now, the installation of the smart lights has created confusion. Earlier, the commuters used to look after their own safety in absence of the lights. The authorities should take steps either to made them properly work or uninstall the same from the places,” said Pritam Mohanty, a commuter.
A senior official of the smart city’s special purpose vehicle told this newspaper that they had undertaken a trial run of the traffic lights in July and encountered some problems. “Our consultant is fixing on the errors. Once it is done, the lights will start functioning,” he said.
Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena said the focus on road safety was more on these junctions on the highway and the traffic personnel were managing the same quite efficiently. “We did install the lights to intensify the road safety measures at these junctions. There are some problems, and it will be fixed shortly,” said Jena.