Smart traffic signals coming

July 23, 2014

Somreet Bhattacharya, TNN |

NEW DELHI: The capital’s roads are all set to have a ’smart’ signalling system that will measure traffic pressure on a stretch and change signals on it accordingly. One of these is being installed at Dwarka Mor crossing. Traffic police will study its effectiveness during peak hours.

Police will soon issue tenders for installing the system at Aurobindo Marg, India Gate, Nelson Mandela Marg and Connaught Place. “Earlier, we had technical difficulties and little expertise. If this project is successful, we will install it in other areas,” joint commissioner of police, traffic, Anil Shukla, said.

Under this new system, the smart signals will have remote sensors which will communicate with nearby signals to control the traffic flow at a particular intersection. At present, signals are controlled through a preset timing system which at times result in pileups during peak hours or induce drivers to skip signals during lean hours.

Every time there is a jam at a particular crossing, someone goes and analyzes the pressure of vehicles and adjusts the signals’ times manually. The problem arises when one of them breaks down. The entire system then must be shut down until the signal is repaired.
However, under the smart signalling system, if one signal breaks down, the others will keep functioning because each works independently. What’s more, police at control rooms can identify a faulty signal instantly if one of them breaks down. The smart signals with independent power systems have inbuilt antennas and sensors that relay a change of traffic light to the next post which, in turn, responds automatically.
In case of a road like Aurobindo Marg, which has signals arranged in close succession, a driver must stop at every crossing as timings of all signals cannot be synchronized due to heavy traffic pressure on connecting roads, a traffic official said. “But, under the new system, if there is one car waiting at the signal when connecting roads are empty, it will turn green,” he said.


Austrian firm to implement intelligent traffic system on Noida e-way

November 13, 2013

Vandana Keelor, TNN |


NOIDA: The Noida Authority is all set to implement a hi-tech Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway from December. The Authority on Tuesday selected an Austrian company to roll out the Rs 26.8 crore project that is expected to bring down the accident rate on the road by about 25%.Officials said the system will be in place within six months of implementation. Efkon India Limited, which is part of the Austrian parent company Starpack, has already implemented this high-tech system on Yamuna Expressway. For the ITS to be effective, the Authority also plans to set up a Rs 36 crore Traffic Park to teach commuters traffic sense.The move comes in the wake of a safety audit by Central Road Research Institute carried out in July this year. According to the report, the expressway is a death-trap for pedestrians and two-wheeler riders. Speeding cars and light commercial vehicles are the primary cause of road accidents. Noida Authority had invited global consultants to launch the project after getting a nod from IIT-Delhi.Officials said that the ITS is expected to monitor and manage traffic flow on the expressway. “The system will minimize accidents,” said Sandeep Chandra, the technical head for the project, who also holds charge of traffic in the city.

Since its inception in 2002, Noida-Greater Noida Expressway has been the site of hundreds of deaths. Around 55 people have lost their lives while hundreds have been injured this year already. “Accident rate on the expressway will decline if the traffic police can strictly enforce rules along with the implementation of the ITS. Around 50% accidents occur due to lack of traffic sense among commuters, which needs to change,” Chandra said.

With the ITS, cameras would be placed at a height of 14 metres to detect movement up to a distance of 280 metres. Large LED display boards will caution motorists about road and weather conditions.

The system will also help measure traffic data in real time, detect incidents and congestions automatically and inform road users about travel time, road closures, diversions, rerouting and all major events. “Important features would include a control room, emergency call box, message signboards, CCTV cameras, speed cameras, automatic number plate readers, VID camera and meteorological data system,” Chandra said.

The most important feature of the system will be reduced response time to an accident. ITS will guide road users to adapt speed to ensure smoother flow of traffic and help coordinate policing and emergency services. “The expressway will be under surveillance 24/7 which will also help curb crime on the e-way,” Chandra said.

MMRDA signs MoU with Korea government

October 11, 2013

By Rachita Prasad, ET Bureau

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.<br /><br />

(Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.)


Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for preparing a master plan for developing eastern parts of the metropolitan region.The plan would look at developing the 126-km long Virar-Alibaug Multi-Modal Corridor, which was highly recommended by the Comprehensive Transportation Study conducted by the MMRDA and funded by the World Bank.

“We are sure that the Virar-Alibaug corridor which passes through the eastern part of Mumbai metropolitan region will trigger urbanization along the corridor and a master plan for the areas around this corridor will be necessary for its orderly development. The study will also identify growth centers which will afford stability to the spill-over areas”, Ashwini Bhide, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, was quoted as saying in the release.

