PLANNING FOR WHAT?
Given by the fate of execution, implementation and enforcement in the country, anybody would be surprised to see the quantum of time, energy, money and presumably effort which goes into the planning process. Not only that, the complexity would also throw you out of gear. The approvals of any small plan or project goes through snakes and ladders sort of administrative / governmental process, that by the time it is out, in all likelihood there would a number of critical elements, which would have lost its relevance. *The biggest challenge is to find out, what is the planning being done for and how does it connect with the harsh realities* of what we intend to do and more importantly, what we have set out to solve.
The litany of our failures of implementation in specific areas, in relevant ecosystems, nobody wants to get into. How can one make the planners understand that something has gone amiss and that too seriously amiss to have continuously missed the bull’s everytime by a mile or so. The planners as consultants never go wrong. The final blame would always go the implementation agency. The other reality is also true, is that how can we plan without the knowing the implementation / enforcement mechanism. Have we ever prescribed precise execution or we are fine with creating a bundle called a Detailed Project Report or by whatever nomenclature we call it and surreptitiously pass it to the maze of implementation agencies to make whatever head or tail out of it.
The story of the Projects generally have another story, they seem to be born with the destiny of not seeing the light of the day till at least the adulthood of the approved document or plan. We have seen such projects dotting our urban spaces as well and we navigating in and out of it, for decades. Certainly, it’s a cause of celebration, whenever it happens. The immense cost and time which goes into this planning is for what, is the billion dollar question? By what means can it be justified? The moral of the story is what we ourselves define our jobs, responsibilities and delivery and the rest of the world can go to hell. The planner and approver have decided to hand it in mid air and call the shots. If we are not planning for implementation and its impact, then what have we been planning for?
Presumably, it can be done on a software then. The beauty of the Indian planner is that every time he goes to a new drawing board and starts afresh.*Leave aside institutional wisdom, the basic data might be missing, he has to make amends and additionally timelines have to be met with and yet again a similar document is created to meet the same fate. After decades being spent going in for legislations through an extremely tedious process comes out epitomes of non-implementation. A new India Implementation Act can enacted to comprehensively implement unimplemented sections of all other laws. Planning for planning purpose cannot make us build a superpower.
PLANNERS ARE EQUAL CULPRITS IN NON-DELIVERY, IF NOT MORE.