Contractors Will Pay Rs 10 Crore Penalty For Bad Roads; 2 Years Suspension For Accidents Due To Potholes
On the development of roads and infrastructure, tonnes of money is spent by the Government of India every year. However, the motorists are not particularly happy with the quality and condition of roads. This is due to the below-par conditions and the fact that the roads are filled with potholes and bad surfaces which could then cause accidents.
A policy has been issued by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) after taking into cognizance this matter. This policy shall keep the contractors involved in construction and maintenance on their toes, and penalize them if the quality of road is substandard.
The New Policy
A fine as decided by the authority ranging from Rs 1 crore to Rs 10 crore, will be charged on the agencies which are proven to be guilty of such poor quality of roads. Graded penalties such as high value fines can be imposed by NHAI according to the new policy. This new policy will also empower NHAI to ban contractors from bidding on any future road projects for three years.
If any kind of accident is caused due to potholes, bad surfaces or any self-sustained damage the contractors will be liable to pay substantial amount of fine. According to the new policy, not only will these contractors be banned from bidding and being involved in any future projects, but also bear the expenses for the rectification work if the road is found out to be substandard or damaged. This is not just limited to the contractors, but also the consultants who are involved in the road works which cause an accident.
A fine of up to Rs 40 lakh will be imposed on the consultancy firm which is involved in a project where the failure of project causes a death or deaths. These firms will also be barred from undertaking any project for a period of two years. Also, the key people involved in consultancy firms will not be permitted to engage in any work under NHAI for a period of three years.
Recent Road Accidents
In our country, many people lose their lives due to accidents. NHAI was recently pulled up by Madras High Court after the incident in which a woman skidded from her two wheeler and fell in an open drain on the highway. No toll is to be charged, as per court directions to the agencies, until the roads are completely repaired.
Due to bad roads, many fatal accidents are reported. After hitting a pothole while riding her scooter, a woman was crushed to death after she fell in front of a truck. Indian government, in order to avoid delays, has also made it mandatory to pay toll through Fastag. The deadline for adoption of this rule, however, has been extended to February 15, 2020.