Patel Infrastructure, an established construction, development, and maintenance service company and a NHAI contractor, has created a world record in the Infrastructure sector by laying Pavement Quality Concrete (PQC) for a four-lane highway of 2,580 meters length, within 24 hours, for the Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway Project. The world record, recognized by the India Book of Records and the Golden Book of World Records, has been achieved in the following four categories:
- Highest Quality Pavement Quality Concrete in 24 hours
- Largest Quantum of Concrete produced by Ready Mix Concrete Plant in 24 hours
- Laying of Pavement Quality Concrete continuously in 24 hours
- Area of Rigid Pavement Quality Concrete laid in an Expressway in square meters in 24 hours.
According to the NHAI, the job started at 8 am on February 1, 2021 and was completed by 8 am the next morning, totaling 2.58 km each in four lanes (approx 10.32 lane kms). With a width of 18.75 meters, as much as 48,711 sqm of concrete was laid for the Expressway - the highest quantity of concrete laid in 24 hours, which means production of 14,613 cubic meter of concrete was also achieved. It was also for the first time that a 19-m single concrete paver was used for road construction; the paver can also be used to lay concrete on five lanes at any given time. This achievement by Patel Infra and the construction equipment suppliers indicates that expressway construction in India can be significantly accelerated.
The feat comes in the backdrop of the Ministry having constructed 8,169 km of National Highways (NHs) from April 2020 to January 15, 2021, with a speed of about 28.16 km per day. During the same period in the last fiscal, 7,573 km of roads were constructed, with a speed of 26.11 km per day. The road ministry that had been emphasizing that the eight-lane expressway would be completed in record time, is now hopeful that with such a fast pace of construction, it would easily meet the construction target of 11,000 km by March 31.
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, which is being built at an estimated cost of Rs. one lakh crore, is aimed at decreasing logistic time and cost along key manufacturing hubs in the country. With a length of 1,320 km, it will be India’s longest expressway and will reduce travel time between Delhi and Mumbai from 24 hours to 13 hours. It starts from Sohna near Gurugram in the NCR region and will terminate at Mumbai, cutting the distance between the two cities by 280 km.
Our plants are highly reliable and delivered consistently in most record setting projects globally. We are thankful to patel infra, for letting us be a part of this.”
NHAI is now geared to break many more records, while maintaining high quality standards in highway development. It is taking steps to ensure strict adherence to the quality standards during construction and maintenance of the projects. To deal with any lapses in highway development, NHAI has issued a strict policy for penal action against defaulting firms, concessionaires, contractors, consultants and any other personnel involved in the project in case they compromise on the construction standards of the bridges/structures/approaches to structures etc. The policy allows NHAI to impose graded penalties such as heavy fines and debarment from bidding for any NHAI project up to three years.
Furthermore, NHAI will soon launch a drive for Independent Inspection of its ongoing National Highway projects across the country, for which it will involve senior retired government officials. This will be a significant step towards construction of world-class highways of which 51 have already been identified.
As a part of its routine quality checks, authority engineers / independent engineers / and supervision consultants along with project directors from NHAI have been carrying out regular inspection of the projects. To reinforce the Quality Audit Mechanism, periodic independent inspection of the projects will also be carried out. This is to assess the quality system put in place by the contractors /concessionaires and their implementation. The quality inspections will not only ensure adherence to the standards but will also verify compliance to specific contractual requirements and good engineering practices with reference to procedures formulated as per the approved Quality Assurance Plan by NHAI.
Different Quality Inspection teams have been formed for inspection of National Highway projects by engaging retired officers from Central / State government departments of the rank of Chief Engineers along with associating technical officers from NHAI. For transparency and regular monitoring, all correspondence and dashboards will be made available through NHAI’s Artificial Intelligence-powered Big Data Analytics platform – Data Lake.
The Quality Inspection comprises of three stages: first, the team will review all project related documents like contracts, specifications, project specific approvals, etc. Next will be site inspection for assessment of quality systems placed by the Contractor / Conces-sionaire and its level of implementation, supervision and control. The third will be follow-up inspections to review the corrective action taken for non-conformities.
As an added quality check measure, periodic inspection at intervals of 2-3 months will be taken the teams where quality issues have been found on previous inspections. Emphasis will be on projects where NHAI has received Abnormally Low Bids. The inspection of Quality of Construction of National Highway projects will not only increase the accountability of Contractors / Concessionaires to deliver good quality projects but will also ensure a safe, smooth, and seamless travel experience on the country’s highways.