Highway Ministry preparing mega database on bridges

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 19, 2016

A view of Napier Bridge in Chennai. The database will help prioritise the bridges that need to be rehabilitated faster

To cover 1,50,000 bridges; Germany has a database of 46,000

The Highway Ministry is preparing the largest database of bridges in country, covering 1,50,000 bridges.

As of now, a database of 50,000 bridges has been prepared in the last six months. This has emerged as the largest database of bridges on highways – Germany has a database of 46,000 bridges.

“This will be put in public domain, although the present database is not in public domain. Over 300 engineers from 17 consultant offices were trained for compiling the inventory. The project consultancy involved ₹7 crore. The total cost is expected to be ₹300 crore,” said a source.

Mumbai-based IDDC Engineers will be in charge of the project. The database will help prioritise the bridges that need to be rehabilitated faster.

“These would capture parameters like national identity number, latitude and longitude, classification and socio economic aspects,” they said.

Highway projects

Highway Ministry’s expenditure finance committee gave its nod to award eight highway projects with a total length of 347 km costing ₹ 5,954 crore, said sources.

For these projects, anything between one and four road safety audits are now being conducted. As a result of these audits, the project costs are going up by an average of one per cent cost.

This fiscal till March, ₹ 47,000 crore-₹ 48,000 crore is expected to be spent. This year, till January, ₹ 32,000 crore was spent by the government and ₹ 12,000 crore was spent by private developers, said sources.

Meanwhile, last fiscal, the NHAI had spent ₹ 23,000 crore, with ₹ 20,000 crore being spent by developers, said official sources.

The Highway Ministry has also decided to have independent external monitors for procurement. “The Central Vigilance Commission has decided on having RS Gujral, former Revenue and Road Secretary, as the IEM for Road Ministry. Meanwhile, there will be different IEMs for NHAI and NHIDCL,” said a source. The IEM will oversee project award of over ₹ 100 crore, and consultancy work of over ₹ 5 crore.

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Published on February 19, 2016
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