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Workshop of Institutional Strengthening Action Plan, 2017

Highways Department since its inception have expanded its road network from 11169 km in 1951 to 62460 km in 2017. The allocation to the department has increased multi-fold.

In 2017-18, Rs.8668 has been allocated. Highways Department is thriving to enhance the road network both quantitatively and qualitatively. The increased allocation has paved way for widening 45% of National Highways networks to multi-lane which is much greater than that in the Country’s Average of 25%. Also, double-laned NHs are at higher density (98%). As far as State Highways are considered, the State is credited with 94% double-laned that is much higher the national average of 33%.

The department has proposed to add another 3113 km of roads from SH and MDR to National Highways Network. Similarly, 7964 km of local body roads are to be upgraded as ODR and are to be added to the State road network. In 2017-18, around 1436 km of local body roads are to be upgraded and the remaining 6528 km will be upgraded in a phased manner. Government of Tamil Nadu has published a Vision Tamil Nadu 2023 in 2012 with a targeted growth rate of 11 per cent (GDP) for the next 11 years (nearly 20 percent more than the expected growth rate of India's GDP in 2023). In order to achieve the target, GoTN has proposed an investment plan to the tune of Rs.15,00,000 Crore under different sectors. Out of which, Rs.1,34,000 Crore is proposed for road development works aiming at improvement of 2000 km of 6/8 lane highways, 5000 kms of 4 lane highways, 2 laning of all other highways with paved shoulder and construction of bypasses and ring roads.

The department has to increase its capacity to handle huge physical and financial targets set in Vision 2023 and other major projects envisaged. With this objective, Highways Department has proposed for Institutional Capacity Enhancement component under the World Bank funded Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project II (TNRSP II).

Recently on 14-15, December, 2017, a workshop was organised to discuss and take forward the institutional strengthening action plan. It has been planned to address the capacity issues under three major categories viz., 1) policy interventions, 2) process re-engineering and 3) people/ institutional measures.

The policy interventions included, generation of additional funds through PPP, leveraging of funds from GoI and other funding agencies, shelf of projects and upgradation/ augmentation of road network etc. The process improvement measures taken up for discussion are Automation, Workflow optimisation, standardisation, centralisation/ decentralisation of powers etc. Capacity building, in-house specialised units, strengthening of existing institutional arrangements, training and exposure visits are part of measures suggested for discussion under people measures.

The Engineers from all the wings have participated in the workshop and shared their views for the betterment of the department. The World Bank officials have also attended the workshop. Director General, Chief Engineers, Director, HRS have lead the entire proceedings. On 15.12.2017, the panel headed by the Additional Chief Secretary, Highways and Minor Ports Department, World Bank Officials, Chief Engineers had discussed the topics presented under the above 3 categories and suggested for working on the Short, Mid and Long Term targets. Infrastructure and Institutional Advisor from World Bank moderated the discussion.

In the middle, brainstorming session on Road Safety was held and Prof. A.Veeraragavan, IIT, Madras has made a presentation sensitising the issue and emphasising further course of action.test



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