India's Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Highlights Activities from 2017
1 January 2018
This news release from India's Ministry of Road Transport and Highways highlights the Ministry's achievements in 2017. It provides a run through of national highways constructed, measures taken to increase road safety, initiatives promoting environmental sustainability and e-initiatives, and international partnerships forged. Milestones featured include launch of a wide-scale highway sector program to bridge critical infrastructure gaps through multimodal connectivity; the first Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit, which firmed the development of Multi-modal Logistics Parks in the country; the India-Nepal Memorandum of Understanding to construct a new bridge over Mechi river; and a second India-Myanmar-Thailand Friendship Motor Rally to promote initiatives under the IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement.
The post below first appeared on the Press Information Bureau website.
2017: A Year of Ambitious Roll-Outs and Engineering Marvels: Highlights of the Activities of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
India’s Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
CONSTRUCTION OF NATIONAL HIGHWAYS
1.1 2017 has been a major milestone year for the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. While the period since 2014 to 2016 was utilised for the purposes of reform and course correction, 2017 witnessed consolidation, culmination and the rollout of a new road-map for the Highways sector. Keeping the rapid developments in the sector in mind, RBI appreciated the highway infrastructure development sector in their Annual Report 2016-17, noting that there is a decline in cost and time overruns to the tune of Rs. 1.5 Billion and an all-time rise in award and construction of highways projects including a peak of daily additions to the roads constructed. Further, it pointed out that stalled projects had declined, both in terms of value and numbers. Another creditworthy development was that following the upgrade of India's sovereign rating from Baa3 positive to Baa2 stable on 16th November 2017, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the issuer ratings of National Highways Authority of India to Baa2 from Baa3 and revised the outlook to stable from positive.
1.2 2017 witnessed several highlights. This was the year when engineering marvels like the Dhola Sadiya bridge in Assam and Chenani Nashri tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir were opened up to connect far-off areas and pave the way for their socio-economic development. This was also the year that saw the launch of Bharatmala Pariyojana, India’s largest ever highways development programme that promises to optimize the efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps. In the area of road safety too, we witnessed a slight decrease in the number of road accidents.
1.3 Year 2017 can also be seen as a major turning point for transport planning in the country, with the idea of multi-modal transport development gaining ground. The Union Budget 2017-18 set the ground for this with a comprehensive budget for the transport sector as a whole. MoRTH took the idea further by organising the India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit, organized in May 2017 and by actively promoting multi-modal transport planning with greater synergy in investments in railways, roads, waterways and civil aviation.
1.4 The Ministry and its project executing organizations have carried forward the good work of the previous years in 2017, expanding the national highways network in the country, taking various steps to make these highways safer for the commuter and making best efforts to minimize adverse impacts on the environment. Significant activities taken up by the Ministry during the year are as follows:
2. CONSTRUCTION OF NATIONAL HIGHWAYS
2.1 Award / Construction Statistics:
Award and construction activity is a direct consequence of demand, land availability and management of contracts. March 2017 witnessed the highest awards at 15948 kilometres and construction at 8231 kilometres. The table below details the trends of NH construction over the years:
Note: 2017-18 is work in progress and with the finalisation of the Bharatmala Pariyojana and its contours, the activity of award and construction has been focused in concerted directions
2.2 New Programmes, Projects and Structures
(i) Bharatmala Pariyojana: Phase-I
This is a new umbrella program for the highways sector that aims to optimize the efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps. Special attention has been paid to fulfilling the connectivity needs of areas of economic activity, places of religious and tourist interest, border areas, backward and tribal areas, coastal areas and trade routes with neighbouring countries under the programme. Multi-modal integration is one of the key focuses of this programme. A total of around 53,000 kms of NHs have been identified to improve National Corridor efficiency, of which 24,800 kms are to be taken up in Phase-I, which will be implemented over a period of five years i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22 in a phased manner. This includes 5,000 kms of the National Corridors, 9000 kms of Economic Corridors, 6000 km of Feeder Corridors and lnter-Corridors, 2000 kms of Border Roads, 2,000 kms of Coastal Roads and Port Connectivity Roads and 800 kms of Green-field Expressways. Total likely fund provision for Bharatmala Phase-I is Rs. 5,35,000 cr. Bharatmala will be a major driver for economic growth in the country. lt is estimated that more than 35 crore man-days of employment shall be generated under Phase-l of the programme.
