Monday , 14 October 2019

Intelligent traffic system gives-transparency in vehicular traffic system

Orderly traffic management system catches our eye whenever we visit the developed countries. However, in India, haphazard traffic movement is the order of the day even in the metropolitan cities, let alone the smaller cities or moffusil towns.

More than the traffic management, India has the dubious distinction of being the nation where most of the traffic related fatalities happen. We lose approximately 1.4 lakh people every year in fatal road accidents, mainly the youngsters, the nation?s productive population. Delhi has witnessed a steady decline in road fatalities from 2300 to around 1800 in the last five years. Still this figure is very high and requires interventions at various levels. Orderliness in mobility in most countries is acheived through contactless interventions such as optimized traffic signals, lane management cameras, speed and red light violation detection cameras, centralized traffic control room as well as traffic guidance and navigation system. Delhi Police has been looking for a viable ITMS solution for the last five years and the project was started in the year 2008-09. However, after the Detailed Project Report (DPR), the project could not be initiated. In 2012-13, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Delhi Police appointed Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) as consultant for the ITMS project and DPR involving expenditure around ?500 crores have been submitted to Ministry of Home Affairs for approval. At present, the Request for Proposal (RFP) is under preparation. The Safe City Management, of which ITMS is a part, will serve in reduction of incidence of road accidents, reduction in road congestion, better implementation of traffic rules as well as decreasing the average travel time and increasing average road speed. The broader aim is to reduce noise pollution, air pollution, less traffic violations as well as efficient parking management.

Delhi has a population of over 16.7 million and has 33,000km of road length. It has over eight million registered vehicles and around 1200 new vehicles are added every day. It has 40 different types of vehicles and a bullock cart is competing with an Audi car for road space. Management of this multi-modal system is a major challenge. While Delhi Traffic Police has strength of around 6,000 policemen, the massive movement of traffic can only be efficiently managed by infusion of new technology.

The ITMS project will involve latest technology and primary components include red light detection cameras, speed detection cameras, variable message signboards as well as adaptive and optimize real time signal control and public address system. However, one would appreciate that a large number of junctions are already oversaturated. Relevant technology in efficient movement of traffic junctions would be a paramount importance. There would be various methods to install the ITMS project, but the maintenance of huge ITMS project would certainly be a major challenge. In this world, with rapidly changing technology, upgradation and induction of latest technology would be a major challenge. The current system of procurement of technology through tenders is generally delivery and maintenance model. However, a PPP modal can also be adopted. This PPP modal will allow induction of latest technology and would allow Traffic Police to overcome the problems of maintenance of technology on the streets through the element of weather, force majeure, vandalism, theft, etc.

The ITMS will bring in transparency. It will remove and reduce the discretion of the policemen on ground. Thus, the corrupt practices or malpractices can be effectively checked. Secondly, it will bring in evidences in case one has over sped and jumped the traffic signal. It will reduce the opportunity of misjudgment and can work in non-policing hours especially in night thus increasing the efficiency.

Funding of ITMS project can be done though the traffic challans and fines collected. On an average, Delhi Traffic Police books 12000 persons per day for traffic violations and the department contributes around ?50cr to the government on annual basis. However, the violations caused by 80 lakh vehicles are much more. Even if we detect 50,000 traffic violations on an average and with the minimum fine likely to be increased to ?400 from ?100, as proposed in the revised Motor Vehicles Act, we will have fine collection of 5×4=20 times, yielding around ?100cr through fines. This money can be utilized to design, install, maintain and, upgrade the ITMS project and make it self-sustainable.

The entire project should be done in phases and with an effective area based or corridor based pilot.?

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