In the posh Satellite area of Ahmedabad, commuters were in for a surprise after speed bumps suddenly turned saffron by Tuesday morning, a non-standard colour in the traffic vocabulary. When contacted Ahmedabad Traffic police feigned ignorance, stating that painting or maintaining roads comes under the Road and Building Department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).
A top police officer, after being informed about it, said, “This is laughable as saffron doesn’t reflect in dark. It must have been done in ignorance.”
Most of the speed-breakers in the area got saffron stripes overnight. A traffic policeman said, “Black-yellow is the most scientific combination. Yellow denotes danger. In fact, yellow is more visible, but saffron is against the code of road marking.”
Sources in the AMC said that as per the advice of city traffic police authorities, the stripes on road bumps were to be painted yellow and on zebra-crossings they would remain white. “These works, on 14 roads in six zones, were cleared at the meeting of roads and buildings committee on February 8,” said Roads and Building Committee chairman Jatin Patel.
Patel claimed he was not aware of the “colour controversy” and insisted that it would have to be yellow, in keeping with the Indian Road Congress norms. “We will follow those norms,” he said.
The department started work painting speed-breakers saffron Monday night. “We realised the mistake later, but it was too late to wipe it out,” said a senior official in the engineering department. “We will change it to yellow on bumps and white on zebra-crossings tonight,” the official added.
The committee has cleared Rs 2.84 crore for such works. Patel said that there was no question of changing the colour of stripes to saffron, and that there was no “deliberate design” to this. By by 10 pm on Tuesday, the AMC had started painting the stripes on speed-breakers yellow.