Satellites, drones to monitor road construction pace: Gadkari

New Delhi:  The government has decided to use ISRO-aided satellites and drones to monitor its highways construction programme, aimed at fast-tracking building of roads in the country. “To ensure proper implementation of highways construction programmes as well as tree plantation drive, we have decided to deploy satellites and drones,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

A pact with ISRO will be inked soon in this connection, he said at the inaugural ceremony of the National Workshop on Road Asset Management System (RAMS) for National Highways. Emphasising the need for a modern, digitalised asset management system for roads, Gadkari said that RAMS that is being developed for all National Highways in the country, is a modern management system that will use GAGAN and BHUVAN satellite systems to prepare a 360 degree mapping of road assets.

“This will greatly facilitate timely repair of roads, formulation of Detailed Project Reports and such other works,” he said. NHAI Chairman, Raghav Chandra said that RAMS is the need of the hour for effective planning, construction, maintenance and financial management of Highways.

National Highways Authority of India will sign MoU with ISRO for adoption of best technologies, he said adding the “GAGAN (GPS aided Geo Augmented Navigation) will be extremely useful for ensuring that our assets are properly mapped and shared with all the stakeholders and also it can be used to assess the roads constructed as per the design.” RAMS is being developed for the entire National Highways network in India bringing both public funded and private funded roads under one umbrella.

The outcome of this project, which is funded by the World Bank, will assist in the accurate and scientific planning and finalising of road projects, maintenance of roads, executing road safety measures and development of the National Highways network in India.

“RAMS is being developed using the international best practises. The software has functionality to interface with the indigenous Bhuvan satellite images. The data collected will be stored and managed through a web based application which will be hosted in the public domain,” the statement said.

Information collected from this project will be useful for Transport Ministry, Finance Ministry, NHAI, State PWDs, Police Departments, Funding agencies, Developers and Citizens. The one day workshop is discussing RAMS technical details and monitoring concessionaires obligations through RAMS, it added.

World Bank Country Director Onino Rulh said the world-class modern management system developed by India would be an effective tool to monitor the projects.

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