The year 2016 has been a significant one for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, when road safety emerged as the central theme of almost its entire range of activities. While the Ministry pushed ahead to expand the National Highways network in the country, it was not enough to just build highways! It was equally important to ensure that the highways were safe for the commuters. As a signatory to Brasilia Declaration, India is committed to reducing the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 % by 2020.
Although efforts in this direction had started earlier, the year 2016 saw the Ministry taking major steps towards fulfilling this commitment. These steps include overhauling the institutional and statutory framework, employing engineering solutions to build safer roads, laying down standards for safer vehicles, building an environment for better enforcement of traffic regulations and improving emergency care.
The major steps taken by the Ministry towards ensuring safety on roads are as follows:
A National Road Safety Policy had been approved earlier, outlining various policy measures like promoting awareness, establishing road safety information data base, encouraging safer road infrastructure, enforcement of safety laws etc. The Ministry has evolved a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the problem based on the 4 E’s viz Education, Engineering (both of roads and vehicles) Enforcement and Emergency Care. A National Road Safety Council had also been constituted as the apex body to take policy decisions in the matter of road safety.
Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 – The Ministry constituted a Group of Ministers from 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 has been referred to the Department- related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture for examination and report.
Top priority has been accorded to correction of black spots on National Highways and adopting regulatory measures for improving automobile safety. Ministry has requested the States to send proposals for correction of black spots and 10% of the Central Road Fund (CRF) have been permitted to be used for undertaking road safety measures. Road safety has been made an integral part of road designing, safety audits are being taken up for selected stretches of National Highways. As Short-term measures rumble strips, reflective stickers at junctions, fixing signboard/ cautionary board, providing signage and speed restrictions are being used. As long-term measures construction of vehicular under-pass, By-pass, flyover and 4-laning are being taken up.
An amount of Rs.1100 crore has been made available for the road safety purposes during the years 2015-16 and 2016-17. Of this, Rs.600 crores were earmarked for the years 2016-17. This amount is to be spent on rectification of black spots, installation of crash barriers in hilly areas, carrying out road safety audits and other road safety works included in Annual plan 2016-17. The power of technical sanction for rectification of black spots has been delegated to Regional officers, MoRTH. Proposals amounting to Rs 12 crore have been sanctioned and proposals amounting to Rs 124 crore are under sanction. Stretches have been identified for installation of crash barriers and proposals and estimates have been invited. Regarding other works of road safety, proposals of about Rs 39 crore have been finalized and are under sanction while other proposals are in different stages of investigations/preparation.
The Ministry has stressed upon States / UTs to set up State Road Safety Councils, formulate an action plan for improving road safety, implement it in a concerted manner, fix a definite, time bound target for fatality reduction and identify and allocate adequate manpower, financial and other resources for implementing the strategy to achieve the targets set. The status of implementation by the states is as follows:
i. Twenty two States have notified a road safety policy. The states of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Tripura are in the process of notifying.
ii. State Road Safety Council (SRSC) has been constituted in all States and meetings are also being held by these councils.
iii. 24 states have submitted Draft Action Plans for reducing accidents and fatalities based on the six pillars of road safety recommended by the United Nations.
iv. All states except Bihar, Punjab and Mizoram have designated lead agencies for dealing with road safety issues.
v. 11 States have created Dedicated Road Safety Funds. The states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Delhi, Goa, Haryana, J&K, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telagana, Tripura, Uttrakhand and West Bengal are in process of establishment of Road Safety Fund by making available a portion of the fines collected from traffic offences.
vi. Most states have started Road Safety Audits of all roads as per the guidelines of Ministry.
vii. Traffic calming measures are also being adopted.
viii. Most of the States have identified black spots. Rectification of Black Spots is in progress in the states. The Ministry has also written to the States to send proposals for correction of black spots. Most states have formulated the protocol and calendar for identification and rectification of Black Spots or have adopted the guidelines issued by the Road Safety Engineering Cell of the Ministry. The progress would be monitored by the Ministry on regular basis.
ix. Most of the states have issued necessary directions to the concerned agencies to undertake construction of road beyond Rs.10 crores only after Design Audit is completed and its recommendations implemented.
x. Most States have started suspending Driving Licence for not less than 3 months under Section 19 of Motor Vehicle Act and Rule 21 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules for over speeding, red light jumping, use of mobile phones while driving and over loading. They are framing mechanism to regularize the process.
xi. Most of the states have started action for setting up computerized driving tracks to eliminate human intervention for issue of permanent driving licences.
