New traffic signals in place of 18-year defunct ones in Kalyan-DombivliUpdated: Sep 20, 2020, 00:56 IST
Almost 18 years after the old signals in the twin cities became defunct, the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) finally started installation of new traffic signals.
However, work is going at snail’s pace as the KDMC, which had earlier claimed to install 10 signals by April, has till date installed only five.
Moreover, commuters claimed that none of these five signals has been installed at any of the major junctions, which were supposed to be taken on priority basis.
The KDMC first installed signals in the twin cities two decades ago. However, none of these signals were maintained and became defunct.
Under the smart city project, the civic body has installed signals at five locations in Kalyan, while 15 more are on the cards in the coming months. The signals, however, have not started functioning full time and the work of synchronisation of these signals is under way.
Suraj Pawse, 39, a commuter who takes Durgadi Chowk daily to connect to Bhiwandi for work, said, “I can see signals installed at some of the chowks that are not that congested compared to the Durgadi Chowk, Patripool, Subhash Chowk in Kalyan (W). Priority should be given to such spots that are badly congested most of the times.”
Presently, installation work at Prem Auto Chowk, Adharwadi, Khadakpada and Sandip Hotel Chowk in Kalyan (W) and Chakki Naka in Kalyan (E) is done, while inspection work is under way. The five signals are presently being operated under trial basis. Their full-fledged operations will be done after nod from the traffic police.
More signals, CCTVs on cards
Tarun Juneja, executive engineer, KDMC, said, “The work of installing the signals is under way in full swing at different locations. We have already installed them in five prime locations while the rest of the signals will be installed soon. We will also take up the work of installation of signals in the congested areas. The signals here were not fitted earlier as a few infrastructure projects were being carried out in these areas.”
Along with the signals, the civic body will also install CCTV cameras at these prime locations. “One of the major reasons to have both signals and CCTV cameras installed is to not only control the traffic movement but also keep a track on the crime and traffic violations in the city,” said Juneja.
The contractor for the work was appointed in February this year. The civic body claimed that it will finish the installation of all the signals by January 2021.
Further, the signals will be maintained by the contractor for five years and the cost of the entire project is estimated at Rs125 crore.
The CCTV footages will be monitored by the KDMC officials in an office set up at their headquarters and police headquarters in Kalyan through integrated control command centre.
“While the installation at five locations is completed, these signals will start functioning once the traffic police give their nod,” added Juneja.
In a survey initiated jointly by the Smart Kalyan Dombivli Corporation Limited (SKDCL), KDMC officials and the traffic police last year, the officials identified 20 traffic junctions for the installation of traffic signals and 300 locations where they have plans to install a total 870 CCTV cameras.
Dilip Ugale, assistant commissioner of traffic police, Ulhasnagar, and presently also in-charge for Kalyan traffic unit, said, “A meeting was scheduled last Friday but was cancelled. Hence, the operation of the installed signals was not finalised. We will finalise it soon. Those signals that are fully installed and finalised will be operated in the city for traffic management. The signals will definitely help improving the traffic situation in the city.”