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Unique ID of potholes helps officials assess work of contractors

A special software that assigns a unique identification number to each pothole cropping up on city roads is helping officials of the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) to track the number of times patchworks are being carried out in a certain road and demand accountability from the contractors undertaking the work
By Ashni Dhaor, Noida:
PUBLISHED ON JUL 22, 2021 11:39 PM IST

A special software that assigns a unique identification number to each pothole cropping up on city roads is helping officials of the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) to track the number of times patchworks are being carried out in a certain road and demand accountability from the contractors undertaking the work.

The system, created under GNIDA’s OneMap Geographic Information System (GIS), helps officials virtually see which road has the maximum patchwork. OneMap is an online integrated and detailed map of Greater Noida that contains details of all utility services, such as sewer lines, electricity cables, internet wires and drains, as well as housing and industrial units and other important civic facilities.

The authority’s CEO, Narendra Bhooshan, said, “Officials are closely monitoring on OneMap the number of times contractors are carrying out patchworks on potholes. Once the patchwork is done, the contractor gives it a unique identification number, just like an Aadhaar card, uploads its photograph as well as the geographical coordinates on OneMap. The unique ID gives details about the pothole, its size, its date and its location. Officials can see the photograph of the patchwork and all its details by accessing the ID on OneMap.”

The system ensures transparency and brings accountability,” said Bhooshan adding that in order to make contractors liable for the quality of work they undertake, they will be assessed by the number of times patchworks are done on the road made by them at the end of their contract.

“The unique ID has separate codes for each contractor, which will show how many times a contractor had to undertake repairs after making the road. If the road is repaired over 10 or 20 times (the exact criteria is yet to be decided), the contractors will be blacklisted. The contractors will be given a credit rating depending on the work they have done, which will decide if their contract will be renewed or not,” said the CEO.

Bhooshan added the junior engineers of the authority will also go on ground to check whether the dimensions given by the contractor are correct and only after verification will their payments be processed.

The number of potholes is expected to increase manifold now that the monsoon is here. Anurag Kulshrestha, advisor to Gautam Budh Nagar’s road safety cell and president of TRAX--an NGO working towards road safety, said for four-wheelers, potholes can flatten tires and damage wheels but they can prove to be fatal for two-wheelers.

“To ensure safety, it is essential to have quality roads. The height of the area beside the roads should be lower than that of the road so that water can drain out safely. However, such a practice is not followed and potholes keep coming up again and again,” said Kulshrestha.

Meanwhile, complaints about potholes are pouring in on the GNIDA’s mobile app ‘Mitra’. These complaints are also notified to the contractor. “Once a resident raises a complaint about a pothole in the Mitra app, the contractor has to complete the patchwork within a certain number of days. Our engineers too keep conducting surveys and notify contractors about potholes that need repairs,” said Bhooshan.

He added that a system is being developed to connect the Mitra app with OneMap so that complaints and their solutions can all be accessed on one portal. Currently, OneMap’s beta version is live on the GNIDA’s website and a mobile app of the same was rolled out earlier this month for citizens. However, the map’s official launch is due in August.

“The OneMap’s beta version is live on the website for about a year now but it is still in the works. The feature for providing ID and uploading patchwork coordinates and pictures on the map was started in January this year for some parts of Greater Noida and is yet to be rolled out for the whole city,” said Bhooshan.

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