NHAI To Conduct Periodic Quality Audit And Independent Inspection Of Projects
The National Highways Authority of India on Tuesday said it has decided to carry out periodic quality audits and independent inspection of its projects in order to ensure quality construction.
In this regard, 51 projects have been identified in the first stage.
"To ensure adherence to the highest quality standards during construction of projects, NHAI has decided to launch a drive for independent inspection of its ongoing National Highways projects across the country, by involving reputed retired government officials," NHAI said in a statement.
According to the statement, this will be a significant step towards construction of world class highways.
As a part of routine quality checks, Authority engineers and consultants along with project directors have been carrying out regular inspection of the projects.
"In order to reinforce the Quality Audit Mechanism, periodic independent inspection of the projects will also be carried out in addition to the existing arrangement," it said.
NHAI said the broad objective behind the exercise is to assess the quality system put in place by the developers and its implementation.
The quality inspections will not only ensure adherence to standards but will also verify compliance to specific contractual requirements and good engineering practices with reference to procedures formulated as per approved Quality Assurance Plan by NHAI.
"In order to achieve this, different Quality Inspection teams have been formed for inspection of National Highway Projects. Retired officers from Central/State government departments of the rank of Chief Engineers are engaged as team leaders, along with associating technical officers from NHAI," NHAI said.
For transparency and regular monitoring, all correspondence and dashboards will be made available through NHAI's Artificial Intelligence powered Big Data Analytics platform Data Lake.
It said the Quality Inspection comprises of three stages that include review of all project related documents like contracts, specifications, project specific approvals etc by the team and site inspection for assessment of quality systems placed by the contractor/concessionaire and its level of implementation, supervision and control.
The last stage will be of follow-up inspection to review the corrective action taken for non-conformities, the statement said adding that suitable penal action will also be taken against defaulters if there are any lapses found in construction standards of the projects.
As an added measure to ensure quality of projects, periodic inspection at an interval of 2-3 months shall be held by the team where quality issues have been found on previous inspections.
Also, special emphasis on quality checks shall be made for the projects where NHAI has received abnormally low bids, the statement said.
"The inspection of quality of construction of National Highway projects will not only increase the accountability of contractors/ concessionaires to deliver good quality projects but will also go a long way to ensure safe, smooth, and seamless travel experience on the National Highways," the statement said.