VISAKHAPATNAM: At a time when motorists continue to suffer with many traffic signals in the city not functioning properly, the traffic police and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) officials resort to a blame game over the maintenance of the defunct signals.
With a number of junctions going without traffic signals, heavy congestions have become the order of the day, especially during the peak hours.
Earlier, the police had suggested installation of traffic signals at 94 of the total around 130 traffic junctions in the city. At present, there are only 38 traffic signals in the city limits of which just 27 are working properly.
The Hyderabad-based Stanpower, which has entered into a tripartite agreement with the GVMC and the Police department to install traffic signals, so far the works have been completed only at 38 junctions in the city on the build operate and transport (BOT) basis.
The Police department, after a study, had proposed to the GVMC that there was need to install traffic signals at 94 junctions. But the latter has set up the signals only at 38 junctions, Additional commissioner of police (Traffic) K Mahendra Patrudu told Express.
“It is the responsibility of the GVMC to maintain the signals. If they have any technical glitches, the GVMC has to alert the authorities concerned for their restoration. The Police department has to enforce and streamline the traffic only,” he said.
According to police sources, the Stanpower is yet to finish the project due to lack of proper revenue from the existing ones. On the flip side, the GVMC has told the authorities that the revenue could be generated only after the project was completed. On the issue of revenue between the GVMC and Stanpower, the next phase of the project- installation of signals at the remaining 56 junctions- has been hanging fire.
But, the GVMC puts the blame on the police. “The junctions have been decided by police who also monitor them. What the GVMC does is the advertising and extend other revenue help to Stanpower,” said a GVMC senior official.
“The junction at RR Grand near Dabagardens is badly in need of a traffic signal. Only one police officer monitors traffic flow and many ignore his instructions. The junction at Seven Hills Hospital is no exception to it,” said K Avinash, an HSBC employee, adding that the auto-rickshaws add to the chaos.