As I reflect on the last two months of my pre occupation with my own business and new initiative in the area of financial services and technology, I am constantly reminded of my intense involvement with MEGA and comprehensive achievements by Team MEGA in a span of 2.5 years.
Project went on to achieve financial closure, freezing of all technical parameters, project locations and alignments. Alignment itself has been a source of constant discussion and debate over many years in all quarters, after many changes the alignment finally got frozen by a committee of Ministers in June 2012. Ofcourse it was not the final word ! yet another change !! Come july 2013 and few more changes got introduced in the city by the Committee of senior Ministers. Team had to work 24/7 to amend traffic model, revenue projections and indeed the whole project report. It was quite a task and simultaneously Bankers needed to be convinced as appraisal had been done by them. In yet another show of progress, the Team was able to achieve financial closure of the project even as I had prepared to leave MEGA.
Technical and financial closure of the project in itself are big tasks, but the biggest bane of projects in India is land acquisition. While general impression is that land acquisition from private owners is most difficult, the reality is that acquisition of land from public authorities is far more difficult as literally dozens of public authorities and officials are not aligned to the cause of the project. Sometimes its easy for private sector to get public land than for public sector !
Arranging land for stations, depot etc., had been going on ever since DMRC as a consultant came in the picture way back in 2003. Schedule of land available, identified and reserved. Alignment survey made in 2011, surprised us and senior officials as land earlier identified had vanished !
Also Read News of Sanjay Gupta Neesa & Cambay Group
So a fresh hunt was mounted for perfect land. However, the city has other priorities too,to which MEGA has responded by optimizing planning and design. The station building got planned right over the existing road with adequate headway. Such stations with ingress and egress from pavement was a bold design call and now the same is being adopted by other metros also. Still the land for depot remained elusive. Senior bureaucracy responded well and taking cue from the DMRC report, visited Motera and Indroda and the depot land issue got sorted out.
With land issue being no morea hindarance, technical and financial closure, MEGA is set to be rolled out as a unique state of the art, low cost rail transport project with most optimized designs.
MEGA is one of the most competitive engineering organization around and has been built with great care. There is a bright future ahead. The foundation for depot development and alignment clearance has been laid in the form of preliminary work. MEGA as a company has followed on the foot steps of great state PSUs like GSFC, GNFC, GMDC, GSPC etc., which have created huge value. MEGA has been following the same practices and procedures in decision making, procurement, and work award.
As per one informed professional study, the equity value of MEGA share is Rs 50 for Rs 10 share. It is some value creation.
Gujarat Government in its visionary decision had sent a DPR for the approval of Government of India way back in November 2011, all of us can guess why the matter of investment decision in a financially viable project like MEGA continues to be ‘under considertaion’ in GOI. Another State Government decision was to convey to GOI that MEGA is a 50:50 Joint venture with them.
Fortunately GOI has made some financial provision in Union Budget 2013-14
Hence it has been incumbent upon MEGA to follow procedures and practices in line with other GOI – State Government JV Metros, befitting the large infrastructure project.
Every award had been made with due processes and every work done after diligence and would pass the scrutiny in anyfinancial/process/socialaudit. MEGA has a great future and a great Team, MEGA processes have multiple checks and balances and can benchmark with the best in class in infrastructure sector in India. MEGA will be poised to undertake many more rail based infrastructure projects in the State of Gujarat under the very visionary leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon.Chief Minister.
People come and go….but policies, processes and project continue…that is the spirits of Gujarat.
Media and other stake holders continue to be kind. Sometimes kindness can be killing! But that is LIFE….More Later….Let India Fly Forever