Defunct traffic lights irk commuters in Srinagar

Defunct traffic lights irk commuters in Srinagar
Representational Pic

Srinagar, Sep 12: Defunct Adaptive Traffic Control System (ATCS) across Srinagar is taking heavy toll on commuters besides causing traffic jams.

Commuters said that for years they have been waiting for the smart traffic light system to streamline the traffic movement. Commuters said that the SMC had installed ATCS at all major junctions. However, the system is not working at any junction including Zakura, Dalgate, Lal Chowk and Hazratbal.

“At most of the junctions, traffic is being managed manually despite installation of smart traffic lights. The long traffic jams in Srinagar have become a norm and defunct traffic lights are a major reason for that. It has been a long time since the traffic lights are installed but they are of no use as they are defunct at major junctions,” said Mushtaq Ali, a commuter.

Officials said that the project, which started a few years ago in Srinagar, jumped the earlier deadline in early 2020. They said the system is equipped with smart cameras and a state-of-the-art control room and will help in streamlining the traffic in the city.

They said the system, once functional, will monitor traffic and divert it accordingly thereby avoiding traffic mess in the city.

The officials also said that Srinagar Municipal Corporation installed the ATCS in over 10 locations including city Centre Lal Chowk, to begin with.

“Later over three dozen locations across Srinagar were equipped with ATCS in phase two. These locations are mainly those which have a good traffic flow and important junctions which need the installation”, said the official.

Greater Kashmir did a series of stories this year about the non-functional traffic lights in Srinagar and how it creates a traffic mess in Srinagar.

An official said that the project is many years old and by the time the lights will be installed, the traffic has increased manifolds.

“These traffic lights are installed every few meters in the city center. At times rather than streamlining the traffic, it creates problems. The whole issue needs a revisit and the installation of traffic lights should be done after keeping the current traffic flow in consideration,” an official said.

Earlier the officials said that ATCS needs configuration to have it fully functional and make it possible to have it controlled via a single control room. They said that once these technical things will be addressed the system will start working.

The officials said that there were around 66 junctions where these systems have been installed. They said that they are also done with the control room work.

SMC commissioner, Athar Aamir Khan said that the SMC has completed the work and handed over the ATCS to the concerned department.

“We have done our work and handed over the project as well. Now the management and usage of these lights is up to the concerned Traffic department,” he said.

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