As construction speeds up, govt launches quality audit of National Highways | India News

NEW DELHI: In light of accelerated highway construction and concerns about whether contractors are complying with quality specifications, Ministry of Road Transport took the first step to audit the construction quality and safety aspects of the completed and under construction sections.
To begin with, the ministry appointed six independent experts to inspect different parts of the ship Char Dham residential road project Uttarakhand. Officials say the system will be institutionalized for the highway sector to ensure that road projects are at par with the quality parameters set by the government.
By order of the ministry, experts have been tasked with reviewing the formal establishment of competent engineers, including the competence of technical people deployed for the projects. The competent authority or independent engineers have a large role to play in ensuring that there is no compromise on the quality of work and the necessary safety features in a project. Payments to contractors are only issued by the road ownership authorities after the invoices have been approved by the competent engineers. There have been several cases of recently built highways being damaged by rain in different parts of the country. Last week, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari raised concerns about the quality of work on NH segments. Banks are expected to have higher quality and better features considering the standards set for such roads and the high level of investment.
‘Terms of Reference’ do set for Char Dham road project said experts will evaluate the quality of work and services provided by the contractor; identify bottlenecks in ongoing projects; and propose measures for timely completion. Since the project road passed through hills, experts were asked to check the project reports. and see if the proper provisions have been made. “They will also perform road safety checks including the design, construction and maintenance of instructions such as roadblocks, signage, markings and night vision. Liability will be assigned to any shoddy construction,” an official said.

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