ISLAMABAD: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to introduce an ‘Intelligent Transportation System’ (ITS) to provide information to the commuters travelling on the Islamabad Expressway through a mobile app and by installing various modern gadgets.

According to the authority, the system will be introduced from Zero Point to Rawat, and will control traffic at various intersections between the two points on the Expressway.

As part of the project, a CCTV surveillance system that consists of states and pan-tilt and zoom cameras will be installed after every three kilometres with coverage of 500 metres, CDA spokesperson Syed Safdar Ali said. A traffic control centre will also be established.

The system is expected to mitigate commuters’ sufferings

He said the centre will be connected to field devices and equipped with backlight LED video wall screens, a video wall controller, video storage and a core network switch.

The spokesperson said electronic variable message signs will be an important component of the system, aimed at improving road safety and reducing the impact of congestion as it will provide up to the minute information on incident management, driver information, strategic diversions and road work.

Bridges and existing gantries will be utilised for this purpose, he said, and the ITS will be internally connected with fibre optics which will be laid across the Expressway.

The system will also be able to classify and count vehicles to ensure traffic is managed smoothly, particularly at peak hours. Speed control will be a vital component of the system, and a point-to-point man-less speed enforcement system will be used to detect speed limits in which the average speed between points will be calculated, a statement issued by the CDA on Thursday said.

It said that weigh stations will also be established along the Expressway to inspect vehicular weights, and an e-fine collection system will be introduced. The entire system will be backed up with high powered gel batteries to avoid any electricity breakdowns.

According to the CDA, a web portal and a mobile application will also be developed to keep the public aware and up-to-date on the traffic situation.

This is the first time an ITS is being implemented in the capital. It will aim to improve traffic flow, safety levels, reduce the environmental impact of traffic such as the emission of harmful gases, noise and vibration.

Sources in the CDA said the ITS component was part of the already executed Expressway expansion from Zero Point to Rawat, which the authority will now execute. Sources said the expansion from Koral to Rawat still hangs in the balance, as the federal government only allocated this project Rs450 million in the 2019-20 fiscal year Public Sector Development Programme against the CDA’s demand for Rs10bn.

The CDA is now mulling whether to contribute another Rs450m of its own funding to start this project, but the scope of the project would be changed. The authority is planning to shelve the expansion from Koral to Rawat and opt for the construction of a bridge on Korang Nullah and an underpass near the PWD stop.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2019