This is one of the many major steps taken by NHAI in recent times to curb fatalities on roads and highways in India
Every year the Government of India spends tonnes of money on development of roads and infrastructure. However, most motorists in the country aren’t happy with the conditions of roads. This is because most roads and highways in the country are in below-par conditions with bad surfaces and potholes which could cause accidents.
National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has taken cognizance of this matter and issued a policy that will keep contractors of construction and maintenance on their toes. The new policy will penalize contractors for building poor quality roads.
Provision Under New Policy
According to the new policy, these agencies which will be proven guilty of such poor quality of roads will be liable for a fine between Rs 1 crore and Rs 10 crore as decided by the authority. This new policy will allow NHAI to impose graded penalties including high-value fines and even ban contractors from bidding on any future road projects for three years.
Contractors who build and maintain roads will be liable to pay substantial fines for any kind of accident caused due to potholes, bad surfaces or any self-sustained damage. Not only will such contractors impose fines and be barred from any future projects but they will also have to bear all the expenses for the rectification work for the damaged road. Similar penalties and prohibition from a contract will be imposed if a consultant is involved in the road works which cause an accident.
In case of a major failure that causes a death or deaths, the consultancy firm involved in the project will be liable for a fine of up to Rs 40 lakh and will be debarred from any road projects for a period of two years. Key personnel of the consultancy firm will not be permitted to engage in any work under NHAI for a period of three years.
Recent Events of road accidents
Each year lakhs of people lose their lives due to accidents on roads in India. Recently, Madras High Court pulled up NHAI after a woman skidded on her scooter and fell in an open drain on the highway. The court also directed the agencies to not charge any toll until the roads are completely repaired.
Fatal accidents too have been reported due to bad roads. A woman was crushed to death after hitting a pothole while riding her scooter after she fell in front of a truck.
The Indian government has also made it mandatory to pay toll through Fastag on highways in order to avoid delays. However, the deadline for adoption of this rule has been extended to February 15, 2020.