Faulty signals play havoc with traffic

LAW &ORDER The list of malfunctioning traffic signals at key road intersections in the city is quite long, says P. Oppili

Malfunctioning traffic signals at more than 30 intersections in the city are posing a serious threat to the safety of law abiding road users.

Data available with the Chennai City Traffic Police show that 33 intersections have been experiencing the problem for the past three months. Officials attributed the malfunctioning to either cable fault or damaged signal posts.

To cite an instance, the Anna Statue point on Anna Salai has five signals, of which one is totally out of order. Similarly, at the Blackers Road-Anna Salai junction there are three signal posts of which one is not working for over four months now. Police say cable fault is to blame.

A signal near the Kasi Theatre junction too is not functioning for quite some now, and at the Udhayam Theatre point two signals are not working. In the nearby Ashok Pillar signal, three are not working. As this is a four-road junction, eight signals have been installed here. Of the two signals near the Police Training College, two are not working. A partially working signal is more dangerous than a totally defunct signal, because the signal sends out wrong information to the road users, complained an advocate who regularly passes through the Muthuswami bridge point. This signal has been continuously flashing green for those heading towards Anna Salai from Parry's Corner.

The list of malfunctioning signals is quite long. The Central Polytechnic signal at the Taramani Road-Sardar Patel Road junction, the Greenways Road junction, Eldams Road-Teynampet junction, Nandanam, Thiru-Vi-Ka Road-Anna Salai junction, the Arts College point, the Smith Road-Anna Salai junction and the General Patters Road junction are some of the important intersections that require immediate attention. These signals have not been functioning properly for at least four months now say regular road users.

Police say the underground cables to the signal posts were damaged by the rains and in some cases the posts damaged by vehicles hitting them.

However, when contacted, K.C.Mahali, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, said all the 150 signals in the city are functioning without any problem.

Technical experts say it would take at least a month to set right the damaged signals, even if the work was done on a war footing. Tenders have been floated to take up the repairs, the authorities added.

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