October 21, 2015
Islamabad; 21 October, 2015: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and National Highway Authority (NHA) of Pakistan have agreed to implement a two and half year technical cooperation "Project for Technical Assistance on Implementation of Bridge Management System (BMS) in NHA" for improving the maintenance status on the bridges of National Highways in Pakistan. A record of discussion to this effect was signed today between Mr. Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki, Chief Representative of JICA; Mr. Syed Mujtaba Hussain, Joint Secretary, Economic Affairs Division; Mr. Raja Nosherwan, Member, NHA; Mr. Hameed Akhtar, Director, Ministry of Communications, Government of Pakistan.
In Pakistan, NHA is responsible for the operation and management of national highway network totaling 12,131km, which is 4.6% of the overall road network of Pakistan, including about 5,500 bridges and 16,000 culverts. Besides continuous fine tuning of various components of computerized Road Asset Management System (RAMS), the effective implementation and sustainability of the system are two major challenges. The main reason was the shortage of experienced bridge inspectors, equipment and integration with regional offices and local units. Meanwhile, bridges and culverts maintenance has been done without any plans. Besides this, high risk of damages and degradation caused by traffic volume increase, overloading, poor design/construction etc. are contributing factors for deterioration of bridges.
The proposed project will ensure NHA to achieve the following;
a) Establishment of well-trained bridge management unit ensuring sustainable implementation of BMS in NHA.
b) Modernization of bridge inspection methods, procedures and guidelines.
c) Strengthening NHA's capacity to provide timely and effective maintenance
d) Developing mechanisms to improve fiscal/financial sustainability of bridge/structures development and maintenance programs, etc.
Mr. Kawasaki, while speaking at the signing ceremony said "I hope that the Project will attain the desired result in the stipulated time and the legacy of establishing quality Bridge Management System in NHA would continue in the years to come"