New Delhi: An inter-ministerial panel will soon finalize the EPC model (lump sum payment mode) for building roads under which the government plans widening 20,000 km of highways during the 12th Five Year Plan.
    
The development comes in the backdrop of differences over EPC mode for road building between the Road Transport Ministry and the Planning Commission.
    
"The government has decided to undertake a programme for two-laning of National Highways covering a length of 20,000 km on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis during the 12th Plan," Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi has said.
    
After a meeting with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to iron out differences on the EPC, Joshi said draft model for it was ready and an inter-ministerial panel would examine it soon.
    
The EPC mode of construction is based on international best practices and is aimed at minimizing problems of time and cost overruns associated with conventional item rate construction contracts.
    
Joshi said there were differences on bonus issue clause under which Planning Commission was in favour of incentivizing developers completing projects ahead of schedule and on damage payment issue on which the Commission was in favour of payment by Ministry in case of delays in forest clearances, land acquisition and shifting of utilities.
    
"We have proposed that the bonus issue should ensure that in case of defects detected later in such projects which were incentivized for early completion, the developer should provide services of repair free of cost," Joshi has said.
    
"Certain other issues like sub-letting of work by the contractor should also be addressed before finalization of the document," he added.

(Agencies)