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GIS-based ATC eases traffic congestion

Mumbai, India: The Mumbai Police, in alliance with the World Bank and others in India, introduced the Area Traffic Control (ATC), a sophisticated signalling network, to ease traffic snarls, especially those during peak hours in the morning and evening. By all accounts, it is the first time such a system has been tried out in the country and it is yielding good result, observed an article published in Business Standard
The INR 72-crore system is a computer system for centrally coordinating traffic signal timings over a wide area of the city. At the city’s police headquarters, at any given time a group of about 10 policemen (who work around the clock in two shifts of 12 hours each) can be seen engrossed in the live images being relayed from traffic junctions on a large video wall, while a GIS renders congestion levels onto a map veined with red, amber and green. Traffic policemen sitting at the screen consoles monitor about 256 signal junctions at a time through more than 600 high-technology zoom cameras. These cameras detect traffic intensity and feed the data into computers. This allows for real-time adjustments to traffic signals that are synchronised to help commuters catch green lights all through and maintain an efficient flow of traffic.
Trouble spots can also be tackled directly from the control room. Vehicles that have broken down, accidents and potential security risks can be dealt with quickly. In such cases the control room asks the beat policeman to go the site. Apart from cameras, sensors have been fitted beneath the road surface, or alongside the camera on the signal post. This ensures that if traffic stops flowing before the signal turns from green to amber, the light automatically trips. This is known as “intelligent signalling”. The ATC is one of the three components of the World Bank-supported Mumbai Urban Transport Project. The other two components are augmented rail capacity and the resettlement and rehabilitation of nearly 100,000 people in the city. World Bank has spent close to INR 72 crore on ATC. 
Other agencies involved in the project, apart from the World Bank and Mumbai Police, are Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (the nodal agency), Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (project employer), Pell Frischmann of London (engineering consultant) and the joint venture of Telvent (Spain) and CMS Computers in India (contractors).
Source: Business Standard