Stressed by congestion and rising rate of crime on roads, highway operators are also taking to that gadget which seems to have a high-mast view on every aspect of modern life: the closed-circuit television (CCTV).
The Noida Toll Bridge will soon fix up surveillance cameras on the 10.5-km stretch connecting Delhi with Noida.
According to Pradeep Puri, president and chief executive officer of the Noida Toll Bridge and Company Ltd, the main reason in opting for CCTVs is to improve theirresponse time when trafficis held up.
“Sometimes there is a traffic jam because of a van that took a ‘U-turn’ where it is not allowed. With the help of CCTVs, we will be able to narrow down the point of congestion faster, and clear the vehicles,” said Puri.
An officer with a highway operating company said they hoped to set up the cameras within nine months. As many as 36 cameras may be installed on the Delhi-Noida stretch.
Meanwhile, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also announced that it would rig some of its own highways with cameras.
According to a NHAI official, CCTVs will be set up on four stretches as a pilot project, by floating tenders. The stretches earmarked are Tambaram to Tindivanam (Tamil Nadu), Nellore to Chilakaluripet (Andhra Pradesh), Agra to Gwalior (Uttar Pradesh to Madhya Pradesh) and Ahmedabad to Vadodara (Gujarat).
Apart from helping highway operators clear the roads, the cameras will also help crack down on crime. “We want to be able to track each and every car that passes through the stretch, so that should there be any crime committed against travellers, we should be able to help the authorities track down the vehicle,” says R.C. Palekar, general manager (electronics), NHAI.
The authority plans to connect these cameras to a central control room, from where the entire stretch can be monitored. The control room will also have the facilities to communicate with drivers by using signboards set up along highways. Cases of accident victims bleeding to death on remote highways are a regular feature of long-distance travel in India, but help might soon be on the way.
“These signboards will help the control room communicate with all motorists passing through the stretch. So, if there has been an accident ahead and you need to take a detour or slow down, you will be warned,” says an NHAI officer.
The new advanced traffic management systems, as they are called, will also have an in-house meteorological unit, which will warn drivers about the change in weather conditions by flashing messages on the signboards.