To maintain high-quality standards in highway development, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to penalise firms for lapses in construction standards.
Accordingly, any lapses in construction quality of bridges, structures, approaches to structure by concessionaires, contractors or consultants will invite penal action.
This updation in policy framework is going to impact the MSME sector as the majority of NHAI Contractors are MSME companies.
The Updated NHAI Vendor Policy
“New policy allows NHAI to impose graded penalties that include heavy fines, debarment and ban on bidding for any future NHAI projects for upto three years,” the NHAI said in a statement.
“Graded penal action will be taken against the defaulters in cases of minor lapses, major incidents and major failures resulting in loss of human lives.”
For each repeated lapse by the defaulting contractors, concessionaires or consultants, the penalty for the subsequent offence has been provisioned to be enhanced by an additional 50 per cent as compared to penalty imposed in the previous instance.
“Suitable action on NHAI officials shall also be taken, depending on the extent of dereliction of the duties by the concerned official.”
As per the standard operating procedures, an expert committee will be constituted in compliance with an already established post-accident mechanism, to investigate the matter.
“On the outcome of the investigation, a suitable penalty shall be imposed. During the term of investigation, the concerned personnel of the contractor, concessionaire and consulting firm may be kept under suspension from working on the project or any other projects of the authority.”