No respite from traffic snarls at Ganj as control room continues to be defunct

The non-functional traffic control room at Hazratganj, Lucknow.(Deepak Gupta/ HT)
The non-functional traffic control room at Hazratganj, Lucknow.(Deepak Gupta/ HT)
Updated on Dec 31, 2019 11:23 PM IST
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ByChandan Kumar, Lucknow

Even as we enter a new decade, the state capital continues to grapple with the problem of traffic snarls in various parts, including the heart of the city -- Hazratganj. The dedicated traffic control room set up there in 2012 lies defunct. So do the plans to simplify parking.

Over the years, traffic department, city police and local administration have devised different plans to ease traffic congestion but to little avail.

Dinesh Singh, manager of a garment showroom on the stretch, said, “In the five years since I have been working here, I have only seen the traffic volume increase, leading to frequent jams.”

Cops say the modern control room established in 2012 had been, by far, the most effective in improving the traffic situation. The system used a web of 32 cameras and an equal number of loudspeakers. It was monitored by a ‘traffic jockey’ who use to alert people parking their vehicles on the road using loudspeakers.

“There was a constable Bajrang Bali Singh aka ‘Bajrangi’ who used to call out traffic violators over the loudspeakers. The way he did it was both funny and effective. Very few people parked their vehicles on the road and as a result there were few traffic jams,” said Singh.

However, the control room has been lying defunct since 2016 when it had to be modernised and shifted to the police lines. The shift never took place and the control room has been shut since then.

This year, to facilitate smooth traffic movement, the police have allowed free left turns (non-stop vehicular movement at left turns) and also put up dividers to prevent lane crossing. While this has improved the traffic movement to some extent, commuters say, it has not made any big impact on curbing wrong parking.

The traffic department is now planning to create dedicated no-stop stretches on roads.

SP (traffic) Poornendu Singh said, “A detailed traffic management plan for Hazratganj is under consideration. This includes restarting the control room, providing an alternate route for vehicles and creating no-stop zones.”

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