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Signal firms await traffic green light.

THE gizmos glittered and blinked as the Delhi Police traffic wing's technical committee inspected the signaling systems of four vendors at the police headquarters on Thursday.

The companies bidding for the lucrative contract of maintaining and putting the Capital's oft- criticised traffic signaling system were Bharat Electronics Limited ( BEL), a PSU, Keltron from Kerala, CMS and Onyx.

On display at the police headquarters lawns were solar signals of BEL and the area traffic control system of Keltron. Pushing its case, Onyx said its system is easy to repair and it has developed a multi- coloured timer.

But traffic police officers refused to draw a conclusion.

" We will hire the best. It would be too early to say anything because the technical committee has just now evaluated the equipment of the four bidders.

A report will be submitted.

Only then, the bid price will be opened," joint commissioner of traffic police S. N. Shrivastava said.

There are 725 signals in the Capital and 455 blinkers. But on an average, more than 80 signals don't function every day.

Currently, the signals are distributed equally between the two maintaining agencies -- CMS and Keltron.

Keltron maintains the traffic signals in North, East, North- East and North- West districts.

While South, South- West, New Delhi and the central districts are under CMS's jurisdiction.

Sources said three agencies could be selected this time.

The public sector BEL is said to have an unblemished record of efficiently maintaining traffic signals in Bangalore. It also maintains solar signals in Surinam and Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

" We have changed the way traffic signal used to work in Bangalore and we want to do the same in Delhi. Our company has a huge turnover and the best brains are working with us," a BEL official said.

Keltron, also a PSU, is a known entity in the Capital since the 70s. The traffic police are satisfied with its performance over the years.

This time, it is offering a device called intelligent controller.

" Our signal system has been developed by the Pune- based CDAC and it is GPS based. This system works not only at junctions, but in large areas too," Keltron official V. A. Mathai said.

CMS, which has been operating in Delhi since the mid- 90s, couldn't boast of an immaculate track record. It has often been blamed for the signal failures at major traffic points.

However, CMS vice- president Sri Krishna Kumar was undeterred by the criticism. He said: " Our signal controller is the shortest. No more details, please." Onyx, which maintains signals in Kolkata and Navi Mumbai, claimed that its signal was the most modern and it has a multicolour timer.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Oct 16, 2009
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