THE Government has stepped up moves to deal with congestion in the country’s major urban centres following the launch of a pilot project in the capital which will be replicated in other cities.
In a statement yesterday, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said Government was also seized with the ongoing Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme (ERRP).
“The public may recall that Cabinet set up an ad hoc Inter-Ministerial Committee on decongestion and proper street lighting for Harare Metropolitan Province.
“This will act as a pilot programme that will be replicated in other major towns in order to eliminate traffic congestion and set up the provision of street lighting.
“This committee, which is chaired by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable J. Moyo is working tirelessly to improve the quality of life of residents by bringing order and sanity where it was not obtaining,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Interventions taken by Government so far were part of ERRP as issues of personal security and safety invoked a lot of anxiety among people.
Government noted that the failure by local authorities to repair both traffic and street lights was compromising safety.
“Therefore, Government has taken it upon itself to repair infrastructure such as street lights along major trunk roads, repair and upgrade both traffic lights and signals at major junctions.
“Government also embarked on an exercise of installing new traffic lights in some areas and addition of filter lanes at roundabouts and on selected junctions in order to improve the flow of traffic.
“Where carriageway markings are not there or have been obliterated, these are being renewed and new lanes inserted,” she said.
Government also noted that citizens’ lives had been compromised by a few unruly elements who wantonly flouted road traffic regulations because they felt nobody was watching.
To curtail this, a modern technology based traffic enforcement system with cameras for monitoring and surveillance was being rolled out.
On to the mass public transport system, Minister Mutsvangwa said as more and more people reverted to the use of the ZUPCO buses, Government was also working on improving the current services through a number of interventions.
These included the hiring and deployment of more buses; improving the electronic ticketing systems; improving the traffic control system; installation of bus tracking system and development of a passenger mobile application system for ZUPCO.
“It has also been noticed that the wilful disregard of traffic by-laws by some, contributes to traffic logjams and congestion.
“To improve the flow of traffic and make it easy for citizens to carry out their businesses, Government will resource both the municipal and ZRP traffic units.
“These are to carry out joint operations and impound vehicles which are not roadworthy or are involved in serious violation of traffic rules. Impounding yards are being established for this purpose.”
Some of the interventions taken by the Government so far included installation of Mbudzi solar tower light, synchronisation of nine traffic lights along Samora Machel Avenue and installation of new traffic signals at Borrowdale/Crowhill and Kirkman/Monavale.
There was also construction of non-mountable kerbing/jersey barriers in the CBD and other hot spots, road widening, pothole patching and road repairs.
Minister Mutsvangwa said cameras had been installed at Market Square for pilot study while bus stop shelters had been built at Avondale and Queensdale.
“We are continuously engaging private players to have their buses registered under the ZUPCO franchise system, reviving old bus routes and establishing new ones.
“Government wishes to inform the public that it will do all in its power to improve the livelihoods and quality of life of citizenry. We will give regular updates on progress being made in implementing these interventions.”