Wayside amenity centres along National Highways with private participation

Wayside Research and Test and Rest and Toilet (ResT) areas will be developed within the Right of Way (RoW) in every 50 km stretch of the National Highway with private participation outside the municipal limits.

After successfully incorporating private participation in road development, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is implementing ResT to take forward the policy and programmes laid down in the ‘decade of innovation for inclusive growth.’

Apart from toilet facilities and ATMs, the ResT areas will have a service room to provide tea, snacks, bottled water, and local produce. There will be ‘hole-in-the-wall’ Internet/ learning facilities for the benefit of children. Medical kiosks connected to ‘call centre of doctors’ and battery-charging and swap stations for electric cars will also be part of the ResT stations.

Plots (300 metres by 7 to10 metres) within the RoW will be developed as ResT areas, as per the draft Expression of Interest (EOI) prepared by the Ministry. The ResT areas should not be less than 20 km from the nearest one on the same side of the road and not less than 10 km on the opposite side. Another condition is that it should preferably be 100-500 metres from villages, built-up locations, institutions, and religious places; 1,000 metres from toll plazas; and 300 to 1,000 metres from side roads.

Safe and aesthetically pleasing structures should be set up, the EoI says. Rainwater harvesting, solar lighting, and surveillance cameras for parking areas are mandatory.

To be developed as per international standards, no fee will be charged for parking up to two hours and emergency repair of vehicles. The service rooms will be available from 6 a. m. to 10 p.m. and will be manned. The stakeholder will have to ensure the cleanliness of toilets and other facilities. Stakeholders will have to upload the actual site and toilet photographs daily to the monitoring locations. Based on the cleanliness and feedback from users, the facility will be given star rating on a scale of 5, from 1. The lease of facilities scoring below the minimum rating of 2, in three out of six consecutive evaluations, will be cancelled.

The landowners nearby will be allowed to sell local produce and provide services such as repair of vehicles. The sites will be leased out to eligible stakeholders for 10 years. In phase II, additional facilities such as medical kiosks equipped with emergency treatment facilities, basic road maintenance facilities for pothole repair, and educational facilities such as training in road safety will be incorporated.

The State has 1523.95 km of National Highways spread over the nine corridors, namely, NH 66, 85, 183, 544, 744, 766, 966, 966A, and 966B.