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NHAI’s Hi-Tech projects to craft Indian National Highways

The National Highway Authority of India, a nodal agency of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, is determined change the face of the Highway structure of India.
NHAI has initiated many projects keeping in mind the requirements of highway commuters.

The NHAI is an autonomous agency of the Government of India; it is responsible for the management of the Highways network of India. All the works and project implementations in NHAI are done under the dynamic leadership of Honourable Minister Shir Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highway.

Ever since its creation, the NHAI has taken the responsibility of the development, maintenance and management of National Highways, and also the toll collection on several highways.
In its quest to provide Indian with the world-class facilities on the highways, NHAI has launched one sub-project of its Wayside Amenities mega-project called Highway Nest (Mini) in more than 50 locations on the occasion of the Republic Day 2018.
The GOI has also made it mandatory for all the four-wheelers purchased after December 1st, 2017 to have the FASTag devices fixed on the windscreens by the manufacturers or authorized dealers.

The NHAI is also aiming to implement "pay as you use" tolling system in India, it has started a pilot project on the Delhi-Mumbai Highway to study the feasibility and implementability of the system on Indian roads.

In order to achieve the ambitious target of redesigning the Indian Highway Network, the NHAI has amalgamated various and most relevant Information Technology in this Sector. These efforts include:
• Electronic Toll Collection (ETC)
• Advance Emergency Traffic Incident Management
• Wayside Amenities
• Construction of new National Highways
• Hitech Monitoring/Planning, Operation and Maintenance of National Highways

Easy Toll Payment:
The NHAI has launched two new mobile apps -- MyFASTag and FASTag Partner -- for the effective implementation of the Electronic Toll Collection system. NHAI Chairman Deepak Kumar said, “The cumbersome method of purchase and recharge of FASTags has been one of the major challenges with the Electronic Toll Collection project. These mobile apps will ease the process, making it possible to buy or recharge FASTags at the click of a mobile button," he said.
MyFASTag is a consumer app, which enables the user to purchase or recharge FASTags, whereas FASTag Partner is a merchant app. The NHAI chairman has also said that by March 31st, 2018, all the 371 NHAI toll plazas in India will at least have one FASTag enabled lane for Electronic Toll Payments.

Another ambitious plan by NHAI for making toll payments simpler is "pay as you use" system, currently, it is a pilot project which is being tested on the Delhi-Mumbai Highway.
What is ‘Pay as you use’
The “Pay as you use’ project is a satellite-based electronic toll collection system, it runs on the GPS/GSM technology.

As of now, around 500 commercial vehicles on the Delhi-Mumbai Highway corridor are using this technology to pay their toll fee.

Through this new project, the Highway commuters will be able to pay only for the distance they are going to travel. All they have to do is to put their specific travel details like the origin and destination points, and the will notify them the toll fee according to the distance they are going to travel and the money will get deducted from their account.

Once the money is being paid, all the toll gates will remain open for the commuter throughout their journey. In case of a failed transaction, the system will send an alert to the toll operator, so that they can collect the toll payment manually.

The idea behind this pilot study is to look at the ways to integrate this new solution in the already existing FASTag program and also to analyze the comparison between the distance-based tolling and the existing tolling system.
Prompt Incident Management System for National Highways
Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) is an inclusive platform for the traffic management on the Highways. ATMS covers monitoring, control and safety on highways.

It is an amalgamation of various technologies, which will help in increasing situational awareness among the highway management bodies.

It helps in providing a comprehensive picture of the activities on roads at any given point of time that in return will lead to an effective and proactive management of the transportation and improve the travel experience for the commuters.

The ATMS enables the following facilities on the highways:
• Increased safety on highways
• Reduced traffic congestion
• Increased visibility of incidents
• Immediate assistance during accidents
• Easy traffic flow management

NHAI’s Incident Management System (IMS) for the Indian National Highways will enable the best possible

infrastructural facilities. The aim is to provide immediate assistance in case of any mishaps on the highways. The first phase of the IMS will be rolled out soon in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh National Highways.

Under IMS, NHAI will position ambulances within every 50 km of distance, which will make it possible for them to respond to an accident within 15 minutes of it being informed on a national accident helpline and it will be monitored through GPS. The facilities under this system will include:
• A four-bedded ambulance with medical recovery systems
• Cranes
• Patrolling Vehicles

The NHAI has also started the 24X7 National Highways Helpline – 1033, for the convenience of the highway users. This 24X7 unique toll-free helpline will help in providing relief to numerous distressed highway users by assisting them with vital help during the times of emergencies on the Highways. It will be a Toll-Free Universal Access Number and the single point of contact for highway users in case of an accident, any other emergencies, reporting of highway obstruction issues and more.

