See how NHAI is smartly managing its road assets

With over 52.32 lakh km of roads, India has one of the largest road networks in the world. It comprises National Highways (100,275 km), expressways (200 km), state highways (148,256 km) and other roads (4,983,479 km). Roads carry 85 per cent of passenger and 70 per cent of freight traffic. National Highways constitute only 2 per cent but carry 40 per cent of the traffic on Indian roads.

The development of RAMS for National Highways (NHs) is a flagship project. RAMS has been developed for the National Highways Authority of India, bringing both public funded and private funded roads under one umbrella. The objective of this project is to assist in accurate and scientific maintenance planning, enhancing road safety measures and planning of development of the NH network in India.

RAMS has been developed using international best practices. NHAI has associated with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for optimal use of the geospatial technologies for National Highways planning and management. NHAI has planned to use the indigenous Bhuvan maps for monitoring encroachments and project progress.

Road Asset Management System (RAMS)
NHAI has taken up the RAMS project with World Bank assistance. Under this project, the software is being developed to collect location-based data for more than 200 attributes of a road. This is a Web-based system with a comprehensive asset register capable of providing a variety of information points to wider stakeholders, both internal and external, with the click of a mouse. Further, users can conduct map audits and extract the information available within the system. The system has facilities for determining maintenance needs.

Objectives of the project
The specific objectives of the project:
• Sustainable Road Asset Management System (RAMS) for National Highways in India. Single Road Database for NHs supported by analytical tools;
• Institutionalisation of NHAI and MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) for RAMS planning, programming and budgeting for road maintenance and upgrading works;
• GIS capability of RAMS to form publicly accessed Traveller/Tourist Information Systems, providing road users with information on road conditions and location of hotels and tourist sites etc.

Project Highlights
The specific tasks included the following:
1. Data collection for GIS, road inventory, condition, pavement strength, traffic and other data using automated, semi-automated and manual procedures over 3,000 km of NHs;
2. Developing of data collection plan that allowed RAMS to fully upgrade current data required for planning, programming and budgeting of road works;
3. Upgrading RAMS hardware and software;
4. Developing analytical tools which allow the RAMS data to support the formation of plans and programmes for road network preservation and development;
5. Institutional framework for RAMS to ensure its sustainability and development over the long term;
6. Recommendation of strategy for commercial use of relevant parts of RAMS as a Traveller/Tourist Information System.

Use of Geospatial Technology in Highways:
• Pre-feasibility/feasibility studies of new alignments, upgrades/road widening;
• Monitoring of road segments under construction;
• Land use situation for development of NHs;
• Issues of width available along the road (Width of Right of Way);
• Study of congestion/traffic jams/junction arrangement planning etc.;
• Road safety including identification of Black Spots;
• Traveller information.

The application can also be accessed by smartphones. Information collected from this project will be useful for the Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry, NHAI, state PWDs, police departments, funding agencies, developers and citizens. The software is equipped to interface with the indigenous Bhuvan satellite images.