(ii) Chenani- Nashri Tunnel
An ideal example of the government’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Skill India’ initiative, the 9 km long, twin-tube, all-weather tunnel between Udhampur and Ramban in Jammu & Kashmir is not only India’s longest highway tunnel but also Asia’s longest bi-directional highway tunnel. Built at an elevation of 1200 metres on one of the most difficult Himalayan terrains, the tunnel cuts the travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two hours, bypassing about 41 kms of road length. It will also ensure an all-weather passage on a route that often sees heavy traffic jams and disruptions due to landslides, snow, sharp curves, breakdown of vehicles and accidents. The tunnel has been constructed at a cost of about Rs 3720 crores and is a part of the 286-km-long project for four-laning of the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
(iii) Dhola Sadiya Bridge
The Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated India's longest bridge- the 9.15 km long Dhola-Sadiya Bridge over River Brahmaputra in Assam on 26th May 2017. The bridge has ensured 24x7 connectivity between upper Assam and Eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, marking a major transformation from the ferry-based, day-only connectivity that collapsed during floods. It has considerably reduced the distance and travel time between the two states. The distance between Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh has been cut down by 165 KM. The travel time between the two places has come down from six hours to just one hour – a total five hour reduction.
(iv) Extra-dosed Bridge across River Narmada at Bharuch
A new four lane, Extra-dosed Bridge across river Narmada at Bharuch, inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 9th of March 2017, has brought major relief for people travelling on the Vadodara- Surat section of NH-8. The 1.4 km ‘Extradosed’ cable stayed bridge is the longest in India and the second such bridge in the country after Nivedita Setu over Hooghly.
(v) Bridge over River Chambal at Kota
A 6-lane Cable Stayed Bridge across river Chambal at Kota was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 29th August 2017. Built at a cost of Rs. 278 Crores, this bridge marks the completion of the East-West corridor.
2.3 Status/ Progress of important programmes/ projects under implementation
(i) Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna
The projects envisages development of easy access to the four prominent Dhams, namely, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedranath and Badrinath, situated in the state of Uttrakhand. These four Dhams are prominent pilgrimage centres. The project entails development of 889 km of roads with configuration of two-lane with paved shoulders at an estimated cost of about Rs. 12,000 crore. So far, 24 works have been sanctioned traversing a length of 395 kilometres. 22 works covering a length of 340 kilometre have been awarded. The projects are being taken up on EPC mode amd the program is targeted for completion by March, 2020
(ii) Eastern Peripheral Expressway– Western Peripheral Expressway
The project of Peripheral Expressways around Delhi, comprising Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) and Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) emanating from NH-1 (near Kundli) and terminating at NH-2 (near Palwal), bypassing Delhi aims to decongest Delhi and reduce pollution levels in the NCR. While the EPE is being developed by the NHAI, the WPE is being developed by the State of Haryana. Each of these Expressways is 135 km long, leading to an outer-outer ring road of 270 kms for Delhi. These Peripheral Expressways are to be access controlled six-lane roads. The work, being executed in six packages, is due for completion before March 2018.
(iii) Delhi-Meerut Expressway
The Delhi-Meerut Expressway aims to provide a fast link between the two cities. The alignment of DME starts from Nizammudin Bridge from Delhi and follows existing NH 24 upto Dasna. While one leg of DME will continue from Dasna on NH 24 to Hapur, a Greenfield alignment has been planned from Dasna to Meerut. The 8.7 km, 14-lane highway is being completed in a record time of about 15 months as against the originbal scheduled completion period of 30 months. This first stretch from Nizamudin Bridge to UP Border is provisioned with with 14 lanes, and has several features that would help reduce pollution. These include a 2.5 metre wide cycle track on either side of the highway, a vertical garden on the Yamuna Bridge, solar lighting system and watering of plants through drip irrigation only.