Highway Advisory System (HAS)
HAS was launched as a pilot project on Delhi-Jaipur highway. It is a free-to-air information distribution system that uses radio to make the travelling experience on National Highways safer, faster and hassle-free. HAS control centre collects data, processes and analyzes it, generates alerts and sends it to be broadcast by All India Radio. The phase 1pilot on NH8 from Delhi to Jaipur (240 Km) to provide live traffic updates in 18 slots daily through All India Radio was successfully completed. The study on the impact of the pilot project has thrown up very positive results and there is tremendous demand for this service among road users. In Phase 2, the pilot is being expanded to 12 highway stretches in multiple languages across the country covering a total of around 2400 Kms of National Highways.
The Ministry has launched a media campaign to promote road safety. NGOs have been sensitised to work on Road Safety.
Vehicular Safety Standards are being set for all classes of vehicles. Trucks are prohibited from carrying protruding rods; Anti-locking Brake System (ABS) made mandatory on Heavy Vehicles; Cars to have provision for fitment of at-least one child seat. Car Crash Standards to be made mandatory w.e.f. 1st April, 2018; ABS/CBS for Two Wheelers mandated w.e.f. 1st April, 2018; AHO (Automatic Headlight On) made mandatory for Two Wheelers to make them more conspicuous; Bus Body Code for safer and comfortable buses; Truck Body Code for safe cabins to drivers and other road users; Mandatory Fitment of Speed Governors on Transport Vehicles to avoid over speeding.
Buses with IT enabled safety measures under NIRBHAYA SCHEME
As per notification issued by the Ministry all public service vehicles, (except two and three wheelers, e-rickshaws) have to be equipped with or fitted with vehicle location tracking device and one or more emergency buttons: The vehicle location tracking device and emergency button referred to in sub-rule (1) shall be fitted by the manufacturer or their dealer or the respective operator.
Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) launched – IBMS is being developed to create an inventory of all bridges in the country and rate their structural condition so that timely repair and rehabilitation work can be carried out based on the criticality of the structure.
Model Institutes of Drivers Training and Research (IDTR) – The Ministry is implementing a scheme for setting up of Model Institutes of Drivers Training and Research (IDTR) under which it provides a grant up to Rs. 17.00 crore for each centre, as also Rs. 05.00 crore grant for setting up smaller Regional Driving Training Centres (RDTC). The IDTRs are expected to be the mother institutes which will train the trainers and also guide and monitor the smaller institutes. During 10th Plan, a total number of 13 Model Driver Training Schools were sanctioned in the States of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, NCT of Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. All the 13 training schools are functional.In the 11th Plan, MoRTH accorded sanction for setting up IDTR at Sarkaghat (Himachal Pradesh); Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh); Rajsamand (Rajasthan); Pune (Maharashtra); Bhiwani (Haryana); Aurangabad (Bihar) and Agartala (Tripura). Out of these, three IDTRs at Pune, Chindwara and Rajsamand are functional now. For 12th Plan, MoRTH has decided to establish 10 IDTR and 25 RTDC. So far, 4 IDTRs have been sanctioned to be set up one each in the State of Naya Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Four RDTCs also have been sanctioned, one in West Bengal and three in Maharashtra.
