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Friday , 30 September 2022

Revolutionising Highway Development

Mihir Dakwala, Head- Data Science and Machine Learning at Amnex Infotechnologies Pvt. Ltd

“Data Lake has turned out to be a game-changer for holistic infrastructure development”- writes Mihir Dakwala, Head- Data Science and Machine Learning at Amnex Infotechnologies Pvt. Ltd

National Highways Authority of India recently grabbed headlines by announcing a project to construct a 1380 KM long expressway between Delhi and Mumbai which would be the longest in the world. NHAI has set an ambitious target of completing the project by 2023. With 1700 projects running across the country, and more than 4500 stakeholders involved, NHAI is juggling many hats, but adeptly. It is already managing an enormous network of over 69,000 Kms which is growing at a rapid pace. NHAI has introduced a technology – Data Lake- that is revolutionizing highway development.

Data Lake, the enterprise solution developed by Amnex Infotechnologies has won accolades from Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport for enhancing transparency and curbing red-tapism. Giridhar Aramane, Ex. Chairman, NHAI had also acclaimed Data Lake as a significant element in “changing the technological landscape of the organization.”

What is Data Lake?

The biggest strength of Data Lake is that the data does not require to be entered in a specific format. This cloud-based, AI-powered big data analytics platform helps transform workflow from manual to an online portal, significantly increasing efficiency at all levels. Data Lake has turned out to be a game-changer for holistic infrastructure development.

How is it helping NHAI?

NHAI has been using this platform optimally. Leveraging Data Lake’s ability to store data from different sources such as terrestrial, LiDAR and drone surveys, NHAI made monthly drone surveys mandatory for all NH projects with a view to bringing transparency and uniformity. The autonomous body also keeps an eye on all stages of development, construction, operation and maintenance through Data Lake.

In another instance, NHAI has decided to deploy a Network Survey Vehicle to enhance the quality of the national highways. The vehicle would use a high-resolution digital camera and road profilometer to assess road conditions and measure road surface. Data Lake with its ability to store these videos permanently will help NHAI authorities, arbitral tribunals and courts resolve disputes quickly.

Data Lake has brought digital transformation across NHAI, benefitting all the stakeholders such as NHAI officers, DPR consultants, EPC companies, inspection agencies, and road users. Some chief advantages of implementing Data Lake in NHAI are-

  • Real-time tracking of construction progress
  • Faster resolution of bottlenecks
  • Less pendency
  • Increased visibility on Turn Around Time (TAT)
  • Tracking of blacklisted, unauthorised manpower on project sites through Attendance Management System integrated with Data Lake
  • Improved compliance and enhanced transparency
  • Automatic storage of all documents in a digital library
  • Remote visual inspection for a project update and dispute resolution

What are the key benefits?

  • It channelizes information flow and provides a holistic view by aggregating and analyzing data.
  • It expedites the decision-making process through easy data retrieval process, saving time and cost.
  • It helps to minimize disputes and ensures that the stipulated timelines are maintained.
  • It covers all monitorable activities within the circumference of Terms of Reference (ToR).
  • It helps manage project correspondence and documents digitally for easy approval.
  • It improves visibility on projects by providing on-site, real-time data.
  • It aids proactive tracking by generating alerts in case of delay and irregularity.

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