Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs Shri Nitin Gadkari has lauded the contribution of all stakeholders in NH sector for their contribution in erecting world class road infrastructure in the country. He said, it was their efforts that yielded a record construction length of 29 km per day of NH last year. Giving away the ‘National Highways Excellence Awards’ to outstanding performers in NH sector last evening in New Delhi, the Minister exuded confidence that this record will be surmounted by achieving the construction target of 50 km per day in the coming days.
‘National Highways Excellence Awards’ were instituted in the year 2018. The first cycle of awards in 2018 received wide participation from around the country. Following the success of the first cycle, the Ministry decided to make the National Highways Excellence Awards an annual feature. The aim is to recognise companies which are performing exceptionally well in the construction, operations, maintenance and tolling stages of highway development as well as in the arena of road safety.
The motive behind starting an annual awards program is to create a spirit of healthy competitiveness amongst all stakeholders involved in the development of highway infrastructure in the country and to contribute to the larger goal of expanding the road network in the country. By announcing awards each year, the Ministry would acknowledge exceptional work being done in various aspects of highway management and recognize those agencies which are going beyond the scope of their work to deliver the finest quality of services.
This year, the nominations were opened on August 19th, 2019. An impartial and independent evaluation process was adopted which had objective and quantifiable assessment parameters.
The seven award categories are: Excellence in Project Management, Excellence in Operation and Maintenance, Excellence in Toll Management , Excellence in Highway Safety, Innovation, Outstanding Work in Challenging Conditions, and Green Highway.
Each award category had its own pre-defined eligibility criteria, assessment parameters and scoring rubrics. This year, 104 applications were received across these seven categories on an online application platform designed by NIC. The applications are spread across the entire country. The assessment was carried out in three months. Each application underwent multiple rounds of scrutiny. First the data and documents submitted by the applicants were evaluated, and then shortlisted projects were visited on-site by a team of trained experts to corroborate the submitted data from findings on the field. Detailed project profiles of the top 40 shortlisted projects were presented before an esteemed jury panel, who checked all the aspects of each projects and finalized 12 winners across the seven categories.
Toll authorities which have managed the best implementation of FASTag technology were also awarded for increased automation in toll collection.