Akhilesh Srivastava – Architect of India’s Smart Highways
Posted: Apr 16, 2018
The Growing volume of traffic, booming urbanisation, and increasing environmental pollution are some of the major challenges Indian cities, villages, and towns are facing, and require urgent attention. According to government statistics, only two percent of the roads in India are highways. Yet, the two percent carries 40% of the country’s passenger and freight traffic.
Our urban spaces aren’t able to sustain the rising flux of traffic because there aren’t enough highways in the country to help bypass the traffic. To solve this problem, Akhilesh Srivastava, CGM of the IT & Highway Operation division of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), has initiated the Central government’s highway modernisation project and has been behind the implementation of tech-enabled solutions to materialise the government’s vision of smart highways.
Much of the project has already begun and has been implemented successfully (in phases) in several locations. For instance, Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), one of the initiatives under the project, has been deployed at 383 toll plazas on national highways in India. The FASTag-powered system is decongesting the traffic flowing towards cities.
The NHAI also has taken up Wayside Amenities (WSA) – another initiative under the cluster project – along the national highways in India. The WSA project, which has three sub-structures, provides small to large enclosures with standard hygienic amenities on several points along the national highways.
The facilities provided in these amenity centres are:
- Parking spaces, fuel stations, minor workshops for repair
- Accommodations and dormitories for short stay
- Dhabas to cater to truck drivers
- Food court, kiosks, branded food outlets
- Clean and hygienic restrooms
Besides WSA, the NHAI has also launched a highway-utility mobile application, Sukhad Yatra. The application helps motorists commute across national highways with ease, pay their Toll fee electronically, locate civic amenity centres including WSAs, and register complaints against fraudulent toll practices and dilapidated highway infrastructure.
Besides these, CGM Akhilesh Srivastava also is working on bringing the globally-acclaimed Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) to the Indian highway sector and construction industry. Resolving legal disputes such as land acquisition manually can be expensive and time-consuming as it involves surmounting paperwork and lots of court hours.
The implementation of ODR, according to the NHAI, will solve those issues via technology, specialised software, and the Internet and create job opportunities in engineering and legal.
CGM Srivastava and the NHAI also are working on implementing several other projects including Road Asset Management System (RAMS), Incident Management System (IMS), drones for highway project monitoring, and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for highway disputes.
Viewing his contributions to the highways sector, the Indian government’s Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) recently conferred the Vishwakarma Award for Lifetime Achievement on Akhilesh Srivastava.
In a related event, the NHAI CGM has delivered a session on the modernisation project and other India-led domestic and international highway undertakings at the 4th Annual Roads & Highways forum in Singapore on 09th April, 2018.
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Aadhyakalyan completed her PG from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in 2008. she stories have previously been published in Writing Magazine and Best journals. she lives in Hyderabad, India."