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Delhi's metro success a lesson for Australia

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Anees, Jun 12, 2013.

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  1. Anees

    Anees Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Delhi's metro success a lesson for Australia

    Delivered on time, within budget, the project is one of the wonders of the world.

    [​IMG]

    Let's talk about something inspiring. So many good ideas in infrastructure never get built. This is about one that did: one of the great infrastructure achievements of our time, almost a miracle.

    Delhi is the world's second-biggest city, behind Tokyo. The United Nations estimates that in mid-2010 it had 22 million people - the population of Australia - spread across four neighbouring states. Traffic congestion is immense. Its buses are slow, hot and crowded. Until recently, its only railways were the long-distance lines to the rest of India.

    And then Delhi built a metro: a metro that, in the context of India, has become one of the wonders of the modern world.
    Planning began in 1995. Construction started in 1998. The first trains ran in 2002. It now has six lines, 143 stations, and carries 2 million passengers a day. By 2021, when stage four is complete, it will be bigger than the London Underground, and is forecast to carry 6 million passengers a day.

    As a rule, nothing in India's public sector works as intended. But the Delhi metro works: 99.97 per cent of trains arrive within one minute of schedule. They are clean, cool and safe. At peak hour, they come every 2½ minutes. It runs at a profit. Every stage has been completed on time, within budget. In India, in the modern world, that is a miracle.

    How did Delhi do it? And what can Australia learn from this model of world's best practice?
    I dislike the ''great men'' approach to history, but in this case, it's indisputable. Infrastructure projects in India are usually characterised by political interference, corruption, delays, cost overruns and inefficiency. The Delhi metro broke the mould because they appointed a quietly brilliant, incorruptible, inspiring team leader as director, and gave him freedom to run it as he chose.

    Elattuvalapil Sreedharan was already 63 and a folk hero to the urban middle class when he was asked to build the Delhi metro. He had just built the Konkan railway connecting Mumbai to Goa with similar efficiency, a formidable assignment with 150 bridges and 93 tunnels through landslide-prone hills. Originally from Kerala, India's best-educated and least corrupt state, he had spent decades in the Indian railways, winning fame by restoring a cyclone-damaged bridge to Rameswaram, between India and Sri Lanka, in just 46 days when six months was allowed for the job.

    Sreedharan agreed to take on the Delhi metro on one condition: no political interference. He hired a small, motivated staff, solely on merit, paid them well, and sent them overseas to study how the world's best metros worked. He insisted on developing expertise within the organisation, rather than relying on consultants.

    Deadlines and budgets had to be realistic and achievable; but once set, they were not to be altered, save in compelling circumstances. Once a decision was made, it was final. If anything went wrong, there was no hunt for scapegoats, only for solutions. A colleague told Forbes magazine that in 30 years of working together, he never heard Sreedharan shout at anyone.

    There was no mercy, however, if the issue was corruption, so rife in India. Anyone caught was out immediately. Sreedharan ignored the rule book on competitive tenders to award tenders to firms he trusted - but if they failed to deliver on time, quality and budget, they, too, were out. Politicians used to pulling strings to get jobs or contracts for their allies found their strings were cut.


    Delhi's metro success a lesson for Australia

    We salute you sir!!

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    Trivandrum needs Sreedharan for Monorail project too :respect:
     
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  3. RoYaN

    RoYaN Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  4. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    He has showed that it can be done... wow great work :tup:
     
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  5. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    I like this part... :smitten:
     
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  6. arun.id

    arun.id Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    I'm currently in Kerala doing college. Newspapers here everyday show some corruption related detail. The recent being the Blogatti something related.
     
  7. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    There's corruption. The Bolgatty issue is a creation of some communist party members.

    Convention centre at Bolgatty Island

    I thought you were a Keralite. :woot:
     
  8. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    I propose him as the head of DRDO.
     
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  9. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    DRDO is a multi headed snake. We cant just replace one head and say it gonna work. We need to split DRDO, then find people like him to head these departments. But a kewl call though...
     
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  10. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    I think, even if he isn't from defence related field, he can make a big difference in DRDO. But that won't ever happen, so let's just leave that.
     
  11. arun.id

    arun.id Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Nope. He should be infrastructure development minister.
    For DRDO it should be the old ISRO chief from Kerala, G. Madhavannair.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
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