New Delhi: National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will hold officials liable for any fatal or serious accidents that occur as a result of poor road engineering works. In a circular, NHAI said the authority has taken a serious view towards the dereliction of duty by the representatives of NHAI/IE/AE involved in the process of issuance of the provisional certificate. The circular said representatives have jeopardised the safety of users and disregarded the policy guidelines and provisions of the contract agreement.
"However, it has come to (our) notice that provisional completion certificates are being issued keeping safety works such as road marking, road signages, end treatment of crash barriers in the punch list, which not only compromises with the safety of users but also brings a bad name to NHAI upon the occurrence of accidents/ fatalities," the circular said.
The circular said, "It must be ensured that road safety works on the project highway are complete in all respects prior to issuing a provisional certificate. Regional officer/ project director/independent engineer will be held liable for any fatal/serious accidents that occur as a result of poor road engineering works."
The state-owned agency has said that the project highway can safely and reliably be placed in operation/service. Pending minor works which will not cause material inconvenience to the users or affect their safety is included in the punch list. All these pending works in the punch list needs to be completed within 30 days.
Recently, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari attributed some of the road accidents to faulty project reports and stressed that companies need proper training for preparing detailed project reports for the construction of highways and other roads.
According to National Crime Records Bureau data, over 1.55 lakh lives were lost in road accidents across India in 2021. On an average, there are 18 accidents in an hour, which is the highest death figure recorded in any calendar year till date.
(With PTI inputs)
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