Officials of regional offices of road ministry, NHAI, NHIDCL to be responsible for non-compliance in quality measures

Officers and engineers of regional offices of the road ministry, NHAI and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation(NHIDCL) will be made responsible for non-compliance in quality control measures and specifications in construction of road and bridges on national highways, according to a circular.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in its recent circular has said that such officers and engineers of regional offices of the ministry, NHAI and NHIDCL may face major or minor penalty in case of more than three instances of proven negligence of norms for supervision or failure of structure during construction or operation.
“In order to prevent such violations of contracts requirements, competent authority in the ministry has decided that the officer-in-charge of the authority at site shall inspect the projects to ensure that approved construction methodology of work is being followed by the concessionaire/ contractor and authority’s engineer/ independent engineer/ supervision consultant,” it said.
Presently, the authorities have been only penalising contractors, independent engineers and consultants supervising work for any failure.
According to the circular, the concerned officers of the MoRTH, NHAI and NHIDCL have been made responsible for overall supervision and monitoring executions of construction of road and bridges on national highways.
It said the MoRTH has issued a number of guidelines for strict quality assurance and quality control on road and bridge works.
“however, there are instances of lapses on the part of concessionaire/ contractor and authority’s engineer/independent engineer/ supervision consultant leading to failure during construction or acceptance of sub- standard work leading to premature distress,” the circular said.
As per the circular, the officer in charge at the site may also carry out sample laboratory/ on site tests on important quality characteristics of materials
“NHAI and NHIDCL will designate competent authority for penal action and reviewing authority,” it said.
The circular said project directors and regional officers will have to carry out monthly inspection of all projects and in case of a project costing more than Rs 300 crore or a project involving a major bridge, they will have to carry out bi-monthly inspection.