To ensure adherence to the highest quality standards during the construction of projects, NHAI has decided to launch a drive for Independent Inspection of its ongoing National Highways projects across the country, by involving reputed retired government officials. This will be a significant step towards the construction of world-class highways. 51 of such projects have been identified so far.
As a part of routine quality checks, Authority Engineers/ Independent Engineers/ Supervision Consultants along with Project Directors from NHAI have been carrying out regular inspections of the projects. In order to reinforce the Quality Audit Mechanism, a periodic independent inspection of the projects will also be carried out in addition to the existing arrangement.
The broad objective is to assess the quality system put in place by the Contractors/ Concessionaires and its implementation. The quality inspections will not only ensure adherence to standards but will also verify compliance to specific contractual requirements and good engineering practices with reference to procedures formulated as per the approved Quality Assurance Plan by NHAI.
In order to achieve this, different Quality Inspection teams have been formed for inspection of National Highway Projects. Retired officers from Central / State government departments of the rank of Chief Engineers are engaged as team leaders, along with associating technical officers from NHAI. For transparency and regular monitoring, all correspondence and dashboards will be made available through NHAI’s Artificial Intelligence-powered Big Data Analytics platform – Data Lake.
The Quality Inspection comprises three stages. First, the team will review all project-related documents like contracts, specifications, project-specific approvals, etc. The second stage will be of site inspection for assessment of quality systems placed by the Contractor / Concessionaire and its level of implementation, supervision, and control. The last stage will be of follow-up inspection to review the corrective action taken for non-conformities. Suitable penal action will also be taken against defaulters if there are any lapses found in the construction standards of the projects.
As an added measure to ensure the quality of projects, periodic inspection at an interval of 2-3 months shall be held by the team where quality issues have been found on previous inspections. Also, special emphasis on quality checks shall be made for the projects where NHAI has received Abnormally Low Bids.
The inspection of the Quality of Construction of National Highway projects will not only increase the accountability of Contractors / Concessionaires to deliver good quality projects but will also go a long way to ensure a safe, smooth, and seamless travel experience on the National Highways.