Home / Industry / Infrastructure /  Govt to engage public to improve national highways

NEW DELHI : India, home to the world’s deadliest roads, plans to engage the general public to improve the condition of its national highways.

People privy to the matter said the ministry of road transport and highways is proposing to upgrade the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) Sukhad Yatra smartphone app to allow road users give feedback through complaints about road quality, which can be shared with agencies tasked with repairing roads.

The changes are being considered on the directions of a Parliamentary Standing Committee, which in its recent report, said wider adoption of the app can help NHAI gain free actionable information regarding the issues being faced by national highway (NH) users, which can be quickly acted upon to ensure a well-maintained and safe driving experience. It recommended that the road transport ministry should work towards improving the usability of the app at the earliest and prepare innovative means to promote the app to NH users.

Under the revamped feedback mechanism, the Sukhad Yatra app would seek feedback from the person posting a complaint so as to gain insight into whether the issue pointed out by the complainant has actually been resolved or not.

Another suggestion that the ministry is actively looking to implement is using data collected through the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) and other suitable means to analyse average traffic speed of various stretches of NHs. Stretches with low average traffic speeds would be monitored closely to understand the issues affecting vehicular speed, which could lead to spotting any need for maintenance and repair.

A query sent to the road transport ministry remained unanswered till press time.

The government’s push to ensure better quality of NHs comes amid concerns about India’s poor record on road safety. The country accounts for the highest number of road fatalities globally. While non-adherence to traffic rules and reckless driving are some of the key factors behind accidents, bad road conditions and defective road construction have also been blamed.

While the government is pushing an ambitious upgradation of infrastructure including roads, the quality of road infrastructure still remains very poor.

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