Speed thrills, believes the Ministry of Highways

Speed thrills, believes the Ministry of Highways

Speed thrills the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways as far as speedy completion of road projects is concerned.

To overcome the malaise of project delays, the Ministry plans to rate developers, mainly highway builders, so that their credentials could be checked before awarding infrastructure projects.

Poised to embark on its mega road building programme, Bharatmala, the Ministry will engage Quality Council of India (QCI), a government agency, to rate road developers The Bharatmala project aims to develop 83,677 km of roads with an investment of Rs 6.92 lakh crore by 2022.

The ranking will be based mainly on speed of execution after clearing the mandatory hurdles such as land acquisition and green nod. If projects have been implemented on schedule, such developers' ranking will be high, said an official in the Ministry.

In public domain

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who approved the proposal, said the ranking may even be put in the public domain.

Since the NDA government was keen on   implementing the Bharatmala project in a time-bound manner, the rating mechanism would ensure the developers gear up to deliver, said the official.

Ranking will also help the government agencies, both state and central, to assess the capacity of a firm before awarding a project.

Since the QCI had done cleanliness ranking of cities and railway stations, the government decided to hire this agency to ensure that the rating process  is  independent and transparent, said the official.

Initially, the government will rate only highway developers. Subsequently, developers engaged in constructing government buildings, irrigation and other such projects would be included, said the official.

On many occasions,  companies bag the projects but fail to deliver for various reasons.  Rating will enable government agencies to evaluate companies before awarding contracts, said the official.

Recently, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had announced scrapping of 20 highway projects for delay in completion. However, Minister Gadkari asked the NHAI to put the decision on hold till each project is assessed with due diligence.

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