Highways and major roads in the state will soon be monitored and maintained through a Geographic Information System (GIS).
A five-year road-monitoring plan is being prepared for the entire state covering 83,861 km of the national highways, state highways and major district roads running through the state.
A GIS-based monitoring system will contain road maps giving information on the location of the roads and details of inner debris to understand the condition, life and repair needs.
The plan is being put in place with the help of a seven-member study group consisting of two road engineers from the government, two deputy secretaries from the Public Works Department (PWD) and three experts from information technology institutes like Maharashtra Remote Sensing Applications Center and Information Technology Coordination Centre at Nagpur.
According to a government resolution (GR) issued by the state PWD on October 9, a study group will be set up to formulate the road monitoring system. The group is expected to submit a report by October 31, after which the plan will be implemented.
The GR states: “The PWD has funds set aside in the budget for construction, repairs and maintenance of the national and state highways and major roads. Permission for road works in the next five years will be given through the ‘road monitoring system’ to be set up by the study group”.
The report is expected to contain an inventory of the details of the existing condition of all the roads, a five-year monitoring schedule, geographical and financial projections and time required to complete repair work. The group will also be involved in the implementation of the plan.
“It is a very positive sign that the state government is putting together for the first time, a system which is the need of the day. The main problem with maintenance of roads is that there is a gap between planning and implementation. Information about hurdles on roads takes a lot of time to reach the authorities. A GIS is the best way to fix this problem,” said transport expert Sudhir Badami.
He added that this system should be extended to road maintenance for Mumbai city and suburbs.