For over a month, one-third of 100 traffic lights of the Kathmandu Valley hasn’t been working in various junctions. Traffic lights in main junctions including Jadibuti, Koteshwor, Tinkune, Thapathali and Kamalpokhari have failed to function forcing manual traffic management in the ‘smart’ metropolis.
Despite the claims made by authorities to introduce smart lights, the traffic in the valley is managed manually by the traffic police.
A senior traffic officer at the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division said traffic lights do not function in 33 traffic intersections. The traffic light in Thapathali hasn’t been functioning for the last two years. He said the Traffic Police Division has no authority to do anything in maintaining the lights.
To maintain the traffic by the traffic police in major junctions is the role of the Traffic Police Division, and to install and maintain traffic light is the Duty of the Department of roads. The lack of coordination between these agencies has worsened the situation of traffic management.
Chief of Vehicle Management and Traffic section under the Department of Road, Bel Bahadur Bhujel said the maintenance work is ongoing and the problems will soon be solved.
Traffic lights in the congestion areas like Jadibuti, Koteshor, Thapathali, Durbar Marga and Keshar Mahal, and a few other places are being added said the Department of Roads, a few months ago. Yet the lights in the area aren’t functioning.
Bhujel said some 44 ITLS (Intelligent Traffic Lights System) will be fitted among 100 traffic junctions in the valley for the first phase of the next fiscal year. The department is currently in the discussion phase for bringing ITLS in all traffic junctions of the valley.
ILTS will carry out tasks of determining the signals as per the pressure of vehicles automatically, this task is now the responsibility of the traffic police. However, everything about the intelligent traffic lights system is in the study phase as of now.
About the traffic lights updates, installations and programmes, the traffic officers said they were unaware of. The department of Road never discuss update and programmes with the Traffic Police Division, they never ask for technical support claim the traffic officer.