Traf­fic light sen­sor sys­tem de­layed

The Myanmar Times - - News - Yeemon­tun@mm­times.com YE MON

A TRAF­FIC con­trol sys­tem aimed at re­duc­ing grid­lock in Yan­gon that was sup­posed to be in place on Au­gust 2 is still not close to be­ing fin­ished, Yan­gon Re­gion law­mak­ers re­vealed yes­ter­day.

The com­pa­nies tasked with the project, one from China, the other lo­cal, have in­stalled traf­fic-de­tect­ing sen­sors on only 84 of the 154 selected traf­fic lights. And the new traf­fic con­trol cen­tre, slated for Peo­ple’s Square Park in Dagon town­ship, is still un­der con­struc­tion.

MP U Wai Phyo Han (NLD; In­sein 2) asked the rel­e­vant of­fi­cials why the project was not fin­ished.

“Our peo­ple look to our govern­ment to re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion,” he said. “But we do not see any suc­cess yet.”

Mayor U Maung Maung Soe ex­plained that the as­pi­ra­tional tar­get date was set by the com­pa­nies and not the govern­ment, but promised to fig­ure out why the project has been de­layed.

“We will ask the com­pany and we will take re­spon­si­bil­ity for that,” he said.

The com­pa­nies have been pay­ing a K100,000 (US$79) fine every day since Au­gust 3, said Traf­fic Light and Con­trol Cen­tre Su­per­vis­ing Com­mit­tee chair U Maung Aung.

“I can­not yet say why they did not fin­ish their project on Au­gust 2,” he said.

In the mean­time, the Pub­lic Trans­port Au­thor­ity Group is try­ing to re­lieve con­ges­tion re­lated to buses, taxis, the rail­way and wa­ter trans­porta­tion.

The com­mer­cial cap­i­tal’s ev­er­in­creas­ing traf­fic has posed a ma­jor chal­lenge to the govern­ment since the re­lax­ation of car im­ports in 2011. The pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion at­tempted to ad­dress the prob­lem by build­ing an­other seven ex­pen­sive fly­overs, projects the NLD-dom­i­nated re­gional hlut­taw scrapped for be­ing both costly and in­ef­fec­tive.

In lieu of the fly­overs, to re­lieve the city’s wors­en­ing grid­lock, par­lia­ment has heard pro­pos­als for a wa­ter taxi sys­tem; re­moval of the con­crete di­viders placed on some ma­jor streets to de­lin­eate bus lanes; re­duc­ing the num­ber of taxis; and crack­ing down on the black mar­ket for park­ing per­mits.

The to­tal num­ber of ve­hi­cles in Yan­gon is es­ti­mated at about 500,000, in­clud­ing 324,729 pri­vately owned cars, 141,904 trucks and 5000 buses.

Photo: Aung Htay Hlaing

Ve­hi­cles jam a ma­jor thor­ough­fare in Yan­gon.

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