BENGALURU: On a Dussehra night, while travelling on NH275 connecting Bengaluru-Mysuru-Madikere-Bantwal, Rajesh Ghatanatti happened to see two road accidents as he was nearing Madikere. “I quickly opened my app and connected them to the nearest police station for help,” Ghatanatti, founder of the app Highway Delight, says.
According to a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) report, about 800 million people travel on national and state highways every year. “The fatality rate among these travellers goes up to 1,20,000 every year,” says Ghatanatti, who launched his app in May 2015.
Rajesh plotted accident zones on the map in the app. “Alongside accident zones, we added the nearest emergency number. We are also working to get all 726 black spots identified by MORTH on the app,” he says.
Along with accident zones and emergency numbers, the app also informs people about good restaurants with a decent washroom, safe lodges and fuel pumps.
The MBA graduate from SDMIMD, Mysuru, says he realised that “most of the customers make a wild judgement based on the number of vehicles parked outside the restaurants.”
In fact, he came across a few restaurants that park their own vehicles outside restaurants to attract customers.
Ghatanatti’s own experience of ending up with a bad stomach and terrible stay-overs in unknown hotels served as an inspiration to him. “My role as a management consultant required me to travel into deep pockets of the country,” he says. “After facing all this, I decided to work on the idea in February 2015.”
During his pilot study of highways that lead to Belagavi, Hyderabad and Mysuru, he met more than 100 stakeholders – owners of restaurants, fuel pumps, lodges and mechanics. He also consulted Rocky and Mayur from Highway On My Plate, a travel and food show, and got to know from them the problems travellers face.
“I also met government officials from National Highways Authority of India and Ministry of Tourism to understand their perspective,” he says.
As part of the verified route, the app has data of about 3500 km of highways. Verified route is the highway on which he has traveled personally to verify the details. For non-verified route, the data is based on Google maps with limited information.
Information on app
◆ Restaurants with decent washrooms. One can also check if they have a children’s play area.
◆ Hotels/Lodges on highway which are safe with CCTVs
◆ Petrol pumps - with their timings, credit cards facility, nitrogen air and auto LPG supply
◆ Accident zones
◆ Toll gates with tariff amount
◆ Nearby tourist places’ condition and if they accept credit cards.
◆ Bengaluru- Mallavalli-Mysuru-Gudalpete-Wayanad-Calicut-Kochi
◆ Bengaluru- Hyderabad-Vijayawada