Stolen traffic lights batteries lead to increased accidents and jams in New Delhi

Blame it on the thieves

Freestyle

News - India & You

July 18, 2016

/ By / New Delhi



Stolen batteries from the signals are increasingly responsible for traffic signal failures, says the police

Stolen batteries from the signals are increasingly responsible for traffic signal failures, says the police

The increased traffic jams and road accidents in the Indian capital New Delhi can also be blamed on the traffic signals batteries theft, according to the local police.

Any driver in New Delhi has at least once experienced a failure of traffic signals, notably on junctions. This is leading to growing traffic jams and road accidents in the Indian capital. Stolen batteries from the signals are increasingly responsible for these types of failures, says the police, who finds it hard to prevent it, since petty criminals are very adaptive and tech savvy.

In the last three months, authorities say that at least six batteries were stolen from traffic signals in Lutyens’ Delhi and that around 70 thefts of this type were reported across the capital in 2015. Since a battery weights around 20 kg, this tricky, quiet skilled and manpower consuming modus operandi requires an hour or so of work. It could be responsible for 20 pc of signal breakdowns in New Delhi area.

How do you do it, you would ask, not that we would like to give you wrong ideas. Apparently, you break the seal of the inverter boxes, a headache for traffic maintenance teams that have to spend a week or so to put it in place again. Not to mention the fact that it will involve in the meanwhile even more head counts: some traffic cops posted there to regulate the unending flow.

Junctions under no specific surveillance

Why is it so easy to do, even in broad day light? The offenders concentrate on junctions and areas that traffic police does not control, after peak hours, such as India Gate, Race Course road or some portions of Connaught Place. Not to mention some night theft shift that can even manage to overcome extra added precautions, such as batteries now sealed also to the pole.

The batteries, which run independently, are then usually resold to scrap dealers or motor rickshaw drivers for up to INR 6,000 for a piece. It is hard to catch the culprits though some of them were arrested early this year in the vicinity of Lutyens’ Delhi but local accomplices are also suspected.

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