Ten days after a section of an elevated road being constructed as part of the Sohna road project collapsed, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has debarred the concessionaire of that section of the project from participating in its bids.
Officials said a showcause notice was issued to the concessionaire, M/s Rajiv Chowk-Sohna Highway Pvt. Ltd., after the incident, to explain the violations of obligations in the concession agreement. The explanation in response, however, was found to be “unsatisfactory”.
Officials added it was also found the concessionaire had failed to discharge its obligation to construct a safe structure and ensure the safety of users and pedestrians, with lapses being found in the implementation of “safety measures, workmanship, adherence to construction methodologies and procedures”. These had been highlighted to the concessionaire before the incident as well, but to no avail.
“With immediate effect, the concessionaire has been debarred from participating in any NHAI bids… involving major structural works until they demonstrate reliable construction methodologies/designs and adequate safety measures at sight, and demonstrate that such type of accident does not occur in other part of their works,” said an NHAI official.
Officials said the authority has also “warned” the concessionaires, contractors and consultants on the project to maintain the standards laid out in the contract, failing which “strict action including black listing” will be taken.
Confirming the move, Ashok Sharma, Project Director, NHAI, said, “The concessionaire has been debarred for tendering henceforth until further orders.”
The incident had took place around 9.30 pm on August 22, when a span of the spine between pillars number 10 and 11 of the under construction elevated road had collapsed.
The structure is part of the 21-km-long Sohna road project being constructed in two packages — a 9 km stretch between Rajiv Chowk and Badshahpur, of which the elevated road is a part, and a 12 km long stretch between Badshahpur and Sohna. The entire project will cost around Rs 1300 crore and has a deadline of July 2021.
Following the collapse of the span almost two weeks ago, a four-member committee was formed by NHAI to examine the lapses in construction, suggest remedial measures and conduct a detailed probe.
Officials said samples of concrete from the crushed segment have been sent for testing to a third-party laboratory since it suspected its quality may be responsible for the collapse.
Meanwhile, work on the entire project has been suspended since August 26 after officials, during an inspection of the site, found that safety norms laid down in the agreement were being violated by concessionaires of both packages, with no traffic marshals being deployed at the site and barricading also being improper in several construction zones.
Concessionaires of both the packages were directed to suspend work and a penalty of Rs 50,000 per day had been imposed on them until the safety measures were put in place.
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