June 15, 2008

Bharat Nirman Intiative

Filed under: Governance — Bottom's Up @ 11:36 pm

Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar and the Congress seem to have started their election campaign as the elections approach. Take for example this recent address at University of Stanford [sic]. This speech should definitely throw some light on what the Congress’ election campaign is going to look like. Yes, they will be quick to take credit for a lot of things. Of course much would be made about equitable growth (a noble idea indeed which has so far been backed by misdirected or non existent policies). Yes, the Aam Aadmi will be talked about everywhere. And a good part of this Government promotion could be the Bharat Nirman schemes (if it is not already).

So lets take a quick look at the Bharat Nirman projects based on the numbers we have so far . A quick perusal of the website(s) for the same seems to turn up some good news, some OK to bad news and some no news. In terms of road building, only about 64% of the target for new roads has been achieved and 82% of the target for road upgrades has been achieved. However, for a Government that talks a lot about the Aam Aadmi, in terms of irrigation coverage only 56% of the target has been achieved. In terms of providing water supply to the citizenry, the target has been exceeded by about 9%. For rural housing projects, the numbers provided are broken down by state and due to time constraints, I have not had a chance to collate the data and analyze the same (getting in touch with the related department for collated numbers did not result in a response). For the number of telephone lines provided and electrification of habitations, a quick perusal seems to not turn up any data at the time of writing this post. Now if we consider anything over 85% as a good performance, we have two cases of bad performance, one of satisfactory performance, one of good performance and two cases of no news. By any standards (except the benchmark of the previous 60 years), this is not a great performance. It is not terrible, but not something that they should be promoting as a great success.

Of course we are not even talking about the quality of the work that has been completed. Maybe these roads in desolate areas would survive a little longer than election time. And maybe the water being delivered to the homes would be more than a token few hours daily.


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