New initiatives for faster construction of national highways launched

New Delhi, June 13 (ANI): The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to adopt the Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode for National Highways which are not viable on PPP basis.

The 12th Five Year Plan envisages construction of 20,000 km of 2-lane National Highways projects through EPC mode.

The Government has adopted the EPC mode of construction to ensure implementation of projects to specified Standards with a fair degree of certainty relating to cost and time and with a view to enabling a transparent, fair and competitive roll out of National Highway projects.

The EPC mode is different from the conventional Item Rate Contracts. Experience has shown that such contracts are prone to excessive time and cost over runs. The EPC mode assigns the responsibility for investigation, design and construction to Contractors for a lump sum price awarded through competitive bidding, wherein provision for index based price variation is made.

As per this initiative, training programmes on the EPC mode of construction for the officials of the State PWDs, shall also be organized in all the States alongwith the review meetings.

It is envisaged to impart training to the concerned officials, Consultants as well as Contractors on the implementation of projects to specified standards with certainties relating to cost and time and also on sound contractual framework for allocating risk and rewards equitably between Government and the Contractor.

The concerned Chief Engineers of the Ministry shall be the Nodal officers for organizing these programmes as per the schedule.

The participants shall also include senior officers of the Ministry, including those of the Transport Wing and the NHAI.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has also decided to conduct critical review meetings of the National Highway works, in the respective States. The new initiative has been adopted to resolve the hindrances in the construction of National Highways on a fast track and to ensure seamless construction of National Highways in the country.

A month-wise schedule of these review meetings, starting from 12 June, 2013, has been worked out for the current year and the concerned Chief Engineers of the Ministry shall convene the critical review meetings of National Highways/Central Road Fund works for the States/UTs under their jurisdiction.

So far the Ministry had been organizing review meetings of the on-going National Highways/Central Road Fund works with the officials of respective State Public Works Departments at the headquarters in New Delhi.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is entrusted with the responsibility for construction and maintenance of National Highways (NHs) in the country.

All roads other than the National Highways in the States fall within the jurisdiction of respective State Governments. In order to assist the State Governments in the development of State roads, the Ministry also provides financial assistance out of the Central Road Fund (CRF) and Inter-State Connectivity and Economic Importance (ISC and EI) schemes. (ANI)

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