Thursday, November 01, 2007

Project Management -failure in the country but great potential.

Today's Times of India ( 1 Nov 07) brings an editorial titled "Slow is not beautiful' on the need to have effective management mechanisms to find and plug the delays in completion of different projects in the country which is costing the country very dear. Almost 24,000 crores of rupees is spent by the govt to keep these projects running and only God knows when these projects will get completed ever.

For improving and retaining competitiveness of our country in attracting foreign capital growing to be a top investment destination in the world, it is estimated that almost $300 billion will need to be invested in the next five years. High quality infrastructure only can take us to the top league of countries in the world to attract foreign capital and technology investments in the country.

It is a national waste and a crime against the people of this country that vested interests and corruption is holding up these infrastructure projects by as much as sixteen years. The oportunity cost of the 24,000 crores of rupees which otherwise could have been spent on infrastructure development and primary education is stupendous and to know that this money is only going to increase year after year and be incurred every year is heart breaking. How much of the tax payer's money is getting wasted down the drain serving no purpose but oiling the machines of corruption and inefficiency ?

The top technocrat of the country Mr E Sridharan the MD of Delhi Metro ( through many articles in TOI) is a great model to the rest of the country of how effective project management can help save the country thousands of crores of rupees and how this money so gained could be pumped back for the growth and welfare of the people of the country.

If only our bureaucrats understood the urgency and need for reducing the red tape in project clearances and early completion and our ministers understood the need to finish these projects in time and to be of benefit to the people of the country, can any improvement happen here. Also educational institutions and management institutions across the country should offer more programmes and refresher courses in Project Management techniques for practicing engineers and managers from industry to help arm the people with the needed tools in project management.

Public Private participation seems a good way out in some sectors like infrastructure building, but not a complete remedy as frequent litigation between the private parties and the government on some crucial decisions leads to great delays and untold cost escalations.

george..

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