New Delhi: With 400 projects costing over Rs 5 crore each running behind schedule, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu has asked CPWD to tone up its functioning and ensure timely completion of works besides maintaining transparency.
Drawing up a 15-point charter of action after a review meeting, Naidu said accountability should be enforced by taking action against officers responsible for delays in execution of works and also asked the CPWD to make payments to contractors through the electronic mode only.
Functioning of the Central Public Works Department has come in for a critical review at a two-day brainstorming session attended by top brass of the Ministry and CPWD besides 75 chief engineers of the agency from across the country here. The meeting concluded yesterday.
Execution of 702 projects costing more than Rs 5 cr each has been reviewed and it has been found that about 400 of them are running behind schedule for various reasons like delay in approvals by local bodies, delay in handing over project sites, delay in release of funds by clients, environmental and forest clearances besides internal administrative reasons.
As per the action plan, a standard operating procedure (SOP) including specific time frames has be evolved for each construction activity.
In order to ensure transparency, project details should be made available in the public domain through online and information display boards at all work sites with details of project including cost, project schedule, major features, details of contact person for complaints, reasons for delay if any.
The minister said he would write to all the Chief Ministers to enable design certification by CPWD architects to do away with further approval by local bodies to avoid delays.
As a measure to do away with delays, the action plan suggests that file clearance should not take more than five days and in case of delay, reasons for the same to be recorded and action to be taken if the delay is found unjustified.
Voicing concern over public perception about functioning of major government construction organisations, Naidu suggested empanelling of sufficient number of contractors for better response to tenders and ensuring timely execution of works. Naidu directed CPWD to update on the web-based Project Monitoring System status of all 2,900 ongoing projects including dates of sanction, commencement of work and scheduled date of completion, present status of work, reasons for delay if any, cost over runs to him by 15th of this month and the same would be placed in the public domain.
The plan envisages zero tolerance for irregularities and mandatory field inspection visits by senior officers and regular submission of inspection reports and their review for correctional interventions for timely execution of projects.
On punctuality, it was decided to go for biometric attendance marking systems.
Aiming at decentralisation of decision making to avoid delays, it has been decided that only substantial and policy issues to be referred to CPWD headquarters and all other issues to be resolved at the level of regional heads.
The action plan also suggests third party audit of works by organisations with no conflict of interest to be undertaken for which services of reputed institutions like IITs can be availed.
The Charter also states that cleanliness should be ensured at all offices and work sites besides seeking immediate measures to make government buildings energy efficient.
On posting issues, it has envisaged that genuine problems of employees should be addressed including the issue of posting of spouses as per DoPT guidelines and ensuring completion of tenures.
Naidu urged the CPWD to be guided by the Prime Minister's norm of 3 Ss - Skill, Speed and Scale and assured it that there would be no political interference in its functioning.