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Subhendu Ray, Hindustan Times
December 16, 2012
Delhi Traffic Police's ambitious Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) remains a pipe dream, five years after its inception. The failure is aptly manifested in the inability of the city traffic cops' to convert 100 traffic signals into smart ones as a pilot project for ensuring better traffic management in the national Capital.

A part of the much-awaited ITS, the traffic police had planned to convert 20 traffic lights in New Delhi and 80 in south Delhi into smart signalling system. But it is yet to be achieved.

Ironically, ITS has been on the wish-list of not just the incumbent commissioner, but also his two predecessors. During the past five years, there have been several high-level http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/12/17-12-12-pg-02b.jpgmeetings, feasibility studies and at least three different tendering processes, but the Delhi Traffic Police could not attract a bidder to install and maintain ITS which would encompass 780 traffic signals across the city.

With vehicular population growing at a fast pace, the system was not only expected to ease traffic management but also provide relief to city's motorised traffic from congestion, as it will be able to calculate the number of cars at the intersections and accordingly change signals to clear traffic, an official said.

Earlier this year, the Union home ministry had asked the Delhi Police to hire a consultant to evaluate and analyse the proposed hi-tech projects, including the smart signalling system.

But as the year is drawing to a close, the Delhi Police are yet to complete the process of hiring technical consultants, a process, officials said will require at least two-three more months.

"We are now in the last stage of hiring our technical consultant. We have shortlisted five companies through tenders. Their financial bids would be evaluated," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).

Once the consultant is hired, the smart signal project would be sent to the firm for evaluation and finalisation. "We do not know how long it would take for the consultant to do this," said a senior police officer.