The Korean team will share best practices with MMRDA’s planners and work out a detailed master plan and land development models along with funding patterns beginning January 1, 2014. The plan, development models and the funding patters will then be submitted to the state government, for approval, within a period of one year.

The study will be financed by the Korean Government and will also involve training of high level officials of MMRDA. The study will enable MMRDA approach global funding agencies such as World Bank and Japanese Cooperation Agency (JICA) for funding of the project.

“The Korean model of land use development has faced similar constraints as are being faced in India and could be suitably modified and used in developing the eastern Mumbai metropolitan region, especially around the Multi-Modal Corridor. By roping in the Korean expertise and best practices we will be able to use the land itself as a resource to fund our infrastructure requirements”, said Bhide.


CCTVs useless, speed junkies have a free run

September 18, 2013


NAVI MUMBAI: Speedsters continue to zoom away on city roads thanks to the inability of close circuit television (CCTV) cameras to record speed of vehicles. These cameras are installed at traffic junctions in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) areas.”When one tries to zoom the clip captured by CCTVs to identify the number plates of speeding vehicles, the picture gets blurred. As the cameras do not capture the speed, it is difficult to register a case as it can be challenged,” said deputy commissioner of police (DCP), traffic, Vijay Patil. The CCTVs were inaugurated four months ago by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar at the police commissioner’s office on May 14. Mayor Sagar Naik, who had taken the initiative to secure the safety of the NMMC area said, “We got it done ahead of Mumbai and would upgrade the software.”

The civic body got around 270 CCTVs installed from Airoli to Belapur at many traffic junctions, the department said. The police department has asked the NMMC for enhanced software that would enable the cameras to capture the data as it was important for policing.

Patil informed that more developed software as abroad was needed.

The cameras though have come in handy in identifying vehicles and their colour specification in solving some incidents of crime, the department said. The cameras also help in identifying instances of signal jumping when the vehicles move at slow speed. Commissioner of police, Ashok Sharma said, “Out of the 270 CCTVs, around 220 on an average are operational as local conditions like power supply affect their functioning.The stretch of some 13.8 km Palm Beach road from Killa junction to Kopri at Vashi end has 44 CCTVs, 28 of them on the busy stretch from Kopri to Mahatma Phule junction. The stretch of the 9.8 odd km from Moraj to Killa junction is the speed stretch. The horrific incident of four youths in Ford a Figo that crashed at high speed against a heavy transport vehicle at the Killa junction was captured by the CCTV and the department had circulated it to the media for awareness.

Three firms shortlisted for sea link toll collection

September 12, 2013


Though the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) diluted eligibility norms for the contract for toll collection and maintenance of the Bandra-Worli sea link, only three of the five companies that submitted proposals have qualified.

The MSRDC will now invite price bids from the three shortlisted firms, which includes the incumbent toll collection company Mumbai Entry Point Limited (MEPL). MEPL is owned by Jayant Mhaiskar, brother of Virendra Mhaiskar, the promoter of IRB Infrastructure, and has been collecting toll on the sea link since it was opened to traffic in 2009.

“We will float request for proposals by next week and expect to have the responses in by the end of this month. We think the competition would be good this time. Representatives of the three companies have met us and it seems that all are keen on submitting their bids,” said a senior MSRDC official.

SMS Infrastructure Limited, Konark Infrastructure, IRB Infrastructure, MEPL and Reliance ADAG had in June submitted proposals after the agency relaxed the eligibility criteria.

“The companies that did not qualify had submitted their bids in a consortium with another company. We had said that the bids should be by individual entities. Two companies failed to match the criteria for the minimum turnover on their own,” the official said.When the MSRDC floated tenders for the sea link toll and maintenance contract as per the original norms, only two firms — Konark Infrastructure and MEPL — had submitted bids. Ultimately, only MEPL could qualify and MSRDC had to call for bids again.



Confusion over speed limit multiplies eway commuters’ woes

September 9, 2013

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon,


The ride on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway is getting tougher as regular commuters bear the brunt, thanks to a series of hurdles.

Already hassled with long traffic jams on the two toll plazas at Sirhaul and Kherki Daula, confusion over speed limit adds to their woes.

They rue that despite paying toll twice, the drive towards Manesar and further to Jaipur remains chaotic. “Reckless drivers who flout the speed limit rule the road. They dangerously overtake and have no concept of lane driving,” said Arshdeep Singh, an entrepreneur.

Khsitiz Varma, a resident of Delhi, who drives down to his Manesar office everyday said that there is no implementation of the speed limit on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway and many motorists drive at a dangerous speed of more than 100 kmph. “It gets fatal when they crisscross from one lane to another,” he said.

