The next time there is any major infrastructure development work for a big project such as the Chennai Metro Rail on any of the city's arterial roads, traffic flow may be managed in a better way. The Transport engineering students of Anna University are studying the metro rail project's impact on vehicular movement.

One of the aims of the study is to suggest the roads where traffic can be diverted to during such big projects.

The students have chosen E.V.R. Salai to study the ongoing Metro Rail work A simulation software is being used for this. The study has found that the speed of vehicles had come down by up to 20 per cent. “We have completed nearly 70 per cent of the research. Once it is completed, we will submit it to the State government,” said Professor K Gunasekaran, of Transport Engineering Department of Anna University.

The study is headed by Mr.Gunasekaran and involves two Ph.D. students and three students pursuing Masters in Engineering (Transport).

The team spent nearly eight hours on E.V.R. Salai every day for an entire week. “They studied and compared the breadth and width of the road, number of vehicles plying on the road, their approximate speed both before and after the work began. It was mathematically calculated and then the same data was fed into the software for validation. The only difference is that earlier we could not see the results visually, but now with the software, this too is possible,” said Mr.Gunasekaran.

Rate of accidents

The team will also be studying the rate of accidents on the stretch, Apart from the speed the students are also in the process of collecting details, including number of road accidents that occurred on a particular stretch before work began and also during time of construction. “We will also be researching traffic delay, alternate queuing and additional time spent on road, “said Mr.Gunasekaran.

The findings can be used for traffic planning whenever major infrastructure works are carried out in the city in future. “Metro Rail is merely the first of many major infrastructure projects. The findings can be used for predicting the traffic problems when mono rail or similar projects are being carried out,” he said.

The software was displayed at one of the stalls at the University as part of the Technology Day celebrations organised by the Centre for Technology Development and Transfer and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the city on Friday. The study has to be carried out for a period of a year.

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