Traffic in the Millennium City is a problem. Traffic Police, it seems, are a bigger problem.
Because the administration lacks personnel to manage the rising traffic, it has gone ahead and installed traffic signals at various roundabouts.
“Nowhere in the world are traffic signals erected at roundabouts, unless the circles are quite big in size,” Maxwell Pereira, former Delhi traffic police chief and a resident of Gurgaon, said.
“The roundabouts in Gurgaon are small and can be easily manned by traffic cops. How can you expect a speeding vehicle to stop at the roundabout on seeing a red signal?”
According to Pereira, traffic signals should be “set up at the intersections only after removing the roundabouts”.
Pereira, who had ordered installation of signals at the India Gate roundabout, said the signals there were to be used on an experimental basis for just two years.
But the Delhi government continues to use it even 18 years later, effectively slowing the traffic down at peak hours, he said.
Although Gurgaon Police Commissioner S.S. Deswal agreed that traffic signals were going obsolete around the world, he said it was the need of the hour in Gurgaon.
“We grossly lack road engineering concept. Civic agencies have failed to provide crossover facilities at crossings, flyovers and interchanges such as those at AIIMS and Dhaula Kuan that do not require traffic signals or cops,” he said.
“Traffic cops, already less in supply, are not capable of managing traffic at the roundabouts. Therefore we have introduced signals till the time we have flyovers at such sections. Ultimately, the roundabouts and signals will have to go.”
In Gurgaon, the traffic signals have come up at Z-Chowk roundabout near Hotel Park Plaza and another two on Golf Course Road: one near DLF Phase-I and the other at Sector 55-56 roundabout.
Traffic signals are also expected to come up at around 10 additional roundabouts.
The spots were identified on April 29 in a joint meeting of the police department, Haryana Urban Development Authority and the municipal corporation.
Jatin Kumar, an executive with a private firm who uses Z-Chowk roundabout frequently, said the traffic signals caused chaos during peak hours.