Monday, May 27, 2024

Traffic signal system worth Rs 33 lakhs, a non-starter in Baramulla

Officials pass the buck

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Waris Fayaz

Baramulla, Dec 26 : Installed with much fanfare to decongest the traffic flow, the Rs 33 lakh traffic signal system project has proved to be a non-starter in Baramulla town.

The traffic lights were installed at three places in the town to ensure smooth flow of traffic and to do away with the frequent traffic jams witnessed in the town.

However, the traffic lights, installed in 2018, are yet to be made operational for the last four years, exposing the mismanagement of the administration.

An official told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) the traffic lights were procured and installed by the Municipal Committee (MC) Baramulla and were handed over to the police department after holding proper trials.

“The traffic lights were installed after the then CM Mehbooba Mufti ensured sanction of special grants for the project to address the traffic mess in the town,” an official from MC Baramulla said.

“We installed the lights and handed them over to Police to use them for managing traffic flow in the town. But I don’t know why the lights are yet to be made operational,” the official said.

The traffic lights have been installed near Tehsil Point, Main Chowk (four way point), and another junction near Azad Gunj bridge.

The lights installed at the three junctions merely blink as Red and Green to make these look functional. But the traffic police department in Baramulla is yet to put them in use to manage the traffic.

The delay in making traffic lights operational has added to the traffic mess in the town.

“We have obtained the clearance from the Police department that the lights are in order. But the department itself didn’t put them to use in these four years,” an official from MC Baramulla said.

While the traffic lights have been rendered defunct, the traffic mess is adding to the woes of commuters with each passing day.

The authorities have blocked all the U-turn junctions from BSNL exchange road to Police station Baramulla due to which whole flow of traffic falls on one U-turn which has been kept open for vehicles.

“We fail to understand the logic to block all the U-turn junctions in town. This puts a lot of pressure at one junction adding to traffic mess,” said Mehraj Ahmad, a local resident of old town Baramulla.

The locals alleged that the administration installed traffic lights only to release the funds from the government exchequer.

“The irony is that the police department deputes a huge contingent of traffic police personnel only to ensure that the blocked U-turn junctions are not breached throughout the day. Instead of this, they should have given preference to make the traffic signals functional,” said Fayaz Ahmad, a local shopkeeper from Baramulla.

A top police official told KNO that the traffic lights developed technical snags as they were not put to use for a prolonged period.

“This can be one of the reasons why the lights have not been made functional till date,” the police official said.

Amid the delay in making traffic lights functional, the traffic mess has become the order of the day in the town.

Meanwhile, an official from the traffic department when contacted told KNO, that the system has been handed over to the district police for the management, not to the concerned traffic police.

Meanwhile, DySP Headquarters Baramulla when contacted said he was not authorised to talk over the issue.

Another top Police official however said Manning traffic lights were not in their domain. “The traffic is looked after by SP rural,” he said—(KNO)

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