“In its endeavour to provide world-class National Highways (NH) network, NHAI has approached all IITs, National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and reputed engineering colleges to collaborate and adopt nearby stretches of NH, on voluntary basis, as part of Institutional Social Responsibility (ISR),” NHAI said in a statement.
The institutes along with its faculty and students have better appreciation of local requirement, topography, resource potential, among others, and these vital inputs can be utilised by NHAI during different stages of pre-construction, construction and operation of NH stretches, it said.
This decentralised approach, besides building a sense of participation in decision making, also provides an opportunity to the students for hands-on-learning, option for internship and future areas of research, it said.
Besides, the adoption of stretch by institutes opens avenue for access to important data, which can be used to improve the quality and safety aspects of NH and enhance local capacity of institutes in terms of advanced lab and simulation systems.
“Adoption of NH stretch by an institute would facilitate stakeholder engagement and help to mitigate the routine local problems such as traffic movement, congestion and immediate identification of accident prone sites,” the statement said.
The highway users become more empowered in resolving local problems through the institute and the Authority, it said, adding that such instances would help NHAI in understanding the local needs both in present and future projects, improve maintenance and riding comfort, and develop wayside amenities for enhanced user experience.
“The overall outcome shall be commuter friendly and enjoyable ride on the NH stretch,” NHAI said.
The statement said large number of IITs, NITs and engineering colleges have opted to join the scheme and NHAI officers have started mutual consultation with directors of the interested Institutes.
Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) are being signed between the individual institutes and NHAI for institutionalization of the scheme and bring reformative improvements in the road infrastructure of the country.