New NHAI Policy: Zero-Tolerance Towards Dodgy Contractors, Penalty Up To Rs 10 Crore And Debarment From NHAI Projects  

by Swarajya Staff - Feb 4, 2021 04:17 PM +05:30 IST
New NHAI Policy: Zero-Tolerance Towards Dodgy Contractors, Penalty Up To Rs 10 Crore And Debarment From NHAI Projects  Highway work.
  • The new policy is aimed at improving quality of NHAI projects, and ensuring safety at project sites and accountability of contractors.

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has implemented a new policy aimed at ensuring quality of it projects.

Under the provisions of the policy, NHAI can fine contractors of up to Rs 10 crore along with debarment of up to three years if contractors or consultants are responsible for lapses and faulty construction of highway projects.

“In order to deal with the lapses in highway development, NHAI has issued a strict policy to decide penal action against defaulting firms/personnel if there are any lapses in construction standards of bridges/structures/approaches to structure etc by the Concessionaires/Contractors/Consultants,” NHAI said in a statement.

The new policy intends to improve quality of NHAI projects, ensure safety at project sites and accountability of contractors, and zero tolerance on defaulters.

Graded penalty will be levied upon the defaulters in cases of lapses, minor and major incidents including serious fatalities, NHAI said.

In case of major lapses where no casualties are reported, rectification by the respective defaulter will be carried out at their own cost, and/or debarment of the contractor of up to one year with a penalty up to Rs 5 crore, along with debarment of personnel concerned of up to two years from NHAI projects, under provisions of NHAI policy.

“In case of a major lapse leading to loss of human life, a heavy fine up to Rs 10 crore and debarment of the firm/personnel up to 3 years along with rectification by the defaulting Contractors/Concessionaires on their own cost may be imposed,” NHAI said.

In the graded penalty, consultants will also be held liable for any failures, with a penalty of up to Rs 40 lakh and debarment from NHAI projects of up to two years, and key consultant personal will be debarred for up to three years.

“For each repeated lapse by the defaulting contractors/concessionaires/consultants, the penalty for the subsequent offence shall be enhanced by an additional 50 per cent as compared to the penalty imposed in the previous instance. Suitable action on NHAI officials shall also be taken, depending on the extent of dereliction of the duties by the concerned official,” it said.

NHAI policy also provides standard operating procedures (SOPs), wherein an expert committee will be set up to investigate post-accident affairs to find liable defaulters.

During investigation of the expert committee, the suspected contractor’s participation in NHAI projects may be put on hold.

This article was first published on India Infrahub.

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