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Monday , 22 July 2024

The UN Recognition for achieving sustainable development goals

Numerous such issues came to the fore making the Governments rethink the emphasis on PPP projects. It was evident that while PPP model is a smart way to move ahead with development, it was time for introspection: the demand, whether and how the benefits reach the common man, whether the lifecycle is sufficiently long so that the cost set off does not affect his purse, and so on. That the Projects should make sense to the local economy to ensure recovery of investment in a sustained manner became a key indicator. It should also be such that global economic, demand-supply or socio-political related problems should have the minimum impact on the Project. In short, the Project should sustain all weather. Especially, since economies are becoming increasingly fragile, whatever the reasons may be.

This is what brought the UN into the fray. UNECE International Centre of Excellence Concessions / PPP, therefore, has been mandated to create the necessary framework for PPP projects in future by suggesting a “People First” approach. They have to draw from the valuable experience gained both from unsuccessful and successful PPP projects across the World.

TCRIP was in the chosen twelve “successful PPP Projects” of the World. From over 30 high-calibre case studies, TCRIP was chosen for its ingenious implementation which more than compensated for the pitfalls created by theoretical assumptions. And, in this case, credit certainly goes to the implementing Concessionaire.

The Rs. 450Cr TCRIP is the first PPP project in the country for Urban Infrastructure (city roads) development with the active participation of the State and the private sector. Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd is the Concessionaire as per PPP norms, and is the Special Purpose Vehicle for the Project under IL & FS Transportation Networks Ltd.

TCRIP – In the Honour List!

The project involved developing 42.06km of city roads by strengthening surface, widening in acquired portions, correcting geometric and vertical profiles, providing proper facilities for drainage of storm water, enhancing pedestrian facilities such as footpaths, traffic islands and pedestrian refuges, improving overall safety by installing solar powered and GPS enabled traffic systems, installation of energy-saving street lighting systems, and landscaping and arboriculture. It also had other infrastructure components such as bridges, flyovers and underpass.

What made the difference?

Going the Extra Mile, is what made the difference. What is visible to the Public are good roads, pleasing junctions and grass patches, bright and smart traffic signals, good road marking, good road signs and a very enjoyable footpath and bright and pleasing street lighting. But this is not what the UN saw. At least, not this alone. The key elements are:

MUSEUM-JN-MEDIADifficulty in Execution: The project has migrated through three Political Administrations, and has worked under seven Minsters, ten Secretaries to the Government, and eight Project Engineers. At one stage – end of 2006 to be precise – the first change of Ministry took place. It was at this time that there was a serious threat to the Project as it had reached its completion stage without progressing beyond one third point on account of land acquisition issues. The effort of TRDCL in generating the required ownership for the project was the sole reason why this project was resumed by the new Government and ensured continuity. The assiduous and long initiative took two years to bear fruit. All the while, IL&FS stood steadfast behind the SPV helping it progress in the path it had chosen.

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