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Mumbai-Pune e-way to get new system to manage traffic, curb deaths

Intelligent Traffic Management System will give advance info to drivers, have automated toll, etc

mumbai Updated: Aug 15, 2018 00:33 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Pune,Mumbai-Pune Expressway
Traffic jam on E-way near Khandala in Pune.(HT Photo)

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, always in the news due to traffic violations, congestion, and accidents, will soon get “Intelligent Traffic Management System’ (ITMS) that is expected to help the authorities in managing the traffic, curb traffic violations and reduce accidents and fatalities.

ITMS has features such as CCTV network, speed guns, LED displays to give advance information to traffic on the highway, access control system, effective accident response system, automated toll collection and other facilities including an effective system for managing accidents. The highway will also have systems for weighing the vehicles in motion, to ensure a curb on overloading.

The ITMS will be tested on the Mumbai-Pune expressway before it is implemented on the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur expressway.

During the State Road Safety Council’s meeting that was chaired by transport minister Diwakar Raote, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officers informed that tenders for the system are likely to be invited after October.

Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the first expressway of the country, has gained a reputation for accidents and traffic violations. Now MSRDC, a state-owned company, has planned a second, 700km-long expressway between Mumbai and Nagpur, which has been christened as ‘Samruddhi Mahamarg’ (Prosperity Corridor).

In the wake of accidents on Mumbai-Pune expressway, the council had directed MSRDC to give a presentation on the steps taken for avoiding accidents on the proposed highway. The expressway is designed for speed of 150kmph in the 100km stretch between Thane and Igatpuri and the longest tunnel will be 800metre-long at Kasara Ghat.

According to MSRDC’s presentation, the Samruddhi Mahamarg will be a six-lane road with 24 interchange points, from where the motorist can enter or exit the highway. It will be equipped with the optical fibre network that would be the backbone of ITMS, which will allow vehicles to pay the toll without stopping.

Anil Gaikwad, chief engineer of MSRDC, said they have planned wayside amenities at an interval of every 40km along the expressway. Facilities like helipad and trauma care centres are also planned at these points.

Gaikwad said that in order to avoid distractions to drivers, advertising boards and flex advertisements would be banned along the Samruddhi Expressway. The highway is designed for a speed of 150kmph, but the permissible top speed will be 120kmph only, he said.

Raote, however, suggested MSRDC to test ITMS first on Mumbai-Pune Expressway, before implementing it on Samruddhi Expressway.

“Mumbai-Pune Expressway has become a death trap, despite vehicular speed restriction of 80kmph. Therefore, first test ITMS on Mumbai-Pune Expressway, before implementing it on Mumbai-Nagpur highway,” said Raote.

In the meeting, World Resource Institute did a presentation about the analysis of road accidents in the state. According to it, Maharashtra ranks third in the country in accident fatalities with more than 12,500 deaths in 2016-17. Only 15% of total national highways pass through Maharashtra, but 57% of the state accidents occur on these, the presentation said. A total of 47% of the total road fatalities are two-wheeler riders.

First Published: Aug 15, 2018 00:33 IST