Initiatives have been taken to introduce time-automated traffic lights to discipline Dhaka’s traffic system
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) is reluctant to handle the traffic system by remote control until problems with traffic signals are resolved.
Initiatives have been taken to use time-automated traffic lights to bring discipline to Dhaka’s streets.
The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) wrote to the DMP to take control of six traffic intersections of 10 that are part of the initiative.
The city corporation set up countdown timers at traffic intersections under the World Bank-funded "Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (Case)" project.
However, metropolitan police say they will only take control of these countdown timers after work has been done to make them fully-operational. Discussions are being held between the police and the city corporation on this subject.
Primarily, time and lights will be controlled by remote control. The time will appear on the digital display—based on the quantity of traffic.
Traffic lights will be controlled in a similar manner, the city corporation said. However, police have said that even if time is being regulated, there are no instructions regarding lights or pedestrian crossings.
If all these matters are taken care of, the DMP will take complete control of these automated traffic lights.
Affiliated sources have stated that, the prime minister's office has taken initiatives to change the configurations of the ineffective traffic signals in Dhaka.
Under these instructions, the DMP and DSCC tried to experimentally operate automated signals in several points of the city. However, the attempt was later abandoned as it yielded no apparent results.
This time, a decision was reached to control the whole signaling system via remote controls.
Six intersections – Dhaka University Curzon Hall, Kadam Chattar, Kakrail Masjid, Hotel Intercontinental, Shahbag, and Matsya Bhaban – are being prepared to make them remote controlled.
Regarding this, DMP Joint Traffic Commissioner (South) Mofiz Uddin Ahmed said: "The configurations of the traffic signals still have a lot of errors. There are no clear directions regarding when, or for what amount of time, red and green lights will light up. Adjustments on pedestrian crossings need to be made as well."
He added: "We contacted the city corporation to repair these signals. After all the work is done, we will be able to control the signals via remote control."
Shirajul Islam, the director of Case and DSCC's chief urban planner said: "We have sent a letter to the DMP's traffic division. If they find errors, they should mention those specifically to us, so we can take necessary steps."
But the DMP is yet to complain to DSCC, he said.
Currently, the two city corporations will bring 88 traffic signals in 62 intersections under the remote control system.
On August 16, in a meeting titled "Development of the Traffic Signal System in Dhaka," the Governance Innovation Unit of the prime minister's office made the decision to hand over the city-corporation-implemented automated traffic signal system to the DMP.