Model Automated Centers for checking fitness of the vehicles. – Under this scheme, the Ministry is providing a grant of Rs. 14.40 crore for each center. During the 11th Five Year Plan, the Ministry sanctioned 9 centers under the scheme in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan out of which the center at Nashik in Maharashtra is operational and centres in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are likely to become operational by January, 2017. The other centers are expected to become operational in this financial year. During the 12th Plan 6 Inspection and Certification Centres were sanctioned, one each in the state of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Punjab, Sikkim and Kerala.
Effective Trauma Care – NHAI provides ambulances at a distance of 50 km on its completed stretches of National Highways. Cranes and ambulances are provided to various State Governments under the National Highway Accident Relief Service Scheme for development on National Highways.
This Ministry has notified National Ambulance Code for road ambulance Type L and M.
Pilot Projects for Cashless Treatment of Road Accident Victims were done on Gurgaon-Jaipur, Vadodara – Mumbai stretch of NH 8 and Ranchi-Rargaon-Mahulia stretch of NH 33. Now it is proposed to implement this scheme along the Golden Quadrilateral, North South and East West Corridors (about 13500 km) at an estimated cost of about Rs. 250 Crore.
Good Samaritans Guidelines – Guidelines have been issued by the Ministry to prevent the harassment of “Good Samaritans” who help road accident victims. The Supreme Court has accepted these guidelines and has asked states for implementation.
Total length of Highways awarded upto November, 2016- 5688 km;
Total length of Highways constructed upto November, 2016- 4021 km.
Development of Roads in the North East – As of 18th Oct. 2016, NHIDCL is handling 134 National Highway and other Infrastructure Development projects covering an approx length of 8,007 km. to be executed at a cost of approximately Rs. 100,000 crore.
Construction of Roads in Naxal Areas – A total of 4148 km of roads constructed so far.
High Density Corridors. The Government has approved a plan for constructing 1000 km of Expressways along High Density Corridors like the Vadodara-Mumbai Corridor and Delhi-Meerut Corridor. The approved expressways on High Density Corridors are:
i. Delhi-Meerut (66km) – To be constructed in four packages, out of which two packages (i.e. Nizamuddin Bridge to UP Border and Dasna to Hapur) have already been awarded. The third package, namely UP Border to Dasna is in advanced stage of award. For the fourth package i.e. New Alignment from Dasna to Meerut, bids have been invited. Approval of NGT has been obtained and about 90% land is available. The total estimated project cost is about Rs. 6700 Crores.
ii. Eastern Peripheral Expressway – 135 Km Kundli-Palwal – to be completed by March, 2018.
iii. Western Peripheral – 135 Km Kundli-Manesar -Palwal. Manesar -Palwal section is ready; Kundli-Palwal to be done by August, 2018.
iv. Vadodara-Mumbai Corridor (400 km): – To be completed in three phases.
v. Bangalore-Chennai (262 km) on NH-4 – The project is at Feasibility-cum- Preliminary Design Report Stage.
vi. Delhi-Jaipur (261 km) on NH-8.
vii. Delhi-Chandigarh (249 km) on NH-1 and NH-22.
viii. Kolkata-Dhanbad (277 km) on NH-2, and
ix. Delhi-Agra (200 km) on NH-2.
i. Bharatmala: This has been envisaged as an umbrella program that will subsume unfinished parts of NHDP and also focus on the new initiatives like development of Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal & port connectivity roads, National Corridors Efficiency improvements, Economic corridors development and others.
ii. SetuBharatam program for building bridges for safe and seamless travel on National Highways. The aim is to make National Highways free of railway level crossings by 2019 by building Railway Over Bridges/ Under Passes. 1500 old and worn down bridges to be improved by replacement/widening/strengthening.
iii. National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project -This is a project to ensure safe, fast and all weather movement of traffic on National Highways mostly located in backward regions .Development of 1120 kms of National Highways in the States of Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal have been approved. The projects are already taken up for implementation and 429 kms have been completed. The civil works are expected to be completed by July, 2019 and maintenance works are expected to be completed by July, 2024.
iv. Logistic Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP) –aimed at enhancing the freight transportation in India through improving cost, time, tracking and transferability of consignments through infrastructure, procedural and Information Technology (IT) interventions. The parks are expected to serve four key functions: freight aggregation and distribution, multimodal freight movement, storage and warehousing, and value-added services such as custom clearances. The ministry has shortlisted 15 locations with the highest freight movement for the development of multimodal logistics parks worth Rs.32,853 crore. The locations are in the states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana. 44 Economic Corridors, 170 feeder routes and inter-city corridors, 35 logistics parks and 191 choke points have been identified for development to improve logistics efficiency of National Highways.
