Taking note of the collapsing of under construction bridges and caving-in of newly-built roads and early damages to under construction structures, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked ministries to look into this issue.
Raising concerns over the capacity and resource-strength of sub-contractors implementing infrastructure projects, which affects their quality and timely execution, the Prime Minister has sought remedial measures of the problems.
Prime Minister Modi flagged this issue at a recent review meeting of one of the infrastructure ministries.
Across sectors, the main contractors usually sublet their works to sub-contractors at multiple levels after bagging the projects based on their strength.
Officials admitted that the problem has increased in the past few years despite the number of contractors having grown.
According to the industry, while the trend of sub-contracting has also helped in the growth of small players to emerge as big contractors at a time when India is taking up huge numbers of infrastructure projects, sub-contracting at multiple levels makes it difficult to ensure high quality work.
Officials expressed that earlier the norms of contracting were very clear. The main contractor has to have its own man and machinery for taking up the work.
According to a senior official of an infrastructure ministry, “They used to keep trained manpower and this was an investment for them. Now the main contractor is hardly aware of the quality of the manpower or has control since they are brought by subcontractors.”
It is learnt that the Prime Minister has also directed the infrastructure ministries to focus on quality of construction and take action for systemic improvement.
Sources said Prime Minister Modi has instructed ministries to take corrective measures and for “fixing responsibilities”.