The traffic signals regulate road traffic, avert traffic jams, curb haphazard traffic, and most importantly, avoid accidents. The signals play the role of policemen, albeit, silently and systematically.
However, dead signals at dozens of major squares in Nagpur have been signalling something is terribly wrong. Not with the signals but with the system. The Traffic Police system. The NMC system and other concerned systems.
A total of 128 traffic signals have been installed at the major squares in Nagpur. The number looks enough for smooth traffic in every corner of the city. But the picture is contradictory. Dozens of signals have gone defunct thus the smooth traffic receiving a nasty hit. The Nagpur population is booming and has reached between 35-40 lakh and the number of vehicles plying on the city roads is about 15 lakhs. And the Nagpur Traffic Police Department is being run with only 1000 personnel including officials and other lower rung staff.
Poor synchronization of traffic signals is also affecting the smooth flow of traffic throughout Nagpur. Lack of zebra-crossings and stop-lines adds to the woes.
Motorists cannot see the face of the signal if a bus stops ahead when the signal turns red. This means that the motorists behind have to depend blindly on the movement of the bigger vehicle in front to know whether the signal had changed.
BOOM IN POPULATION AND VEHICLES:
A total of 128 traffic signals have been installed at the squares in Nagpur. The number looks enough for smooth traffic in every corner of the city. But the picture is contradictory. Dozens of signals have gone dead thus the smooth traffic receiving a nasty hit. The Nagpur population is booming and has reached between 35-40 lakh and the number of vehicles plying on the city roads is about 15 lakhs. And the Nagpur Traffic Police Department is being run with only 1000 personnel including officials and other lower rung staff. Population 35-40 lakh. Total vehicles 15 lakh. And only 1000 Traffic Policemen. Moreover, the DCP (Traffic) J D Dabhade retired 4-5 months ago but there is still no permanent replacement. The DCP Zone-4 Chandrashekhar Meena is handling the extra charge of DCP Traffic.
The dead signals at various squares have been triggering deadly accidents almost daily. Even at smoothly functioning traffic signals not only the youths but the aged citizens jump the signal by zooming past other vehicles. Then the situation at dead signals could be gauged. No need to burden the brain. Just scan newspapers and read the accident news. Those who jump signals were found involved in the accidents just midway following no control over speeding vehicles.
The presence of traffic policemen sometimes poses more problems than the dead signals. The traffic policemen are found so busy in issuing challans to a violator that they never care other 10 persons violating the traffic rules. One of the solutions to avert such situations lies in the timers. Each and every traffic signal must be equipped with the timers. The timers force the drivers of any vehicles to stop till the timing is over.
However, the timers must same at every square and the timing between two squares should also be synchronized. But the scenario is totally contradictory. In general, the timers installed at traffic signals should for a period of 60 seconds. But the timers at various squares differ from each other. The Jhansi Rani Square has 80 seconds, Variety Square has 40 seconds, Panchsheel Square has 30 seconds and at Chhatrapati Square, the timer after specific night hours, the timer changes to only 14 seconds wherein the traffic is regular following passing of heavy vehicles through 4 major roads including the ring road.
All these factors and the dead signals are fittingly signalling something is awfully wrong in the system, planning and the men of matter.