VISAKHAPATNAM:Forget about Smart City dreams, Visakhapatnam is yet to recover from the after-effects of cyclone Hudhud and reach the standards of a normal city with its traffic going haywire in the absence of traffic signals. For the 140 junctions in the city, the place had less than 55 traffic signals before Hudhud.
Only 23 signal lights were restored till now after the devastating cyclone while the remaining junctions choke with traffic round the clock. Many junctions, including the ones on the National Highway at Hanumanthuwaka, Venkojipalem, Maddilapalem, Akkayyapalem and till NAD junction have no traffic signal lights.
The list includes many major junctions like Rama Talkies Road, Mosque Junction, Siripuram, Ushodaya Junction and Beach Road. People are seen stranded right in the middle of junctions for lack of traffic signals, which in turn is leading to road accidents.
Very recently, a youngster died in a road accident when a zooming lorry hit him as he tried to cross the road on his bike near the Dairy Farm. Sources say that a traffic signal may have prevented the mishap. Besides fatal incidents, there were many minor road accidents in which many people sustained injuries.
Vizagites allege that traffic police are conspicuous by their absence at the junctions where there are no signal lights except during peak hours. “Touted as a smart city, it is shameful not to have traffic lights even at major junctions. At Maddilapalem junction, there is no proper police vigilance except at peak time. Motorists coordinate and follow the order, if not we get stuck in traffic jam,” said P Jaya Kishore, a techie from Visakhapatnam.
Reacting, additional deputy commissioner of police (Traffic) K Mahendra Patrudu said that 20 more traffic signal lights would be installed immediately. The installation will be done on a priority basis. Conceding that there are no traffic signals on the National Highway, Mahendra Patrudu said that he had already spoken to the company concerned, which would install the lights at Venkojipalem, Dairy Farm, Krishna College Road and Maddilapalem.
Number of Junctions: 140
Traffic signal lights: 23 (At present)
Traffic signals before Hudhud: 55
- Major junctions even on the National highway do not have traffic signal lights.
- No signal lights at Hanumanthuwaka, Venkojipalem, Maddilapalem and Akkayyapalem, and on the way to NAD Junction.
- Police are planning to install 20 traffic signal lights on a priority basis.