(iv) Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway
The 473 km expressway will link Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway to Mumbai-Pune Expressway thus providing Expressway connectivity from Ahmedabad to Pune for a length of about 650 Km. The project will be taken up in three phases. Land acquisition, environment clearance etc are at advanced stage of approval for Phase I and II. Bids have also been invited for the First package of of phase -1.
(v) Bangalore-Chennai Expressway (262 km)
Bangalore-Chennai Expressway is a green-field alignment and will be operated with a closed toll system. There are two existing roads connecting Bangalore-Chennai, one is via Hoskote (Bangalore)-AP then to Chennai & second is via Electronic City (Bangalore) Hosur (Tamil Nadu) and then to Chennai. The alignment of proposed expressway is passing in between these two stretches. The processes of land acquisition, environment and other pre-cnstruction activities are under progress.
(vi) Byet Dwarka – Okha Bridge
The Ministry has taken up constuction of a signature 4-lane Bridge to connect the mainland at Okha to Byet-Dwarka Island off the Gujarat Coast with this signature Bridge spanning a length of 2.32 kms. The Project has been awarded on 01.01.2018 at a cost of Rs. 689.47 crores. This will be the longest span cable stayed bridge in India with the main span of 500 mtrs. The project is scheduled to be completed in 30 months time.
2.4 New Expressways planned under under Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I
(i) Delhi-Jaipur Expressway
(ii) Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway
(iii) Vadodra-Mumbia Expressway
(iv) Hyderabad- Vijayawada- Amravathi (HVA) Expressway
(v) Nagpur-Hyderabad-Bangalore (NBH) Expressway
(vi) Kanpur Lucknow (KL) Expressway
(vii) Ring road/ Expressway at Amravathi
2.5 Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS)
The Ministry took-up a new initiative, known as Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS), to inventorise all structures e.g. Bridges and culverts constructed on the National highways. The consultants have completed their report and also undertaken the condition assessment of all the existing bridges on National Highways. As such, inventory for more than 1,62,000 bridges and culverts has been completed. A total of 147 Bridges have been identified as distressed structures which call for immediate restoration/ replacements. A time-bound action plan to undertake repairs and restoration or construction of new bridges in place of the decadent structures has been put in place.
2.6 Setu Bharatam
In order to ensure safe and smooth flow of traffic, Ministry has envisaged a plan for replacement of Level Crossings on National Highways by ROBs/ RUBs under a scheme known as Setu Bharatam. Under this programme, construction of 208 RoBs/ RuBs on Level Crossings (which are not falling under any other programme like NHDP etc.) at an estimated cost of Rs. 20,800 crore is envisaged. Out of these 208 ROBs, Detailed Project Reports for 127 ROBs have been received in the Ministry, out of which 78 ROBs with an estimated cost of Rs. 6428.57 crore have been sanctioned till 31.03.2017, of which 35 works have been awarded so far. 09 ROBs with an estimated cost of Rs. 576.58 crore have been sanctioned till date during FY 2017-18.
2.7 Funding Models and other policies to facilitate construction of National Highways
(i) Measures to revive Languishing stalled projects:
The Ministry has focused on completion of on-going projects along with sanction and award of new projects. A total of 73 projects (8,187 km) worth an estimated investment of Rs.1,00,000 crore were identified as Languishing Projects. The reasons for delay were identified and policy interventions undertaken to address the same. This, inter alia, includes (a) One Time Fund Infusion Scheme (OTFIS) whereby financial assistance is provided by NHAI to the contractor/ concessionaire in the form of a working capital loan, (b) Rationalized Compensation whereby a one-time compensation, equivalent to annuities that were missed on account of delay in completion of the project , is provided to the concessionaire in the case of BOT (Annuity) projects; (c) Extension of concession period, (d) Substitution of concessionaire & Termination. As on date, the entire portfolio of languishing projects that have been taken up for revival/ completion is as per table below:-
Description of Projects
Number of Projects
Length in Kms
Projects where issues have been resolved through regular monitoring
Projects terminated and re-packaged and re-bid.
