Project to install high-speed traffic cameras fails to take off

April 16, 2014

Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Subhendu Ray

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Traffic Police had mooted a grand plan of installing speed cameras at the city’s busy intersections to nab motorists flouting rules as well as bringing down the number of fatal accidents on the roads.

SONU MEHTA / HT  -Delhi traffic police want to set up 8 high-speed cameras in two accident prone zones to track and nab offenders.Three years on, however, the plan continues to remain on paper with the traffic police force once again missing the March deadline for implementation of the project.

Sources said in 2012 that the traffic police had come up with a plan to install 70 infrared-based speed cameras at the busy city intersections in order to identify and nab speeding motorists.

The plan, however, was later scrapped as the ministry of home affairs did not approve it.

Later, due to a ‘funds crunch’, the traffic police had scaled down their demand and come up with a fresh plan to instead eight such high-speed cameras and install them at the city’s two accident-prone zones at Kingsway Camp and Aurobindo Marg  by March 2014.

However, the ` 2.25 crore project again got stuck during its technical evaluation phase.

“We had plans to install the cameras by the last financial year but the tender process got stuck during the technical evaluation. The whole process of finalising the bidder may take a few more months,” stated Taj Hassan, special commissioner of police (traffic).

Sources however, claimed that the project this time too failed to take off again due to non-allocation of funds by the ministry.

“With the fund allocated to us, we could only purchase 78 breath analysers in the last financial year,” said a senior traffic police officer.

In 2013, more than 1,700 people were killed in road accidents. During an analysis, traffic police found out that many of them were killed due to speeding. This year also, over 400 people were killed on the roads of the city during the first three months.

The cops also had plans to buy 10 Innova cars mounted with automatic speed violation detection system, which would intercept vehicles speeding beyond permissible limits, both during day and night and in all kinds of weather conditions.

This project too is yet to be cleared.

Source -

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.



Abu Dhabi DoT begins work on new traffic control central system

March 6, 2014

5 March 2014


The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport (DoT) has announced the start of work on a new adaptive traffic control central system project.

The AED33m ($8.9m) project comprises deploying and implementing the new ‘SCOOT’ traffic control central system.

Currently used in more than 120 cities across the world, the system offers improved flexibility and interactivity to respond to varying traffic conditions through data generated by vehicle counting and classification sensors.

It also coordinates traffic movement with nearby intersections facilitating integrated management of traffic on Abu Dhabi road networks.

The project will replaceme the present central control and field control systems with this new central control system on the emirate’s 125 intersections via around 20 sensors at each intersection.

The system comprises built-in capabilities to prioritise public transport vehicles, while leveraging instant response levels to traffic incidents.

“It will ensure better management of the road traffic network and less congestion.”

It also helps provide traffic data and information required for study and analysis by monitoring and reporting on level of service (LoS) at the controlled corridors.

This information helps in making adjustments to the traffic signal timings on the road network, and will also used to alert motorists on traffic congestion.

The project is in line with the surface transport master plan (STMP) to build world-class integrated and sustainable transport infrastructure, and is expected to be completed by early 2015.

DoT integrated intelligent transportation systems director Salah Al Marzouqi said: “This project is considered one of the key projects of the intelligent transport systems (ITS) strategy launched by the DoT in 2010.

“It will ensure better management of the road traffic network and less congestion whilst boosting the levels of vehicle safety and movement within Abu Dhabi.”

Image: The new system provides information to help alert motorists on traffic congestion. Photo: courtesy of Matthew Shiroma.



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.



Traffic signals in Delhi to have unique number; hourly updates of its status to be made available

December 2, 2013


Somreet Bhattacharya, TNN

(Hourly updates of traffic…)
NEW DELHI: The next time you are stuck at a traffic intersection where the signal takes a long time to turn green, you can call the traffic police and register a complaint. The force is in the process of marking each signal with a unique number which a Delhiite can quote while making a complaint on the traffic helpline or the police control room.

 Officials said the system will be rolled out in stages over the next few months. Signals at major intersections in Delhi are manned by personnel who control the lights depending on the pressure of traffic in the area.

Hourly updates of traffic lights to be made available. The system often creates snarls as officials controlling it have to coordinate with their colleagues at neighbouring signals to synchronize the lights for smooth flow of traffic, particularly during peak hours.

To begin with, crossings at Maurice Nagar in DU’s North Campus and Mayapuri (west Delhi) have been numbered. These identification numbers will help traffic control rooms monitor the change in signaling, whether done manually or automatically.

“We will fine tune it further to pinpoint any fault with the signaling systems so that a traffic snarl that might be caused due to a rapidly changing signal can be rectified ,” said Anil Shukla, additional CP (traffic). Traffic officials added that hourly updates of the traffic lights will be available with control rooms at any point of time.

“Even commuters who are stuck in a snarl at a signal and notice that a traffic light is creating a snarl, can inform our control room using the helpline number or the PCR number mentioning the traffic light calibration digits, and we can take appropriate action to rectify it,” said a senior traffic official.

Traffic authorities said, for the time being, a chart will be maintained at control rooms showing the positions and calibration numbers of the signal poles.

When such complaints are registered with the authorities, they will be able to pinpoint the signal using the chart and inform the local traffic official to rectify it.