Amenities for all:
NHAI has already announced its ambitious project to provide wayside amenities for the National Highways commuters. As we know that the National Highways are the backbone of trade and commute in India. Highway commuters often face difficulty in accessing the basic amenities like clean toilets, restaurants, vehicle repair shops, ATM etc.

In order to solve this issue and make the facilities meet the diverse requirements of different categories of road users, the NHAI has launched its mega Wayside Amenities project. This mega project houses three sub-projects in it, which are:
• Highway Nest (Mini)
• Highway Village
• Highway Nest
The idea behind Highway Nest (Mini) is to provide the basic facilities like parking space for a short halt, Kiosk selling packaged food, tea/coffee vending machines, toilets and ATMs within the 200-250mts vicinity of the Toll Plazas. More than 50 Highway Nest (Mini) kiosk were inaugurated on January 26th, 2018, on the occasion of Republic Day.
Highway Village amenities are being developed at the 183 selected locations across India on the acquired lands of 5 acres and more.

These giant amenity centres will house facilities like parking for all type of vehicles, restaurants/food courts, dhabas, fuel stations, minor repair shops, a kiosk selling miscellaneous items, dormitories, motels, village haat, helipad and more. These facilities will be developed under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model and the bidding for 34 of these projects is already under process.

The facilities developed in the areas less than five acres will be developed under "Highway Nest" brand. These amenities will house all the facilities similar to the Highway Village but on a smaller scale, at 1000 selected locations on National Highways. The private landowners having a minimum land area of more than one hectare adjacent to the national highways are welcome to join hands with NHAI. They can develop these wayside amenities under the brand name 'Highway Nest' as a franchise of the authority. NHAI will help them will all the necessary permissions and change their agricultural land to commercial.

In August 2017, while unveiling the logo of these amenities development programme, NHAI Nest and NHAI village, the Honourable Minister of Road Transportation and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari said that “We will have Highway Nest and Village at every 40 to 50 kilometres on highways.

It will have electric charging facility, fuel pumps, rooftop-solar panels, restaurants, restrooms, kiosks for organic food items, local handicrafts’ shops, ATM, etc.”

Expanding Highway Network
In October 2017, the NHAI chairman Shri Deepak Kumar informed the press that NHAI has “revised the highways award target” to 10,000 kilometres for the financial year 2017-18. The Honourable Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shir Nitin Gadkari also said that the NHAI is fully capable of awarding 10,000 km of highway projects, he also said that he was not satisfied with the previous target of 6,500 km.

The process of inviting tenders has already been initiated by NHAI; Shri Deepak Kumar has said that they will try to award as many projects as possible by end of March 2018.
Satellite-Enabled Monitoring and Maintenance of Highways
In 2016, NHAI signed Memorandum of Understanding with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and North East Centre for Technology Application and Research (NECTAR) to amalgamate the high-end spatial technology for monitoring and managing National Highways.

The idea behind this partnership is to make the monitoring of the construction progress, operation and maintenance and management of the assets on the National Highways simpler, and centralized through satellites.
The satellite data and geospatial technology will be used to provide inputs of the highway infrastructure development projects, prefeasibility status, monitoring of highway road and their construction and Road Asset Management System for instant remedies.

Highway operation Division
The NHAI is determined to provide sustainable growth to India’s Highway Network and reach the world-class standards. In this process, The NHAI is also improving the Highway Operations to render the top-notch services to the commuters. In order to achieve this ambitious target, the NHAI has created a new Highway Operations Division.
The main focus of Highway Operations Division is to keep a track of all the non-commercial Highway Operational activities and to make sure the efficient network utilization along with this, NHAI is also making sure to provide hassle-free services to all the commuters.
The NHAI’s Highway Operations Division is working under the efficient and dynamic leadership of the decorated officer Shri Akhilesh Srivastava. He and his team of experienced officers are working hard to change the face of Indian Highways.

The primary focus of this Division is to keep a check on all the things mentioned above, like the Electronic Tolling, Wayside Amenities, Road Safety & Security, Incident Management–Helpline, Tracking of Ambulance, Cranes on Highways, Highway Traffic Management System, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Highway Plantation, Road lighting, Wi-Fi and other modern amenities on National Highways. This division also takes care of the efficient and on-time implementation of all these facilities.

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News Release: NHAI’s Hi-Tech projects to craft Indian National Highways
Submitted on: February 22, 2018 05:23:34 AM
Submitted by: sandhya
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