No end to Delhi's traffic woes | delhi | Hindustan Times
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No end to Delhi's traffic woes

The national capital has around 700 traffic signals, regulating a vehicular population upwards of 65 lakhs. That’s a single red light for more than 9,000 vehicles.

delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2010 01:30 IST
Jatin Anand

The national capital has around 700 traffic signals, regulating a vehicular population upwards of 65 lakhs. That’s a single red light for more than 9,000 vehicles.

Add to this abysmally-low signal to vehicle ratio, a few centimetres of unexpected rainfall, waterlogged flyovers, potholed roads, and you get a traffic management disaster waiting to happen.

"The problem with most traffic signals in the city is that they are too old to function efficiently, especially during monsoon. A majority of them get shorted-out due to water seepage during heavy rains," explained Ajay Chadha, Special CP (traffic).

Chadha said the Delhi Traffic Police was aware of the shortcomings of the city’s traffic infrastructure.

"We have taken steps to rectify this problem in a phased manner. Out of the existing 700 traffic signals in the city, 150 have already been replaced. A tender to replace another 150 has also been floated," he added.

Unfortunately for commuters, however, the chaos that a sudden downpour brings to the city's commuters doesn't progress in phases.

On an average, five minutes' continuous rainfall ends-up retarding these traffic signals.

Along with its sanctioned strength of 5,500 officers, the Delhi Traffic Police has 610 Pulsar bikes constituting its Chase and Challan squad.

It also has 70 cranes at its disposal.

Cranes or no cranes — a single broken-down light motor vehicle (LMV) on a flyover or popular market is usually the first step to an extensive gridlock of vehicles stuck bumper to bumper on city roads.

Even as the much-anticipated Intelligent Traffic System (ITS), with its integrated network of 270-odd traffic signals, remains a distant dream, Delhi's commuters seem resigned to face traffic woes, repeatedly.