Irked by a non-functioning traffic signal? Post your complaint on the official Facebook page of Chennai Traffic Police (CTP). Besides looking into several other grievances posted on the page – which boasts of more than 50,000 ‘likes’ – a team headed by Joint Commissioner (Traffic-South) R Dhinakaran will also readily respond to road users’ complaints on malfunctioning traffic signals.
The team collects the complaints and dispatches them to the field officers for necessary verification and action. Once the complaint has been looked into, a response is posted on the page, the officers said.
Repair and maintenance of the traffic signals is a long, continuous chore for the CTP. Tenders are floated and an annual maintenance contract (AMC) issued to the lowest bidder. “We specify the maintenance norms for the traffic signals to the AMC.”
For that purpose, the city has been divided into four zones as north, south, east and west, with a dedicated CTP technical team assigned to each zone to keep track of the working of the signals. “Around 5 am every day, traffic sub-inspectors attached to the 60-odd police stations in the city undertake rounds of the areas under their jurisdiction to check whether the traffic signals are functioning properly,” said another senior officer.
The SIs inform the traffic control room. The AMC is notified and reports of cable fault or other problems submitted by the company are verified by the technical CTP team of the zone. Repair works are then undertaken.
However, some of signals could have just been switched off due to the ongoing construction work under the Chennai Metro Rail (CMRL) project, a top traffic police official pointed out.
“There are around 370 traffic signals in the metro and we have plans to install 100 more in the suburban areas such as Avadi and Ambattur that have been newly incorporated into the city limits, “ the officer said.