NEW DELHI: Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has warned road contractors and officials against compromising with the quality work while installing expansion joints on bridges and flyovers. He said the contractors will be held responsible for such works and they would have to demolish such stretches at their own cost.
Commuters often feel the jerk while travelling from approach slab to deck slab of a bridge because of the expansion joints. If these joints are not fixed properly and a smooth surface is not provided, the jerk becomes severe. This becomes a major issue on highways where vehicles travel at a faster speed.
Gadkari had registered his anguish against poor workmanship in installation of expansion joints when he inaugurated a project in Lucknow on Friday, sources said.
“Yesterday I noticed how expansion joints are not properly fixed in Uttar Pradesh. I am telling you (contractors) that highest quality must be maintained while installing expansion joints. If there is any compromise with the quality, you will have to remove and do it again at your own cost under the defect liability provision of work contracts. If I get any complaint about quality, mind you I will not spare any contractor or officer,” Gadkari said while launching a number of projects in Jharkhand on Saturday.
NHAI sources said that there has been a lot of focus on addressing this issue of poor workmanship in fixing the expansion joints on bridges and flyovers. “This spoils the joy of travel on highways where you are allowed to drive at a higher speed. The NHAI chairman has been holding regular meetings on this and now with the minister’s warning this will become top priority for all of us,” said an official.
Responding to the suggestion from Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren on the need to maintain greenery along NHs, Gadkari said contractors often don’t do a good job despite this being part of the contracts.
“I will not spare any such contractors who manage people at lower levels and don’t complete works. You must hold the payment of such players and send notices to such contractors. We have now decided to do the rating of contractors and projects. If any contractor compromises with quality, they will get negative marks and won’t get new contracts,” the minister said.