Guidelines to National Quality Monitors

Quality of road works is the essence of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana envisages a three-tier Quality Control& Quality monitoring mechanism.

  1. The first tier shall be with the PIU/senior Engineer of the PIU in charge of the work. The Contractor shall establish Quality Control laboratories and get the contractually stipulated tests conducted. The test results shall be recorded in the prescribed Quality Control Registers. Engineers of the PIU shall witness the carrying out of a portion of tests as prescribed in the Quality Control Hand Book. All the concerned officers shall record their observations in the Quality Control Registers.

  2. The second tier shall comprise periodic inspection by the SQC and his staff engaged by the Nodal Agency, independent of the PIUs

  3. NRRDA for the purpose, who shall be retired Senior Engineers with State/Central organizations. These NQMs will carry out Quality testing of PMGSY works as per prioritization, mainly in order to ensure that the programme implementation and State Quality Control System is working satisfactorily. The NQMs are expected to make constructive suggestions relating to procedural aspects in addition to locating problems at individual work level. The SQC will be responsible for reporting compliance on the issues raised by NQMs and observations of NRRDA in this regard.

The National Quality Monitors, who are the third tier in Quality Control, play a vital role in overseeing the Quality of the PMGSY road works. With their long experience and expertise, the NQMs provide valuable insight into the programme and guidance to the executing agencies.

The inspection report of the National Quality Monitors will be in two formats-D1 & D-2. Format D-1 for on-going works & format D-2 for completed works. Separate instructions have been provided for works in progress and for completed works.

As regards the report on each work, the information in PART-II (Format-D-1 for ongoing works and format D-2 for completed works) is to make detailed assessment of each work (for both ongoing and completed works) including NQMs observation on other aspects such as contract management, design, estimation, drainage and Quality Control.

Instructions to NQM's

  1. Arrangements for Inspection by NQM.

    1. The National Quality Monitors will be sent a letter of request once in two months for carrying out inspection as per the programme for the forthcoming two months. A copy of this letter will also be endorsed to the State Quality Coordinator for making necessary arrangements and informing the concerned PIUs. On receipt of the letter of request, the NQM will invariably inform the NRRDA about his tentative programme of his visit in the enclosed Fax/ Mail Back Form.

    2. The details of schedule of visit will be available on website and in the last week of the preceding month to enable the SQC and PIUs to make necessary arrangements (procedure to view the schedule of NQM on the website is explained in Appendix A). PIUs have been strongly urged to obtain PMGSY E-mail accounts so that they can be intimated by email. The State Quality Coordinator (SQC)/ Head of PIU, after ascertaining the schedule of visit of the NQM in his State/ District should contact the NQM and ascertain the dates and programme of his visit. The NQM too should endeavor to finalize the programme of his visit in consultation with the SQC at the earliest and inform the PIUs accordingly.

    3. It will be the responsibility of the SQC to ensure adequate arrangements for inspection by the NQM, including ensuring the supply of desired information to NQM by PIUs.

    4. The NQM is required to inspect three districts in a single visit in one State in each of the 2 months. In case of poor connectivity to a particular district/ block from within the State and better connectivity from adjoining State, the NQM may be asked to cover works of more than one State during his visit. (The total districts inspected during one visit shall not exceed three). He should finalize a suitable programme to spend not more than 3 days in each district inspecting normally between 2 to 4 works on each day (2 works in progress or 1 work in progress and 2 completed works or 4 completed works). The States, districts as well as blocks where the inspection of the works is to be carried will be indicated in the letter allocating the States. While every efforts will be made to select blocks with works eligible for inspection if, for any reason, the allotted blocks do not have any works where inspection is required, the NQM may choose neighboring block(s) for inspection but it should be only in exceptional cases and the NQM shall record the reasons in the report, as to why the works of allotted blocks could not be inspected.

