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Monday , 22 July 2024

The UN Recognition for achieving sustainable development goals

UNECE-meetTrust Deficit: Any initiative from the Governments’ side is usually viewed with doubt and disdain by the Public at large, on account of previous experiences. TCRIP was no exception. The innovative initiatives of the Concessionaire in establishing a people to people contact and involvement, contributed significantly to the success of the Project. Keeping the people updated about technology & quality of execution, the benefits of a strong Concession Agreement & the PPP model and the professionalism embedded in the Concession that gives no room for partisan decisions, all appealed to the Public. Sample stretches exceeded expectations, creating a bond of trust and camaraderie with the people that helped the project move forward.

A redefining of the “Stake Holder”, and educating all the affected people –including street vendors – about the compelling need for transition, were support elements that reversed the Trust Deficit.

Inertia: The balance struck between commitments, rights and responsibility in the case of a PPP model was a threat to the contract delivery system that prevailed. This resulted in unhappiness within the administration as the Project working model threatened to upset established working arrangements. The Concessionaire, through a series of initiatives, conveyed to those who were apprehensive of their future, the need for reform. TCRIP gave the officials who chose to involve in the Project a sense of pride, which was never in their dictionary till then.

Tweaking of specifications: TRDCL had to modify the design specification in many contexts so that the final product met all user requirements on the ground while maintaining the design requirements as well as contractual obligations intact. This was a very difficult process. For example, it maintained low height footpaths, which could give the city an added friendly look and the pedestrians a very high level of comfort. Planting of more number of trees than specified, improving safety of pedestrians, reducing impact on environment, saving of energy and improving public appeal were all through tweaking of DPR specifications without affecting the Concession Agreement.

Poverty Alleviation: Poverty alleviation is a yardstick that the UN gives maximum importance to. In the case of TCRIP, the Concessionaires (TRDCL’s) contractor was initially Punj Lloyd Ltd. After the exit of PLL, the Concessionaire suggested execution of balance work through local contractors. Almost `3000m.

The decision of TRDCL to continue the Project by developing local contractors has resulted in generation of close to 2,00,000 mandays of work for the local work force. In the process of execution, ITNL also developed enterprising ordinary skilled workers into 37 quality-conscious contractors, capable of working to deadlines, meeting quality standards and the prescribed safety and health requirements. This has substantially helped to upgrade skill, improve employment opportunity and therefore, a significant effort to poverty alleviation.

Access to Services: Thiruvananthapuram, like many other Indian cities, had witnessed haphazard laying of utility lines. Water, Power, Communication and Sewage services have been reached to the public by laying the lines under pavement surface in varying depths. No utility agency has any map of the resource lines under the Bitumen top. Had the Concessionaire proceeded with work without waiting for the agencies to lay fresh lines wherever required, there would have been a need to dig up freshly laid roads. Though this has happened in a few cases, by and large the willingness to wait for the agencies to finish their work paid rich dividents.

Once new roads are laid, deterrent pricing for restoration of roads excavated for laying utility lines was the incentive for departments and agencies to think ahead, and sensibly. The Project also set out strict parameters of depth of laying utilities. This was in addition to the cross ducts which prevented, to an extent the need to cut open road surface.

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