The National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) revamping plans for the National Highways (NHs) of the country are in full force as it was announced recently that a surveillance system is set to be put for real-time updates of traffic congestion across all major toll plazas. In the next six months, this surveillance system will be operational on 10 plazas and there is a plan in place to extend it to 200. The surveillance system will work alongside the Incident Management System which was introduced by the autonomous agency of the Government of India earlier.
The Incident Management System (IMS), which was introduced by the National Highways Authority of India gathers data on incidents, such as accidents and notifies the command station. In case of such happenings, this system is equipped with facilities such as ambulances, cranes and tow-away vehicles to handle the situation responsibly and expeditiously. These amenities are placed at consistent distances on the highways in case of emergencies. The IMS also collects real-time information such as equipment and software, making use of it in stimulating 3D maps, and transfers to a command centre for integration and processing.
The surveillance system will collect traffic data at Toll plazas via its low-latency Internet Protocol (IP) cameras and a unique imaging technology and divert it to a command and control centre situated in a Regional Office (RO) which is governing the highway area. While explaining the functionality of the system briefly, Mr Akhilesh Srivastava, CGM (IT & Operations), NHAI, has said that once the IP cameras are fully operational, they will hand over time-stamped photographs to the command centre of the NHAI.
As and when the traffic near the Toll lane increases and goes beyond the mandated limit, the camera automatically switches to video mode and a live-stream of data starts, keeping the command centre updated and alerted. If, in case, the flow of traffic fails to smoothen within 30 minutes of the alert, the system sends a signal to the command centres for dispatching special units for mitigation.
The surveillance system will transfer the control of the entire highway functioning to the command centre, including 24 hour live feed access of the highways. To ease the transition from the existing infrastructural facilities to technologically updated amenities, the NHAI has already equipped all concerned RO command centres with high-speed Internet.
Highways minister Shri Nitin Gadkari has also confirmed that the NHAI will sign a contract with Korea Expressway Corporation in the coming days. The corporation handles its entire highway operations through a Traffic Management Centre using AV (Audio-Visual) technology. The highways minister said that the technology will allow the personnel to view 70 separate images of the entire road network on a single screen. It also eases the procedure of tracking vehicles on the highways. Through this system, a vehicle’s exact location can be traced by entering its registration number.
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