Infrastructure and consulting Engineers in a letter written  to Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport And Highway (MoRTH) has urged him to include ‘Value engineering  as part of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Contract document for faster adoption cost saving newer technologies and speed  finishing of the project.

“ In the present MoRTH’s  EPC contract document which is broadly based on International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) document the  Article 13 related to Variation/Change of Scope, the term ‘value engineering’ is missing from the MORTH EPC document. This dilutes the concept of value engineering restricting it to a pre-determined cost, and stifles use of new-technology which can result in substantial and justifiable value addition.” Said Mr K K Kapila, FIDIC ambassador for Asia Pacific Region and Chairman, Business and Policy Committee, Consulting Engineers Association of India (CEAI) .

“ The includion of Value engineering the EPC contract will help in adoption of cost effective technologies and better engineering.  This value can be in terms of speed of construction which in turn results in quicker availability of a road or bridge for commercial utilisation.  There is also significant value in lower maintenance costs in the long run and the savings on raw materials which is a critical national resource. Most important is the relief to locals and early resumption of commercial activity due to reduced road and rail blocks.  This situation is very critical wherein bridges are involved and decision is delayed. Mature decision making towards better value engineering needs this mind-set to be addressed at all levels with clear directions.” Said Mr Kapila.

“A first step could be to incorporate ‘value engineering’ in letter and spirit in the MORTH EPC document, as spelt out in the FIDIC concept and issue guidelines on what will constitute earned value, encouraging time saving methods and new-technology. It is my sincere observation as a FIDIC Ambassador looking at Infrastructure development in our country as the highest priority.” He added.

“The best example of this aspect  stood out prominently when new-technology modular bridges for speedier construction were recommended  on requests from both NHAI & NHIDCL.  The preference was for a lower cost obsolete Bailey bridge.  This results in weak and unsafe bridges that reduce the capacity of the NHs to 25% for long periods, and increases transportation costs. The need is for 3rd generation Quick lay modular bridges especially  in the disaster prone Hill states “.he added .