‘ROADS, HIGH­WAYS WILL CON­TRIB­UTE 2% TO GDP GROWTH’

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Min­is­ter of Road Trans­port and High­ways Nitin Gad­kari de­scribes his first year in of­fice as one where the Union Gov­ern­ment drew

up a co­he­sive roadmap and laid the right foun­da­tion

Road Trans­port is a crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of a coun­try. It in­flu­ences the pace, struc­ture and pat­tern of de­vel­op­ment. The Min­istry of Road Trans­port and High­ways en­com­passes con­struc­tion and main­te­nance of Na­tional High­ways (NHS), ad­min­is­tra­tion of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Act, 1988 and Cen­tral Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles Rules 1989, Na­tional High­ways Act, 1956 and Na­tional High­ways Fee (De­ter­mi­na­tion of Rates and Col­lec­tion) Rules, 2008, for­mu­la­tion of broad poli­cies re­lat­ing to road trans­port, en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues, au­to­mo­tive norms etc. be­sides making ar­range­ments for move­ments of ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic with neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to Union Min­is­ter for Road Trans­port and High­ways (MORTH) Nitin Gad­kari, the high­way sec­tor was fac­ing a cri­sis of con­fi­dence and all the stake­hold­ers were in com­plete dis­ar­ray when Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi-led NDA gov­ern­ment took over in May last year.

In the past year, the min­istry, un­der the guidance and lead­er­ship of Gad­kari, has been able to spin the wheel and col­lec­tive en­deav­our has un­doubt­edly con­trib­uted in na­tion build­ing. “Our one-year re­port card is a suc­cess story of the pri­or­ity we ac­corded to the re­vival of stalled, de­layed and ter­mi­nated projects. The pri­vate sec­tor is once again evinc­ing keen in­ter­est in in­fra­struc­ture. This is a ma­jor turn­around we have been able to bring about in one-

Our one-year re­port card is a suc­cess story of the pri­or­ity we ac­corded to the

re­vival of stalled, de­layed and ter­mi­nated projects. The pri­vate sec­tor is once again

evinc­ing keen in­ter­est in in­fra­struc­ture. This is a ma­jor

turn­around we have been able to bring about in a year

Nitin Gad­kari Min­is­ter of Road Trans­port and

High­ways & Ship­ping

year,” Gad­kari af­ter the com­ple­tion of oneyear of Modi gov­ern­ment in the of­fice.

“This year es­sen­tially has been a year of lay­ing the right foun­da­tion for the road and high­way sec­tor. I set for my­self a tar­get of high­way con­struc­tion of 30 km per day within two years. We have al­ready taken a leap of 40 per cent – from 3 km per day dur­ing the UPA regime to 13 km per day. We have a long way to go to achieve our tar­get. We are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. I have full con­fi­dence in my team of ded­i­cated of­fi­cers and other skilled hu­man re­sources at our dis­posal. We will not only achieve our tar­get but may go be­yond that as well,” the MORTH min­is­ter said.

Spell­ing out the achieve­ments of his min­istry in the first year, Gad­kari said, “We are in the process of in­tro­duc­ing a new ‘Road Trans­port and Safety’ leg­is­la­tion re­plac­ing the out­dated Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act, 1988. The draft act is al­ready avail­able for con­sid­er­a­tion of all the stake­hold­ers. I sin­cerely hope to place it be­fore Par­lia­ment in the next ses­sion af­ter Cab­i­net ap­proval. Ef­fi­ciency and trans­parency in ad­min­is­tra­tion has been the main fo­cus of our gov­er­nance. We have in­tro­duced a num­ber of It­based a-gov­er­nance ini­tia­tives, such as e-fol­low­ing, e-pay, DWC/ODC ap­provals in the road and high­way sec­tor.”

Talk­ing about gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tives to check road ac­ci­dents, Gad­kari said, “Road ac­ci­dents are our ma­jor con­cern. To min­i­mize road mishaps and pro­vide timely med­i­cal as­sis­tance to the in­jured is our top pri­or­ity. We are launch­ing a 24x7 toll free num­ber 1033. Strin­gent pro­vi­sions – levy of ten times of fee for over­loaded ve­hi­cles, in­stalling of weighin-mo­tion sys­tem to pre­vent over1oad­ing are on the anvil. We have com­mis­sioned a study of black spots. Com­puter-based driv­ing test sys­tem is al­ready in op­er­a­tion and sci­en­tific traf­fic sur­vey us­ing Au­to­matic Traf­fic Counter and Clas­si­fier sys­tems have been put in place.”

