Published On : Sat, Apr 13th, 2024

Taxpayers’ money down the drain: Unused smart traffic booths in Nagpur become ‘white elephants’

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Nagpur: This is nothing but sheer waste of taxpayers’ money by senseless authorities. The installation of 78 smart traffic booths across Nagpur, costing approximately Rs 4 crore to taxpayers, has garnered criticism due to their lack of utilization since their installation a year ago.

Each booth, priced at Rs 5 lakh, was equipped with amenities such as fans, exhaust fans, seating, and announcement systems. Despite being made from special materials designed to reduce temperatures by about 3 degrees Celsius, the booths have remained unoccupied even during the sweltering summer months when Nagpur’s temperatures soar above 40 degrees Celsius.

The smart traffic booths were strategically placed at prominent squares including Narendra Nagar Square, Pratap Nagar Square, Mate Square, GPO Square, Kachipura Square, Cotton Market Square, Subhash Nagar Square, Agrasen Square, and others. However, none of the booths have been utilized by traffic constables. In fact, many were found locked from the outside, indicating a complete lack of use.

Opinions from both citizens and stakeholders reflect widespread disappointment and frustration regarding the perceived wastage of public funds. A founder member of Jan Akrosh appreciated Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation (NSSCDCL) for the intention behind the booths but criticized their underutilization, labelling it as a misuse of taxpayer money. Citizens also echoed similar sentiments, with one individual highlighting the absence of traffic police inside the booths, questioning the efficacy of their installation.

Some citizens and motorists criticized the fundamental concept behind the booths, arguing that their presence could exacerbate traffic violations by removing visible enforcement from the roads. Additionally, a traffic constable raised concerns about the impracticality of using the booths while simultaneously managing traffic on the road.

The current state of the smart traffic booths in Nagpur paints a picture of inefficiency and wastage of resources. Despite their intended purpose of providing relief from extreme weather conditions and improving traffic management, the booths remain unused, prompting calls for a re-evaluation of their implementation strategy and utilization. Moving forward, stakeholders should engage in a thorough assessment to determine the most effective course of action, ensuring that taxpayer funds are allocated judiciously and projects align with the needs of the community.