NHAI to rank highways to ensure high quality roads

NEW DELHI: To improve highways, a ranking system will be introduced based on performance audit of roads, NHAI said on Monday.

NHAI has been mandated the task to develop, maintain and manage National Highways, the arterial roads of the country, for inter-state movement of passengers and goods.

“In its effort to improve the quality of roads, NHAI has decided to undertake performance assessment and ranking of the highways in the country,” NHAI said in a statement.

The assessment audit and ranking of NHs are aimed to take corrective recourse, wherever needed, to improve the quality and provide higher level of service to highway commuters, it said.

The assessment parameters are based on different international practices and studies for bench-marking highway performances in Indian context.

“The criteria for the assessment have been broadly categorised in three main heads: Highway Efficiency (45 per cent), Highway Safety (35 per cent) and User Services (20 per cent),” it said.

On the basis of outcome of the assessment, the Authority will undertake a comprehensive analysis and decide on the level of intervention required to enhance the overall service quality.

Additionally, important parameters like operating speed, access control, time taken at toll plaza, road signages, road markings, accident rate, incident response time, crash barriers, illumination will also be considered while conducting the assessment, it said.

Other parameters include availability of Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), functionality of structures, provision for grade separated intersections, cleanliness, plantation, wayside amenities and customer satisfaction.

“The score obtained by each Corridor in each of the parameters will provide a feedback and corrective recourse for higher standards of operation, better safety and user experience to improve existing highways. This will also help in identifying and filling gaps of design, standards, practices, guidelines, and contract agreements for other NHAI projects,” the statement said.

The ranking of the corridors will be dynamic, and the concessionaire/ contractor/ operator will get the opportunity to improve upon their ranking by improving the services on that corridor.

Apart from overall ranking of all the corridors, separate ranking for BOT (build, operate, transfer), HAM (hybrid annuity mode) and EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) projects will also be done.

This process of ranking will bring out operational efficiency and ensure high quality maintenance of roads, NHAI said.

Road Transport, Highways and MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari has been stressing on the need to have performance audit of projects for quality road building. (AGENCIES)