    5. The NQM is expected to make his own arrangements to travel up to the District Headquarters. The PIU shall make necessary arrangements for transport required for inspection of works within the District and from one District to the next. The PIU may make arrangements of boarding of NQM in Government Guest Houses/ Inspection Bungalows but in case of non-availability of such an accommodation, the NQM may stay in private Hotels/ Guest Houses and the reimbursement to NQM for boarding charges will be done by NRRDA as per the guidelines regarding honorarium and travel expenses etc detailed in Appendix B.

    6. The programme of inspection is valid for the inspection of works for the months mentioned in letter of request only; therefore, in no case should the inspection spill over to the next month. This is necessary, as the same district might have been allotted to another NQM for next month. The inspection of works would therefore not be valid for purposes of reimbursement of expenses by NRRDA for a month other than the allotted one.

    7. Arrangement should be made by the PIU for carrying out Quality Control Tests, at the Contractor's field laboratory, mobile laboratory or District laboratory.

  2. Prioritization of Works for Inspection:
    While inspecting the works, the NQM will prioritize the selection of roads as follows:

    1. Priority 1 shall be to inspect works which are at earthwork stage. This is with a view to examine the system and procedures which is being followed by the PIU and the Contractor. NQM intervention at this stage would help in ensuring that subsequent stages of the work are carried out after system deficiencies are removed.

      Under this category it would be sufficient that only one work of the contract package is examined. (As the PIU and Contractor would be common). In the next visit, the NQM should inspect any other road in progress under the same package. Thus not more than two roads shall be inspected under the same package.

    2. Priority 2 ongoing works (excluding Phase I works) which have not been inspected at all by NQM before.

    3. Priority 3 shall be ongoing works that have not been inspected by State Quality Monitoring Mechanism or NQM in the last 4 months.

    4. Priority 4 shall be inspection of works completed after 31.03.04 which have not been inspected by SQM or NQM in the 6 month period upto completion.


      • Completed Phase I works shall not be inspected by NQM whether or not inspected by any NQM earlier.

      • Complaint cases and ATR cases, shall be got inspected on case to case basis.

      • The same road shall not be inspected if the previous inspection by NQM/ SQM is less than 3 months earlier.

  3. Information and Details to be furnished to NQM by PIU:

    1. The PIU will furnish to the NQM phase wise according to the priority 1,2,3 and 4 listed in para 2 list of all works (inspected or not) for the Block of the District due to be visited, on following proforma:

      Name of PIU
      List of Blocks
      Inspection Priority No Road Code Name of Road Phase and Date of Start of work % of Progress Details of Previous Inspection (if any) by SQM/ NQM Action Taken/ Rectification Done and whether re-inspected
      Name of NQM/ SQM Inspection Date

    2. The NQM will select roads out of this list in accordance with the priority given in para 2 above, and shall enclose a copy of the list of roads given to him by the Programme Implementing Unit along with his report to the SQC and NRRDA. In case in that Block there is no eligible road, the list will still be sent along with the list of the Block selected by NQM for his visit.

    3. The PIU will also make available a road map showing the location of roads to enable planning of the itinerary and selection of works to be inspected.

    4. After the NQM selects the roads to be visited, the PIU will provide the necessary works information in respect of the road in Part I of the Inspection Report Format (enclosed as Appendix C-1 for on going works and C-2 for completed works). It is expected that the PIU will have updated details in respect of all on going works and therefore the Part I of the Inspection Report can be made available without delay.

  4. Preparation of Inspection Reports by NQM:

    The reporting for the inspection of on going works and completed works will be done on the respective formats (Appendix C-1 and C-2). The reporting format of the NQM report will be in two parts including Part I:

    1. Part II - Observations of NQM for On Going Works/ Completed Works: Based on the information supplied in Part I, the NQM will carry out the inspection and fill up this format Part II (Appendix D-1 for ongoing works and D-2 for completed works) for every work. After the inspection, the NQM will handover one copy to the Head of PIU.