For seam­less move­ment, the min­istry has in­tro­duced RFID based elec­tronic toll

col­lec­tion sys­tem “FASTAG”. A com­mon plat­form for in­fra­struc­ture and ma­te­ri­als providers “INAM-PRO” has been com­mis­sioned. We are also pro­vid­ing world class ameni­ties to road users along Na­tional High­ways. The in­fra­struc­ture sec­tor is the back­bone of any econ­omy and I of­ten quote John F Kennedy’s words - “Amer­i­can roads are good not be­cause Amer­ica is rich, but Amer­ica is rich be­cause Amer­i­can roads are good”, said Gad­kari.

While talk­ing about the role of his min­istry in GDP growth terms, Gad­kari said, “I have set a tar­get for my min­istry to con­trib­ute 2 per cent in the GDP growth. I am con­fi­dent that un­der the dy­namic lead­er­ship of our vi­sion­ary Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and with the help of all stake­hold­ers we will cer­tainly ful­fill the peo­ple’s expectations. One year is too short a pe­riod, but in this span of time we have cov­ered 25 per cent of our tar­gets. A lot more needs to be done. All of us have been work­ing tire­lessly. Our re­solve is to put in more than 100 per cent of our ef­forts in achiev­ing our goal. We have definitely made a pos­i­tive be­gin­ning in the right earnest and are bound to suc­ceed in our mis­sion to take In­dia on the path of progress and de­vel­op­ment.”

PROJECT IM­PLE­MEN­TA­TION MODES FOR HIGH­WAYS

A. Build-op­er­ate-trans­fer (BOT) Toll B. Bot-an­nu­ity C. Hy­brid An­nu­ity Model (above three

are PPP vari­ants) D. Engi­neer­ing, Pro­cure­ment and

Con­struc­tion (EPC)— pub­lic funded

PRE­FERRED MODE OF IM­PLE­MEN­TA­TION OF PROJECTS

The high­ways sec­tor in the coun­try has, of late, been fac­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in the award and im­ple­men­ta­tion of project stretches, par­tic­u­larly through the Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ship (PPP) mode. This is due to over­all eco­nomic down­turn as well as sec­tor spe­cific is­sues. Al­though no ef­fort is be­ing spared by the min­istry in iden­ti­fy­ing and ad­dress­ing sec­tor-spe­cific is­sues in con­sul­ta­tion with the stake­hold­ers, it is a fact that avail­abil­ity of eq­uity in the mar­ket will be a crit­i­cal fac­tor.

Till such time, it is con­sid­ered pru­dent to pursue the pub­lic funded, or EPC mode of im­ple­men­ta­tion as the pre­ferred mode, sub­ject of course to the avail­abil­ity of re­sources. As a con­se­quence, with in­creased award of projects, the high­ways con­struc­tion sec­tor is fast re­gain­ing its lost mo­men­tum and more im­por­tantly, fi­nan­cial liq­uid­ity would be­come in­creas­ingly avail­able in the sec­tor. As the mar­ket reaches a cer­tain level of ma­tu­rity and sta­bil­ity with the pri­vate sec­tor re­gain­ing con­fi­dence, the gov­ern­ment in­tends to grad­u­ally switch back to PPP mode, with a ju­di­cious com­bi­na­tion of Hy­brid An­nu­ity and BOT (Toll), as the pre­ferred mode of im­ple­men­ta­tion.

Fol­low­ing the above strat­egy, dur­ing 2014-15 the min­istry has awarded works for 7,980 km which is more than dou­bled the length of 3621 km awarded dur­ing the pre­vi­ous fi­nan­cial year i.e. 2013-14 and sub­stan­tially higher than the 1,916 km awarded dur­ing 2012-13. Out of the 7,980 km, the works awarded on BOT ba­sis how­ever, were only 734 km.

