After struggling for at least four years to complete the the Area Traffic Control (ATC) project, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has requested the World Bank for funds for the project’s second phase.
The purpose of the ATC project is to manage traffic at junctions and signals better to save commuters’ waiting and travel time. Phase two of the project was to be completed in March but is still underway.
“We have asked the World Bank to see if it can fund the second phase of the project which will cost at least Rs70 crore,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner, Aseem Gupta.
Under this project, the BMC has begun linking 253 traffic signals across the city to sensors that allow the length of a signal can be regulated depending on the traffic situation. So far, 198 signals have been connected while 55 are yet to be linked to the system.
This intelligent traffic system, which when completed will make traffic management easier at junctions. The traffic signals are working in fixed-time mode. Through the ATC system they will be linked in the real-time mode. The traffic control room will be able to increase or decrease the signal time depending on traffic at the spot.
The technology used in the system will constantly acquire and update data on road status, including the number of vehicles arriving at intersections by each access point. The data will be used to adjust traffic lights at each intersection in accordance with demand and in coordination with neighbouring intersections.
Gupta added that the BMC is also looking at placing better quality cameras at traffic junctions. “The cameras put up right now can only capture the vehicle. We want the cameras to capture details such as the number plate and the model of the vehicle so we will put up these hi-tech cameras at the remaining traffic junctions.”
The BMC has also written to the Swedish company executing the project to check if it can provide timers at traffic signals to let motorists know how long it will take for the signal to turn green. “Even if that doesn’t happen, the BMC will be installing a timing system at signals but they are not a part of this project,” Gupta said.
The World Bank had given Rs 49 crore for the first phase of the project which was completed last year. It had also rapped the BMC for delaying the project.