Highway Construction -Policies: The following are the major policy interventions undertaken this year:-
i. Recycling of operational highway assets using – the Toll – Operate -Transfer (TOT) Model – The Model has been developed by MoRTH and approved by the CCEA in August, 2016. As per the Model, the right of collection of Toll Fees for operational public funded NH projects is to be assigned for a pre-determined concession period (30 years) to concessionaires against upfront payment of a lump-sum amount. O&M obligations of such projects shall be with the concessionaire till the completion of concession period. This Model facilitates long term O&M of constructed NH projects through private sector efficiency. This is a big investment opportunity for long term institutional investors- both domestic and international like pension funds, insurance funds, wealth funds etc in addition to banks. Initially, 75 public funded NH projects with aggregate length of around 4,500 km and annual toll revenue collection of around Rs 2,700 crores have been identified for the Model. The Model Concession Agreement (MCA) has been developed and the first round of bidding for projects shall be taken up in near future.
ii. Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM)- As per the model, 40% the Project Cost is to be provided by the Government as ‘Construction Support’ to the private developer during the construction period and the balance 60% as annuity payments over the operations period along with interest on outstanding amount. The payable interest rate is linked to market rates (Bank Rate +3.00%). There is separate provision for O&M payments by the Government to the concessionaire. The private party does not have to bear the traffic and inflation risks. The Model has been successful in reviving PPPs in the sector which is evident in the interest being shown by the market for such projects. Till now, 33 NH projects with aggregate length of around 1,800 km and involving cost of around Rs 29,450 crores have been already awarded under the Model. Many more are in matured stages of bidding.
iii. Issues resolved for languishing projects – 73 NH projects with aggregate length of around 8,310 km were languishing after award around two and half years back. These projects involved estimated capital investment of around Rs 1,00,000 crores that remained blocked. As a result of MoRTH interventions that included taking up policy measures and rounds of one to one interaction with concessionaires and bankers, most of the languishing projects have been effectively put back on track. Out of the 73 languishing projects as mentioned above, issues remain to be resolved for only 10 projects.
iv. Steps taken to streamline land acquisition – Land Acquisition (LA) has been expedited by bringing the awards and their disbursal in consonance with the principles of the RFCT LARR Act, 2013. For the purpose of monitoring and expeditious settlement of LA issues for various projects, guidelines have been circulated to constitute LA Cells in the Ministry, its ROs, NHAI, NHIDCL and their PlUs. As a first step, LA Cell has been constituted in the Ministry by engagement of a retired revenue Officer as Consultant. Instructions have been issued for appointment of additional CALAIArbitrator to ease the load, and also for providing basic facilities to CALA/ TILRI/ Arbitrator, for smooth discharge of their duties. Besides acquisition under NH Act, 1956, a policy decision has been taken to ensure availability of requisite land for NHs through bulk purchase in accordance with the policy of the concerned State Governments. So far, instructions have been issued for the bulk acquisition/purchase of land through consent of land owners in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Telangana,West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. Further, acquisition of plots missed out from bulk acquisition due to land consolidation process and poor maintenance of revenue records, minor technical alteration and social or environmental considerations. has been authorised through CONSENT as an exception up to 10% of total of land.
