Ghaziabad: It has been nine days since the Delhi Meerut Expressway (DME) opened to the public on April 1, but traffic violations, such as over-speeding, continues unabated at the expressway section. Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that although automatic number plate readers (ANPRs) have been installed at various locations along the e-way, approval to run them is pending, along with levying toll rates.
HT on Friday visited the UP-Gate to Dasna section of the DME and found that the ANPRs in operation at Indirapuram displayed speed of vehicles over the limit of 100kmph, which is permissible under the jurisdiction of Uttar Pradesh.
Further ahead, autos and private buses continued to remain parked on highway lanes, blocking the traffic, and a similar situation prevailed at the Lal Kuan intersection.
NHAI officials said traffic violations data is being recorded with the help of ANPR systems but they did not share the number of erring vehicles noted so far.
“We have ANPR systems installed at six entry/exit points of the expressway and at eight other locations as well. We are monitoring traffic violations and fines will be sent to the district officials once the ANPRs get approval. At present, we are conducting only dry runs with ANPRs. The approvals for these as well as toll rates are also pending, and we are expecting them soon. In case of any accidents, the respective commuter will be held responsible,” said Mudit Garg, project director from NHAI.
The ANPRs are high-resolution CCTV cameras which detect speed violations and also read the registration plate of vehicles at the entry and exit points so as to ascertain the toll amount on the basis of distance travelled by the vehicle.
According to official sources, the DME, in 24 hours from midnight of April 7 to midnight of April 8, witnessed movement of about 94,800 vehicles, of which about 99% were cars and the rest were light-weight commercial vehicles, buses, trucks and other multi-axle vehicles.
Sources said that about 55% of the overall vehicles were found using the FASTag facility on the expressway, while those without FASTags were cars.
On the DME, only those vehicles with FASTags would be allowed once toll operations start, while non-FASTag vehicles will be penalised double the toll rate for the entire DME’s 60km section.
“It would have been better if officials had taken some more time and finished the pending works. The works of commuter safety come first. Wrong-side driving and even people crossing the expressway, risking their lives, is a common feature on the DME,” said Alok Kumar, founder member of the Federation of Apartment Owners’ Association.
Instances of jaywalking near Sector 63, Noida, and also at places in Vijay Nagar continue unabated on DME.
Officials of the Ghaziabad traffic police, meanwhile, said they have not received any penalties yet from NHAI, hence are not acting against speed limit violation.
“This is because their ANPR systems are not connected and fully functional for fines. On our part, we are taking up enforcement against wrong side driving and also autos plying on DME. About 200 fines have been issued so far since April 1, when the DME was opened,” said Ramanand Kushwaha, superintendent of police (traffic).