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Traffic woes stare at Guwahatians during Puja

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 28 � Guwahatians � commuters and pedestrians alike � could be in for a harrowing experience this Durga Puja.

For, the much-hyped automated traffic signals installed at various busy vehicular traffic points to ease out vehicular traffic congestion is lying non-functional, something which, according to a large section of people, will end up making mockery of the elaborate vehicular traffic arrangements to be chalked out in view of ensuing puja.

While at a few traffic signal points there is virtually no display, in some others, it continues to operate in a confusing manner for the last many days. The traffic constables stationed too comes with weird answers when asked about it.

These traffic points include some in the busiest of the city roads, including the GS Road and the GNB Road. On the GS Road, traffic signals in ABC (near Rajiv Bhawan), Ulubari (four signal posts) are non-functional. The Guwahati Club point traffic signal too continues to display just the red signal round the clock.

What is more worrying is that the authority concerned seems to be least concerned about the possible ordeal that awaits the common man on the road of the capital city during puja.

�It has been more than a week since the traffic signal post at ABC became non-operational following an accident but till now nothing has been done to repair it,� a resident of Tarun Nagar area rued.

The Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Vivekananda Das told this reporter that �a couple of the automated traffic signals became non-operational after vehicles crashed against them, while the others apparently are having technical snags�.

�However, as the traffic signals have been installed and maintained by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority(GMDA), there is very little we can do,� Das said.

It needs mention here that GMDA has entered into an agreement with a private firm, which is entrusted with the supply, installation as well as maintenance of the automated signal posts.

When contacted, Preetam Saikia, the Chief Executive Officer of the GMDA, sought to clarify, stating, �The traffic signals are lying non-operational as a result of it being switched over to manual mode by the traffic department. I will take up the matter with the SP (Traffic) in this regard very soon.�

Bikash Sarma, a resident of Guwahati, said: �I have noticed that with the installation of the automated signals, traffic congestion in many congested areas have eased out considerably. Moreover, the police department, which is hit by acute manpower shortage, was also being able to manage with lesser traffic police personnel. But as it happens in our State on most occasions, there seems to be no planning at all as far as maintenance of the traffic signals is concerned.

�Things will get worse during the puja days and the sooner these signals are repaired, the better it is,� Sarma added.

Guwahati, over the last few years, has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the number of vehicles. While the number of road mishaps is increasing with every passing year, fatality on the road too is on the rise.

Meanwhile, City Police (Traffic) is expected to make public a traffic movement plan in view of the Durga Puja celebration in a day or two.

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Traffic woes stare at Guwahatians during Puja

GUWAHATI, Sept 28 � Guwahatians � commuters and pedestrians alike � could be in for a harrowing experience this Durga Puja.

For, the much-hyped automated traffic signals installed at various busy vehicular traffic points to ease out vehicular traffic congestion is lying non-functional, something which, according to a large section of people, will end up making mockery of the elaborate vehicular traffic arrangements to be chalked out in view of ensuing puja.

While at a few traffic signal points there is virtually no display, in some others, it continues to operate in a confusing manner for the last many days. The traffic constables stationed too comes with weird answers when asked about it.

These traffic points include some in the busiest of the city roads, including the GS Road and the GNB Road. On the GS Road, traffic signals in ABC (near Rajiv Bhawan), Ulubari (four signal posts) are non-functional. The Guwahati Club point traffic signal too continues to display just the red signal round the clock.

What is more worrying is that the authority concerned seems to be least concerned about the possible ordeal that awaits the common man on the road of the capital city during puja.

�It has been more than a week since the traffic signal post at ABC became non-operational following an accident but till now nothing has been done to repair it,� a resident of Tarun Nagar area rued.

The Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Vivekananda Das told this reporter that �a couple of the automated traffic signals became non-operational after vehicles crashed against them, while the others apparently are having technical snags�.

�However, as the traffic signals have been installed and maintained by the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority(GMDA), there is very little we can do,� Das said.

It needs mention here that GMDA has entered into an agreement with a private firm, which is entrusted with the supply, installation as well as maintenance of the automated signal posts.

When contacted, Preetam Saikia, the Chief Executive Officer of the GMDA, sought to clarify, stating, �The traffic signals are lying non-operational as a result of it being switched over to manual mode by the traffic department. I will take up the matter with the SP (Traffic) in this regard very soon.�

Bikash Sarma, a resident of Guwahati, said: �I have noticed that with the installation of the automated signals, traffic congestion in many congested areas have eased out considerably. Moreover, the police department, which is hit by acute manpower shortage, was also being able to manage with lesser traffic police personnel. But as it happens in our State on most occasions, there seems to be no planning at all as far as maintenance of the traffic signals is concerned.

�Things will get worse during the puja days and the sooner these signals are repaired, the better it is,� Sarma added.

Guwahati, over the last few years, has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the number of vehicles. While the number of road mishaps is increasing with every passing year, fatality on the road too is on the rise.

Meanwhile, City Police (Traffic) is expected to make public a traffic movement plan in view of the Durga Puja celebration in a day or two.