KARACHI: Just weeks after the authorities fixed the broken traffic signals in Defence Housing Society they have once again ceased to function at most of the important intersections.
Signals are not working at Khayaban-e-Shujaat, Khayaban-e-Shahbaz and several other major roads. A senior Cantonment Board Clifton (CBC) official insisted that the problems might be temporary and caused by humid weather in the area. “Faults do surface every now and then. However, our officials do carry out routine surveys and get them fixed,” said Abid Shah, an engineer.
He said he did not know of any traffic signals that were out of order. “It should also be kept in mind that the system is very old and we are already considering replacing all of the traffic lights.”
There are 56 traffic signals in DHA limits. Many of them are out of order throughout the year. For his part, Zafar Naveed, the chief executive of PGE, the contractor, said all the traffic signals were working. “I have no information on any faulty signal,” he said.
The CBC is in the process of selecting a new contractor to manage the traffic signals, he said. “Maintenance activity has slowed down because of that but the signals are working.”
It is not clear yet if the CBC will reappoint PGE but the company has a track record of winning most of the contracts for traffic signals across the country.
Up until now, the CBC has paid Rs5,000 per signal every month to the contractor. For 56 signals, the monthly bill for this maintenance comes to Rs280,000.
Residents can register complaints with the CBC head office and their contact details are available on their website.
DHA has been trying to revamp its traffic system in recent months. Among several decisions was the one to convert Khayaban-e-Shamsheer and Khayaban-e-Mujahid into one-way roads in December. But the traffic police have already made it clear that DHA’s plan cannot be implemented because of the way houses have been built along the two roads.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2012.
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