Srinagar: At a time when the government is struggling to control traffic in Srinagar, the installation of a much-hyped project – Intelligent Traffic Signals, a centrally-monitored system to regulate traffic, has been delayed by the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) even as Jammu city has already installed such signals.
With an overall cost of Rs 15 crore sanctioned under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), a Government of India scheme launched in 2015, a set of 33 such signals were to be installed in the first-phase in Srinagar within six months. Two years later, not a single signal has been installed anywhere in the city.
Insiders in the SMC, the implementing body, told Kashmir Reader that no serious push was given to the project and it also received cold response from other partner departments, such as Roads & Buildings (R&B) department.
Intelligent traffic lights popularly known as smart traffic lights are a vehicle traffic control system that combines traditional traffic lights with an array of sensors and artificial intelligence to intelligently route vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
With provision for CCTV cameras-based control of traffic signals, the smart signals can sense the approach of vehicles and change the light signal as per the requirement.
The SMC has hired Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd (DIMTS), a Delhi-based transport consultancy and infrastructure development company, to install such signals. However, delay in installing the lights was caused because the Roads and Buildings department had not issued ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC). An official conveyed that a few days ago, the department issued the NOC.
“The company has at least thrice conveyed to officials to secure the approval from R&B department, but every time the pleas had fallen on deaf ears, leaving the project stagnant,” said an SMC insider.
Once completed, the project is likely to mitigate the problem of limited manpower available with the traffic department. The SMC plan is to convert 24 signals already installed in the city to ‘intelligent’ signals and install nine new such signals.
Commissioner SMC, Riyaz Ahmad Wani, says that work on the project was going on and that the corporation has intensified its efforts to complete the project as early as possible.
“We have completed all the pre-requisite formalities and have directed the officials concerned to accelerate their efforts,” Wani said. He said that the identification of junctions and the area survey has already been carried out by officials.