Traffic police officials said that most accidents on the expressway take place while overtaking from the wrong side.

“Despite clear signage, people overtake from the left whereas they are supposed to overtake from the right using the top lane. You also find motorists who drive at less than 60 kmph in the top lane and don’t give way to others. The top lane is meant only for overtaking,” said a senior traffic official.

According to informed estimates, about 88% of the people here commute either on foot, two-wheelers (including cycles, scooters and motorbikes) or by public transport.

Ironically, this whopping majority is not allowed on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway. There aren’t enough footover bridges or underpasses and the service lanes either do not have pavements or are broken and hazardous. The lack of infrastructure has led to gross traffic violations with cyclists and pedestrians using the expressway at all times during the day.

“The expressway in Gurgaon is not a bypass. It cuts across the city, which is why there is a need for services like foot-over bridges and underpasses for pedestrians. However, these services are shoddy and need to be upgraded soon,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, an urban planning expert with World Resource Institute.

“In many progressive cities of the world there is a concentrated effort to avoid these urban expressways and wherever these eyesores have been built, they are being torn down, especially those that cut through the city. This is because these minimised use of land space and reduced the quality of life for city residents,” Bhatt added.



Commuters see red as Delhi-Gurgaon expressway flouts HC line

September 9, 2013

Deevakar Anand and Leena Dhankhar, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon ,

As per a Punjab and Haryana high court order of September last, it is mandatory to raise the boom barriers at Sirhaul toll plaza on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway once the traffic pile-up there goes beyond 400 metres.

To ensure this, the 400-metre mark has been painted red on the road on each side of the Sirhaul toll plaza.

This is one of several experiments initiated last year after the traffic situation went out of hands at the toll plaza.

Other experiments included making the toll plaza free for 15 days and creating extra toll booths in the form of split tolls.

  But, despite everything, the traffic bottlenecks at the toll plaza still continue to agonise commuters.

While the 15-day free period has long been over and the split tolls are working — these have proved to be somewhat of a damp squib — motorists often complain that despite court orders the boom barriers are not raised when the pile-up gets as long as 400 metres, an allegation denied by the toll operator and expressway concessionaire Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL).

“I have no clue if they ever raise the toll boom barriers as I have been stuck in queues which have extended the 400-metre mark,” said Karuna Singh, a regular commuter on the expressway, which is a part of National Highway-8.

A spokesperson of the Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited, however, said that the red line is very much there and whenever it is breached, the traffic police ensure that the boom barriers are raised and commuters get a free passage across the toll plaza.






“Our personnel are always on alert, especially during the peak morning and evening hours and they raise the boom barriers when the pile-up touches the red mark,” said Bharti Arora, deputy commissioner of police, traffic, Gurgaon.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in its order last year, had mandated the Gurgaon traffic cops stationed at the toll plaza to open the boom barriers if the congestion breached the 400-metre red mark.

“That doesn’t absolve the operator from its responsibility of ensuring a free passage when required,” said Amberdeep Singh, another regular commuter on the expressway.

Commuter speak

Toll staff inconsistent in lifting boom barriers: Sanjay Gupta, west Delhi resident
I have to drive down to Gurgaon from my west Delhi residence 2-3 times a week. It takes me about 45 minutes to reach Sirhaul toll plaza on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway. However, quite a few times, it took me 30 to 40 minutes to cross the toll plaza, especially during the morning peak hours.

In the mornings, the traffic congestion is on the Delhi side and during the evening it is on the Gurgaon side, and you can witness the situation going out of control. You can’t do anything but helplessly wait for your ordeal to get over. The pile-ups, like on last Thursday, stretch for more than a kilometre.

I got stuck on the Rajokri flyover and had to drive continuously for about 40 minutes to be able to cross the toll. Since I use a smart tag to pay the toll, I couldn’t figure out if the expressway operator had raised the boom barriers as required once the traffic pile-up crosses the 400-metre mark.

There are two points I want to highlight here.

First, nobody knows who is responsible for implementing the court order of opening the toll barriers in case the pile-up crosses the 400-metre mark. The motorists who wait in the long queues cannot figure that out and they just want to come out of the hell somehow.

Second, it’s not just about the extra time that one loses waiting at the toll but the unpredictability of the jams makes it even more agonising.

One never knows what traffic situation he/she is going to face on reaching the toll plaza. I thank my stars sometimes when I get through the toll plaza within five minutes, but this never happens during the morning and evening rush hours.

E-way official version

DGSCL spokesperson
“In order to improve the traffic flow at the Sirhaul toll plaza, the Honb’le Punjab & Haryana high court had directed that a red line be drawn on the ground at a distance of 400 metres from the toll gates on either side.