    2. The Reports need not be accompanied by any other supporting documents except where these are necessary to support a view or finding of the NQM.

  5. Guidelines to NQMs for filling up the Inspection Formats:

    1. Inspection Format: Before filling in Part II, the NQM should traverse the entire road up to the end habitation. While making observations in respect of items given in Part II, the NQM must keep in mind that the intention is to improve and strengthen the system to achieve overall project quality. As such, the NQM should also focus on project management by the PIU and make his observations on:

      1. Contract Management: Observations regarding contractual provisions of identifying defects, communication to the Contractor and rectification thereof shall be recorded by the NQM. In addition, observations on issues of Time Control mechanism as adopted by the PIU shall be recorded. The observations regarding delays and work programme should be made as per the information submitted in Part 1, Clause 3 and 4.

      2. Designing and Estimation: The observations should be made based on the scrutiny of the Detailed Project Report. The observations regarding traffic, CBR and appropriateness of design of CDs should be made based on the inspection of site. It may not be always necessary to conduct detailed tests or surveys for general assessment of adequacy.

      3. Geometrics: The observations should be based on inspection of the entire road length and provisions made in the DPR.

      4. Quality Control Arrangements: The observations should be based on visit to field laboratory, the test facilities available, adequacy of manpower for carrying out the tests, system of bringing samples to the testing lab as well as system of recording of results and examination of Quality Control Register Part I and II. In case of a completed work, if the Site Laboratory is no longer there, the same Contractor's site laboratory for an ongoing work of the same package, if it is located nearby, can be seen. The observations in respect of technical staff and machinery of the Contractor should be based on site visit.

      5. Attention to Quality: The observations on number of tests conducted should be based on examination of Quality Control Register Part I. The system of identifying failed tests and action taken by Project Implementing Unit/ SQM should be examined and commented upon by the NQM.

      6. Inspections: Observations regarding inspections and compliance of NQM/ SQM visit should be based on the information submitted by PIU in Part 1, field visit and discussion with the officers of PIU.

      7. Observations on Quality of Items of Work: The NQM is expected to give the observations in respect of the items, which can be easily inspected or are under construction. The NQM is not expected to make observations regarding the hidden items and in such case mention can be made in the appropriate clause. It may not always be necessary to conduct detailed tests to support every observation. The NQM with his experience is expected to be able to make observations based on hand feel tests or by visual inspection and make a mention accordingly.

      8. Other Observations: The NQM may like to give some guidance or may like to make observations on the items, which are not covered in the Formats; such observations may be given in this paragraph.

  6. Post Inspection Discussion:
    During inspecting the roads within the District, the NQM should

    1. Ascertain the operation of the system of departmental inspections.

    2. Obtain details of SQM visits to the PIU; and

    3. Hold an informal meeting with the PIU officers and Contractors engineers in order to review the findings of the inspection and to suggest improvements in execution to obtain better Quality for all other works under the PIU.

  7. Submission of Inspection Report by NQM and Action by PIU/ SQC:

    1. After the inspections in the District are over and copy of Part II of reporting format will be handed over by the NQM to the PIU, also copies will be sent to the State Quality Coordinator and NRRDA within 10 days of the date of completion of inspection.

    2. It is open to the NQM to discuss the specific issues arising from the road inspection with the head of the PIU. Unless the PIU disagrees with the conclusion/ recommendations, rectification work should be ordered immediately by the PIU. In case the head of the PIU feels that any portion of the Inspection Report or the suggested rectification is not appropriate he shall make a full report to the State Quality Coordinator.

    3. The SQC is expected to take immediate action to ensure that the Head of PIU takes immediate steps to implement the observations of NQM. The action taken report should be prepared by the PIU every month and sent to the SQC, who will examine and compile the ATRs.

    4. In case, the Inspection Report Part II is not handed over by the NQM before his departure from the District, the PIU will immediately inform the SQC and the SQC in turn will inform the NRRDA with details for further action.