The recent statewide campaign launched against toll plazas by the MNS seems to have borne fruit with the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) deciding to install Automated Traffic Count and Classification System (ATCCS) at all toll plazas, to count the number of vehicles passing through and total toll collected everyday.
Two months away
The first system is expected to be in place at the Pune-Mumbai Expressway in the next two months. This method will ensure the MSRDC gets the exact number of vehicles, category-wise, and also have a record of the total toll collected each day. Earlier, the method employed was manual counting.
“It is not possible to count vehicles manually everyday. So for every highway, we take a sample count for two weeks and calculate the ratio of private vehicle per unit for a year. The maintenance of the highway depends upon the total vehicle load. For that, the number of vehicles is a perfect parameter to go by,” said a senior officer of the MSRDC. The system will be installed at the 27 different toll plazas in the state, starting with the Pune Mumbai e-way.
At the initial stage, bids were floated to appoint contractors to gather traffic data using the ATCCS machines at the five entry points to Mumbai - Vashi, Dahisar, Mulund, Airoli and LBS Marg - and the four toll nakas on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway - Shedung, Khalapur, Kusgaon and Talegaon. Along with the ATCCS system, the MSRDC is also reinstalling the electronic tag system at the e-way, which will enable toll to be collected on a monthly basis. The process entails attaching a small electronic device to the number plate of any vehicle, which will be detected by censors at toll plazas, and lead to the gate opening automatically.
A separate lane will be reserved for electronic tag system users, which will save time. "We had started this system earlier, but had to terminate it due to the low response. Considering the increasing number of vehicles, we are restarting this system to benefit commuters in way of saving time. We will appeal to the people to use this system through pamphlets and other mediums," said an MSRDC official.
MSRDC is starting a trauma centre at Ozarde on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway and tenders for this project have been short-listed and construction work will begin shortly. This centre will provide emergency services in case of accidents free of cost. After Ozarde, four more centres have been proposed at different parts of the e-way