Sloppy Highway Construction: Payments To Road Contractor In Gujarat Only After Audit Report


Road Transport and Highways Ministry acts tough against highway contractor in Gujarat over sloppy construction work.


Acting tough against a contractor, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry has directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) not to release payments to the road builder for a national highway project in Gujarat until an audit team appointed by the Centre submits its report on the quality of works and the contractor takes corrective measures.

The ministry has set up the audit team comprising the Public Works Department secretary of Gujarat, two professors from IITs and representatives of two district collectors to carry out investigation of the ongoing six-laning of Shamlaji to Mota-Chiloda section of NH-8.

The 93-km National Highway stretch passes through three districts of Ahmedabad, Sabarkantha and Aravalli.

According to the ministry sources, the team was set up after complaints were received from local leaders about poor quality of work and also delay in completion of the project.

In an office memorandum, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry has said that payments only for carrying out maintenance and safe movement of traffic can be released during the audit.

The instruction has been issued to stop major payments to ensure that the contractor completes the work and take necessary measures that the audit team may suggest after carrying out the field investigation, a source said.

The team has been mandated to carry out quality audits, study of past test records and complete assessment of the drainage arrangements, signage adequacy and road safety measures.

The ministry has asked the team to submit its report within a month.

The Centre is also sending a team of experts to carry out the quality check of the highway stretch that collapsed on the Kalka-Shimla highway stretch in Solan. It had set up a similar team to complete the audit of the Char Dham road project.