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City may get Big Data’s assistance to manage burgeoning traffic


CHENNAI: The burgeoning traffic in Chennai may soon get the Big Data assistance to streamline, monitor and provide real time information to road users, including public transport commuters, through SMS, emails or other internet-enabled modes.

The draft for a detailed project report on implementing the Intelligent Transport System submitted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the main conduit for Japan’s overseas development aid, is now being reviewed by various stakeholders before getting the stamp of approval from Tamil Nadu Infrastructure Development Board.

The technology-driven system proposes four main components – Chennai Traffic Information Centre, Traffic Management Centre for city traffic police, Probe Car System and Command Control Centre. Together, they will help streamline traffic flow on the congested city roads, bringing about a sea change in monitoring city traffic.

The focus will be on setting up Chennai Traffic Information Centre which will utilise Big Data to collect comprehensive quantitative traffic data, including congestion, incident, event and other information that affect road traffic in Chennai Metropolitan Area. The centre will process this large volume of information and convert it into simple, real-time information that would be passed on to road users through internet, e-mail or SMS. The Traffic Management Centre would assist Chennai City Traffic Police wing to monitor and control all 383 signalised intersections in the city. Using this system, the police will be able to nab those who jump traffic signals on the presumption that police personnel are not present on the spot to monitor. Another capability of the ITS is Probe Car System wherein the congestion status on road network and expected travel time can be estimated and communicated to road users so that they can select alternate route to save travel time. The last is the Command Control Centre for city buses, under which the buses will be managed utilising the GPS data.

Residents of Vijayanallur in Red Hills bring the traffic to a halt by staging a road roko demanding power supply, in the city on Sunday

Sources said the Intelligent Transport System will be implemented in Chennai in three phases: if the proposal is accepted, the first phase will start from next year itself. This would cover the entire city, which would take time till 2021 for implementation. The next phase will start from 2021 to 2026 wherein the 133.65-km-long Chennai peripheral road would be covered. The final phase would start from 2027. However, while the plan looks good on paper, experts caution that its successful implementation would depend on the formation of Chennai Unified Metropolitan Authority which is yet to be notified. CUMTA is a major stakeholder in implementation of ITS, sources added.

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