An aerial view of the Mandya bypass on the 10-lane Access-Controlled Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway tweeted by Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha.
By S.T. Ravikumar
Mysore/Mysuru: The Mandya bypass on the 10-lane Access-Controlled Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway (NH-275) is now open for public use. Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha, who played a vital role in sanctioning and implementing the project from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, confirmed the same on social media on Wednesday.
With the opening of the Mandya bypass, it will be easier to travel on the stretch as it helps the commuters avoid congested parts of the city and town areas while travelling between the two cities. The Ramanagara and Channapatna bypasses have already been opened on the Expressway which has a design length of 118-km and is scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the Karnataka Assembly elections.
“Mandya bypass opens for traffic! Enjoy the drive. BUT Speed Kills; Safe Drive,” Pratap Simha said on Twitter.
The safety aspect of the Expressway, a soon-to-be one of the busiest arterial corridors, has come to the fore again with regular accidents. Sources from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) told Star of Mysore that the Expressway has been designed to achieve a speed of 110 to 120 kms per hour but commuters are cruising at a break-neck speed of 150 to 160 km per hour.
“Cars and SUVs are reaching Bengaluru within one-and-a-half-hours even before the Expressway is fully opened. The NHAI has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to implement an Intelligent Highway Information and Traffic Management System (IHI-TMS) on this Expressway to control accidents and theft of metal barricades laid by the sides and pipes to drain off water,” sources told Star of Mysore.
Artificial Intelligence application
Sources said that IHI-TMS, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) application connected with high-tech CCTV cameras, will be installed at every 500 to 700 metres and will comprise sensors as well as other traffic violation detection systems such as lane cutting and overspeeding to minimise the number of accidents and to regulate and effectively manage traffic.
The IHI-TMS designing is done in such a way that it provides real-time updates to NHAI, jurisdictional Police, Fire and ambulances on their Central Command Centre setup, to keep a check on traffic violators and rush for help in case of medical emergencies.
According to sources, the IHI-TMS will help them control traffic as well as increase road discipline as violators will be booked and issued challans with penalties. Besides, it will help monitor the stretch at all times as well as mitigate accident-like situations.
Salient features of IHI-TMS
As per the proposal sent by the NHAI, the IHI-TMS will comprise app-based toll-way payments to ease congestion at toll plazas, automated speed violation detection with e-challan, slow-moving traffic alerts at command centres, traffic density and jam alerts at the command centre and apps and peak and off-peak traffic analysis across the stretch of the highway.
The other features are automated accident detection with instant alerts to the nearest Police Station, hospital, ambulance and command centre for saving lives within the golden hour, vehicle type, vehicle count, vehicle brand and colour identification.
The IHI-TMS will also help highway maintenance like pothole detection and alerts, water stagnation, unidentified object detection and alerts, highway asset monitoring and tracking towards prevention of thefts and pilferage.
It will have an integrated command centre with a video wall, artificial intelligence applications to monitor the stretch of highway in one view and artificial intelligence-based blackspot video analysis to reduce accidents.
It will detect wrong-way driving with instant alerts and e-challan integration. An integral part of the IHI-TMS is an artificial intelligence-based emergency response system for accident victims and support from the command centre.
Theft of barricades, water pipes baffles NHAI Officers
Thieves are stealing parts of the specially fabricated stainless steel crash barriers on the Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway and a majority of the thefts have been reported in Bidadi, Ramanagara and Mandya on either side.
The intricately designed railings are made of high-grade steel that costs more in the scrap market. “We have fenced major portions of the Highway for safety reasons but shockingly, the barricades are cut and taken away, mostly after dark. We have seen this phenomenon since the last three to four months, especially when the date of Expressway opening is nearing,” said an officer from the National Highways Authority of India.
These barriers are expensive and value more than the regular such materials that are sent to scrap yards. They are a part of a beautification and safety project but wily thieves managed to strike and take away a considerable number of barricades to sell them cheaply to scrap dealers, the officer said.
Not only barricades but also water pipes are their target. “We have installed many pipes on the elevated roads for the rainwater to flow smoothly. Even they are not spared,” the officer said and noted that once the Intelligent Highway Information and Traffic Management System is implemented, there will be no opportunity for the thieves to steal.
What will be installed on the Expressway?
- Lane Discipline Violation Detection System
- Average Speed Detection Systems
- Automatic Number Plate Recognition System
- Violation detection cameras
- CCTVs at every 600 metres for general surveillance
- Wrong-way Entry Detection system
- High-tech mobile surveillance vans with speed guns
- Integration of cameras and e-challan machines
- Intelligent Vehicle Tracking System