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Wednesday , 20 September 2023

Road contractors to be liable for road quality

Under a new policy that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has begun implementing, road contractors will be held accountable for the quality of construction of the roads. Under the new EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) system, contractors will have to ensure the quality of roads for a minimum period of two years, while they have to guarantee structures such as flyovers and bridges for at least five years. The maintenance required to be done includes prompt repairs of potholes, cracks, drains, embankments, pavement markings, lighting and road signs. The EPC system will be initially followed in the construction of government funded national highways. Later on this will be extended to all road project undertaken by the ministry. A survey of 20 national highway road projects which were executed on item-rate contracts revealed an average delay of about 30 months compared to projects executed on a PPP(Public Private Partnership) basis, as also a cost overrun of about 48%. Under the new system, the government agencies such as the NHAI will keep a performance security amount from the contractor to ensure compliance of the contractor with all the required conditions for the stipulated period.

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