Pb govt mulling to deploy drones at toll plazas to monitor traffic

The Punjab government is mulling to deploy drones at all toll plazas in the state to help authorities monitor traffic and take swift action to ease vehicular movement.

"In its bid to monitor traffic snarl at toll plazas and to take quick action to ease vehicle flow, the public works department (PWD) will put drones for video surveillance and real-time mapping of congestion at all major toll plazas," Punjab PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla said in a statement today.

Technically, a tollgate system's efficiency is measured through the queue length and waiting time of vehicles.

The queue build up is a result of the gap in vehicle clearance vis-a-vis total arrivals at the toll per unit of time, according to an official release.

It swells exponentially in peak hours. So, despite better roads, toll plazas only end up slowing traffic, it said.

Hence, deployment of drones is being considered to streamline the vehicular flow, the minister said.

The attempt is to save time to stop the cascading effect of highway traffic on to service lanes and alternate routes, Singla said.

Following a series of complaints about long queues and miss behaviour by the staff of toll plazas in Punjab, a special meeting was convened with tollgate operators in the state, and the officials of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).

These operators are managing 15 toll plazas on national highways and 23 on state roads.

The minister voiced the public concern about traffic congestion leading to inordinate delay, wastage of public time and fuel and also the deficiencies in service at the toll plazas across the state, according to the release.

They were categorically told to spruce up functioning within 30 days and provide public facilities at toll plazas as per the terms and conditions of their contract that mentions provision for a fully-equipped ambulance, a recovery van, and drinking water, lighting and toilet facilities, and sign boards, it said.

Better facilities for commuters in terms of courteous attitude of staff, construction of additional lanes where ever feasible, usage of additional hand-held machines for toll collection and regular maintenance of BOT roads, berms, edgings, markings and plantation were also discussed, it said

"Deeming the absence of the representative from Sona Enterprises responsible for the operation of toll plaza at Laddowal on NH (National Highway)-1 near Ludhiana as non-inclination to redress the complaints against its services, the department wrote against the operator to the NHAI," the release said.

The department sought "necessary action and temporary permission of free movement of traffic without payment of any toll, till the operator amends its ways and takes corrective measures", it said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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