ASSET MANAGEMENT OF LOW VOLUME RURAL ROADS (Paper 785)
A wide range of government institutions are building rural roads in India. Rural roads comprise about 85 per cent of total road network. The massive rural road network has several benefits, both in economic and social terms. Since December 2000, the Government of India has through the PMGSY embarked on a massive programme to provide connectivity to habitations through the rural road network across the country. Asset Management is “a strategic and systematic process of operating, maintaining, and improving physical assets, with a focus on both engineering and economic analysis based upon quality information, to identify a structured sequence of maintenance, preservation, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement actions that will achieve and sustain a desired state of good repair over the lifecycle of the assets at minimum practicable cost”. It include: (i) a systematic evaluation of asset needs and available resources, (ii) consideration of entire asset lifecycle, (iii) combining engineering and economic principles, (iv) data driven decisions and investments, and (v) efficiency and cost effectiveness as primary outcomes. Maintenance practices vary in different parts of the country. Equally, the environment and traffic patterns show a high level of diversity depending on the location. It is recognized that the organization of the road sector and its technical and managerial resources vary from one state to the other. It is therefore important to acknowledge that there is no standard solution to be applied in terms of reaching optimal arrangements. Still, there are key issues which apply everywhere and which need proper attention in order to secure adequate and timely maintenance of the rural road network. This paper assesses the contents of asset management policies, identifying strengths and weaknesses of the policies and implications for infrastructure performance, role of technology in optimizing solutions while highlighting successful implementation strategies.