Whenever the traffic was congested and exceeded the red line, the traffic police was directed to lift the boom barriers to ease the flow. We have followed the directives of the high court and the red line was painted on the ground in September.

Cameras have also been installed at that point so that the control room can see whenever the red line is breached and we open the boom barriers accordingly.

The Gurgaon traffic police are also present at the toll plaza and near the red lines. Whenever the length  of stationary traffic exceeds the red line, they lift the boom barriers to ensure that the traffic flow is eased.”










Traffic cops ask eway firm to fix cameras

September 9, 2013

Leena Dhankhar , Hindustan Times  Gurgaon,

The Gurgaon traffic police have asked the concessionaire of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway to ensure all the cameras installed at Sirhaul and Kherki Daula toll plazas work properly.

Currently, the CCTV cameras installed at the two toll plazas are not in order and unable to capture clear footage. The crime branch of Gurgaon police recently reported the matter to the traffic police.

The crime branch teams were unable to identify the vehicles, their number plates and the drivers crossing the toll. “The footage had poor alignment and the picture quality was bad,” said a police officer.

Bharti Arora, joint commissioner (traffic), told HT, “The crime teams were facing difficulties in identifying the vehicles in the footage. The car numbers and faces of drivers were not being captured properly and the offenders were taking advantage of this.”

The traffic police asked the Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL) to put in order all the CCTV cameras at the earliest so that the culprits could be caught with the help of the footage.

The traffic police asked the firm to intimate the reason for the bad footage quality and the action taken by them in this regard within three days.

“In case of any mishap at the toll plaza, it would be very difficult to apprehend offenders,” said Arora.


Underpass at Sarita Vihar

September 5, 2013

Hindustan Times (Delhi)
(The underpass will connect Okhla Industrial Area with Kalindi Kunj on the Noida side.)


There is good news for the commuters travelling between Sarita Vihar, Kalindi Kunj and Okhla. The much awaited and one of the longest underpasses will soon be made operational here. It will reduce the distance between Sarita Vihar and Okhla. From nine km it will be reduced to one km. The construction of the underpass at Sarita Vihar within the railway boundary is being executed by the Northern Railway on behalf of the Delhi Development Authority. This underpass will connect Okhla Industrial Area with Kalindi Kunj on the Noida side.

“I will benefit a lot as I live in Block J, Sarita Vihar, and my office is in Okhla Industrial Area Phase-4,” says Paramjeet Kaur Juneja, a resident of Sarita Vihar. This is probably the largest underpass being constructed by the advance technique of box pushing. The segments are precast over a horizontal RCC thrust bed, adjacent to the railway embankment. The boxes are then pushed into the embankment one after another with the help of hydraulic force created by jacks. The force of the jacks is transmitted to precast segment and thus it moves forward. There is uninterrupted train movement during the construction. The underpass is being made under the Delhi-Mumbai rail route, one of the busiest in India. About 300 trains pass on this rail section every day.

The underpass is being built on the two-four box pattern. It will have eight lanes for vehicular movement and one lane for the pedestrians and cyclists. Adds Bimal Jairaj, another resident of Block H, Sarita Vihar, “There is a designated space for pedestrians and cyclists on this underpass. Usually, these two categories are left to fend for themselves since there is no provision for them in the design plan.” “Once the underpass is functional, it will reduce the travelling time. The railway track has been continuously monitored and uninterrupted train movement at controlled speed was ensured during the construction phase. The underpass is likely to be functional in the next six months,” says Neeraj Sharma, chief public relations officer, Northern Railway.


Bangalore-Mysore highway to be upgraded to six lane

September 3, 2013

Anil Kumar M, TNN |


BANGALORE: The state government plans to upgrade the existing 4-lane Bangalore-Mysore highway to 6-lane road.

Public works minister H C Mahadevappa on Monday maintained that upgrading of Mysore-Bangalore road to 6-lane was being actively considered. “Everyday, about 70,000 vehicles use this road and the existing 4-lane is not sufficient to carry that big traffic,” he said. The PWD official said the government was in process of land acquisition for the 6-lane. The proposal will be placed before the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), he said.

The minister said the the toll collection on state highways is being done only in few places and it would be extended to at least seven other highways soon. “Toll collection was necessary for maintenance of the roads,” he said. In the wake of complaints from the road users that toll was on higher side, Mahadevappa said he would review the collection in those highways.

The minister also said the government will review the allotment of 600 acres of excess land to Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) around Bangalore. In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, the state government has admitted that it had allotted 600 acres excess land to NICE.






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