Projects revived after policy interventions
8186.62 or 8187
(ii) Toll- Operate-Transfer (TOT)
The Ministry is monetizing its road assets constructed with public funds through Toll-Operate-Transfer (ToT) scheme. The scheme envisages bidding of bundled national highways for a concession period of 30 years. The bids for the first bundle of 9 NHs have been invited and are scheduled to be received on 09.01.2018.
(iii) Masala Bonds
Targeting mobilization of funds, NHAI launched an issue of Masala Bonds at the London Stock Exchange in May 2017. The Masala Bond saw an overwhelming response from a wide spectrum of investors. The initial benchmark issue of Rs 1500 crore was upsized to Rs 3000 crore. Asia contributed 60 percent and Europe 40 percent of subscription. 61 percent of the amount is from fund managers or insurance funds, 18 percent from banks and 14 percent from private banks. NHAI’s Masala Bonds have been rated the best for the year 2017.
(iv) Planning for Multi Modal Transport Systems
An India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit was organized in New Delhi from 3rd to 5th May 2017. It was attended by around 3000 delegates from India and abroad which included central and state government organizations, international organizations like World Bank and ADB, global transport and supply chain experts and representatives of private companies. Thirty-four MoUs amounting to about Rs 2 lakh crores were signed at the end of the Summit. Carrying the initiative further, the Ministry is actively engaged with a few states for establishment of Multi-modal Logistics Parks in this direction.
Further, it has been decided to develop state-of-the-art Inter-modal stations at Varanasi and Nagpur as the two pilots. A Committee has been constituted for review, monitoring and implementation of these Inter-modal Stations at these locations under the Chairmanship of respective Divisional Commissioners with the charter to facilitate DPR preparation etc.
(v) Decentralisation & Administrative Measures
(a) Enhanced powers for approval of projects have been delegated to the NHAI Board specifically in the case of EPC projects and all PPP (BOT) projects where no VGF is involved. This will fast track the decision making process.
(b) Powers for appraisal and sanction of NH projects implemented through the state PWDs have been enhanced and certain field offices of MoRTH are now headed by the CE-ROs with a view to further streamlining various processes. This is expected to increase efficiency and speedier decision making.
(c) Within the Bharatmala Parijoyna 10% of the funds will be ear-marked under the Grand Challenge mechanism for the State Governments where sufficient and timely land is made available. This will fast track the projects.
3. ROAD SAFETY
3.1 Decrease in road accidents and fatalities
India is committed to bring down fatalities from road accidents. This requires a multi-pronged approach for strengthening automobile safety standards, improving road infrastructure, generating awareness programmes, strengthening enforcements and streamlining the trauma care assistance programme. The Ministry's concerted efforts at bringing down the number of road accidents has started showing results. As per the report Road Accidents in India-2016, there has been a decrease in road accidents by 4.1% in 2016. The data for first three quarters indicates that this trend continues. The number of accidents up to September, 2017 saw a reduction of 5.2% over the figures for the corresponding period in 2016. The fatalities have shown a decrease of 4.4% during this period. Except the States of Assam, Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh, all the States have witnessed a decrease in road accident fatalities ranging between 2-10 % during this period.
3.2 New Accident Reporting Format
A strong Road safety action plan requires a credible database. The current format of reporting was, therefore, revised on the basis of the recommendations of an expert committee comprising of experts from IIT Delhi, IIT Kharagpur, WHO, senior officers from the Police and Transport Departments of States and the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The new format of accident reporting has been adopted by all the States and will help in focussing at the key risk areas to strengthen road safety in coming years.
3.3 Rectification of Black Spots
The Ministry has so far identified 789 road accident black spots in various States of which 138 are on State roads. 189 spots have already been rectified and sanctions for rectification of 256 spots accorded till date which are in different stages of bidding/ progress. 2 Nos. of road safety improvement works on National Highways at selected critical locations at a cost of Rs 30 crore have also been sanctioned under road safety annual plan during 2017-18 which are also under bidding/ progress. Apart from carrying out road safety audits as part of all EPC/ BOT projects, standalone road safety audit has also been initiated on National Highways. Ministry had also has sanctioned installation of crash barriers on national highways in hilly terrain at accident prone locations in different hill states in a length of 137 km at a cost of Rs 85 Crore.
