Pelican signals unused in Hyderabad, drivers ignore them

Inaugurated in May by Hyderabad City Police Commissioner CV Anand at Upper Tank Bund, there are 31 signals in the Hyderabad commissionerate limits.
A pelican signal placed near Yashoda Hospital in Somajiguda. (Photo | Vinay Madapu)
A pelican signal placed near Yashoda Hospital in Somajiguda. (Photo | Vinay Madapu)

HYDERABAD: Roads near Khairatabad Metro station during rush hours are synonymous with traffic snarls. Pedestrians and students of nearby degree colleges often find it difficult to cross the road. On both sides of the road, pelican signals or pedestrian light-controlled signals remain unused.

Inaugurated in May by Hyderabad City Police Commissioner CV Anand at Upper Tank Bund, there are 31 signals in the Hyderabad commissionerate limits. Launched as an antidote to the woes of pedestrians, these signals, a common sight abroad, seem to have no takers in the city.

A pelican crossing is formed of two poles on either side of the road. The poles contain three signal heads, one in each direction for drivers and one facing pedestrians. Pedestrians can operate the crossing by pressing the buttons on both poles. Once a pedestrian presses the button, the traffic light turns red and it is safe for the pedestrian to cross. Pelican signals work on a timer system; pedestrians have to cross the road within a set time. At the press of the button, a beep sound will also be produced.

According to a pedestrian, Syed Aamir, vehicles do not always follow the rules and stop for pedestrians. “Some drivers do stop, but most of them, especially youngsters, just speed away,” he says. As per Aamir, rush hours in Khairatabad also see the passage of heavy vehicles. This makes crossing roads a riskier affair for pedestrians, he says.

The pelican signal opposite the Tripuraneni Ramaswamy Chowdary statue in Tank Bund, the venue of the launch, seems to be forgotten. On enquiry, even police officers manning the stretch could not recollect its location.

According to P Bharath Kumar, Inspector of Police who is in charge of traffic signals, traffic wardens will man these signals in order to help pedestrians cross the road and raise awareness about the signals. “The hours of these wardens will depend on the traffic in each area. In zones with schools and colleges, the wardens will remain till 5 pm,” he said.  

Even as existing pelican signals remain unused, plans are on to increase the number of pelican signals in areas with heavy movement, as per the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). Regarding non-compliance of vehicles, Kumar said, “It will take some time to make drivers aware of how a pelican signal works.”

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