Jammu: S Balvinder Singh RTI activist, along with other Civil Society Members S Manjit Singh Bali, S Manmohan Singh, Sh Mahesh Singh Kotwal, Sh Ayaz Ahmad Khan, & Mr. Anil, while addressing the media said that for execution and implementation of 52 Smart City Projects UT Administration hired Rodic Consultants Pvt Ltd and a very handsome amount is agreed to have been paid to them. The said consultant has declared in their mission on the website that we are committed to quality and stringent adherence to global benchmarks of excellence. But as per Mr. Singh, there is a number of flaws in the installation of wayfinding signages, project costing to 10.20 Crore, in the Entire City and it speaks contrary to the mission of the Consultant and the core mission of Smart City Project.
Singh said the importance of wayfinding Signage is to inform, direct and guide people who are unfamiliar with the environment. Effective signage must be in the right place, point to the most logical directions, and should be noticeable at the operating speed. As per Singh, another very important aspect of the wayfinding signage is the continuity so that a visitor needs not ask or enquire at any intersection till finally reaches his destination. But more than 50% of the signages installed in Jammu City don’t have continuity. While citing the example of one such signage installed at Digiana near Akali Kour Singh Nagar whereby shown the direction for Jhiri and Talab Tillo but both directions are missing at every coming intersection. Singh said that almost every guideline for wayfinding signages states that the location and legibility of the road signs should be such as to provide adequate response time to read and take action at the operating speed. But Mr Singh quoted the example of one such signage installed 100mrs before the Kunjwani rotary which is made so complicated as names of 15 destinations clubbed together making it impossible for a road user to take note of them without stopping.
Singh said more than 25% of Way Finding Signages are not installed vertically at 90 degrees, Some of the signages are fixed over the footpath but with a height of 4 feet resulting in the obstruction of the pedestrian’s movement. Some of the signboards are installed in such places where it is not visible to the road users especially on the Satwari Airport road where Signages are installed in between the big trees planted in the central verge of the road.
Singh further stated that some of the Way Finder Signages instead of guiding the visitors creates confusion as they show the arrow for a particular destination left or right but actually there are three, four,, or five lanes turning left/right prior to the intersection ahead. He quoted one example of signage installed at Nexa crossing green belt park showing the direction of B R Ambedkar Chowk's left side whereas there are four lanes turning left before one reaches Valmiki Chowk and then turning to left towards the destination B R Ambedkar Chowk.
So Balvinder urged upon the Div Com Jammu to constitute the team of experts preferably the locals to review all wayfinding signages and also urge upon L G Manoj Sinha Sahib keeping in view of the poor performance of the consultant must review the MOU sign with him at very exorbitant rates. Singh also urged upon UT administration to appoint Local Engineers from different specializing for monitoring all 52 projects.