The persistent bottleneck

July 16, 2014

On weekdays, the signal at Jagathy Junction causes a traffic jam stretching all the way to the AIR gates

Can a traffic signal produce a traffic jam half a kilometre long? If you want evidence of this, drop by Jagathy Junction on a working day morning. And yes, leave your vehicle at home because you sure do not want to be part of that half-kilometre queue.

Even on a quiet day, the All India Radio-Jagathy Junction road is busy. On working days, traffic on this road is nasty to say the least. After DPI Junction, the road narrows down, and there is hardly enough space for two-way traffic.

At Jagathy Junction, whenever the traffic light turns red, the result is a traffic pile-up all the way back to the All India Radio gates and, sometimes, even beyond. This also bring traffic to a standstill at DPI Junction, which is a crucial transit point for emergency vehicles coming from Jagathy, Poojappura, and beyond. The Jagathy bottleneck also proves frustrating for drivers who use Kochar Road to bypass traffic on the city’s ‘main’ roads.

Some people argue that such a small junction as Jagathy can do better without a traffic signal; what is needed, such people aver, are more personnel who can manage traffic more intelligently than a pre-programmed signal system. Is there any merit in this argument?


The Vellayambalam-Kowdiar stretch has achieved notoriety for high-speed bike racing by youngsters late in the night, early morning, and weekends.

The installation of cameras and clampdown on speeding have prompted the racing aficionados to shift to other places in the city. Of late, the wide stretch from the Kowdiar traffic signal to Pattom, especially till Kuravankonam, has become another sought-after place for racers.

Perhaps, it is time law enforcers turned their attention to the stretch before any untoward incident occurs.


It is not a surprise that whenever a work is under way on any road in the city, even if it is intended at improving the traffic situation, normal traffic is further thrown off-track.

The ongoing works on M.G. Road are perhaps the best example.

At East Fort, it is the work on shifting the median that has affected traffic and worsened the chaos, while a little ahead, towards the Secretariat, work on the Melepazhavangady flyover has seen iron sheets being put up, narrowing the road almost to a single-car pathway. This slows down traffic here at peak hours.

This is where a little bit of planning might come in handy.


Sources: The Hindu

Traffic trial run continues on Raja Street in Coimbatore

July 8, 2014


The traffic trial run on Raja Street and Oppanakara Street, initiated by the traffic wing of the Coimbatore City Police from Wednesday, continued with a few modifications.

ModificationsThe Traffic police personnel said that the pattern would be made as a regular route if the existing modifications in the trial proved to be fruitful in the next few days.

Heavy vehicles“When the trial run began four days ago all the vehicles heading to the city from Perur – through Raja Street – were diverted to Oppanakara Street, through Karuppa Gounder (KG) Street and Vysial Street, without entering Raja Street. This burdened KG Street with thousands of two-wheeler, four-wheelers and heavy vehicles”, the police said.

Two-wheelersThey added that this also affected business on the KG Street.

“From Friday, we have allowed two-wheelers and four-wheelers from Perur till Porikara Lane on Raja Street from where they can reach the city through Thomas Street.

The stretch from Porikara Lane to Oppanakara Street continued to be one-way, police added.

The police said that this had enabled easy movement of more than 10,000 two and four-wheelers enter the city from Perur at ease without going all the way through KG Street and Vysial Street to reach Oppanakara Street.

However, buses and other heavy vehicles have to go through KG Street to reach Oppanakara Street, they said.


Wanted: A permanent eye on traffic

April 7, 2014

Nitasha Natu & Somit Sen,TNN

The traffic in Mumbai is horrific. The roads here are narrow and vehicular population exploding. But the problem is also us. The motorists among us refuse to follow traffic rules, smug in the knowledge that the chances of getting caught are minimal. It is time to check this assuredness, to create a deterrent against violations. Transportation experts say our city needs a network of CCTV cameras that will detect traffic offenders and help the understaffed police penalise them. Many metropolises around the world have such a system. To bring order to Mumbai’s choked roads, the state should make sure that we get one too — soon


For the last few years, Bangalore has been showing the country the way on traffic enforcement. It has installed 173 surveillance cameras, 5 static enforcement cameras and 500 portable digital cameras to keep an eye out for rule breakers. Nearly 2,000 cases are booked every day there using digital surveillance. Challans are issued with handheld devices and an online gateway enables and facilitates electronic payment of fines.In embarrassing contrast, Mumbai has been a laggard. It has 118 CCTV cameras mounted at “strategic locations” , but they—or the ones actually functioning—are merely used to track congestion and divert cars for VIPs. Seldom is the footage used to spot traffic offenders. Meanwhile , the chaos on the road deepens.

