It’s been nearly a month since the deadline passed to install push buttons or pelican crossings in Lutyens’ Delhi, but Traffic Police are yet to make an action plan. So far, not a single push button has been installed at a traffic signal, which was the plan ahead of the G20 Summit to make life easier for dignitaries and guests.
A pelican crossing is a pedestrian crossing with traffic signals mounted for both pedestrians and vehicles. These can be activated using push buttons that are on the same side of the road as the pedestrian and can help people cross roads easily by “activating” lights on the signal.
A pilot project was started by the Delhi Traffic Police in 2013-15 and more than 40 pelican signals or push buttons were installed at India Gate, INA, Delhi High Court, Pragati Maidan and other spots where pedestrian movement was high. However, all these were later removed or are lying defunct.
Sources told The Indian Express that not a single pelican crossing is registered as ‘working’ because the price of the equipment is high and occasionally, the technology is misused.
“We wanted a smarter way to help pedestrians, but each pelican signal costs up to Rs 6 lakh. The push buttons need a good quality camera for them to function. The repair cost is also very high. We noticed that people aren’t aware of the button and many didn’t use it. Those who did would either press the button multiple times or press it aggressively. This led to damage,” said an officer.
Ahead of the G20 Summit, a meeting to review preparations was conducted by the Lieutenant Governor with the police and an action plan was prepared.
As per the meeting details, over 31 spots were identified in South, West, North and New Delhi where push buttons are supposed to be installed. As per data, 14 spots in New Delhi Range, 6 spots in West Range, 1 spot in North Range and 10 spots South Range were marked for push buttons or pelican crossings.
The Delhi Police had later assured it would install 28 push buttons in the New Delhi Range, 2 in West Range and 2 in North Delhi.
However, on Monday, a senior Traffic Police officer told The Indian Express that police have not installed any so far, though the February deadline is over.
“Dignitaries and guests from foreign countries will need push buttons. We have marked 11 spots in New Delhi or Lutyens’ Delhi where pedestrian movement is high and there’s a need for the machine. Earlier, we had planned to install 32 push buttons but that won’t be possible. At present, we are only planning to put up 11,” said the officer.
The Traffic Police will also deploy its force at these spots, and they have already conducted an inspection of 88-90 arterial roads in Delhi. These include Tilak Marg, Mathura Road, Pragati Maidan, Aerocity, Janpath, Moti Bagh, INA-Delhi Haat, etc.
Officials said they are focusing on the Lutyens’ area and South Delhi as G-20 guests and dignitaries will be staying in hotels here.
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