The Department of Roads (DoR), in association with Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD), has installed smart traffic lights at New Baneshwor and Maharajgunj and started trials on Tuesday.
DoR Spokesperson Mukti Gautam said the trails would go on for two months. If they succeed, we shall install the same smart technology all over.
“We tried to bring the international technology. We tried to reinstall traffic lights with the assistance of Asian Development Bank but it was very expensive, so we selected Nepali bidders,” he said.
According to The Kathmandu post, around Rs700 million is necessary to install smart traffic lights if we opt for international bidders. “We can install all traffic lights within the valley for only Rs 70 million with Nepali technology,” said Gautam.
A remote control system will operate the intelligent traffic lights at New Baneshwor.
Sensors will control the lights at Maharajgunj. CCTV cameras will monitor the traffic flow and automatically set the time duration for lights.
“The timing of red and green lights will automatically set with the camera’s sensor based on the flow of traffic in Maharajgunj. In New Baneshwor, the timing can be set up with remote control,” said Siddi Ansari, manufacturer of the smart lights.
The DoA installed the smart traffic lights in New Baneshwor at the cost Rs1.4 million. The KMC spent Rs 2.7 million to install the lights at Maharajgunj.
With this technology, the traffic police are very optimistic about controlling the increasing traffic flow in the valley.
“Once it is successful, these traffic lights will be installed in 35 different points in the valley,” said MTPD chief and Deputy Inspector General Sarbendra Khanal, who inaugurated the traffic lights in New Baneshwor and Maharajgunj on Tuesday. He said the new technology would help reduce traffic hassles in the valley as traffic jam at one junction directly affects another junction.
Smart traffic lights will reduce the work of traffic police officers who have to stand for hours and suffer the increasing pollution in the valley. At present 1,400 traffic police officers supervise traffic throughout Kathmandu, according to MTPD.
Other places that are notorious for traffic jam and lack traffic lights are Thapathali, Durbarmarg, Tinkune, Putalisadak, Singh Durbar, Tripureshwor, Thapathali, Kalimati, Chabahil, Gaushala, Kalanki and Koteshwor.