Lessons in management: illegal IT park at illegal Metro depot

According to Express Newsline, impressed by DMRC?s
work culture, Army, Navy, Air Force and BSF have asked
it for a crash course in management. Ten commanding
officers from the College of Defence Management at
Secunderabad have requested a presentation by DMRC
chief. The forces would have visited Metro office and
taken a ride too ? today.

Also today, according to The Hindu, construction would
have started on the first of three buildings on DMRC?s
15 Ha of Special Economic Zone to promote IT. L&T will
work round the clock to meet the December 2004
deadline. The IT project "is expected to attract a
number of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies
and call centres" and DMRC is concentrating on proper
publicity to optimise returns, having already sent an
executive to Bangalore IT fair with the project model.
The report says that while initially there was
resistance on account of the site being on Yamuna
riverbed, CWC reviewed its position after the
Lieutenant Governor intervened to plead DMRC's cause.

Management indeed!

Promotion of IT has nothing to do with DMRC?s mandate.
While DMRC is empowered to raise 7% of its project
(mass transit only) cost through property development,
that does not license it to diversify and increase
costs (including publicity costs) and, therefore, the
7% that it may raise.

CWC has no authority to allow commercial use on
riverbed in contravention of Delhi Master Plan. And LG
is DDA Chairman and, under Delhi Development Act,
duty-bound to take action against violations of Delhi
Master Plan and not plead their cause.

CGWA has notified the riverbed for drinking water
purpose and withdrawal of ground water from it for,
say, construction by L&T is unlikely to merit
exceptional permission from CGWA, nor is CGWA
permission substitutable by extra-constitutional
processes like LG pleading DMRC cause with CWC.

All public and constitutional servants, including
metro chief and LG, are duty-bound to uphold the
sanctity of Public Notice process open to citizens for
expressing their views about modifications of
statutory entitlements. Objections filed in response
to Public Notice of 16.12.02 about change of land use
of this site have yet to be heard.

A public authority meant to provide public transit has
managed to look good spending public money on a
project violating laws protecting public land and
water and opportunity for public scrutiny and comment
to promote call centres and BPO companies. The
question is not whether this is a remarkable case of
?management?, which it undoubtedly is, but whether it
should be tolerated, let alone celebrated they way it
is being.

On 29.10.03 (when The Prince went for Metro-darshan)
in High Court I overheard DDA counsel say that,
pursuant to Yamuna encroachment removal orders, survey
of Pushta will be complete in 2 months. By then we?ll
have elected a new assembly over issues of dengue
machchar and swiss diplomat, EC cover for slums will
be over, illegal night shelter compassion freely
flowing, metro hard-selling its illegal property,
organised civil society busy in global discourse in
Mumbai ? near photocopy of last year?s backdrop to
mid-winter evictions, somewhat more humiliating for
its remarkable ?management?.

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