Taxi Policy Guidelines -The committee constituted by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to review issues relating to taxi permits and propose taxi policy guidelines to promote urban mobility submitted its report. The committee has recommended that city taxies should be allowed to run on App Based platforms. The policy recommendations also ensure that bigger aggregators do not undercut the traditional cabs.The major focus of the policy is to ensure safe, secure and affordable ride to the common public so as to help in reducing congestion as well as pollution in the cities. The policy also recommends that the app used by aggregators is validated for its integrity by an agency authorized by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. It is expected that the policy would help in a healthy growth of the taxi industry. The policy is recommendatory in nature and would help to provide a particular framework to help the States in framing detailed regulations.
Vehicle Fleet Modernization Programme – The concept note on ‘Vehicle Fleet Modernization Programme’ to enable the replacement of old, heavy and medium commercial vehicles as they contribute the maximum of vehicular pollution was placed on Ministry’s official website for information and comments from concerned Ministries and Departments and other stakeholders. The policy proposes that old vehicles would get following financial benefits: – The scrap value of the vehicle and incentives from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and incentives from government. It has been decided to refer the issue for consideration by Committee of Secretaries.
The Ministry has issued a notification mandating implementation of Bharat Standards-VI (BS-VI) emission norms from 1stApril 2020 for all vehicles. This is a significant step to combat vehicular pollution in the country.
India ready for flex – fuel automobiles – India has put in place all required regulations for the use of Flex-fuel like ethanol mixed with petrol.
Vehicle manufacturers will have to give details about the emission and noise levels of each vehicle they produce – From 1st of April 2017, manufacturers of all kinds of motor vehicles as also E-rickshaws and E-carts will have to give detailed declaration about the emission levels of the vehicle they have manufactured
Ethanol – Fuelled Bus- Notification was issued for mass emission standards for flexi-fuel ethanol E85 and ED95. This Notification will enable vehicle manufacturers to manufacture vehicles running on bio-ethanol E85 and ED95. A bio-ethanol fuel bus is already under trial in Nagpur.
Bio- CNG and Bio- Diesel – Notification has been issued for norms for the use of Bio-CNG for testing and exhaust emission for vehicles running on Bio-CNG. With this notification, the vehicle manufacturers can manufacture, sell and get vehicles fuelled by Bio-CNG in the country. Draft Notification was also formulated for Mass Emission Standards for Bio-diesel (B 100) fuelled vehicles.
Retro fitment of existing polluting vehicle into electric hybrid and electric vehicle permitted – Enabling regulations have been finalized and demonstration of technology completed successfully.
National Green Highways Project – The initial plantation drive on 1,500 km of National Highways at a cost of about Rs 300 crore was launched as part of the Green Highways (Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance) Policy – 2015 on 1st of July, 2016. The Policy aims to develop eco-friendly National Highways with the participation of community, farmers, NGOs and private sector. The policy will help to improve aesthetics of the project corridors, reduce the impact of air pollution and reduce accidents by cutting down glare from approaching vehicles. Under the Green Highways Project the government has made it mandatory to set aside 1 per cent of the total project cost of any NH contract to a Green Fund corpus that will be used for plantation purposes. The afforestation is expected to help in sequestering approximately 12 lakh mt carbon annually.
National Green Highways Mission -YES BANK Knowledge Report on ‘Transplanting for Growth’ was released. It puts transplantation at the centre of discussion in the mission of greening our highways. The report presents a compelling case for taking up transplantation as the preferred technique for plantation along the highways.
A charter has been signed between NGHM and YES BANK to create awareness on greening of highways and explore synergies between NGHM’s objectives and YES BANK’s CoP21 commitment of planting 20 lakh saplings by 2020.
‘Adopt a Green Highway’ Program was launched in July, 2016. It seeks to engage corporates, Public Sector units, Government organizations and other institutions for developing green corridor along National Highways through plantation and allied activity on avenue, median and other available nearby land patches.
‘Kisan Harit Rajmarg Yojana’ is a pilot scheme to extend green belt beyond the existing ‘Right of Way’ of highways by engaging farmers and providing alternative livelihood option to the nearby communities.
