The increase in the number of vehicles on Delhi roads prompted city planners to add road length and build flyovers. But these have not made roads safer or reduced traffic congestion. The reason is simple; road building agencies in Delhi do not have dedicated traffic engineering cells (TECs). The world over, roads are planned and constructed to ensure smooth and safe vehicular movement.
Traffic engineering ensures just this.
Officials from three of the main road building and maintenance agencies in Delhi –– the MCD, the NDMC and the PWD –– said they do not have any road engineering or traffic engineering cells.
Observes Rohit Baluja, president of Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), “Traffic that is not engineered leads to congestion. It is sad that government/civic bodies have not built their own expertise over so many years.”
That is why, the road traffic expert says, “We have flyovers with faulty designs … we have numerous wide roads, which still have congestion.”
Incidentally, the Delhi Traffic Police, which has got nothing to do with road building, has a full-fledged TEC. “But unfortunately, they don’t have any traffic engineers,” Baluja says.
It is entirely to the credit of the traffic police TE cell that they offer expertise with the accumulated experience of so many years. And hence, the MCD, NDMC and even the PWD send their proposals to the traffic department for suggestions/corrections etc.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) SN Shrivastava says, “Such dedicated cells will certainly help. For example, when a road proposal comes, we evaluate if apart from connectivity and linkage, this will facilitate smoother vehicular movement.”
It was recently that Delhi Development Authority came up with a ‘Traffic Engineering and Transport Planning Cell’, but DDA officials confirmed it is yet to start functioning.