To keep a virtual eye on all vehicles violating traffic rules on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which is notorious for a very high number of accidents, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to install a surveillance system involving speed cameras and digital warning boards.
The system, which will be installed at a cost of Rs 63.8 crore, is known as an ‘’intelligent highway surveillance system” and is commonplace on major highways in developed countries. This system has also been deployed on the Delhi-Agra Yamuna Expressway.
A senior MSRDC official said, “The high-speed cameras will capture images of all vehicles cutting through lanes, over-speeding and violating traffic rules. The images would be flashed on digital boards that will be set up along with the cameras as a warning and the information will be transmitted to the control room.”
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The MSRDC will install a total of 84 high-speed cameras. There will be 12 such cameras each at seven locations. The GPRS-based system will also record details such as the vehicle’s registration number, the place of speeding and the time. Currently, the speed limit on the Mumbai-Pune expressway is 80 kmph.
As per the tender notice that the MSRDC has issued, the company appointed to set up the system will be given 12 months to complete the work. The last date for submission of bids is March 14.
The MSRDC official said this system was recommended for installation on the expressway by the Science and Technology Park, which is an institute set up by the department of science and technology of the central government at University of Pune.
Following the recommendation, the corporation had asked Pune-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing to study the technical feasibility of installing the system on the 94.5-km Mumbai-Pune expressway.
The expressway has been severely criticised for rash driving, the lack of enforcement of traffic rules and inadequate surveillance leading to a high number of accidents. The highway has seen 214 accidents between October 2012 and October 2013. Seventy-two people died in these accidents and more than 140 were left injured.
The MSRDC and the state government are implementing several measures to beef up safety on the expressway. The corporation has installed special wire ropes and has planned truck terminals on the two ends of the expressway, a helipad for operating air ambulances and a trauma care centre.