Valley likely to get smart traffic lights soon

Kathmandu, December 20

Kathmandu Metropolitan City in association with Department of Roads and Metropolitan Traffic Police Division is working to introduce intelligent traffic light system to manage vehicular congestion in the city.

Dysfunctional traffic lights at Baneshwor and Maharajgunj will be replaced with smart traffic lights in the first phase, according to the MTPD officials.  The smart light systems will then be installed in 10 different road intersections of the city in the second phase.

Senior Superintendent of Police Umesh Ranjitkar said the intelligent traffic light system combined traditional traffic lights with an array of sensors and artificial intelligence to intelligently route vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Madhusudhan Silwal at MTPD said, “The previous traffic light system needed to be handled manually to change the traffic lights whenever needed and created confusion in rush hours. But the new system can even be operated from the control room.”

This would reduce one-third workload of the traffic police, he added. Around 1,500 traffic policemen have been deployed in Kathmandu Valley to manage vehicular traffic.

SSP Ranjitkaar said, “Traffic management should be made a national priority.”

According to Department of Transport Management, 181,000 vehicles were registered in Bagmati zone in 2002, while the number has increased to 1,048,000 in 2017.

Out of 21 traffic lights in Kathmandu Valley, only four in Bhaktapur are operational.