In a major initiative to take stock of the condition of highways including their maintenance and next likely schedule for overlaying, the government will carry out a road assessment exercise through a new modified vehicle starting Friday.
To start with about 3,000 km of highways spread across states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu will be covered by a vehicle equipped with modern gadgets to record every aspect of the road. This vehicle will collect data and other details for the new programme named road measurement and data acquisition system (RODMAS).
The pilot exercise is being undertaken as a part of the World Bank project to provide technical assistance to NHAI. Sources said once the mechanism is set up and the institutional framework to maintain and manage the asset management system, more stretches will be covered. The final target is to cover the entire 96,000 km of national highways.
The vehicle fitted with GPS, advanced lasers, automated measurement system, cameras to record HD videos will record road condition, wayside amenities, accident prone zones, road strength, condition of bridges and culverts besides encroachment. All these data will be fed into a system to help government prioritize and plan maintenance, upgradation and expansion of certain stretches.
During the pilot phase, surveys will be conducted thrice in a year. Sources said such surveys should cover the entire NH network at least once in a year. “This survey will help government estimate maintenance budget for 4-5 years in advance,” said a source.