Central and State quality monitors flag shoddy workmanship & maintence, contractors blame ‘cuttings’ to politicians and officials
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 11: More may not always be better. Construction of around 30 percent of the State rural roads and bridges do not meet the requisite quality standards, according to a Central quality monitoring watchdog.
According to the State’s own quality monitoring agency, the percentage of sub-standard roads and bridges – built under Centrally-sponsored PMGSY – is as high as 36 percent.
The tiol Quality Monitors had surveyed around 778 roads, under-construction roads, bridges and maintence works. Of them 225 were either “unsatisfactory” or “required improvement”, the watchdog said in its latest report. According to the report, nine of the 67 examined roads were “unsatisfactory” while ten others “required improvement.”
Around 72 of the 593 surveyed in-progress roads were “unsatisfactory” and 67 others “required improvement”. The monitors examined 38 bridges and ten of them “required improvement.”
In maintence section, the State fared extremely poorly. Some 80 maintence works were inspected by the tiol monitors and they flagged 33 of these as “unsatisfactory” and 24 others as “required improvement.” According to the State Quality Monitors who inspected as many as 4,504 infrastructure projects, 832 were “unsatisfactory” and 793 required improvement.
Experts say inviting global tenders can ensure quality.
Quality cannot be ensured when work is broken into packages and handed out to local contractors.
“At present, there are no third party inspections to ensure quality. The money should be released only if the contractor follows all guidelines,” said an official.
On their part, contractors maintain they will not garner any profit if they follow all guidelines. “No bill is passed without ‘cuttings’ being paid to politicians and officials,” a contractor alleged.