Friday, September 4, 2009


On railways the objective is to strengthen the infrastructure of the system and run the transport services as economically as possible. The planning system, therefore, need to be adopted and practiced with foresight, caution and technical skill. The project works are started with the sanction of the detailed estimates. The works-in-progress are controlled with the allotment of funds needed annually. A review of the works after completion has revealed that on a number of projects the time over runs are to the extent of 200 %.
The analyses for these variations as compared with abstract estimates indicate the following reasons:
delays in implementation and execution of the works
underestimation of the project expenditure
want of resources and adequate funds allotment
works started on urgency certificates without the support of detailed traffic surveys and techno economic surveys
The guiding principles for execution of works and avoid the time over runs and cost over runs are described below
it should be ensured that the implementation of the scheme or a project should be within the financial and physical resources
execution should be within the prescribed time schedules
systems like Programme Evaluation Review Technique (PERT), Critical Path Method (CPM) and Bar Charts should be adopted to identify the critical items of work and monitor their progress
it should be ensured that all preliminary works like acquisition of land, preparation of detailed estimates, drawing are done systematically
The cost and time over runs adversely affect the financial appraisals of railway projects. In justifying the projects railways have basically followed Discounted Cash Flow method to calculate the anticipated Rate of Return (ROR). The DCF method basically lays importance of cash flows and the time schedules. Any delays and excess costs while executing the works, will upset the conclusion arrived and decisions taken at the planning stage. The railways at zonal level have full fledged construction organization. There is an imperative need to ensure that projects are completed as scheduled in the planning stage. The decision for project implementation should be based on detailed studies conducted in the from of Traffic Surveys, Final Location Surveys and Techno Economic Surveys

For example, the line capacity can be increased by improved signally systems, provision of crossing facilities, doubling the section in a phased manner. The selection of appropriate scheme should be based on in-depth study and the needs of corporate plan.
The time and cost over runs can be avoided to a larger extent by the following
1. Many errors originate in imperfect knowledge of the field of enquiry. A good knowledge of the area of investigation is essential.
2. The information collected should be subjected to statistical enquiry
3. the analysis of fluctuation from month to month can provide a good way to foresee events with regard to the project implementation
4. the project implementation should be entrusted to the experienced personnel in the field
5. the variable factors in the project implementation should be studied at each stage
The railway management should accord priority to completer the works by allotting adequate funds. The project implementation should be reviewed quarterly at the higher levels of management at zonal railways. Once the project is sanctioned the preparation of detailed plans, estimates should be fixed in a time frame and strictly adhered to.

The following precautions/steps are therefore required to be taken to minimize the time over runs and cost over runs
Each work in progress should be given priority fro early completion by providing adequate funds rather than including more number of new works with lesser allotment of funds.
Meticulous ranking of works on priority basis is of particular significance for works of doubling, traffic facilities, S&T workshop modernization where the objectives are to achieve increased efficiency or better safety.
The co ordination between various executive authorities should be with reference to PERT and CPM charts and not on the basis of routine correspondence to avoid this over runs.
The out lay against each work should be adequate to enable the work being completed within a reasonable time.
To avoid cost over runs the full details of the scheme must be worked out with the realistic assessment of quantities and the prices at the current rates.
no scheme should be included in the railway’s preliminary works programme unless detailed plans and estimates have been prepared and kept ready to avoid time over runs
with a view to improve the system of monitoring the n going works, as per the anticipated schedule, a quarterly review of the works in progress should be conducted at GM’s level with the concerned field officers.
The physical and financial progress should be periodically reviewed by he field officers to ensure completion of the projects on due dates with reference to corresponding period of last year.
for each work the position regarding preparation of plans, estimates, calling of tenders, award of contracts, should time bound to avoid excess over estimates
At present the zonal railways indicate their works in progress in the preliminary works programme received in the railway board by September each year. This time schedule does not give enough time to the railway board to review the progress and issue policy directives. The monitoring system of works in progress should be delinked with the regular programmes and given priority to focus on the delays and consequent time and cost over runs.

No comments:

Post a Comment