The 7,980 km awarded dur­ing the year are spread all over the coun­try. Th­ese works were awarded un­der Na­tional High­way De­vel­op­ment Projects (NHDP), Spe­cial Ac­cel­er­ated Road De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme for North-east (SARDPNE), de­vel­op­ment of roads in Left Wing Ex­trem­ism Af­fected area (LWE), Na­tional High­way In­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity Im­prove­ment Pro­gramme (NHIIP) and Na­tional High­way (orig­i­nal works) schemes. The min­istry in­tends to in­crease the pace for award so as to have ad­e­quate works in hand and achieve ac­cel­er­ated road de­vel­op­ment in the coun­try.

E-GOV­ER­NANCE INI­TIA­TIVES OF MORTH

Re­form­ing gov­er­nance through tech­nol­ogy in­cludes e-ten­der­ing, elec­tronic toll col­lec­tion (ETC), na­tional high­ways toll in­for­ma­tion sys­tem (NHTIS), in­te­grated ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion and driv­ing li­cens­ing sys­tem, CCTV sur­veil­lance sys­tem, en­ter­prise re­source (ERP) so­lu­tion, project man­age­ment in­for­ma­tion sys­tem (PMIS), au­to­matic traf­fic counter and clas­si­fier sys­tem, weigh-in mo­tion (WIM) sys­tem and au­to­matic ve­hi­cle counter & clas­si­fier (AVCC) sys­tem.

E-kranti: Elec­tronic de­liv­ery of ser­vices in­cludes ‘FASTAG’ based elec­tronic toll col­lec­tion sys­tem, on­line bill pay­ment, over­weight cargo (OWC) overdi­men­sional cargo (ODC).

In­for­ma­tion for all in­cludes na­tional high­ways toll in­for­ma­tion sys­tem, 24X7

helpline for na­tional high­ways users, roads & high­ways in­for­ma­tion sys­tem, e- Ra­j­marg news­let­ter. Univer­sal ac­cess to mo­bile con­nec­tiv­ity in­cludes fa­cil­i­ta­tion of tele­com in­fra­struc­ture along na­tional high­ways. The other e-gov­er­nance ini­tia­tives of MORTH in­clude e- Samik­sha, e- of­fice (pa­per­less of­fice), re­vamp­ing of web­site of the min­istry, sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of the pro­ce­dures lev­er­ag­ing the use of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy.

Elec­tronic Toll Col­lec­tion (ETC):

Along with au­to­matic ve­hi­cle counter and clas­si­fier (AVCC), weigh-in-mo­tion (WIM), CCTV and static weigh bridge fa­cil­i­ties --- across all op­er­a­tional toll plazas of the coun­try is in progress. ‘Fastag’ pro­gramme was launched on Oc­to­ber 31 last year for Delhi-mum­bai high­way.

A web por­tal www.nhtis.org has been launched to make avail­able to road users, in­for­ma­tion of pub­lic in­ter­est con­cern­ing toll plazas on na­tional high­ways/ ex­press­ways op­er­at­ing un­der the MORTH and NHAI. This in­cludes the ap­pli­ca­ble user fee rates for var­i­ous cat­e­gories of ve­hi­cles at any toll plaza.

On­line web based ap­pli­ca­tion for Bill pro­cess­ing mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem for re­gional of­fices has al­ready been rolled out. Track­ing the sta­tus of the Bills is now in the pub­lic do­main.

Bridge de­sign cell: The bridge de­sign cell has been set up at IAHE, NOIDA, which was in­au­gu­rated by Road Trans­port Min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari on Fe­bru­ary 2, 2015 and is equipped with lat­est soft­ware for de­sign of roads and bridges. A web en­abled on­line ap­pli­ca­tion and ap­proval sys­tem for over­weight cargo (OWC) over di­men­sional cargo (ODC) has al­ready been rolled out. Re­cently, e-news let­ter of NHAI ti­tled er­a­j­marg has been launched.

Sim­pli­fi­ca­tion of Process: Sub­stan­tial num­bers of forms have been pre­scribed in terms of CMVRS. Pro­posed Draft Road Trans­port & Safety Bill 2015 ad­dresses inter alia this as­pect.

