Dedicated unit proposed in NHAI to focus on operation and maintenance of highway stretches

Apr2,2024



New Delhi: Ministry of Road Transport has submitted a proposal to the PMO for setting up a dedicated Corridor Management Unit (CMU) NHAI concentrate on Operation and Maintenance Of highway extension The length of the widened national highway has doubled in the last 10 years. According to estimates, it will reach 89,900 km by 2037 and 1.27 lakh km by 2047.
The establishment of the CMU, which will focus on end-to-end management of NH segments, is important considering that the highway development is likely to reach saturation level in the next 14-15 years and there is a need to train NHAI staff for operations. Requirement and maintenance of parts.
The Road Transport Ministry is preparing for major organizational reforms and is completing the consultation processes to strengthen NHAI and restructure NHIDCL, the entity responsible for highway development in the hilly and north-eastern states. Sources said that during the current election season, the infrastructure ministries, including the roads and housing ministries, are making good use of the time in completing the preparatory works so that the work can start at full speed after the new government takes charge in June.
He said that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is completing the process of launching various major programs like PM e-Bus Scheme and finalizing the Delhi Master Plan. Sources said top PMO officials are also holding regular review meetings on infrastructure projects and they are also visiting some sites.
TOI has learned that in its presentation before the PMO, the road transport ministry has proposed to strengthen NHAI, noting that it plans to bid out 60,555 km more NH for development. “After 14-15 years, our focus will be more on management and maintenance of expansion and we have to be prepared for that,” said a source.
The ministry has sanctioned up to 90% of the total sanctioned strength to the permanent cadre of NHAI to meet the work requirement over the next 13-15 years to increase the number of sanctioned staff, especially in technical posts, and to “create continuity and deep expertise” in the road sector. It has been proposed to increase. management. In the current system, half the employees are on deputation.
The ministry has said that employees on deputation generally work for a fixed period before returning to their parent organizations and this leads to a lack of long-term commitment towards the projects and goals of NHAI. It said projects requiring long-term monitoring are prone to dissatisfaction. The Ministry has also pointed to the problem of limited accountability in case of default or non-compliance as there is a limit on whether disciplinary action can be taken against employees on deputation.
In the case of NHIDCL, the ministry has pointed out how the unit has no regular cadre and the deputation scheme is not attracting enough talent. Moreover, the staff on contract is being filled only from retired government personnel and there is no provision for taking professionals on lateral entry basis for fixed tenure contracts.
It has proposed to have a cadre for the unit in which 50% will be directly recruited and the remaining half will be on deputation. The ministry has also sought to involve both retired and contracted professionals from the market for better functioning of the organisation.



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