GUWAHATI, Oct 15 - The city lacks an updated and coordinated traffic signal system, even as the number of public and private vehicles is increasing at a rapid rate. Due to the lack of an up-to-date system, the signal lights remain defunct at most of the traffic junctions, leading to heavy congestion on the roads and putting commuters at risk.
�In Guwahati, a large number of traffic signals were installed about 10 years ago and some were installed later, due to which the present system is not well-coordinated. Now, the main challenge is that over the past five to 10 years, the number of vehicles in the city has increased quite rapidly. So, the traffic signal system, too, has to be constantly upgraded,� Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amanjeet Kaur said.
The DCP informed that the State Home Department recently carried out an evaluation of the traffic management system in Guwahati and it is now working on an integrated traffic control system.
�The traffic controlling process is always dynamic, because the number of vehicles also witnesses an increasing trend. The introduction of app-based taxi services in the city has brought a sea-change in the traffic scenario in the city. Make no mistake, every year, more than one lakh new vehicles hit the road in Guwahati,� Kaur explained.
She informed that under the new integrated traffic management system there will be a common command and control centre.
Some recent unscientific decisions taken by the city traffic police, like putting barricades on some roadsides on a stretch of GS Road and making the Mohd Shah Road two-way in the Paltan Bazar area, caused heavy traffic congestion in various parts of the city.
Reacting on these issues, the DCP said, �We have barricaded some roadsides that were earlier declared as no-parking zones. We have taken the step as people very often violate the rules. At Paltan Bazar, the Mohd Shah road has been declared two-way because of heavy traffic congestion in the Nepali Mandir area.�
During the Durga Puja days, plying of vehicles on several main roads and bylanes of the city will remain restricted as some celebration committees have set up pandals on the roads. Some gates and arches set up on roadsides, too, are going to make traffic management difficult, she pointed out.
Meanwhile, higher officials of the city traffic police are yet to take any step with regard to tackling such problems. They have not estimated the number of pujas to be held on various bylanes of the city, which might create severe traffic congestion during the festival.
The DCP said that the pandals, gates and arches set up on the roads will have to be dismantled within 24 hours after the Puja is over.