There is little doubt that the disorder that passes off as Mumbai’s traffic flow needs to be addressed urgently. The vehicular population has grown annually by an average of 8% and stood at 2 crore in March last year. From 15.2 lakh in 2012, traffic offences rose sharply to 20.5 lakh in 2013. And still, there are just 3,493 traffic police personnel to monitor the city’s 1,940-km network of roads.

Transportation experts assert that no number of fresh recruits will comprehensively regulate traffic in a city as large and disregarding of road laws as Mumbai. For that the authorities must embrace technology. Like in major metropolises around the world, there is a need here to install a grid of CCTV cameras that will automatically detect traffic violations, help penalize offenders and create a deterrent.

“The traffic police cannot watch every stretch of road. Manpower constraints make it even more imperative to put CCTVs to better use,” says Ashok Datar, chairman of the Mumbai Environment Social Network and a transportation expert. “Existing cameras need to be replaced with high-resolution ones.”

The traffic police incidentally agree. Joint commissioner (traffic) Dr B K Upadhyaya says a proposal for the procurement of superior enforcement cameras was sent to the Maharashtra government around seven months ago. The request is still pending.

If and when the new system is mounted, Upadhyaya says, “the pressure on the force will reduce. We will not have to deploy personnel at all junctions.” For a start, he adds, the cameras can be fitted at key junctions and the police provided updated RTO data on vehicle owners.

Datar says the advanced system will work not only as a rule enforcer but also as a deterrent . “People will realize they are being watched. The system particularly curbs offences of lane cutting, speeding, signal jumping , and halting on pedestrian signal.”

Such CCTV systems are common in British cities and elsewhere. A majority of them use the Automatic Number Plate Recognition software , in which the cameras take pictures of travelling vehicles and automatically detect traffic violations. The software then enhances the picture of the offending vehicle’s number plate and extracts the alphanumeric characters.

To be sure, Mumbai has a small web of traffic cameras but, by all accounts, it is obsolete. Zicom Electronic Security Systems, which set up the network in 2006, says the objective then was “surveillance, not catching offenders” . “No new cameras were added thereafter. The state tried to get 5,000 state-of-the-art cameras in a Rs 1,000 crore project. Tenders were floated. But the project got stuck,” says Pramoud Rao, managing director of the company. Datar blames the state government for not showing urgency in procuring the advanced CCTV system for Mumbai: “it lacks interest”.

Present in Mumbai 

118 CCTV cameras are installed at strategic locations, mainly busy traffic junctions The cameras are normally used to track congestion, regulate traffic flow and to decide diversions during VIP/VVIP movement. Personnel from local traffic outposts are directed to the spots where snarl-ups are detected with the cameras The system is not sufficiently advanced to detect traffic offenders automatically with the CCTV footage. Besides, a few cameras are not even functioning

Needed in Mumbai 

Two or three high-resolution enforcement cameras should be fitted at busy junctions to capture images from various angles Challans should be sent by email or snail mail to the traffic offenders spotted by the cameras. Online payment of fines should be encouraged If the fine remains unpaid, the offender should be summoned by the traffic police, or the challan should be forwarded to the court, which can send the summons

Digital surveillance will soon cover all key B’lore junctions 

Bangalore has the most robust automated traffic enforcement system in the country. Called B-TRAC , it was conceptualised in 2006 and initiated with the introduction of Blackberry phones for traffic officers. Within a year, records on these phones were linked to the transport department’s database and manual issuance of challans was discontinued. Surveillance cameras were added to the equation later. Today, the city has 173 surveillance cameras, 5 static enforcement cameras and 500 portable digital cameras. “When a violation is found, our cameras zoom in on the number plate. The number is checked with the transport department’s database and a notice is issued with the photo of the violation,” says B Dayananda, additional commissioner of police (traffic). “We have finalised the tender for 105 more cameras. With this, all key junctions will be covered.” A 10ft by 72ft video wall for monitoring was recently installed at the traffic management centre. Last year, the police turned Bangaloreans too into traffic enforcers by launching a mobile app. “We call it Public Eye. If any citizen sees a violation, he can take a photo and, using the app, upload it to our server. If the evidence is found solid, the violator is booked,” says Dayananda.

— Arun Dev 

Three lakh challans issued in Chandigarh with 19 cameras 

Traffic police in Chandigarh are known for strict enforcement of road laws. To assist them, they have installed 19 CCTV cameras at the city’s busiest roads. In the last four years, more than 3 lakh traffic challans have been issued with this technology. The 19 cameras are linked to a control centre and their feed is monitored by an inspector. “So far, jaywalking was the commonest offence for which challans were issued. But now we are adopting new CCTV technology that will help detect violations such as signal jumping and speeding,” says SSP (traffic) Maneesh Chaudhary. The police also encourage citizens to upload photographs of traffic violations on their Facebook page; alongside it should be mentioned the place, date and time of the offence.



