It is a well-known fact that our country has a lot of youngsters because Indians don’t live long. It is a lot worse when it comes to government buildings and structures because they don’t usually complete “quarter” of their lifespan. Also, their failure takes some more lives of Indians (mostly public) with them. In this article, we are going to discuss political, technical and corruption behind the short lifespan of our government buildings and structures. Following is the concise statement of many contractors I have met in tamilnadu during my experience.
Design and Detailing of Government buildings and structures – Impossible standards
In the beginning of any project, government engineers will prepare Plan, design and estimate of the project. They will design with the aim of “high safety”: not for the well being of the structures but for the well being of themselves. For example, if 16mm rod is enough for the beam they will design with 20 mm rod, and if M20 grade concrete is enough for the members they will design with M25 or M30 grade with OPC cement.
Estimation work – Ridiculously low
PWD’s “schedule of rate” will be used to prepare the estimation of the structures. “Schedule of rates” contains the cost of all the construction materials. If you ever purchased a land you would know how vastly different is the land rate according to government and the market land rate. Likewise, the cost of the materials in the “Schedule of Rates” is very lower than the actual market rate of the materials. Therefore, Government estimate of the project will be RIDICULOUSLY LOW
Who takes Government Contract?
Cotractors construct the Government buildings and structures. These contractors should have previous experience in government projects. If they want to apply for 50 crores project then they should have experience in undertaking 20 crores project for some time. Likewise, if they want to undertake 20 crores project they should have experience with 5 crores project for some time. Therefore only a big kahuna (a type of fish) can only take the bigger project.
Companies like L&T will only take project above 50crores and “I think” they usually deliver good work with big profit. Corruption, malpractices and poor quality is higher in smaller projects. That’s why, roads near your house is full of potholes and ruts whereas NH roads are in good condition.
Reasons for Corruption, False practice and poor quality of Government Structures
With impossibly high standards and very low estimate no one can complete the government project and get profit unless they quote low and finish the project with poor quality. Also, government gives the project to the contractors who quote the lowest and fills their pocket with bribe. Hence only contractors who political power, muscle power, courage to face problems and the ability to cheat can get government projects.
Bribery Percentages to officials and Politicians
Bribery is the cancer that cracks the government structures and kills the citizens. To secure a government contract, contractor should give 20% of the total project cost to the politicians then 10 % to the government officials. You would think that government officials are taking less percentage than politicians but you are wrong. Bribe for politicians is a only single time payment but the government officials gets bribe for every work like for inspection, passing of bills etc..,
Whats are your thoughts? can you share without fear?