DailyPost 2656

How are projects created? Is it a dire need? Or it is based on facts / data to prove a requirement? Does the project emanate out of an organic need? Or it is created on the whims and fancies of powers that be? The outcome of projects are based on projections which the project had planned to deliver and the planning, fund outlay, execution and timelines were all fine-tuned accordingly. Only such an outcome can justify huge capital investments. If the outcome met the projections, the project turns out to be a commendable success. The justification of creation of one project out of hundreds in the waiting is another issue.

That a particular project was able to meet its projections successfully is a feat that is barely achieved in this country. Usage in another great area in this projection’s imbroglio. Once the service-related projects are commissioned and are up and running and the usage does not happen, then what is the project worth? What is our scientific formula to reach projections, which are objective and empirical and is a proven one over long durations of time and across projects? If that is not the case then projects will keep continuing to be untenable.

Wasteful expenditure then becomes the order of the day. Elements with vested interests in the corridors of power can create projects and get away with it. That seems to be precisely the case in large number of projects. As a logical corollary it also means the projections can be provided to suit whatever has already been decided upon. Projections thus becomes an ideal filler. Formula and data leading to projections to provide a perfect fit to the rationale of the project is churned out and made available. Everyone is convinced of the fact that once the project is approved, projections will never be visited upon, for their safety.

In a resource scarce economy this is unacceptable. What the country is fighting for is basic necessities to a reasonable quality of life and not the levels of developed countries. A recent report of IIT-D says that Metros in India have less than 50% ridership. There are routes in some metro networks where the train runs nearly empty. This is just of give an indication of great projection machine, which can justify anything. Whatever might be the reasons, the projections machine has been failing us over and over again, project after project, is irrefutable. Nobody wants to gets into either the nitty gritty or the project learnings, they would rather go in for a new project. Detailed research of some 100-200 projects for sure would rip apart the myth of projections.

Sanjay Sahay

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