Wednesday morning saw the season’s first dense fog engulfing accident prone stretches of three national highways — NH-24, NH-58 and NH-91 — and other major roads in Ghaziabad. However, the municipal corporation is yet to catch up with the seasonal change and fix nearly 20 of the 40 traffic signals essential to regulate traffic and prevent accidents.
The traffic police officials said they have repeatedly told the corporation officials and also apprised the district magistrate about the issue of repairing and making operational the traffic signals.
“Even after nearly two and half months, the traffic signals from UP Gate to Mohan Nagar, the one at the busy ALT crossing and several on NH-24 have not been repaired. We have 21 signals which are out of order. As a result, we have to depute additional manpower to regulate traffic at the intersection, particularly during foggy conditions,” said Rajesh Kumar, superintendent of police (traffic).
According to the list from the traffic police, the signals at Raj Nagar Extension crossing, Vijay Nagar, GT Road, Wazirabad Road, Kanawani, Vaishali, Kaushambi, Thakurdwara, Chaudhary Morh, Mohan Nagar crossing, Prahlad Garhi and Link Road, among others, are dysfunctional.
HT in a report published in October had highlighted the issue of dysfunctional, broken and non-operational traffic signals in the city.
Then the corporation officials had said the private firm, to which the agency had outsourced the maintenance in lieu of advertising rights, had finished the contract and it was not renewed.
Deputy municipal commissioner Arun Kumar Gupt did not take calls on Wednesday. Instead, district magistrate (DM) Nidhi Kesarwani said she had taken up the issue of defunct traffic signals with the municipal corporation officials during meetings.
“Their officials have said that they have floated tenders for selecting an agency for the maintenance of traffic signals. The issue will be resolved soon. However, they should have made prior arrangements as the issue of traffic signals should not have been delayed for even a day,” DM said.
On Wednesday, dense fog engulfed various stretches of NH-24 and also NH-58, which connects Ghaziabad to Meerut. Commuters drove with headlights on and snarls were reported from near Masuri, Dasna, Vijay Nagar and Chijarsi as a result of poor visibility early morning.
“My office cab arrived 10-15 minutes late due to foggy conditions. Even the temperature has dipped further. I have taken out heavy woollens and jacket for travelling back home at night. The issue of defunct traffic signals should not be taken lightly and they must be repaired immediately,” said Rohit Srivastava, a Chiranjeev Vihar resident who works at call centre in Sector 60, Noida