According to reports, in about two weeks, all traffic signals in the city will run on solar power. The decision was taken by Noida Authority and the district traffic police in a bid to minimize traffic snarls. At present, 38 of the total 79 signals are powered by solar energy.
The matter was recently approved in the Authority’s board meeting. The procedure is expected to be completed within a fortnight. The plan was initially proposed about five years back and about 25 traffic signals that are maintained by the Authority were powered by solar energy at the time. However, following the recent collapse of major power grids and the resultant failure of traffic signals, authorities have decided to take a step forward to ensure a “100 percent power back-up arrangement.”
“Frequent power disruption in Noida often leads to non-functioning of traffic signals at various intersections causing inconvenience to both commuters as well as the traffic police. Once all signals are run by solar energy, this problem will be solved,” said Sanjiv Saran, CEO, Noida Authority. While the cost of converting a traffic signal into a solar powered one is between Rs12 lakh and Rs15 lakh — much more than the cost of installing a regular traffic signal — in the long run, solar panels offer significant savings on energy consumption and costs. Solar panels bank on a renewable source of energy and light up the signals uninterruptedly, thus preventing traffic chaos. “These are easy to maintain and eventually they turn out to be more economical,” Saran added.
Meanwhile, to streamline traffic flow, “particularly during peak hours,” traffic police has proposed to upgrade its computerized area traffic control system.