“We are trying to document each signal with its timing data base and functionality and there will be no arbitrariness in the controlling . This will help us in monitoring and accountability of our boys on the field also,” said Shukla.



Traffic cops to manually tune signal management system

December 2, 2013

Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Subhendu Ray 

NEW DELHI: Failing to put an automated intelligent traffic system (ITS) in place in the national Capital despite several attempts, the Delhi traffic police are now working to make them smart manually.

With the help of Google Maps they are conducting an in depth study on traffic patterns, road conditions, average vehicular speed, volume of traffic and discharge capacity of intersection arms at tarffic intersections. Accordingly, they will pre-fix the signal cycle timings to five to eight different time brackets of the day. “We have started the process about four months ago and have already re-tuned about 500 signals in east and west Delhi of 1200 total signals and blinkers in the city. This has significantly improved the traffic situation in these areas by reducing waiting time and improving the process of vehicle discharge,” said Anil Shukla, additional commissioner of police (traffic).

Some of the major intersections where the system is already in place include Kirti Nagar, Punjabi Bag, Mayapuri on Ring Road, Ramesh Nagar, East Patel Nagar and Rajouri Garden circle.

The ongoing process of tuning all 1200 signals and blinkers will be completed within a couple of months, he said



Outer ring road to be developed in Kottayam

October 31, 2013


KOTTAYAM: An already existing road network will be developed as an outer ring road of the town connecting Pakkil-Kanjikuzhy and Kodimatha.

According to PWD, the work includes the modification of the MG Road (1km), ML Junction-Muttambalam Road (2.5km) and Kanjikuzhy-Power House Junction Road (7km).

 The work includes tarring by ensuring a minimum width of 5.5m in the latter two stretches and 15m on MG road. The road will be also raised in those portions affected by water logging, said Santhosh, assistant executive engineer.

The outer bypass will start from Power House Junction-Pakkil-Kaduvakkulam-Nalkkavala-Kollad-Bata Junction-Muttambalam Railway Cross-Erayilkadavu-Chanthakadavu and finally join MG Road.

The package also involves making minor changes in the junctions which come along the stretch for facilitating easy flow of traffic. These Junctions include Pakkil, Kaduvakkulam, Nalkkavala, Kollad and Bata Junction.

“The work of the MG Road has already started. We are hoping to finish the work of this stretch in January,” said Santhosh.

The 1 km stretch of MG Road which was in a bad condition for over two years will be renovated after raising the height of the road. “The entire stretch will be renovated based on KSTP standards,” said the engineer.

However, the work does not include the construction of footpaths. “This work will be included in the next phase,” said Santhosh.

The new vegetable market, fish market, proposed slaughterhouse, KSEB substation and the proposed new municipal office complex are located on the sides of this 1 km stretch.

The ML Road will also be renovated this financial year, said municipal chairman Santhosh Kumar. He also said that the traffic block at the Mark Junction will be reduced once the road is renovated. Once the road is renovated, the roadside vendors will be evacuated, he added.


3 flyovers to reduce traffic on GB road

October 19, 2013

Manoj Badgeri, TNN |


THANE: If all goes according to the plan, then the Ghodbunder stretch could find three more flyovers at Anand Nagar, Kasarwadawli and Ovala junctions.The plan apparently is to pave way for outbound traffic towards Borivli. and also make the stretch free for movement of city-traffic.

The proposal will soon be presented to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan for its implementation.

A delegation, including Thane guardian minister Ganesh Naik and MP Dr Sanjeev Naik, met the deputy chief minister to highlight the demands of Thane city last Tuesday. The meet was atended by MMRDA metropolitan commissioner U P S Madaan and MSRDC officials. MSRDC officials said that the proposal was floated by the guardian minister and they are yet to finalise it. “The flyovers will roughly cost around Rs 75 crore. Each of these flyovers would be around 150m long with four lanes (two lanes on each side).

“There is a long standing demand for these flyovers in the area that witnesses severe traffic snarls,” said MP Dr Sanjeev Naik, who was present at the meeting. Presently, there are three flyovers over busy junctions at Manpada, Patlipada and Waghbil. that cut down travel time of outbound traffic considerably as they bypass these choc-a-bloc junctions.

Residents and motorists said the same will ease traffic considerably.

“Once you cross the Majiwada junction, travelling is comfortable. The problem starts only from Anand Nagar to Ovala where traffic has to halt at signals,” said Bhavesh Shah, who travels to Bhayender for work daily.

Dr Dnyandev Daki who stays at Kasarvadavli said the stretch is prone to heavy traffic during the peak hours. “With heavy traffic criss crossing the stretch, local residents are inconvenienced. It takes considerable time to cross the signal and reach home. A flyover here would greatly ease the congestion,” he says.

Rakhi Patil, another resident said an elevated road right from Anand Nagar to Ovala would also greatly help free the stretch for local traffic. “The city is expanding and one needs space to accommodate local vehicles on the roads,” she said.

The long standing proposal was presented by Thane guardian minister Ganesh Naik at a meeting with the deputy chief minister on Tuesday.

“I will follow up with the chief minister for fast implementation of these projects,” said deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

​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.

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