Monday, August 26, 2013

Airport Metro-rail work not moving

Construction work on the Chennai OTA-Airport section of the metro-rail has been brought to a stand still, with the sacking of the contractors. They, presumably,deserved the sack much earlier, for their dismal pace of progress in work. With barely 8 months left for the April 2014 target the contractors - Lanco Infratech Ltd. - had 70 percent job unfinished when the Chennai Metro-Rail authorities chose to terminate the contract.

And, they say, it would take 3 to 4 months for them to finalize a fresh contractor. Upshot is an indefinite delay in project completion, well beyond the the April 2014 target. That the cost of the delay (who computes it, and how ?) would be borne by Lanco Infratech is no consolation for the travelling public. You and I have now no idea when the job on the 5-km metro-rail would get done, eventually.

We are accustomed to a state of affairs where completion of a contracted public project on time is more an exception than the rule. A more pertinent question is: why did Chennai Metro-Rail take so long to take action ? They wake up only months before the April 2014 target date, when the late-Latif of a contractors  have so much as 70 percent work yet to be done, on the metro-rail stretch between OTA and Airport.

What has the monitoring agency been doing till now ? Shouldn't Chennai Metro-rail officials responsible for shoddy monitoring be identified and penalized ? Maybe,  you can't touch their basic pay, but shouldn't their pay-hike and promotion be held up for the duration of the work delay ?

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