Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Current Affairs

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Union Government launches Indian Bridge Management System

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS).

It was launched by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi as a major step towards ensuring safety of bridges in the country.

Key Facts

  • IBMS is being developed to create an inventory of all bridges in country and rate structural condition of the bridges.
  • The rating will help for their timely repair and carrying rehabilitation work based on the criticality of the structure.
  • IBMS is the largest platform in the world owned by a single owner, with database that could exceed one lakh fifty thousand bridge structures.

How it will work?

  • Each bridge will be assigned a unique identification number or National Identity Number (NIN) based on the state, RTO zone or located on National Highway, State Highway.
  • Bridge Location Number (BLN) will be also assigned to each bridge based on the precise location of the bridge in terms of latitude-longitude is collected through GPS.
  • Thereafter, Bridge Classification Number (BCN) will be assigned to the bridge structure based on the different engineering characteristics.
  • Each bridge will be assigned a Structural Rating Number (SRN) based on allocated numbers which will be used for structural rating of bridge structures on a scale of 0 to 9.
  • The rating will take in consideration of each component of the bridge structure like integral and non-integral deck, substructure, superstructure, structural evaluation, bank and channel, deck geometry, waterway efficiency, vertical clearance, etc.
  • In addition Socio-Economic Bridge Rating Number will be also assigned to the bridges. It will decide importance of bridge in relation to its contribution to daily socio-economic activity of the area in its vicinity.
  • Based on this inventory of various numbers, IBMS will analyse data and identify bridges that need attention.
  • Further physical inspection will be carried out to improve the operational availability of the structure, enhance its life and prioritize repair and rehabilitation work.

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Union Government launches ePACE, INFRACON and up-Scaled INAM PRO for Road Transport Sector

The Union Government has launched three IT and ITES initiatives for best practices in road transport sector. They are INFRACON, ePACE and up-Scaled INAM PRO.

They were launched by the Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari as part of the Digital India Programme.

These innovative IT initiatives were developed in house by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL). They aimed at making the road building procedure faster, more transparent and more efficient.

Key facts

  • ePACE (Projects Appraisal & Continuing Enhancements): It is an online integrated Management Information System (MIS) portal.
  • It will bring projects from all wings of the Union Transport Ministry under a common platform, for ensuring their effective and real time tracking.
  • It will provide information like real time status, fund utilization etc of more than 2000 projects being executed by multiple agencies.
  • It has facility of GIS interface to enable easy geo-tracking of the projects. It also has facility to allow validation of checks to prevent wrongful entries, making it difficult to fudge figures.
  • INFRACON: It is National Portal for Infrastructure Consultancy Firms and Key Personnel.
  • It will act as a linking bridge between consultancy firms working in road engineering and construction sector and domain experts and key personnel deployed for project preparation and supervision.
  • The portal will host the credentials of consultancy firms and also of key personnel and shall have linkages to Aadhar and Digi-locker for data validation and purity.
  • INAM PRO: It is a web-based application for Infrastructure and Material Providers launched in March 2015.
  • It is web based single market place that will bring together material suppliers/providers and the prospective buyers on a common platform.
  • Facilitate cement buyers engaged in executing construction of roads, highways and bridge to order cement online with the registered cement companies at competitive rates.
  • It will help the Ministry to track and monitor the activities of buyers and suppliers, and remove impediments of both the parties.

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Supreme Court approves Union Government’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans

Supreme Court has approved Union Government’s guidelines to protect Good Samaritans, who help road accident victims, from being unnecessarily harassed by police or any other authority.

These guidelines based on the recommendations K S Radhakrishnan committee were approved by the SC bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and Arun Mishra.

These guidelines will be binding on all states and Union Territories until the Union government enacts a law to this effect.

The bench also has asked the Union Government to give wide publicity to these guidelines so that people who help others in the time of distress are not victimised by any authority.

It should be noted that SC took on record these guidelines to protect Good Samaritans placed by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Ministry had approached the SC for issuing these guidelines on all states and Union Territories by its order as it was facing difficulty to enforce them in the absence of any statutory backing.

Background

  • The guidelines of the Transport Ministry were based on the recommendations of the three-member committee headed by former judge K S Radhakrishnan.
  • The committee was appointed by the SC in 2014 to monitor steps taken by the Centre and state governments to ensure road safety.
  • The committee had given 12 major recommendations including setting up of State Road Safety Councils, evolving a protocol for identification of black spots, their removal and monitoring to see the effectiveness of the action taken.
  • The committee had also suggested strengthening of enforcement relating to drunken driving, red light jumping, over-speeding and helmet or seat belt laws.

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