Users of National Highway 8 which connects Delhi to Jaipur can now tune in to the radio to get life traffic updates. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has launched the Highways Advisory Service (HAS) pilot project on National Highway 8 and this will be implemented across India soon. The HAS service is similar to systems which are already in place and being used regularly in Canada, Singapore, the U.S. and other countries.
HAS is a free-to-air information distribution system which uses radio to make national Highway travel safer, faster and hassle-free. Under the phase 1 of the HAS pilot project, all AIR stations located in Delhi, Alwar and Jaipur will announce live traffic updates. Gadkari has said that a contract has been signed with AIR to buy time during which 22 bulletins will be issued every day.
Under the pilot project, real time highway information will be collected from concessionaries, patrol vehicles, toll plazas and traffic marshals. In Phase II, sensors will be installed to gather additional real time traffic information which will be broadcast in both analog and digital radio mode. Its impact will be measured via an external agency. In phase III, HAS service will only be in digital broadcasting mode which will be monitored and audited by a third party.
Gadkari has said that the Indian government is committed towards reducing road accident fatalities by 50 per cent and HAS is an aid which will help in achieving this target. He also said that the radio broadcasts will raise public awareness about road safety which is necessary for making the highways safe for commuters. The possibility of a single frequency for the entire country is being examined in terms of viability and other regulatory clearances.