A National Green Highways Mission Mobile App has also been launched to enable the management to monitor all the projects with real time data from the fields. The technology will assist in identifying the bottlenecks quickly and ensure speedy and successful implementations of the projects.
E-rickshaw policy of Government has helped in reducing pollution to a great extent. E- carts and E-rickshaws have been freed from permit requirements.
E-tolling – In order to remove traffic bottle neck at toll plazas and ensure seamless movement of vehicles and hassle-free collection of toll, the Government has implemented a nationwide Electronic Toll Collection based on passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) conforming to EPC Gen-2, ISO 18000-6C standards. It provides for electronic collection of toll through FASTags.
With about 3133 FASTags being sold in May, 2016, the number went upto 1,78,266 by 22nd December,2016 . Fees collected from FASTags was just Rs 0.71 Crore in May 2016. This rose to Rs 47.02 Crore by 22nd December, 2016.
E- Tolling was facilitated in a big way after demonetization. After the initial suspension of toll collection in November 2016, when tolling was resumed from 3rd December, elaborate arrangements were made for payment of fees through swipe machines and E wallets and FASTags at all toll plazas on the National Highways. Collection of fee through electronic means was just about 5 percent in Oct-Nov 2016. This rose to about 11 percent by mid- December.
PMIS – An online state-of-the-art real time Project Monitoring and Information System (PMIS) has been developed to digitally monitor 2000+ projects executed by multiple agencies. The PMIS has detailed dashboards for every project and generates custom reports required for project reviews. Customized dashboards have been developed for the Minister of Road Transport and Highways for regular monitoring of progress. The project information is updated every month by the respective PIUs and Senior Officers Meetings are conducted through reports generated by PMIS system. Important documents like the lEIAE reports are also catalogued in the system and can be downloaded whenever required.
INFRACON is the National Portal for Infrastructure Consultancy Firms and Key Personnel. This portal acts as a kind of bridge between consultancy firms working in the road engineering and construction sector and domain experts and key personnel who are deployed both for project preparation and supervision. The portal hosts the credentials of consultancy firms and key personnel and has linkages to Aadhar and Digi-locker for data validation and purity. 474 consultancy firms and 2387 key personnel under various categories are already registered with the portal.
INAM PRO has been developed as a web-based application (www.inampro.nic.in) for Infrastructure and Material Providers. It is a kind of a web based market place that brings together the material providers and the prospective buyers on a common platform. The platform was launched in March,2015 to facilitate contractors and cement buyers engaged in executing central/state funded roads and highways and bridge construction projects to place cement orders online with the registered cement companies offering cement at competitive rates in the vicinity of project execution locations. Given the success of INAM-PRO with cement, other materials like steel and steel slag have also been brought on this platform so as to make this as a comprehensive e-market place for infrastructure providers.
The above IT initiatives of the Ministry were recognized and awarded Gold Medal by SKOCH Group as Smart Governance Award 2016.
Driving License and Registration Certificates have been linked with the Digilocker scheme as a part of the key initiative under Digital India. With this integration people will no longer need to carry around physical copies of their RCs and Driving Licences. They can instead access digital copies of the same on their mobile phones via the DigiLocker mobile app. Driving Licenses and Vehicle Registration documents can now be issued directly to the DigiLockers of individuals in digital formats. These digital copies can be shared with other departments as identity and address proof. They will also be used for on the spot verification through the citizen’s mobile, by various law enforcement authorities like the Traffic Police. Besides being convenient for people, this will also result in assured authenticity of such documents and reduction of administrative overhead.
India has experienced significant increase in passenger and freight movement on national highways. Consequently, providing adequate amenities along these roads to ensure convenience and safety of passengers and drivers is a priority. Hence, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has decided to develop Wayside Amenities along the National Highways. Such Wayside Amenities (WSA) shall be branded as ‘Highway Haat’. The complexes will provide facilities for car and bus passengers and truckers to relax, revive and refresh, thus helping to reduce driver fatigue, resulting in making roads travel safe and comfortable.
