With a view to strengthen and augment the road infrastructure in the country, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) initiated “National Highways Excellence Awards”(NHEA) in 2018 in order to incentivize stakeholders in the highway construction and maintenance process and to create a spirit of healthy competitiveness amongst them.
The idea is to recognize and award companies for the best-performing road assets and toll plazas across the country. Acknowledging companies which are performing exceptionally and delivering the finest quality services during construction, operations & maintenance, innovation, greenery, tolling stages of highway development as well as in the arena of road safety. The aim of the award is to create world-class road infrastructure, highways, toll plazas, expressways, bridges, tunnels every day through new and innovative construction processes along with a strong focus on environmental sustainability and cleanliness factors.
The awards are designed across multiple categories. It identifies players which have adhered to construction and operational guidelines, upheld high quality and safety standards, and employed innovation and sustainable practices in their work. Detailed, category-specific evaluation frameworks have been developed for this purpose. The companies nominate themselves on an online portal https://bhoomirashi.gov.in/awards by uploading the project information and documents specific to the award category. The first round is Desktop Assessment (DA), wherein the validity and propriety of the submitted data are verified and evaluated by a 4-sub rounds of quality check by trained officials. This is followed by second round of assessment – Field Assessment of the shortlisted projects for verifying the claims made during the DA. In the third round, an expert jury panel reviews the shortlisted projects and identifies the winners after detailed deliberations.
In the first award cycle in 2018, a total of 107 nominations were received across 5 categories (Excellence in Construction Management, Excellence in Operation and Maintenance, Excellence in Highway Safety, Excellence in Toll Plaza Management and Innovation). The final 11 winners were facilitated by the RTH Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari on 8 January 2019.
In the second award cycle in 2019, two new categories were introduced – Green Highways and Outstanding Work in Challenging Conditions. As many as 104 nominations were received across 7 categories The final 12 winners were facilitated by the RTH Minister on 14 January 2020.
A total of 157 nominations were received in 2020 across all categories, and one additional special award category, Bridge & Tunnel, was added to the pool of categories from 2019. Union Ministers Shri Rajnath Singh and Shri Nitin Gadkari felicitated the final winners at an award ceremony, held at Vigyan Bhavan, on 18 January 2021.
This year, the Ministry is organizing the award ceremony on June 28 ,the Awards will be conferred in the presence of Union Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari to honor the companies/ stakeholders for the best performing road assets & toll plazas across the country. For the 4th award cycle, two new categories of Bridge Construction and Tunnel Construction were introduced. For the 2021 cycle of awards, the categories are as follows:
• Excellence in Project Management: Acknowledges efficient execution of all-project milestones, with timely achievement, balanced budgetary, and no compromise to quality standards with two subcategories based on the mode of implementation of the Project- EPC & PPP
• Excellence in Highway Safety: Focuses on efforts taken to reduce road casualties, and establish preventive measures and emergency response services with two subcategories based on the mode of implementation of the Project- Hilly & Plain Terrain.
• Excellence in Operation and Maintenance: Recognizes projects with the swift and smooth execution of repair works, periodic inspections, maintenance of special structures, unparalleled quality in riding experience, and perfect smoothness of pavements. On the basis of pavement type, there are two categories- Rigid and Flexible Pavement.
• Excellence in Toll Management: Focuses on the efficient management of traffic and services at the toll.
• Innovation: Focuses on significant achievement in devising or adapting a new construction technology or structural and geometric design.
• Green Highway: Focuses on exemplary efforts for Innovative practices adopted to protect or enhance the natural environment and/or minimize the effect of project development.
• Outstanding Work in Challenging Condition: Acknowledges the efforts of the concessionaire/contractor who has worked in a challenging environment.
• Bridge Construction: Recognizes if any unique measures are undertaken for infrastructural development about quality and safety enhancement, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness.
• Tunnel Construction: Focuses on projects that devised or adapted a unique technology or design in construction that enhances the quality, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, safety, and/or efficiency of the project.