Bhopal: Like an annual ritual, this time too the road safety week is being observed in city to sensitize people about the dos and don’ts of the safety and traffic rules. In wake of the road safety week, the traffic cops are more than vigilant, however, still they have utterly failed to ensure ‘left-turn free for the commuters in the city. Faulty road engineering and designing, lack of traffic cops and importantly errant motorists are among the reasons for failure to ensure free-left turn on the city junctions.
Almost all the free left turns at the city squares remain out of reach for commuters in need as vehicles heading straight keep obstructing the free left space while waiting for the signal to go green. The city has as many as 61 traffic signals points and of which 31 need additional space for ensuring seamless traffic movement towards left-turn .Commuters heading straight or even right direction are seen positioned at left turn thus blocking the free space for the motorists turning left.
Earlier “left turn free” initiative was taken up by traffic department to ensure motorists taking left turn do not have to wait at the signals and waste their time and fuel. The traffic department had chalked out a plan and had sent requests to the agencies including the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), PWD, BDA and other concerned departments to ensure that the left-turn remain free form any obstruction. It had sought the authorities to provide enough space at the left side on the crossroads to ensure hassle-free left turn for the commuters.
However the success of the initiative remained very-very limited and if put in figured to two squares only. The authorities could only design two such squares enough free space was provided to the commuters to take left turn without waiting at the signals for almost two-minutes. A divider was also constructed at the left turn on these two squares to segregate the commuters heading to left from those going straight.
The experts have cited lack of coordination among different agencies involved in road construction and engineering. A retired BMC official Shafique Khan said roads were once proposed to come under an agency which would take all responsible pertaining to it. Had the proposal been accepted, the traffic department would have to deal with only single agency for all suggestions or development works, but now the permission has to be sought from every department to undertake any sort of work on these squares, said the former officer.
Former additional superintendent of police (ASP) traffic Sameer Yadav in whose tenure the project of leaving sufficient space at the left was taken, informed that the department had sent a list of 31 squares to the BMC on which the work to ensure smooth traffic movement was required. However, after taking up work on two squares, they stopped the work, he said.
I will see to it: Inspector general (IG) Jaideep Prasad
Inspector general (IG) Jaideep Prasad said, “The road safety week is ongoing and if the cops are not ensuring left-turn free, I will see to it.” ASP traffic Arvind Dubey said that the department is short of staff to man every signal. There are 61 squares in the city and each needs at least four personnel to guide the traffic, said the ASP adding, “We have only 350 men available with us who are stationed on 12 signals in the city at a time”.