Pushing for induction of IT-driven solutions in traffic management, the Research Committee on Applications of Industrial Electronics of the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MOCIT) has suggested setting up of intelligent transport management cells to help mega cities across the country tide over their traffic woes.

Head of the committee and vice chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University H P Khincha said: “We have held two rounds of discussions so far. The next meeting scheduled at Thiruvananthapuram in May will finalise the sub-systems for operationalising the cell. We have suggested the Centre to earmark Rs 10 crore – Rs 15 crore to facilitate the integration of IT systems with traffic management.”

Speaking to reporters after inaugurating the national conference on road infrastructure organised by Volvo-India, Khincha said the committee was working with about 10 organisations (both government and private) to develop a network model to be adopted by the cell.

“In fact, the Delhi police have drawn up plans to put in place an Intelligent Traffic System to monitor and streamline vehicular movement during the 2010 Commonwealth Games by setting up a central control room that regulates all traffic signals. But the challenge lies in developing indigenous solutions,” Khincha added.

“The Indian road system is different from that of the West. There is not enough road space here, but the vehicular population continues to rise. This apart, lane system is not followed, parking is allowed in roads and pedestrian movement is not given priority. In this backdrop, importing traffic management systems from abroad is not viable,” he said.

Pointing to the indigenously developed Area Traffic Control System (ATCS) that has been put in place in Pune, Khincha said: “This system is working well and there is tremendous scope for optimisation of traffic capacity.” Designed by C-DAC, ATCS envisages installation of sensors on the roads to determine traffic density — which would help in regulating traffic flow.

ATCS was first introduced at 39 traffic junctions in Pune in 2006 at a cost of Rs 4 crore. With ATCS in place, the average travel speed at these junctions has increased from 2 per cent to 10 per cent and the annual fuel savings registered in 2006 was Rs 4.47 crore. It will soon be extended to another 40 junctions in Pune. ATCS will also be introduced in Shillong, Khincha added.