Nov 20: In line with its vision to provide a world-class National Highway (NH) network and to create a bridge between technical Institutions and Industry, the National Highways Authority of India(NHAI) has received an overwhelming response from many reputed Institutes for its initiative of collaborating with Premier Institutes to Leverage Local Expertise. According to NHAI, as many 18 IITs (including IIT Roorkee, IIT Bombay, IIT Varanasi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur), 26 NITs, and 190 other reputed Engineering colleges have agreed to collaborate with NHAI. Out of which, about 200 Institutes have already signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
NHAI has said that it had introduced a unique initiative to associate with reputed Technical Institutes and Engineering colleges to adopt nearby stretches of National Highways, on a voluntary basis under Institution Social Responsibility. Over 300 Institutes are expected to collaborate to adopt NH stretches.
The adopted stretches may be used as a field of study for faculty, researchers, and familiar students of the Institute with the latest trends in the industry and suggest the relevant performance parameters and innovations.
Under this initiative, the partner institutes will study improvement prospects in Road Safety, maintenance, riding comfort, removal of choke points, black spots, and usage of new technologies on the adopted stretches and give suitable suggestions to NHAI.
The Institutes, NHAI stated, are also encouraged to associate with the Consultants/NHAI during conceptualization, design, and project preparation of new projects and suggest the relevant performance parameters and innovations based on experience specific to the local climate, topography, and resource potential for the better socio-economic outcome.
The areas of collaboration for improving the efficiency of existing highways are:
(i) Improvements in safety provisions by removing existing deficiencies and offering potential solutions to old recurring problems based on local experience.
(ii) Improvements in continual maintenance of the stretches and improving the riding comfort through cost-effective measures based on innovative technologies.
(iii) Localized solutions for removal of congestion points and thereby increasing the average traffic speed.
(iv) Viability of new wayside amenities for road users based on the existing traffic pattern and user expectations.
NHAI shall also offer internships to 20 Undergraduate and 20 Post-graduate students with the stipend. The initiative will result in a win-win outcome for both the NHAI and Institute and will also instill a sense of contribution in building infrastructure among the student fraternity.
NHAI envisions providing a world-class NH network to meet the Nation’s requirements by building a large number of mega highway projects in a cost-effective manner. Adoption of NH stretch by an Institute would facilitate stakeholder engagement and help to mitigate the routine local problems such as traffic hindrance, congestion, and immediate identification of accident-prone sites and causes thereof.