Even the consultants engaged in such works will have to cough up penalties and face debarment. In case of major failure causing death/s, the consultancy firms will have to pay Rs 40 lakh fine and the companies won’t be allowed to bid for two years. Their key personnel will not be engaged for any NHAI work for three years.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has notified a policy guideline on the standard operating procedure (SOP) to decide penal action in case of such failures. The NHAI had set up an expert panel to come out with an SOP after some instances of structure collapses including in Gurgaon, Kerala and Bihar.
The penalties have been specified for three types of failures – minor failure without any casualties, major failure without casualties, and major failure leading to loss of human life. The penalties will be imposed after establishing the cause of the failures. In all the cases, the construction company will foot the bill for carrying out the rectification.
As per the policy, in case of minor failure where none is injured, the construction and maintenance company will have to pay Rs 30 lakh and its key personnel will be kept in the watch list. The consultancy firm engaged during construction or maintenance will have to pay Rs 5 lakh.
In the case of major failure where none is injured, the penalty will be Rs 50 lakh to Rs 5 crore on the construction or maintenance company. These entities will be barred from bidding for any highway project up to one year. The key personnel will be barred to be engaged in any NHAI work for two years. The consultancy firms will have to pay Rs 20 lakh as penalty and will be barred from bidding for one year. Their key personnel will not be allowed to work in any NHAI project for two years.