Ensure no instance of structure failure, highways secretary tells infra companies juggling too many projects | India News

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NEW DELHI: Concerned over instances of elevated portions, bridges and major structures collapsing during construction, the road transport and highways ministry has suggested that companies should not bite more than they can chew.
In a meeting with the heads of several infrastructure firms last week, road transport and highways secretary Giridhar Aramane asked companies to ensure there is not a single instance of structural failure. Sources said the secretary, who is also in-charge of NHAI, told top representatives of infrastructure companies that the government won’t mind bidding out less works rather than facing criticism for poor quality construction.
Industry insiders admitted that several construction companies took up NH projects, seizing opportunities made available as the government accelerated public spending on infrastructure projects to bring the economy back on track. Moreover, the relaxation of norms has also opened the floodgate of contractors who have been bagging projects quoting abnormally low rates of as much as 30% less than the reserve price.
TOI has learnt that the industry representatives pointed out that there is non-availability of experts with adequate experience to oversee the works involving major structures. They also flagged how there is also non-availability of experts, manpower and supervising consultants besides quality materials such as sand as some of the reasons for structure failures even by very reputed construction companies.
“The ministry has suggested that we should create some framework for training of the manpower, supervising consultants. This is the need of the hour as we are set to see a quantum jump in construction activities for the next couple of years,” said an industry insider who attended the meeting.
On Tuesday, the NHAI issued a fresh circular, which laid down penalties such as declaring firms as non-performers and debarment from future bidding — that can be imposed against contractors and highway developers for failure on their part to achieve progress in projects, for not carrying out rectifications, and failure of structures.





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