You’ve just crossed the traffic circle at Ameerpet on your way to Abids. As it is, you would have no idea that there’s a huge traffic jam ahead at the Khairatabad junction and will only know once you go and join the long line of halted vehicles. How useful would it be in these situations if you are alerted with a message announcing that there is a jam at so and so junction and also advice you to take alternate routes?
Certainly useful, thinks Hyderabad Traffic Police (HTP).
After creating a page on Facebook, the HTP has introduced a new service to commuters called ‘Traffic SMS alerts’ where registered users will be regularly updated with traffic status around the city.
To register for the service, you have to register you mobile number either by visiting HTP website or by sending an SMS as JOIN HTP to 9219592195
The service is nothing but a group messaging service powered by SMS Gupshup. Any update posted by HTP officials will be sent to all registered users for free. And since this is free, you will also have to bear a string of advertisement at the end of every message.
As one may understand, as useful may be the service to those needed, equally disturbing will it be when one doesn’t need it any more. If you’re pleasantly reading your newspaper early in the morning sipping coffee and then you receive ‘Accident at Nampally, avoid the route’; it’s certainly disturbing.
Fortunately, there is also a way to unsubscribe to the service. To do this, you have to send a SMS as LEAVE HTP to the same number.
Update: There’s a better way to see live traffic status in Hyderabad city. If you have a smart phone which has Google Maps installed (Android version is better), you can easily see the traffic status. From the Layers option, select Traffic and you can see Green and Red lines appear on various routes. Green indicates traffic is free flowing and red indicates slow (and often stop-go) traffic.