Delhi-Gurgaon toll plaza removed, office goers get a snarl-free ride

March 3, 2014

Express News Service | New Delhi 

The move has certainly brought huge relief to the daily commuters between Delhi and Gurgaon. (Photo: Reuters)
The move has certainly brought huge relief to the daily commuters between Delhi and Gurgaon. (Photo: Reuters)



  It was a pleasant ride for the office goers in the national capital region as the Gurgaon toll plaza was removed late Wednesday night. The toll plaza at the Delhi border was removed following an order of the Delhi High Court.

While the removal of toll plaza at the Delhi-Gurgaon border has made the movement for those commuting to and from Gurgaon free of traffic snarls and brought a mild relief to their pockets, those travelling beyond Gurgaon towards Manesar and Jaipur will now have to shed more.

The toll rate at the Kherki Dhaula toll has been almost doubled – from Rs 27 to Rs 56.

The High Court decision resolved a two-year-long dispute between the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), project financier IDFC and toll operator Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL).

Justice Manmohan Singh in his order approved the consent agreement, under which the IDFC has agreed to pay a sum of Rs 24.65 crore to DGSCL. It was submitted in court that it has already issued demand drafts to the tune of Rs 8.85 crore to DGSCL.  The affidavit also said the IDFC was bound to pay the remaining amount — Rs 15.8 crore — by way of demand draft before February 28, 2014.

The notification states that there will be no extra burden on the users between Delhi-Jaipur. Between Manesar and Gurgaon, users may avail discounts available to local traffic by taking a pass for 30 days.

The decision on whether to dismantle the toll plaza at 61KM has not yet been taken, with parties stating in the affidavit that it was up to the Roadways ministry to consider the issue.

Under the agreement, the NHAI has also offered to keep four lanes on the left for the South Municipal Corporation to collect tax from commercial vehicles entering Delhi.

The South corporation has raised certain objections to the arrangement, arguing that it would not be possible to collect the tax as there would be no mechanism to ensure that commercial vehicles keep to the dedicated toll lanes.

The court will now hear the plea filed by South corporation and toll collection agent SMS AAMW Tollways on Thursday.

And the move has certainly brought huge relief to the daily commuters between Delhi and Gurgaon.



GCDA blames KSRTC for road widening delay

November 25, 2013


KOCHI: Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) has blamed Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) for the delay in widening the road connecting CP Ummer Road to the bus depot and A L Jacob railway overbridge (ROB). Three months ago, the development authority had approached the transport corporation and then submitted a request to take up road widening works.

“To begin work, GCDA requires a written request from the managing director of KSRTC or its senior engineer. Despite repeated requests, the transport corporation has ignored our request,” said GCDA chairman N Venugopal. Though Kochi corporation opened the newly-constructed A L Jacob ROB to reduce traffic congestion, the narrow approach road at the entry point of the bus depot has worsened the situation.

 For a smooth traffic through the overbridge, GCDA wanted to widen the existing road linking bus depot and C P Ummer Road to 20 metre. “It means the width will be increased by 8 metre and there would be four lanes to route vehicles,” he said.

On completing a seven-metre wide two-lane road envisaged around the Ambedkar stadium, a new link can be provided to CP Ummer Road and the KSRTC bus depot. This will facilitate the introduction of a one-way system and state transport buses state coming from Rajaji Road can go around the stadium and enter the depot. And buses leaving the depot can use the other road near the approach road of the ROB.

Agency may revoke contract

In another development, GCDA said that the contractor, entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining the old stretch of Marine Drive walkway, has failed to execute his duties.

The authority had signed a five-year contract with the private contractor.

“It has been brought to the authority’s attention that the benches remain broken and lights are not functioning properly. Such activities mount to the violation of contract and GCDA is keen on terminating it,” said the chairman. He added that the income from advertisements placed at the walkway went to the contractor.

The authority will hold further discussions with the officials and the contractor and announce a final decision .


Little space for cyclists incity of four-wheelers

October 25, 2013

Hindustan Times (Delhi)   HT Correspondent [email protected]

APATHY Govt has prepared an action plan to encourage people to walk and cycle, but its execution isn’t likely soon


NEW DELHI: Despite frequent fatalities, non-motorised mobility, which essentially involves cycling and walking, has not been a priority for the government.

