HYDERABAD:The ambitious project drawn by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to ensure free flow of traffic by installing more signals may not materialise thanks to the apathy of authorities in releasing funds.
The GHMC had planned to install traffic signals at 55 intersections in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Cyberabad to reduce congestion on city roads and to boost safety. But the public sector entity Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), that commissioned 221 traffic signals in the twin cities has expressed its reservations in taking up the new project as they are fund-starved.
It is said that the inordinate delay in releasing the pending dues of Rs 12 crore and operation and maintenance (O&M) payments by GHMC has prompted BEL to reject the offer. BEL had commissioned 221 traffic signals in city under the Hyderabad Traffic Integrated Management System (HTRIMS) project.
Officials at BEL opined that taking up new project without receiving pending dues will add to the financial burden of the company in sustaining the projects.
The issue came up for discussion during a meeting of the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) for Hyderabad Metropolitan Area held recently under the chairmanship of chief secretary, Rajiv Sharma.
Despite several reminders by BEL general manager to the GHMC and department of municipal administration and urban development, the pending dues are yet to be released.
The BEL has been providing O&M support to GHMC since July 2014, but the commencement of O&M is yet to be acknowledged. GHMC has not concurred to raise the bills for O&M as the final inspection are yet to be conducted which would formally close the final phase of the project. An initial investment of Rs 40 crore was made towards establishment of HTRIMS. As per the contract BEL is eligible to claim 75 percent of the capital expenditure (capex) value after completion of Phase 1 and 2. The GHMC released Rs 11 crore under Phase-1 and Rs 7 crore under Phase-2 against the bills submitted to GHMC to the tune of Rs 30 crore which is a legitimate 75 percent of capital expenditure. The balance payment of Rs 12 crore is yet to be released by GHMC.
Under HTRIMS project, BEL had installed and commissioned 221 traffic signals and 17 VMS boards at various locations. They also developed a traffic command centre (TCC) in Hyderabad and a Control Room at Cyberabad. The features include vehicle actuated solar traffic signals, central monitoring and control centres at Hyderabad and Cyberabad, wireless alpha numeric timers, complaint monitoring system and remote signals health monitoring system.
GHMC special officer Somesh Kumar had held a meeting with ddditional commissioner (Traffic, Hyderabad) Jithender, additional commissioner (Cyberabad), Avinash Mohanty and officials of BEL on traffic issues, last month. It was decided to install another 55 more signals to the existing number of signals in Hyderabad, Cyberabad, Patancheru and Ramchandrapuram.