Digi­ti­sa­tion of records: The digi­ti­sa­tion of records in the min­istry is in progress. Record­ing and weed­ing of files have been un­der­taken and around 4,760 files have been recorded and 5,718 files have been weeded out.

On­line is­sue of na­tional per­mit has been ini­ti­ated by the min­istry. Over­load­ing in ve­hi­cles is not only detri­men­tal to the eco­nomic life of the high­ways and the roads on which the me­chan­i­cal ve­hi­cles ply but also leads to larger safety re­lated is­sues. In or­der to en­force the rel­e­vant pro­vi­sions of the

MV Act, 1988 and NH (fee) Rules, 2008, weighin-mo­tion bridge, along with AVCC sys­tem will be in­stalled at all toll plazas on na­tional high­ways.

e PACE: Projects ap­praisal & con­tin­u­ing en­hance­ments (EPACE) is an on­line tool to mon­i­tor and im­prove the progress of works at the click of a but­ton. The ini­tia­tive cap­tures the static and dy­namic in­for­ma­tion for all the projects ex­e­cuted by MORTH, NHAI and NHIDCL. The in­for­ma­tion cap­tured is across the life­cy­cle of the projects start­ing from in­cep­tion till its com­ple­tion. The sys­tem has role based ac­cess and would al­low cap­tur­ing the project in­for­ma­tion and would help in mon­i­tor­ing and ac­cel­er­at­ing the pace of the projects. The tool would al­low su­per­vi­sory lev­els to set monthly/yearly tar­gets and en­able field units/staff to up­date the in­for­ma­tion in real time.

More than 1,500 projects’ data has so far been en­tered. The in­for­ma­tion would be avail­able in pub­lic do­main. MIS in var­i­ous forms would also help the stake­hold­ers to cull out the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion. This would also be a pre­cur­sor to de­velop ‘over the top ap­pli­ca­tions’ through cloud sourc­ing wherein project pho­to­graphs/videos can be up­loaded to col­late and com­pare the of­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion.

En­ter­prise Re­source Plan­ning (ERP) so­lu­tion: The first of its kind project, funded by World Bank Tech­ni­cal As­sis­tance (TA) through DEA, is un­der im­ple­men­ta­tion by the MORTH and the NHAI would pro­vide MORTH and NHAI the op­por­tu­nity to in­te­grate their en­tire or­gan­i­sa­tional set up and busi­ness pro­cesses. It would also en­sure con­nec­tiv­ity among the head­quar­ters, toll plaza lo­ca­tions, project im­ple­men­ta­tion units (PIUS) and re­gional of­fices. The out­come would be ef­fi­cient state-of-the-art oper­a­tions lead­ing to en­hanced ser­vice de­liv­ery in terms of pro­vid­ing qual­ity road in­fra­struc­ture to the na­tion.

INAM-PRO: END OF CE­MENT CARTELI­SA­TION

A plat­form for in­fra­struc­ture and ma­te­rial providers, par­tic­u­larly ce­ment, for link­ing the sup­plier to the road con­trac­tors/users (INAM-PRO) was launched on March 3, 2015. The por­tal will fa­cil­i­tate the mon­i­tor­ing of the sup­ply of ce­ment and ex­pe­dite the process of plac­ing pur­chase or­ders by the prospec­tive users/user agen­cies with the re­spec­tive ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers. The por­tal, de­signed by the MORTH shall en­sure com­plete trans­parency in the sup­ply of ce­ment un­der the scheme, so as to achieve re­duc­tion in the cost of con­struc­tion of rigid pave­ment.

“INAM-PRO” is a web-based ap­pli­ca­tion (www.inampro.nic.in) for in­fra­struc­ture and ma­te­ri­als providers and would act as a com­mon plat­form for providers of in­fra­struc­ture ma­te­rial viz. ce­ment com­pa­nies, in­fra­struc­ture providers, Min­istry of Road Trans­port and High­ways and other stake­hold­ers. To start with, it would fa­cil­i­tate con­trac­tors/ce­ment buy­ers en­gaged in ex­e­cut­ing the cen­tral/ state funded roads and high­ways/bridge con­struc­tion projects to place ce­ment or­ders on­line with the reg­is­tered ce­ment com­pa­nies offering their prod­uct at com­pet­i­tive rates in the vicin­ity of project ex­e­cu­tion lo­ca­tions.

