Communication experts for adopting RAMS, PBS to ensure road safety

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ISLAMABAD, May 18 (APP): World communication experts at a two-day seminar on road
management here strongly recommended to adopt Road Asset management System
(RAMS) and Performance Based Contract (PBS) with an aim to ensure road safety
across the country.
The seminar titled “Road Management Seminar-Enabling Economic
Corridors through Sustainable Transport Sector Development” was
jointly organized by Asian Development Bank (ADB), Ministry of
Communications and National Highway Authority (NHA).
Experts from all across the world, including United States,
Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, China and representatives from
international institutions as well from the construction and works
departments of all the provinces of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and
Kashmir participated in the seminar.
During the two-day deliberations, which concluded on Thursday,
concepts and various country case studies on road asset management
and performance-based contract were discussed to motivate provinces
to replicate the same.
Speaking on the occasion, ADB’s Country Director for Pakistan,
Xiaohong Yangs said that participation of representatives from all
the provinces shows a strong confirmation of Pakistan government’s
recognition of the importance of road asset management performance-
based maintenance (PBM).
She said, RAMS and PBM were not new concepts, and have been
applied in Pakistan successfully, adding RAMS optimizes the economic
benefits of investments in road projects by minimizing the
maintenance cost and road user cost.
She said NHA’s RAMS was one of the best applications in the
region, and expressed the hope that NHA’s success could be
replicated in all the province.
The ADB country director said PBM was a contract type that
uses measurable performance standards and directly relates payment
schedules according to the achievement of such standards.
She said PBM enables reduced work load of a road agency,
provides better road condition to road users, guarantees reasonably
balanced workload over longer periods, and improves operational
efficiency. “It is becoming a trend in many countries to deliver
good value for money and better guarantee maintenance funding in
longer term,” she added.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Ministry of
Communication, Shahid Ashraf Tarar observed that state of roads in
Pakistan was not good and urged world experts to come forward and
help promote road safety for commuters.
He was of the view that the seminars like this one should be
made continuous feature to help promote new ideas and learn from
world experts on road safety.
Meanwhile, talking to APP, Principal Transport Specialist, at
ADBs Transport and Communication Division, Jiangbo Ning said that
objective of the seminar was to discuss effective ways of
maintaining roads at the lowest cost.
He said that NHA has been complying RAMS standards, however
added that this needs to be replicated in all the provinces of the
country to ensure safety.