The government prepared an action plan several years ago to discourage car usage and encourage people to walk and cycle, but it does not look like reaching the execution stage anytime soon.

The urban sprawl of Delhi means increased distances, forcing more and more people to use cars. This has led to the creation of massive carcentric infrastructure.

“Flyovers, signal-free corridors and foot overbridges destroy chances of safe walking and cycling. Even more people are forced to use cars. And the vicious cycle continues,” said Anumita Roychowdhury of Centre for Science and Environment.

“Cyclists are being edged out systematically to make way for cars — sometimes literally,” said a statement from the CSE, whose director-general Sunita Narain was on Sunday hit and injured by a car while she was cycling.

The action plan says: “We need to expand non-motorised transport to reduce automobile dependence through massive expansion in walking and cycling network to improve lastmile connectivity. We need street design guidelines and robust laws to protect pedestrians and cyclists, besides reviewing and implementing the bicycle master plan.”

“The plan which also asks for safety audits of pedestrians and cycling lanes has been put on hold because it also provides for heavy penalty for violations. The political leadership feels its implementation may not be a good idea in an election year,” admitted a senior government official.

In Delhi, a large number of cyclists can be seen every day, jostling for spacewith cars, twowheelers, buses, three-wheelers and commercial vehicles.

“More than 50 per cent of total trips in a day is less than 6km. That means there is a lot of scope and potential to promote cycling,” said Nalin Sinha, a transport expert.

In a city where a large number of people depend on private vehicles to travel shorter distances and to reach bus terminals and Metro stations, cycle and cycle sharing can offer a reliable transport system. But Delhi lacks the basic infrastructure and a conducive atmosphere.

“A fine network of streets, which are only for non-motorised transport, provide shorter connection and cut through the urban fabric,” said Anuj Malhotra, an expert in nonmotorised traffic.

“Providing adequate and safe walking and cycling infrastructure are the primary obligations of city governments and municipal authorities. The government will have to spend only a fraction of its flyover or elevated road budget to develop safe and segregated bicycle lanes and cyclist-friendly infrastructure and facilities in the entire city,” Sinha said.

Delhi registers an average of 100 deaths every year due to road accidents involving bicycles.


​Dharavi-to-sea link bypass to beat jams

October 9, 2013

Manthan K Mehta, TNN |

MUMBAI: In a relief for thousands of motorists who get stuck in traffic at Kalanagar junction in Bandra (east) every day, the city’s development planning agency has hit upon an out-of-the-box solution.The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has proposed to build a two-lane bypass over PWD land to connect traffic from Dharavi T-junction to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link approach road for faster dispersal of vehicles. It will soon submit the proposal to the public works department for approval.

“The bypass is being proposed on the land where the PWD offices are located. Enough space can be created on this portion of the land to build the road,” said a senior MMRDA official. As the land belongs to a government agency, the MMRDA does not anticipate any hurdle in acquiring the land to build the bypass road.

For the last few years, the MMRDA has been struggling to reduce traffic snarls at Kalanagar junction—one of the busiest intersections in the city. It connects the island city to both the western suburbs and the eastern suburbs via the Sion-Dharavi Road. As a short-term measure, MMRDA has also decided to implement, albeit partially, suggestions mooted by the Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN) to ease traffic congestion at Kalanagar junction.

“The median on the Western Express Highway at Kalanagar will be pushed back slightly. Vehicles coming from the sea link direction can directly drive to Bandra-Kurla Complex. At present, these vehicles have to take a sharp U-turn below the flyover to come on to the Sion-Dharavi Road and then take a left turn to enter BKC,” said the senior MMRDA official.

Also, the width of the two bus stops will be reduced thus, creating an additional lane for a bus-bay. “This will ensure that BEST buses halting at these stops will not block the traffic coming toward Dharavi T-junction from the northern direction,” said the official. “The other solution to cover the drains along the north-bound carriageway of the Western Express Highway (WEH) is not being undertaken yet as this will require the municipal corporation’s approval.” Civic officials may disapprove this plan as they would prefer the drains to remain accessible to ensure regular cleaning.

New bypass road to ease Manali traffic

October 7, 2013

Suresh Sharma, TNN |

MANALI: Tourists visiting the hill station of Manali have some reason to be happy as the town will get a bypass highway and a double-lane bridge soon to decongest the traffic in the narrow roads.According to sources, the new road and bridge will decongest the town and help reduce hour-long traffic jams. As per the plan, a parallel highway will be built from the entry point to Manali which will meet the existing Manali-Rohtang highway at the other end of the town, with the help of a double-lane 120-metre bridge over Beas river.

