Crack down on any possible nexus between road contractors and authorities: Parl Panel

1 month ago 27
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NEW DELHI: A parliamentary panel has recommended that NHAI and other wings of the road transport ministry crack down on any possible nexus between contractors and approving authorities, including the independent engineer who is a third party to monitor quality works.
The standing committee on transport, tourism and culture has also recommended that banks and financial institutions revisit their policies to have “strong checks” to ensure that there is no connivance between bank officials responsible for assessing loan proposals and contractors.
Flagging connivance between contractors and independent engineers, which has a direct impact on the quality and performance of highway projects, the committee said “Cases where roads deteriorate shortly after their completion should be looked into and the basis on which completion certificate for the project had been issued should be scrutinised. Accountability may be fixed in cases wherein guidelines have been blatantly ignored during execution of road projects.”
The ministry had told the panel that the vigilance division of NHAI conducts technical inspections, periodic inspections, joint checks with CBI and surprise inspections as preventive measures to monitor irregularities in projects.
The panel has also recommended that the ministry should look into the authenticity of the quality checks cleared by road projects, which later performed poorly or deteriorated at a quick pace. It said this could be because of either insufficiency of quality checks in place or connivance of officials and engineers in charge of conducting the quality checks. “A suitable mechanism may be put in place to ensure that the IRC guidelines are followed in the execution of road works without fail,” it said.
It also said thorough quality checks should be performed before the issuance of completion certificate for any NH project. It has recommended extensive quality checks when the defect liability period of a project is nearing its end, so as to ensure that the issues arising near the end of the period are addressed by the contractor.

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