Multiple plans to manage traffic irk Noida residents

Noida: Dhananjay Jha,In 2012, when Noida authority announced a Rs 114 crore traffic management plan — iS3 — to decongest the city roads, residents were led to believe that it would spell an end to their commuting woes.

Four years on, nothing much has changed on the roads, except that the plan, which is still on paper, now has a new name — intelligent traffic management system (ITMS).
Tired of the dillydallying over the traffic situation that is growing worse by the day, the city residents have expressed concerns over “too many experiments” by the Uttar Pradesh government to improve the traffic scenario in Noida.
The residents’ reaction comes a day after Meerut divisional commissioner Alok Sinha held a presentation on intelligent traffic management system (ITMS) in Noida.
The residents said the authority prepared a plan of Rs 114 crore to improve city’s traffic. The authority had planned the hi-tech integrated security surveillance system (iS3) about four years ago and also hired a private consultant to prepare the design.
NP Singh, president of federation of Noida residents’ welfare associations (Fonrwa), said, “The Noida authority invested a huge amount on it. It had survey conducted on the city’s intersections, traffic movement and volume to identify problems. All these were highlighted by the media. Now, for the past three months, we have something new — the integrated traffic management system (ITMS). We have learnt that another big company has been hired by the UP government for this purpose.”
Echoing similar views, AN Dhawan, secretary general, Fonrwa, said,“We will demand a probe into the Noida authority’s Rs 114 crore project iS3 which was prepared much before the ITMS plan was conceived. We want to know why it was not given priority. We will write to Alok Sinha for a meeting and discuss it next week.”
Jams, some of them stretching for miles, have become a frequent sight in Noida. Bad roads and shortage of traffic personnel compound the problem. The residents’ body has raised the issue with every top UP officials in the past three years but to no avail.
The Fonrwa office bearers claimed that under the much-hyped ITMS project, the authority was planning to install 1,000 or more high-sensitive cameras and traffic signals. But this seemed more like a dream, they said.
“The present traffic condition is so pathetic that we cannot think of ITMS, which at this juncture seems impossible. The ITMS would require huge manpower that is technologically sound to monitor 1,000 cameras and traffic signals,” said Suresh Tiwary, vice president, Fonrwa.
Sandeep Chandra, in charge traffic cell Noida authority, refused comment on the new plan.
Meanwhile, the divisional commissioner has asked Noida authority and PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Limited (PWC), which has prepared ITMS, to work in coordination to prepare a consolidated design in 15 days.