India has also decided to “replace obsolete construction equipment in the BRO with modern equipment”.
New Delhi: Amid the continuing military standoff with China at Doklam in the Bhutanese territory, India has decided to speed up the construction of border roads in the eastern sector leading to the Sino-Indian border in the face of delays and to remove bottlenecks.
The ministry of defence (MoD) on Sunday said it “has decided to delegate administrative and financial powers to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) right up to the level of chief engineer and task force commander, so as to avoid delays on the account of references between the chief engineer and HQ DGBR (DG-Border Roads) and also between HQ DGBR and the ministry.
The MoD said it “intends to bring transformational changes in the organisation (BRO) to improve the pace of execution of works and to achieve the desired outcomes according to the requirement of the Armed Forces.” India has also decided to “replace obsolete construction equipment in the BRO with modern equipment”.
Functioning under the control of the MoD since 2015, the BRO is engaged in road construction to provide connectivity to difficult and inaccessible regions in the border areas of the country. The government said that “it is expected that with the delegation of powers by the MoD to the BRO, the pace of road construction in border areas would improve and the BRO would be able to complete ongoing/new projects in compressed timelines.”
In a statement on Sunday, the MoD said, “In line with an aim to bring in transformational changes in the BRO, various powers of the delegation have been revised. According to the earlier delegation of powers, a chief engineer in the BRO could give administrative approval of works only up to Rs 10 crore, that too only for departmental works, whereas the ADGBR had powers to accord administrative approval only up to Rs 20 crore for departmental works. For contractual works, all administrative approvals were given by the DGBR, who had powers only up to Rs 50 crore. Enhancing the powers at all levels in the BRO, the ministry of defence has now approved that for both departmental and contractual mode of execution, a chief engineer of the BRO can accord administrative approval up to Rs 50 crore, ADGBR up to Rs 75 crore and DGBR up to Rs 100 crore.”
The MoD added, “There also is a need to replace obsolete construction equipment in the BRO with modern equipment. According to the earlier delegation of powers, the DGBR had powers only up to Rs 7.5crore for the procurement of indigenous equipment and Rs 3 crore for the procurement of imported equipment. All other cases of procurement had to be referred to the ministry of defence. In order to fast track the procurement of latest construction machinery and equipment in the BRO, the ministry of defence has enhanced the delegation of powers up to Rs 100 crore to the DGBR for procurement of both indigenous/imported equipment.”
It said, “According to the earlier delegation of powers, a chief engineer in the BRO had the power to accept execution of contracts only up to Rs 10 crore, ADGBR had powers upto Rs 20 crore, beyond which all tenders had to be sent to DGBR. With the intent to speed up the tendering process, the ministry of defence has now enhanced the powers of chief engineer for acceptance of bids with cost of contract upto Rs 100 crore and that of ADGBR for cost of contract upto Rs 300 crore.”