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Govt body to monitor progress of infra projects

business Updated: Sep 28, 2008 22:31 IST
Samiran Saha
Samiran Saha
Hindustan Times
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Putting execution in infrastructure projects on high priority, a centrally administered monitoring mechanism is in the works to impose stringent punitive measures on contractors if they miss cost, time or quality deadlines.

“In managing, a public private partnership (PPP) project, the government should aim at ensuring that the services being delivered meet the agreed time, cost, quantity and quality standards,” said a senior government official who did not wish to be identified. “This requires well-defined institutional structure that oversees contract performance.”

The government is now hammering out the contours of a new monitoring mechanism that will have independent engineers empowered to inspect and scrutinise the progress of such projects and submit periodic reports to the government.

The proposed mechanism would allow adherence of time lines and ensure effective communication and exchange of information at all levels, the official said. At present more than 220 infrastructure projects worth Rs 1,27,987 crore are being executed across the country under the PPP model in different sectors.

Many projects of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have run into roadblocks after contractors selected to execute the projects failed to match the required time and quality standards. Fresh bids for several stretches, ranging between 4-5 km located in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, had to be invited pushing back the scheduled completion by many months.

The monitoring mechanism is likely to be structured on the lines of the ones in place in the UK and South Africa. In both these countries, the government along with the contractor, is held accountable for meeting and time and quality standards laid out in the bid agreement.