The government, very soon, is set to give nod to a new model of bidding for road projects, under which a contractor will be liable to not only maintain the roads it builds but also fix defects, if any, for two years after the completion of the project.
The move came after a consensus was reached on the draft Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) document between the stakeholders-- planning commission, road ministry and finance ministry-- on some of its sticky provisions, including the duration of the defect liability period (DLP), last Thursday.
The duration of DLP was a major bone of contention between the plan panel and the road ministry, and this delayed its finalisation. The model document, which is being prepared by the plan panel, has already undergone six revisions.
While the ministry wanted a DLP of 3-5 years, the planning commission wanted it to be two years. “We have reached a consensus on the broad contours of the EPC document including the DLP, which will be for two years,” said an official privy to the development. The document will now be taken to an inter-ministerial group before it is finalised.
The new EPC model will be the basis for bidding of 20,000-km two-lane highways under the 12th Plan. “Bid process for five projects to be awarded on EPC has already been initiated by NHAI and bids have been invited,” said an official.