NHAI delegated greater powers to its ROs

NHAI has permitted its regional officers (ROs) to hire equipment and labourers (up to Rs 1 million per project) for demolishing structures that fall within the right of way of a project. As some contracts had no provision for the demolition of such structures, there would often be protracted correspondence between contractors, project directors and the NHAI headquarters before these could be removed, leading to delays in project execution. With the delegation of power to ROs, NHAI will be able to make encumbrance-free land available more speedily to the concessionaire/contractor. ROs have also been instructed to ensure the measurement of such structures (with videography) for record-keeping purposes. Besides, NHAI has recently delegated powers to ROs for the construction of foot overbridges under the change of scope clause (up to Rs 8 million) and for four/six-laning projects (up to Rs 10 million). ROs have also been given the power for the maintenance of highways requiring urgent repair works up to a cost of Rs 10 million. Further, the chief general manager (technical), jointly with ROs, has also been given the power to shift power transmission lines, and water pipelines and other utilities up to a cost of Rs 100 million and Rs 50 million respectively. These steps are expected to cut down delays in project completion.