NHAI sources said the work on the project will start soon after completing the formalities. The project is awaiting execution for over five years, as it was to be built only after four-laning of the Ner Chowk-Manali national highway. But as the state government has transferred the project to NHAI and demand is growing to execute it on priority, work on both bypass and four-lane projects will start simultaneously.

Kullu Manali Paryatan Vikas Manch president Anup Thakur said Manali is in dire need of a bypass highway to keep the traffic moving and that they have got good news from the ministry of transport, road and highways.

Thousands of vehicles enter Manali town every day. Many of them moving towards Rohtang and New Manali areas are forced to enter the town before crossing the congested bridge. Thakur said the narrow highway of Manali was not enough for these many vehicles, resulting in hour-long traffic jams. “The narrow bridges on Beas river are also causing traffic jams and pedestrians face difficulty as the bridge remains occupied by the moving traffic all the time,” he said. Once the bypass is completed, unnecessary traffic will not enter the town, he added.

Project director, NHAI, Satish Kaul said earlier the state government was building the highway and bridge but now it has been transferred to NHAI. “The project has already been approved. Work on both Manali bypass and Ner Chowk-Manali four-lane projects will start simultaneously,” he said.

Rs 100cr plan to ease Ponda traffic congestion

September 24, 2013


PONDA: Stating that increasing vehicular population is creating major traffic problems in Ponda town, transport minister Ramkrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar said the state government will draw up a 100-crore traffic management plan to ease the traffic congestion in the town.”We have finalized a consultant, we are going to issue him a appointment order within eight days and he will begin work with local experts in engineering and architecture, who will assist the consultant,” Dhavalikar told the media at Kawlem-Ponda on the sidelines of a village panchayat function.

Dhavalikar said the whole project would be carried out by the Goa state infrastructure development corporation (GSIDC) and 25 crore will be transferred to the GSIDC account within two months.

The plan will not only include a transport hub, but will also have flyovers, pedestrians’ pathways, gardens, etc., he said.

A kindergarten (KG) school, a high school and a hall near the Ponda-Khadapabandh busy junction adds to the traffic woes in Ponda. Several parents and rickshaw riders park their vehicles along the Khadapabandh road creating a traffic mess before and after school hours.

Although police post a home guard and a traffic police constable on the road near the KG school to control vehicular traffic, the children are seen crossing the road recklessly which can lead to accidents, fear parents.

Admitting that the children cross the road recklessly endangering their lives, Dhavalikar said that chief minister Manohar Parrikar, during a function at Farmagudi recently, declared that such schools would be shifted elsewhere by providing them with a plot of land admeasuring 10,000 sq m with a proper play ground.



Railway underpass sought to ease traffic congestion

September 24, 2013


KOTTAYAM: An underpass at Muttambalam railway gate is increasingly becoming a necessity as KK Road is getting choked with traffic during peak hours.The gate is located in Madukkani-Chanthakkadavu Road – a road that has the potential to be developed as a parallel road to the KK Road.

Even now, motorists depend on this road to avoid getting stuck in the traffic on KK Road. Despite the utility of this road which connects Kanjikuzhy and Kodimatha, it is badly maintained and the demand for an underpass at Muttambalam is also being ignored.

With several apartment projects completed and some underway and others being planned in Kanjikuzhy and Manganam area, the density of population would increase in these areas in the coming years, which will make the development of this road a priority.

The railway gate at Muttambalam is only a few kilometres away from the Kottayam railway station and on Monday, the local residents were shocked to see a train approaching the opened gate around 10.45am.

However, the train stopped a few metres away and continued the journey only after the gates were closed. “I was alerted by the local residents when I was approaching the gate in my scooter,” said H Kurien, a motorist.

Meanwhile, the Railway officials at the Kottayam Railway Station said that the gate at Muttambalam operates through a signal system and the green signal will be shown only when the gates are closed.

According to the officials of the engineering department, a proposal for an underpass here was there, but has gathered dust.

Meanwhile, Kuruvilla Jacob, a resident of Muttambalam and former municipal council member of this ward, the proposal for the widening of the Madukkany-Chanthakkadavu Road is as old as 1978. “The widening was there in the master plan of the town. The proposal was for an 18-metre wide road out of which six metre was for footpath and drainage,” he said.

The road passes through Bata Junction, Erayilkadavu, Chantha Kadavu and joins MG Road in Kodimatha.

Once the Erayilkadavu Bridge is completed, reaching Manipuzha will also become easier.

Meanwhile, PWD officials said that the road from Muttambalam to Chanthakkadavu will be resurfaced soon.

“The work has been tendered and will start soon. As of now, only the surface will be relaid and widening is not there,” said Santhosh, assistant executive engineer.



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