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Decongestion plan for the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway on ground measures

Post Date : Feb 14,2012

The two main reasons for congestion on the expressway are the increasing traffic volumes beyond the estimated levels and the lack of lane discipline especially the entry of cash users in tag lanes which lead to drop in throughput rates. Hence Expansion of the toll plaza and Challaning of errant cash vehicles in tag lanes are the two most critical elements of the Decongestion Plan. We have sent a proposal to the NHAI for expanding the KM 24 toll plaza by adding 10-12 lanes on either side in a staggered format. For preventing cash users from entering tag lanes, we have repeatedly requested the traffic police to challan the errant vehicles.  Since both these measures can only be executed with the support of the relevant authorities and may take some time, we have in the meanwhile initiated various on-ground measures to ease the traffic congestion on the expressway. 

These include:
1) Expansion by adding on more lanes within the existing Right of Way (ROW) on the land available to us. 
At the KM 24 Toll Plaza, we are adding 3 more lanes on the Delhi to Jaipur side and have two more reversible lanes which could significantly help in easing the traffic flow at this toll plaza. Work on this would start in March.
Work is already in progress for adding on 3 more lanes at the KM 42 Toll Plaza of which 2 lanes would be towards Delhi and 1 lane towards Jaipur. These should be completed by April.
2) Major hindrances disturbing the traffic flow at the KM 24 toll plaza have been studied for the traffic coming from Delhi and interventions are being tried out which are showing positive results. Close to 1300 vehicles per hour from the main carriageway and service lanes take the U Turn at Ambience Mall creating congestion at the toll plaza and the main carriageway. A U turn option is being provided at DLF Phase III turn between 5 and 8 pm. Other interventions including regulating the flow of two wheelers near the toll plaza are being tried out and the initial results are positive.
3) High resolution built-in varifocus length black IRLED cameras which are capable of capturing number plate details of vehicles passing through the toll plaza have been installed at both toll plazas.  36 cameras are in operation at the KM 24 toll plaza and 16 cameras at the KM 42 toll plaza. These are night vision cameras and have backlight composition (which nullifies light coming from behind) and highlight composition (which is antiglare). These cameras are dust and water proof and have a monitoring range of 50 meters.   
4) In order to further improve efficiencies, 10 new boom barriers have been installed whose speeds are faster so that vehicles can move through faster. These boom barriers have a cycle time of 0.6 seconds as compared to 1.2 seconds earlier. These are specially designed intelligent barriers which can automatically detect the presence of a vehicle underneath it.
5) As part of our initiative to combat congestion and guide the traffic flow better,  we have strengthened our team of traffic marshals, lane assistants and the corridor control team. At present the total count for traffic marshals and lane assistants are 151and 61 respectively. Similarly to swiftly cater to breakdowns and accidents the patrolling team has been increased to 132. The patrolling team has deployed 6 new patrolling bikes with public address systems and safety lights in place.  
6) Incorrect parking of heavy vehicles is another cause for congestion. We have deployed a patrolling vehicle which operates after 9.00 pm daily to remove any heavy vehicle parked incorrectly along the expressway. Our public address system at the toll plazas also urges the heavy vehicles to keep to the left. At the toll gates, special signages are being put up for additional lanes dedicated for heavy vehicles after 9 pm. 
7) More signboards have been put along the expressway for proper lane segregation and more are planned in the near future. Our marshals are segregating and regulating traffic at a distance of 175 m from the toll gates so that the traffic flow up to the toll gates is smooth and regulated without any lane changing.  
8) Out of the 7 VMS (Variable messaging system) installed along the expressway, 2 new ones have been installed and these are placed in either direction before the toll plaza so that commuter messages can be flashed as appropriate. 
9) To reduce congestion at key identified points like Udyog Vihar and IFFCO Chowk, the traffic light durations are being adjusted with the help of the traffic police to ease the traffic flow pattern.
10) As part of our ongoing decongestion drive, we are continuing to promote the usage of Smart Tags among commuters on the expressway. There has been a substantial increase in the number of tags distributed in 2011 including the complimentary replacement of defective tags and at present more than 115000 vehicles are fitted with Smart Tags. 
11) We have stepped up our toll collector training program over the last quarter in order to further increase their processing speed at the toll window. Our toll collectors have processed up to a 900 vehicles per hour per lane in peak hours which is among the fastest in the world and many times the processing rate stipulated in the Concession Agreement.
12) We are also experimenting with the concept of Mobile Ticketing wherein toll is collected from the vehicles waiting in the lanes before they reach the toll window. Initial trials on light vehicles suggest that since the processing rate at the toll window is already vey high mobile ticketing does not substantially improve the processing rate. Mobile ticketing does not have any impact on the overall waiting time or queue length which is a function of the total traffic volume. However, for heavy vehicles, especially after 9pm, which spend more time at the toll window including the payment of MCD tax, the mobile ticketing concept could make a difference in the processing rate. We would be conducting the mobile ticketing trials for heavy vehicles in the coming week.  

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