3.4 Training of Drivers
Ministry has been working in association with States, Vehicle manufacturers and NGOs for strengthening the driving training. Institutes of Driving Training and Research (IDTRs) have been established in a few states which act as model Driving Training Centres with state of art infrastructure. Ministry has also launched a scheme for creating driving training centres in all the districts of the country in due course and also supports refresher training programmes for heavy commercial vehicles drivers.
3.5 Model Automated Centres for checking fitness of vehicles:
Ministry has sanctioned 20 Inspection and certification Centres for testing the fitness of the commercial vehicles though an automated system. Six centres are already operational. These centres will provide for objective evaluation of road worthiness of the heavy commercial vehicles. Based on the encouraging experience, it is now proposed to extend this scheme to all the states during next year.
3.6 New steps for safety of vehicles :
(i) Two Wheelers: Two Wheelers account for a major share of accidents and consequent fatalities. A frequent reason is skidding of vehicles. To save the precious lives of two-wheeler users, all the two wheelers have been mandated to be fitted with Anti-Lock braking System (ABS) w.e.f. 1st April, 2019. This is expected to significantly improve the on-road safety of two-wheelers. Apart from this, all the two-wheelers have also been mandated to have a day light running system to improve the conspicuity of the two wheelers. Helmet is provided as a compulsory accessory at the time of sale of all new two wheelers. This has helped improve helmet compliance amongst two-wheeler riders.
(ii) Motor Cars - All the passenger cars are also mandated to be fitted with ABS to improve their safety and stability. One of the highlights of the year is the mandate for car manufacturers to fit additional safety features on cars to be manufactured from 1st July, 2019. These include compulsory air-bags, speed warning audio alert, seat belt audio alerts and reverse sensors.
(iii) Heavy Vehicles: All heavy vehicles have been mandated to have ABS fitted on them. The bus body code has been implemented which would help improve the passenger safety as well as ensure minimum level of comfort. The truck body code has also been notified.
3.7 Free Eye Check-up Campaign
The Minister of Road Transport and Highways and the NHAI launched a countrywide Free Eye Check-up Campaign and distribution of spectacles for truck drivers, cleaners and helpers on 2nd October, 2017 at Panjari Toll Plaza, Nagpur Bypass, Nagpur, in Maharashtra. 50 free eye check-ups camps were also set up on identified National Highways till 6th October, 2017. More than 5,000 drivers registered for the eye check-up and more than 3,000 spectacles were distributed to those with impaired vision free of any charge.
3.8 Passenger Safety and Security
To enhance the passenger safety and specially the safety and security of women and children in transit, all the passenger buses and taxis have been mandated to be fitted with GPS devices to enable real time tracking and intervention in times of crisis.
3.9 Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2017
The Ministry constituted a Group of Ministers across states to deliberate upon and propose strategies for reducing road fatalities and to suggest actionable measures for implementation. On the basis of recommendations of the GoM, MoRTH introduced the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament (Lok Sabha) on 9th August, 2016. The Bill addresses road safety issues by providing for stiffer penalties, permitting electronic enforcement, improving fitness certification and licensing regime, statutory provisions for protection of good Samaritans and recognition of IT enabled enforcement systems. The Bill also paves way for reforms in public transport which in turn will help in improving road safety. The Bill contains provisions for treatment of accident victims during golden hour which will help in saving precious lives. The Bill also aims to simplify processes for the citizens dealing with transport departments and usher in an era of transport reforms in the country. The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and has been referred to the Select Committee of Rajya Sabha.
4. GREEN INITIATIVES
4.1 Green Highways Division in NHAI
NHAI has set up a Green Highways Division and has planted over 2.5 lakh trees planted last year in order to make National Highways green, clean and pollution free.
