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 CPWD 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 on Tuesday.

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 been 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.

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