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Is Delhi really ready for it?

delhi Updated: Jun 16, 2008 23:57 IST
Nivedita Khandekar
Nivedita Khandekar
Hindustan Times
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Anik Sharma, who drives from Preet Vihar to CP daily, received a challan by post for jumping a red light at ITO for the second time in six months.

Notwithstanding the two challans, on Monday, he jumped the red light again, this time at Barakhamba.

The incident has put a question mark on the efficacy of the video cameras already installed at several important locations and more that are slated to come by 2010 under the Intelligent Traffic System (ITS).

Points out Indian Road Traffic Education president Rohit Baluja, “We have been investing into infrastructure like road and technology. What we have not done is capacity building to handle increased traffic volumes.”

Training of manpower is not taken care of and much is left to be desired when it comes to traffic engineering, understanding of lane management (road markings etc) and also intersection designs, Baluja adds.

Echoes Prof PK Sarkar from School of Planning and Architecture, “Increasing the infrastructure has never helped. Also needed are strong enforcement and education of people”

Experts say in the absence of public education, the crores-worth ITS will go the same way as the BRT corridor. “Why not have a dedicated traffic broadcasting channel as part of ITS?” asks Sarkar and goes on to say Internet and local cable channels can be used too for it.

Adds Baluja, “Our drivers at Gulf countries perform well. Why? Education is taken care of by perfect road engineering and strict enforcement.”

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) SN Shrivastava disagrees. “The cameras definitely help in regulating the traffic violators. As and when people come to know about it, they do follow rules.”

As far as education is concerned, the Road Safety Cell takes care of moulding public opinion by targeting various segments.

The Delhi Traffic Police will receive Rs 200 crore (Rs 32 crore for 2008-09) for ITS from the Planning Commission for 2007-12.

The system, using the latest technology, will have an inbuilt enforcement system against violations of red lights, lane driving and speed limits.

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