4.2 Linking of Construction of Highways with digging of Water Bodies in drought affected areas
The requirement of earth work for the development of National Highway network for embankments is met by the contractors/ concessionaires through buying the earth from landowners or procuring the same through mining of minor minerals as per the provisions laid down by the concerned State Governments. Keeping in view that many parts of the country face drought conditions and restoration of ponds, check dams, water tanks offers an age-old system of water conservation/ ground water recharging, instructions have been issued by the Ministry to the agencies responsible for construction of National Highways to advise their contractors/ construction agencies through their field officers to approach the concerned District Collectors/ Sub-collectors/ Water Conservation Departments to obtain a list of any such villages/ rural areas where de-siltation/ revival of existing ponds/ water bodies or digging of areas for creation of new water bodies are required and procure the requisite soil for road embankments by digging/ de-silting the existing village ponds/ water bodies, subject to such soil being found suitable for the embankment purposes. This arrangement would help in restoration of such dried-up water bodies without any charge and the contractors will be able to source the requisite soil without any payment.
4.3 Bridge cum Barrage
The Ministry has sought proposals from state PWDs for making bridge-cum-barrage on NHs so as to serve the dual purpose of crossing the water body and storing water on the upstream/ down stream side to serve as water reservoirs/ ground water recharging bodies. This will help better and optimum utilization of water for various purposes.
4.4 Swachhta Pakhwada
Swachhta Pakhwada was observed from 16th to 31st July, 2017 under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The main focus was to accelerate the pace of on-going Swachh Bharat Mission activities of construction of toilets and provision of litter-bins at 371 NHAI Toll Plazas, and additional activities including provision of temporary toilets and drinking water facilities at toll plazas, cleaning of roads and drains, proper management of road construction sites, removing litter etc.
4.5 Measures undertaken to combat vehicular pollution:
(i) Ministry has taken a landmark step towards reducing the vehicular pollution. Emission norms for Tractors and Construction Equipment vehicles have been notified for low Sulphur fuel, to be implemented from 01st October, 2020.
(ii) Ministry has also taken initiatives to promote alternate fuels in vehicles. The Electric vehicles are being given a big push by the Ministry. India’s first multi modal Electric Vehicle passenger transport project was launched in Nagpur with integrated solution of buses, taxis and E-Rickshaws.
(iii) The E-Rickshaw, which has proved to be an effective substitute for manual Rickshaws, has emerged as a cost effective, environment friendly solution for improving last mile connectivity. These have been exempted from the requirement of obtaining permits. This has created a game changing scenario for promoting E-rickshaws. During the year to promote last mile connectivity for metro passengers, 1000 number of E-Rickshaws were launched at Gurugram, Haryana.
5. E- INITIATIVES
5.1 Project Monitoring Information System(PMIS)
A very effective Project Monitoring Information System (PMIS) has been introduced for tracking the status of all projects, preparation of reports and online upload of important project documents like DPRs and contract documents, etc.
5.2 INAM-Pro+ launched
INAM-Pro+, an upgraded version of INAM-Pro, was launched on 01 June 2017. More than 700 construction companies have used INAM-Pro during the last two years. With 37 Cement companies registered on it, the portal facilitated comparison of price, availability of materials etc. and made it convenient for prospective buyers to procure cement at reasonable rates in a transparent manner. INAM-Pro*, with enhanced features will reduce the time and efforts in preparation of proposals and bid submissions, and help increase efficiency and transparency in procurement of construction materials as a user can now place orders, obtain price quotes and track them in swift manner on this portal.
