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ISRO, NECTAR to help NHAI monitor highway projects

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The government today said it will take the help of ISRO and North East Centre for Technology Application and Research (NECTAR) to monitor the progress of National Highways across the country through advanced technology.

"NHAI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) under Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and NECTAR for use of spatial technology for monitoring and managing National Highways, the Road, Transport and Highways Ministry said in a release.

"NHAI will take up some pilot projects with both the organisations to identify and finalise actual use and benefits of both satellite data and spatial technology and UAV technology in highway and infrastructure sector," the release said.

A 24x7 technical cell would also be set up to provide relevant project specific data using the technology to project report Consultants, Engineers, staff and users, it said.

The use of satellite data and geospatial technology will be useful in providing inputs in highway and infrastructure projects for preparation of DPR (detailed project report), prefeasibility status in new alignment, widening of road, monitoring of road segments under construction and Road Asset Management System, it added.

NECTAR, Department of Science and Technology uses Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for acquiring aerial images for infrastructure planning.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been entrusted with National Highways Development Project (NHDP), along with other projects for development, maintenance and management of National Highways across the country.

"To accomplish this mandate, it is required to use advanced and multiple technologies to expedite project preparation, monitor construction progress, operation and maintenance and optimal management of its assets," it said.

According to sources, the road ministry is also mulling deploying a small aircraft to monitor implementation of highway projects specially in tough terrains. The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has invited proposals for consultancy services for preparation of feasibility report for acquisition, hiring or taking on rent a fixed wing 8 to 10 seater aircraft.

ISRO is the nodal agency appointed by government for Space Technology while NRSC, a part of ISRO, is the focal point for distribution of remote sensing satellite data products in India.

The NRSC supplies satellite data products acquired by Indian Satellites and also by the foreign satellite product companies.

The government has allowed NHAI to give 10 per cent

cashback incentive on toll payments in 2016-17 for FASTag users.

The cashback amount for a particular month is credited back to the FASTag account at the beginning of the next month.

"Use of FASTag shall increase user convenience from payments without stops at toll plazas, thus saving on time, money and fuel. The online payments shall improve transparency of toll transactions and reduce revenue leakages, thus improving overall efficiency and commercial competitiveness," the statement said further.

NHAI is committed to providing safe, smooth and seamless journey to commuters on National Highways, it said, adding that implementation of FASTag is one step that will help realise this goal.

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First Published: Wed, January 13 2016. 18:43 IST