As ce­ment is man­u­fac­tured in­dige­nously and bi­tu­men is a by prod­uct of im­ported crude oil, the use of ce­ment for na­tional high­ways is in right earnest with the ‘Make in In­dia’ cam­paign. This plat­form aims not only to bring down the cost of in­puts for the in­fra­struc­ture projects but also to cre­ate a win-win sit­u­a­tion for all the stake­hold­ers.

In his ad­dress, sec­re­tary, MORTH, Vi­jay Ch­hib­ber had said that the por­tal pro­vides a buyer- seller plat­form with­out any in­ter­me­di­ary. With a fo­cus on ce­ment in­dus­try, this in­no­va­tion would make the fac­to­ries uti­lize their ca­pac­ity to full po­ten­tial, he had added.

Ce­ment com­pa­nies are fa­cil­i­tated to up­date their of­fered stock on the por­tal with the prices agreed upon with the MORTH. They would in turn get an in­stant in­ti­ma­tion about the or­ders placed, and would be able to ap­prove the de­liv­ery sched­ules as re­quested by the ce­ment buy­ers with­out has­sles and de­lays. This would also help ce­ment com­pa­nies plan their an­nual pro­duc­tion in ad­vance and sched­ule de­liv­er­ies with bet­ter pre­ci­sion.

In ad­di­tion, by us­ing INAM-PRO, the ce­ment com­pa­nies would be able to track or­ders, add more prod­ucts (grade/type), add ce­ment of­fer­ings, view listed buy­ers, and sub­mit their com­plaints/sug­ges­tions to the min­istry. Sim­i­larly, buy­ers would be able to view and track the or­ders placed with dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies and also sub­mit their sug­ges­tions/com­plaints.

MEA­SURES TAKEN TO PRO­MOTE ELEC­TRONIC TOLL COL­LEC­TION (ETC)

The min­istry has launched FASTAG, a new elec­tronic toll col­lec­tion pro­gramme which will en­able road users to pay the nec­es­sary toll elec­tron­i­cally with­out need­ing to stop at toll plazas. This FASTAG fa­cil­i­tates seam­less travel through sin­gle RFID tag along the cor­ri­dor. ETC sys­tem in one lane in each di­rec­tion has al­ready been in­stalled at 196 toll plazas and all 302 plazas should be com­plete by Oc­to­ber in this year.

Gov­ern­ment has made it manda­tory to in­clude ETC lane in all new high­way projects. Ve­hi­cles of FASTAG users will have ra­dio fre­quency iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (RFID) tag which will be af­fixed on the wind­shield. Toll plazas will have ded­i­cated ETC lanes called FASTAG lanes, which will have colour cod­ing for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. Th­ese FASTAG lanes will be fit­ted with read­ers that will read the unique num­ber on the tag and the ap­pro­pri­ate amount as per the class of ve­hi­cle will be au­to­mat­i­cally de­ducted from the ac­count of the user. The RFID tags will help in re­duc­ing the time road users spend wait­ing at toll plazas, which in turn will cut down on the to­tal trav­el­ling time.

TRANS­PORT & SAFETY INI­TIA­TIVES

Cash­less treat­ment of vic­tims: Pi­lot projects are be­ing im­ple­mented. The ob­jec­tive of the project is to save lives of accident vic­tims by pro­vid­ing prompt

The last one year has been a pe­riod of in­tense and fo­cused ac­tiv­ity in the na­tional high­way, roads and trans­port sec­tor. A record length of 7,980 km of NHS was awarded for con­struc­tion dur­ing the year and con­struc­tion of 4,340 km of NH was com­pleted. This mo­men­tum is pro­posed to be fur­ther stepped up in the cur­rent Fi­nan­cial Year. In par­al­lel, over 5,000 km of new NHS have been de­clared thus in­creas­ing the NH grid aimed at en­hanc­ing the ca­pac­ity of the high­ways to pro­vide bet­ter lo­gis­tics and thereby over­all eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try Vi­jay Ch­hib­ber Sec­re­tary, Road Trans­port and High­ways

Union min­is­ter Nitin Gad­kari with West Ben­gal chief min­is­ter Mamata Ban­er­jee

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