NHAI asks officials to collect samples of ongoing projects for quality test | India News

NEW DELHI: Facing the problem of quality in construction and maintenance of National Highway (NH) projects, NHAI has instructed all its senior officials to collect samples of major ongoing works during their field visits and get them tested at a major government-accredited laboratory.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has directed all general managers and chief general managers to collect and seal the samples in the presence of contractors and send them for testing at Shriram Institute of Industrial Research (SRI).The test results will have to be sent to the regional offices and project directors for taking action and submission of compliance reports.
The need to address the quality issue was felt more in the light of nearly three-fold increase in highway construction and widening in the past nine years and also contractors quoting abnormally low prices to bag projects.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had directed NHAI and the road ministry to focus on safety and quality of highway projects while chairing a review meeting on the road sector.
Sources said NHAI will soon set up its own testing labs in different zones, for collection of raw materials from the sources and samples from completed stretches. A senior official said 4-5 such laboratories have been planned to cover all zones.
The entire trail from collection to storing and testing of samples will be online for transparent evaluation.
NHAI has signed an MoU with SRI, which will train people in quality tests, setting up of labs and getting accreditation.
Taking note of the quality of construction being pushed to the back seat in projects executed through complete government funding or EPC, the road ministry has announced plans to take up more projects on public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

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