Focus: GS III: Infrastructure
Why in News?
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has announced its plan to develop around 10,000 km of Optic Fibre Cable (OFC) infrastructure across the country by the fiscal year 2025.
What is OFC?
OFC stands for Optical Fiber Communication. It refers to the use of fiber-optic cables to transmit information. Instead of using electricity, these cables use light to send data, making it faster and more efficient.
- The optical fiber works on the principle of total internal reflection (TIR).
- TIR is the complete reflection of a ray of light within a medium such as water or glass from the surrounding surfaces back into the medium.
- Optical fibers are designed in such a way that they bend all the light rays inwards in case of a bend, using TIR.
Development of OFC Network:
- The OFC network will be developed by the National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML), a fully owned special purpose vehicle (SPV) of NHAI.
- The network will be implemented by developing integrated utility corridors along the National Highways to develop OFC infrastructure.
- NHAI has identified around 1,367 km on Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and 512 km on Hyderabad-Bangalore Corridor as pilot routes for the Digital Highway development.
- The OFC network will provide internet connectivity to remote locations across the country, helping to expedite the rollout of new-age telecom technologies like 5G and 6G.
- Digital Highways refer to digital platforms that offer shared public and private services to improve the Strategic Road Network (SRN).
- They use data, technology, and connectivity to enhance the design, construction, operation, and usage of roads.
- The main goal of Digital Highways is to provide safer travel, quicker deliveries, and better experiences for all.
- Digital Highways can benefit transportation in several ways such as improving traffic management, reducing congestion, and enhancing road safety.
- They can also provide real-time information to drivers about traffic, weather, and road conditions, as well as facilitate the implementation of new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and electric mobility.
About National Highways Authority of India (NHAI):
NHAI is the premier organization in India responsible for the development, maintenance, and management of National Highways. Here are some key facts about NHAI:
- NHAI was established in February 1995 under the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988.
- It is a statutory body under the administrative control of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
- NHAI consists of a full-time Chairman and not more than five full-time members and four part-time members who are appointed by the Central Government.
- The part-time members are the Secretary (RT&H), Secretary (Expenditure), Secretary (Planning), and DG (RD) & SS.
- NHAI has several wings at its headquarters, including technical, finance, administrative, and vigilance wings.