All the 370 Toll Plazas of NHAI would be covered with toilets, hoardings and litter bins under Swachhta action plan for MoRTH.
Toilet facilities in labor camps are being provided as per the Contract Labour Act in all the ongoing NHAI projects where number of labours at a location crosses 20.Toilets and other such amenities are also provided at all the Toll Plazas and Way-side-amenities. A drive is being taken up for compliance of provision of toilets / amenities at locations.
Multi modal stations: DPR work for multi-modal stations at Nagpur and Varanasi has been initiated as part of the study to improve passenger convenience.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued guidelines for Skill Development of Drivers and Mechanical Staff in the Road Transport Sector and of Workmen in the Highways Construction Sector with a view of meeting the manpower requirements of the road transport and highways sector and simultaneously crating additional avenues of employment . The workmen training will be conducted by the Directorate General of Training (DGT), Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt. of India. Drivers training will be imparted in driver training centres run by private promoters or State Road Transport Undertakings or the apex body of SRTUs, namely, the Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU).
ROAD CONNECTIVITY PROJECTS WITH NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES
After signing of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement in June 2015 for facilitating seamless movement of passenger and cargo vehicles and increase trade in the sub-region, the following road projects in India have been identified to be posed for loan assistance by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
|1||Upgradaton of Siliguri-Mirik-Darjeeling road in West Bengal||122 km.|
|2||Widening of NH-112 (old NH-35) from Kolkata to Bongaon (on India-Bangladesh Border)||60 km|
|3||Upgradation of road connections to Diamond Harbor in West Bengal NH 12 (old NH 117)||123 km|
|4||Ukhrul-Tolloi-Tadubi road in Manipur, NH 102 A||115 km|
|5||Split 4 lane road on Kohima-Kedima Krong-Imphal Section of NH 2 (old NH-39)||138 km|
India is funding construction of 69 Bridges on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa Road (149.70 kms)Section and construction of 120.74 kms road between Kalewa and Yargi section of the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway, in Myanmar to improve connectivity with South East Asia by road. The Trilateral Highway starts from Moreh (Manipur) in India up to Mae Sot in Thailand through Myanmar. Construction of 130 km length stretch of road connecting Moreh (India) / Tamu (Myanmar) to Kalewa in Myanmar has already been completed by Border Roads Organization of India. For construction of 69 bridges including approach roads in the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa road section (149.70 kms) and construction/upgradation of the Kalewa-Yargi road section (120.74 kms) of the IMT Trilateral Highway in Myanmar, appointment of Consultants to finalise tender documents and award of contracts has already been completed.
Seamless entry of Bangladesh truck into India – History was written at the Inland Customs Depot in Patparganj in East Delhi in September 2016 when for the first time a cargo truck from Bangladesh drove in with a Delhi bound consignment, having come seamlessly through customs free borders on a trial basis under BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement.
India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Motor Vehicle Agreement A trial run of passenger vehicles on the IMT Trilateral Highway up to Naypitaw in Myanmar was carried out during 9-14 November, 2015 in which Indian vehicles travelled to Myanmar on Imphal -Mandalay -Bagan- Naypitaw route and back and Myanmar vehicles joined the Indian vehicles on the return journey from Naypitaw to Imphal and returning to Myanmar.
India, Myanmar and Thailand Friendship Motor Car Rally from New Delhi to Bangkok The rally caravan covered a distance of 5,722 kms along the IMT Trilateral Highway with about 70 participants from all the three countries, in 20 Indian made vehicles. The rally was flagged off from New Delhi on 13.11.16. The journey from Delhi to Bangkok lasted over 19 days.
BBIN Corridor – Under the study on LEEP, a strategic initiative called the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal (BBIN) corridor development aimed to improve economic cooperation and regional connectivity is under consideration. Various interventions like upgrading road connectivity within BBIN region, development of feeder routes and up-gradation of land ports are under consideration.