New Delhi: Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said that there will a performance audit of government officials in road ministry and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and any delay in decision making will not be tolerated.
“I have always been of the opinion that performance audit (of the officials) is more important than financial audit," said Gadkari, adding that based on the Prime Minister’s instructions,- officials who don’t work will be shown the door.
However, honest, good work will be rewarded, Gadkari said after reviewing 500 road projects during 23-24 January in Manesar, Haryana. Such projects are worth ₹3 lakh crore and the marathon meetings are intended to iron out issues and explore ways to fast track pending projects.
The audit will be done on the basis of a bunch of parameters— if they are able to complete the allocated work in time, their problem resolution skills and initiative towards taking responsibility at work.
“The audit (of road ministry and NHAI officials) will be dovetailed with annual appraisal review," road secretary Sanjeev Ranjan said.
Last week, the minister sent a strong message and warned ‘non-performing’ officials in his ministry who neither take decisions nor allow others to work of showing exit door and said that red-tapism will not be tolerated.
In a meeting in November, Prime Minister had also said directed bureaucrats that the long delayed projects should be expedited by the respective state governments and regular reports on the progress of such projects must be sent to his office.
The minister instructed all chief engineers in the highways ministry and all members of NHAI to organise ‘review Mondays’ on the first and third Monday of every month.
“On these days no meetings other than for the purpose of review will be held by officials. Technology and video conferencing will be the means for review and monitoring. These days will be dedicated only for reviews to impart more focus on completing highway projects," the ministry said.
All relevant stakeholders, including concessionaries, contractors, bankers and officials state, road ministry and national highways authority of India (NHAI) were present at the meeting.
“The meeting led to identification of issues and way forward with clear timelines for most of the delayed projects. The major reasons found were delay in land acquisition by state governments, delay in regulatory clearances such as for quarrying etc. In addition, lack of coordination and communication between and within government agencies continues to delay decision making," the ministry said in a statement
As many as 740 highway projects across 16 states were reviewed.