Government planning to use drones to monitor Mumbai-Pune expressway

Government planning to use drones to monitor Mumbai-Pune expressway
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In the wake of the increasing number of road mishaps in the state, Maharashtra government is mulling over using drones to monitor, identify and control vehicles breaking traffic rules on the road.

Minister of state for home (urban) Deepak Kesarkar said that during the initial phase, the drones would be put in place on a pilot basis on the Mumbai-Pune expressway.

In a meeting held at Mantralaya earlier this week between officials of the Home department and Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, Kesarkar said Mumbai-Pune expressway has become a ‘death trap’ with a large number of road casualties reported lately. The meeting was also attended by PWD (undertakings) minister Eknath Shinde.

“Incidents of road accidents have increased due to indiscipline and rash driving. We do not have control over rash driving as the length of the expressway is long and there is insufficient police staff for surveillance,” Kesarkar said.

He said that while there is a need to control vehicular traffic, doing so by using a CCTV camera has its own limitations. Following which, the idea of using drones was floated.

“The drones will be used at load line of the ‘ghat’ on expressway where setting up of CCTV cameras is not possible,” he said.

“Mostly heavy loaded trucks jump lanes to overtake other big vehicles. This causes a traffic jam. The drones would click photos of such instances and the the Transport department will take action against errant drivers,” he added.

The minister said that even small vehicles would not be spared if found violating lane discipline. Currently, the site of using drones has not been decided, but the MSRDC would submit its report suggesting requirement within the next 15 days.

“Initially, four to five drone will be hired from private companies for the expressway. Depending upon the result, the Home department is considering to use drones across Mumbai,” he said.

The use of drones along with CCTVs will also ease the burden of city’s traffic police, Kesarkar concluded.

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