In a bid to improve the roads across the country, the National Highways Authority of India has decided to rank the highways based on an audit. The aim is to "improve the quality and provide higher level of service to highway commuters."
"In its effort to improve the quality of roads, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under has decided to undertake performance assessment and ranking of the highways in the country," the ministry of of road transport and highways said today.
"The assessment parameters will be based on different international practices and studies for bench marking highway performances in Indian context," the ministry added. There will be three broad criteria to asses the quality of the roads — efficiency (45%), safety (35%) and user services (20%). After the audit, the ministry will decide where the intervention is needed to enhance the overall service of the highways.
Several other important parameters like "operating speed, access control, time taken at toll plaza, road signage, road markings, accident rate, incident response time, crash barriers, illumination" will be considered while assessing the performance of highways across the country.
Some other parameters that will be taken into account are "availability of Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), functionality of structures, provision for grade separated intersections, cleanliness, plantation, wayside amenities and customer satisfaction will also be considered," the ministry said.
"The score obtained by each corridor in each of the parameter will provide a feedback and corrective recourse for higher standards of operation, better safety and user experience to improve existing highways," the ministry said.
This road audit will help in identifying and filling gaps of design, standards, practices, guidelines and contract agreements for other NHAI projects.
The ranking of the corridors will be dynamic. The concessionaire or contractor or operator will get the opportunity to improve upon their ranking by improving the services on that corridor, the ministry said.
Apart from overall ranking of all the corridors, separate ranking for BOT, HAM and EPC projects will also be done. The ministry is hopeful that "this process of ranking will bring out operational efficiency and ensure high quality maintenance of roads."