5.2 Bhoomi Rashi, a web Utility for land acquisition
ln its attempt to move towards total e-governance and avoid delays, this Ministry has developed a Web Utility for land acquisition related processes including gazette notification. The web utility would be linked with the e-gazette platform of the Ministry of Urban Development, for e-publication of land acquisition related Gazette Notifications. The affected/ interested parties would also be given an access to the system so as to track the status of their acquired land and the CALA(s) in different states are being taken on board to deposit the compensation amount in the respective accounts of affected/ interested person
(i) Implementation of Hybrid ETC system
Electronic toll collection (ETC) system, the flagship initiative of MoRT&H, has been implemented on pan-India basis in order to remove bottlenecks and ensure seamless movement of traffic and collection of user fee as per the notified rates, using passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IHMCL), a Company registered under the Companies Act, has been incorporated for working as implementing agency for ETC with National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) functioning as the Central Clearing House (CCH). 11 banks (including Public and Private sector banks) have been engaged as issuer Banks in order to issue FASTag to road users. A cashback of 7.5% is being offered for the FY 2017-18 in order to incentivize road users for usage of FASTag. In addition to FASTag, several other electronic means have also been employed to enable road users for payment of user fees such as use of PoS machines for collection of fees through Credit/ Debit cards, use of Pre-paid payment instruments etc.
(ii) Other Initiatives
(a) In order to further augment the services provided to FASTag users, all the lanes at the fee plazas are being converted to Hybrid lanes with one dedicated lane on either side, exclusively for FASTag users. This is to be completed by 31.03.2018.
(b) All new vehicles of class M and N being sold after 1-Dec-2017 will be affixed with FASTag by the vehicle manufacturer or the authorized dealer, in order to enhance the penetration and usage of FASTg among road users.
5.4 Transport MMP: A successful and ambitious e-Governance Project
Transport Mission Mode Project, driven by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, has successfully automated RTO operations, set up a consolidated nation-wise transport database and has launched a host of citizen and trade-centric applications – contributing greatly towards the e-Governance initiative of the country under Digital India Program. The salient aspects of this project are as under:
- Two Flagship Applications under Transport MMP – Vahan and Sarathi Vahan deals with Vehicle Registration, Taxation, Permit, Fitness and associated services while Sarathi is related to Driving License, Learner License, Driving Schools and related activities
- Implemented in 1000+ RTOs across 33 States/UTs – with state-specific rules, tax structures
- Key users – RTOs, Govt, Police, Banks, Insurance, Citizens, Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers
- Country-wide data consolidated in National Register – updated through periodic replication
- More than 19 crore Vehicle, 10 crore Driving License Records in the National Register
- Portal/ API based Data access provided to Govt. Agencies, Security forces, Banks & Insurance
- Vehicle and License search option to Citizen through Portal/ SMS/ Mobile app
- Host of online G-B and G-C applications implemented at national and state levels
- More than 50 Lakh National Permits issued to Goods Vehicles through Online National Permit Portal
- Homologation (Approval) Portal for Model Certification and Inventory Management for Manufacturers
- More than Rs. 10000 crores taxes collected by States online.
5.5 New Initiatives
- Centralized, web-enabled Vahan and Sarathi version 4 (fully integrated online services) launched to replace current distributions
- Multi-tenant deployment under NIC Cloud; High security, availability and data integrity
- To enhance quality of citizen facilities, reduce/eliminate RTO visits, increase transparency
- More than 600 RTOs across 15 states already migrated to the new system; rest to follow soon.
- Integration with multiple Payment Gateways, IRDA, NCRB, CSC, SMS, Open API
- Integration with Aadhaar for biometric authentication and eKYC; Integration with Digilocker
- Features dashboards, smart card, document upload, online scheduling, configurable workflow
- Online Dealer Point Application with integration with Vehicle Manufacturers’ inventory
- Online Fancy Number application with e-auction and e-bidding facility
- Complete range of online services related to Licensing, Tax Payment, transaction requests
- System-based, Multi-lingual knowledge test for Learner License with advanced security options
- Mobile app e-Challan and m-Parivahan – developed for comprehensive enforcement solution
- Convenient, cost-effective, and practical solution with latest features and state-specific options
- E-Challan being launched in multiple states by both Transport Enforcement and Traffic Police
- Parivahan App - for information and comprehensive services to citizen
- Major feature will be virtual documents like Driving Licence, Registration Certificate, Permits etc – as authorized soft copy
- Virtual DL/RC can replace physical document/card with encrypted QR Code for authentication
- Vision to bring transformational improvements in Transport Sector to facilitate citizens
6. INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
6.1 MoU between India and Nepal
A MoU between India and Nepal for laying down implementation arrangement on cost sharing, schedules and safeguard issues for construction of a new Bridge over River Mechi at Indo-Nepal Border at an estimated cost of Rs.158.65 crores has been signed in August 2017. This will be funded by Government of India through an ADB loan. The new bridge is part of up-gradation of the Kakarvitta (Nepal) to Panitanki Bypass (India) on NH 327B, covering a length of 1500 mtrs. including a 6-lane approach road of 825 mtrs. Mechi Bridge is the end-point of Asian Highway 02 in India leading to Nepal and provides critical connectivity to Nepal.
