Nagpur, India (Urban Transport News): In a bid to revolutionize the commuting experience, the 701-km Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg expressway is poised to undergo a technological metamorphosis with the integration of an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). Spearheaded by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the project aims to leverage artificial intelligence for efficient traffic monitoring.
The MSRDC, responsible for the expressway's construction, is actively seeking an experienced agency to undertake the ITS project, having issued a request for proposal with an earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs 24 crore as bid security.
The ITS project encompasses the supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of a state-of-the-art system along the expressway, officially named Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg after the late Sena founder.
An official from MSRDC confirmed that while 600 kilometers of the expressway are already operational, the remaining 101 kilometers are anticipated to open in 2024. This urgency underscores the need for prompt completion of the ITS work.
The ITS is designed to minimize human intervention and comprises three main components:
Optical Fiber Network: The project involves laying optical fiber connections across the entire expressway, forming the backbone for seamless data transmission.
Control Rooms and CCTV Cameras: Establishing control rooms equipped with CCTV cameras strategically placed to monitor traffic flow, vehicle count, and detect any violations.
Integrated Transport and Toll Management: This component aims to facilitate communication with drivers during emergencies, offering real-time updates and messages, among other features.
Presently, monitoring at Samruddhi Mahamarg relies on quick response vehicles, patrols by regional transport personnel, and highway police. However, traffic assessment is primarily manual. With the introduction of the ITS, control through artificial intelligence becomes possible, marking a significant leap in efficiency and accuracy.
While ITS implementation on the Mumbai-Pune highway is underway, the operationalization has faced delays due to pending work and ongoing expressway augmentation, according to the official. However, the introduction of ITS on the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Mahamarg is a pioneering move, with no similar system launched elsewhere in the state. The implementation of ITS on the Mumbai-Pune Highway and the State Transport Department's proposal to equip nine highways, covering around 2,000 kilometers, with an Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS) at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore.
The selected highways, including Thane (Ghodbunder) to Achchad, Mumbai (Kalamboli) to Kolhapur, and Nashik to Dhule (Hadakhed), have been chosen based on their high traffic density and accident rates.
State Transport Commissioner Vivek Bhimanwar, who visited Kerala, the first state to implement ITMS on its roads, expects the introduction of ITMS to improve road safety and significantly reduce violations on these critical highways.
As the Samruddhi Mahamarg paves the way for a high-tech future, the integration of the Intelligent Transportation System emerges as a game-changer in the realm of urban infrastructure. This ambitious project not only promises to enhance traffic management but also sets the stage for future technological advancements in the state's expressway network. As the project unfolds, its success will undoubtedly influence the trajectory of similar initiatives nationwide.