HYDERABAD: It was exactly a year ago when “punishing signals” hit the headlines to curb noise pollution in Hyderabad following a tweet by Telangana IT minister K. T. Rama Rao.
The minister had urged municipal and traffic authorities in Hyderabad to implement this initiative with a prototype at the Khairatabad traffic junction within 45 days. “Let’s get this thing done in our Hyderabad too! Need of the hour’” (sic), Rama Rao had tweeted on January 31, 2020.
Punishing signal is an initiative of Mumbai Police that was launched last year wherein special decibel meters had been connected to traffic signals at several major junctions in Mumbai. If the sound of horns in a particular line at the junction exceeded 85 decibels, the signal timer would reset itself, forcing commuters in that line to wait for longer, thereby “punishing” them for their impatience.
However, both traffic and GHMC officials do not know at what stage this project lies. When asked, a senior traffic police official said that the initiative needs to be implemented by GHMC. Likewise, GHMC officials said traffic department will be implementing the project, whose “work is in progress”.
Harish Kumar Daga, an activist from Hyderabad, asked when future CM Rama Rao has publicly announced the plan and also received response from TS DGP and other IAS officials, why has the “punishing signal” not come into existence until now?
“These signals have clicked in Mumbai. When the concept is good, why hasn’t the same been installed at Khairatabad as stated, on an experimental basis,” Daga asked.