6.2 MoU between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE)
To foster Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport & Highways sector, a MoU was signed in January, 2017 during the visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India during the Republic Day Celebrations, 2017. The MoU envisages cooperation, exchange and collaboration between India and UAE for promoting increased investment in infrastructure development and logistics efficiency. A Joint Working Group (JWG) has been formed under the MoU from both the sides.
6.3 Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) between India and Afghanistan
A Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA) for regulation of passenger, personal and cargo vehicular traffic between India and Afghanistan was signed in September, 2017 for enhanced regional connectivity through road transport and for promoting cross-border road transportation for increased trade with Afghanistan via the land route.
6.4 IMT Friendship Motor Rally-II, 2017
India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Friendship Motor Rally-II, 2017, supported by MoRTH from Guwahati to Bangkok, was organized jointly by Kalinga Motor Sports Club (KMSC), Bhubaneswar and Mahindra Adventure, Mumbai. The Rally started from Guwahati, India on 24.11.2017 and proceeded through Myanmar to reach at Bangkok, Thailand on 03.12.2017 covering a distance of about 5000 kms to return to Guwahati on 22.12.2017. The essence of the event was to propagate IMT Motor Vehicle Agreement and the Governments initiative along the planned route.
6.5 Co-operation Framework Agreement between IAHE, India and IFEER, Morocco
A Cooperation Framework Agreement between Indian Academy of Highway Engineers (IAHE), India and Institute of Training in Engines and Road Maintenance (IFEER), Morocco IAHE, Noida has been signed on 14.12.2017 during the visit of Moroccan Delegation led by Mr. Abdelkader Amara, Hon’ble Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water of the Kingdom of Morocco to Delhi. The Agreement envisages bilateral cooperation in the field of training in Engines and Road Maintenance of Moroccan Engineers.
7.1 Wayside Amenities
The National Highways Authority of India has started the process of developing wayside amenities at land acquired at 183 locations along side the national highways and has called for private participation for the same. The amenities will provide rest and refreshment for highway commuters during their journey. There would be parking for cars, buses and trucks, restaurant/ food court, dhaba, fuel station, minor repair shop, rest rooms for passengers, dormitories for drivers, kiosks for sale of miscellaneous sundry items etc at these sites. The facilities having an area more than 5 acres will be developed under the brand name “HIGHWAY VILLAGE” and facilities on smaller area less than 5 Acres will be developed with brand name “HIGHWAY NEST.
7.2 Red Beacon Lights:
With a view to strengthen healthy democratic values in the country, MORTH notified to do away with beacons of all kinds atop all categories of vehicles in the country except those connected with emergency, operation & relief services, etc .
7.3 Measures undertaken to Check Air Pollution in Delhi NCR Region
Directions have been issued to Project Directors, Contractors and field level officials working on highway projects around Delhi to take measures to check pollution arising from the construction work. The steps to be taken include sprinkling water at all construction sites and camps, covering of dumpers transporting the construction material/ waste including fly ash in the region, covering of exposed soil at the sites, paving/ greening the earthen shoulders and use of mechanised brooming of these road stretches. PDs have been directed to inspect the construction sites regularly to ensure that all pollution control measures are strctly complied with. Additionally, tight targets have been set for the completion of Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways around Delhi. Once the two peripheral expressways are ready, vehicles destined for neighbouring states will be able to bypass Delhi and this will reduce vehicular pollution in Delhi to a large extent.