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New Delhi, June 16, 2020
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has become the first construction sector organisation to go fully digital with the launch of a cloud-based and Artificial Intelligence-powered Big Data Analytics platform–Data Lake and Project Management Software.
The entire project management workflow of NHAI has been transformed from manual to the online portal, where the complete project execution operations including "workflow with timelines" and "alert mechanism" have been configured. All project documentation, contractual decisions and approvals are now being done through the portal only, an official press release said here last week.
It said that, with advanced analytics, the Data Lake software will forecast the delays, likely disputes and will give advance alerts. Thus, apart from expediting the decision-making, it will also facilitate in taking correct and timely decisions as the system is likely to predict financial impacts of different alternatives based on the historical data. This will reduce a lot of disputes, it said.
NHAI has a history of having a large number of arbitration cases pending with a huge amount of claims and counterclaims. A majority of the disputes are generic in nature like delay in handing over of encumbrance free site, shifting of utilities, idling charges of plant, machinery, equipment, manpower and delay in decisions etc.
These disputes can be minimized as the Data Lake software has provisions to keep track and check on all these constraints and will ensure work is carried out within the deadlines in a transparent manner. As all processes are going to be portal-based, decision-making is going to be faster and will eventually diminish the chances of litigation in future.
The complete project documents and correspondences will be stored in digital format in the cloud-based Data Lake linked with GIS tagging and unique project ID, so that the project data can be easily retrieved as and when required from any location.
All of NHAI’s contractors, concessionaires, consultants, Authority Engineers (AE), Independent Engineers (IE), Project Directors (PDs) and Regional Officers (ROs) have already started using it extensively.
NHAI’s e-Office module is also integrated in the system so that all correspondences can flow digitally in a secure manner from field units to HQ seamlessly, the release said.
In the current COVID-19 pandemic scenario, when most of the organizations are facing serious challenges in working, NHAI employees are continuing their work without any fear of physical contacts and touching of physical files. The lockdown period was used by NHAI to train its employees about using Data Lake, it said.