To arrest the rapid deterioration of traffic situation in the city, the civic body has chalked out a long-term initiative to install more signals, directional boards and even variable messaging signboards that display real-time information about the travel time.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has invited proposals from private firms to survey all the 1,588 road intersections across the city which do not have signals to study the feasibility of installing them.
These directions were issued to the BMC last month by the high court-appointed high-powered committee chaired by state additional chief secretary to suggest ways to make traffic flow smoother in the city.
“To follow the action plan set out by the committee, we have decided to first conduct a study of these road intersections as per the data provided to us by the traffic police,” said a senior official from the BMC’s traffic department.
Civic officials said the aim of the project is efficient regulation of vehicular traffic, and to induce better traffic discipline. “The survey will study the flow of traffic at these junctions and decide which ones require signals. The study is estimated to be completed in a year,” said the official.
Activists have welcomed the move, albeit with restraint. “Signalling of more junctions is favourable considering the kind of traffic in the city. It is a step in the right direction. But we need to wait and watch on how it will materialise,” said Ashok Datar, chairman of Mumbai Environmental Social Network, a non-government organisation that works towards traffic discipline in Mumbai. and an expert member on the HC-appointed panel. Datar said there is a need for a broader approach to address the major traffic issues in the city. “More cost-effective methods are needed for better traffic discipline. Issues such as parking on the road needs to be addressed to optimise road space,” added Datar.
The BMC had earlier undertaken a multi-crore World Bank-funded project to install area traffic control (ATC) signals that work on real-time mode, unlike the conventional signals that function in a fixed-time mode.