CCTV Surveillance At Highway Construction Sites: MoRTH Issues New SOP To Ensure Safety At Construction Zones


Taking note of several instances of accidents at work sites of highway projects, including collapse of structures and bridges, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry has asked its concerned agencies to ensure CCTV surveillance of major road construction sites.

The aim is to ensure safety at construction sites and the use of CCTV systems is one of such steps to be adopted now as a preventive measure, the Ministry maintains.

It has also asked its agencies to carry out third party proof checks of launching, scaffolding and pre-stressing works.

In a circular issued last week, the Ministry stated that while there are enough provisions in contract agreements including specifications for construction zone safety measures, serious implementation of the norms remains a concern.

It added that “inadequate safety measures leading to accidents have been frequently noticed during highway construction and maintenance works”.

According to the Ministry, “The CCTV surveillance at sites where major structures are under construction will help detect the exact reason for any mishap.”

The Ministry has listed the provisions in contract agreements which must be adhered to.

These include safety of labourers and other work force at sites, safety of road users, traffic diversion plans, installation of high intensity grade retro-reflective sheeting, and delineators such as cones and drums with bulb flashers using solar energy to alert road users.

It has also pointed out the often noticed unsafe practices such as instances of excavation adjoining to running carriageway without proper barricade; no specified timeline for backfilling of the excavated portions; no cautionary signage around excavated portions during rain, missing barricades, inadequate signage, ill-designed and ill-maintained diversion roads.

The Ministry, in the new standard operating procedure (SOP), has said that the contractors must specify timeline for backfilling and in case of failure to fill the pit after instruction for the second time, backfilling and levelling has to be done at the risk and cost of contractors.

It added excavations should be done only before the onset of monsoon and no excavation should be allowed during monsoon.

The SOP also added that excavation on both sides of the running carriageway at the same time, would not be allowed.

The highway agencies can withhold two per cent of the payment, if the bills submitted do not have the certified documents such as geo-tagged photographs and videos showing how the contractor has followed the construction zone safety norms.

The circular also said in case of repeated default in respect of construction zone safety requirements, this can be treated as deficiency in service and may lead to termination of the contract.