Akhilesh Srivastava’s Role in Highways Modernisation
Roadways are the engines of economy as they facilitate trade, travel, and tourism. In India, roads, especially highways, form an intricate arterial network that carries most of the cargo and passengers from one region to another, and connects different economic zones within the country. Roads in India, however, are challenged with severe bottlenecks due to obsolete technology and anachronistic engineering methods.
In order to overcome these challenges, and modernise the arterial network of the nation, the Government of India has planned several domestic and international cluster projects that utilise the latest technology, management, and engineering methods, and has handed over them to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the chief general manager of its highway operations, Akhilesh Srivastava.
The (domestic) cluster project that CGM Akhilesh Srivastava is in-charge of include: Wayside Amenities (WSA), Electronic Toll Collection (ETC), GPS tolling, Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), drones and remote sensing for highways, and many others.
- WSA includes advanced civic amenities and is aimed at revamping commuter experience on national highways with modern comforts. The subproject comprises of three structures – Highway Village, Highway Nest, and Highway Nest (Mini). Of these three, the nest and nest (mini) have already been constructed at several national highway toll plazas. Village – the largest of the three – will house advanced amenities on a larger scale and will act as a "highway port".
- ETC, which is already operational at nearly 400 locations, enables instant and automatic fee deduction at Toll plazas, eliminating the need for motorists to stop at Toll gates. ETC uses RFID technology to detect vehicles and debit the amount.
- GPS tolling is a relatively new method of invoicing and collecting Toll fee. The new method will allow instant deduction of toll fee through a system that detects driver coordinates on the highway and initiates invoice generation. This will entirely eliminate the need for having Toll gates. Akhilesh Srivastava is running the pilot of the project in the Delhi-Mumbai corridor.
- The ATMS integrates advanced technologies and software, including sensors, into one central database to manage highway incidents such as accidents, grid locks, Toll malpractices, traffic jams, natural disasters, etc. and automatically deploy relevant services, such as ambulance, tow-away trucks, cranes, excavators, etc. Recently, the NHAI initiated the installation of a new surveillance system that uses low-latency, high-resolution IP cameras to monitor traffic at Toll gates.
- ODR uses advanced technology that digitalises cyber arbitration, mediation, and conciliation for the expeditious resolution of contract disputes between various parties in the highways sector and the construction industry. A new, first-of-its-kind ODR portal, designed and developed by CGM Srivastava and others, was launched recently.
- UAVs (drones) and LiDARs (remote sensing technologies) are being used by the highway authorities to monitor highway projects and prepare their DPRs, and enable the ATMS and Road Asset Management System.
Besides these, Akhilesh Srivastava also is a part of the construction of the Bharatmala Pariyojna project, the largest road connectivity project in India, which will subsume all the projects mentioned in this piece and more. He also is, in part, helping the NHAI and the Ministry of External Affairs in its intra-continental India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway road-connectivity project.
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Harika Lingamaneni is a passionate content writer, where she has almost 6 years of experience in article writing. she is currently working on an article about Indian Highways.