EPC is still the best model best suited for infra projects, says Raj Kumar, CMD, Rodic Consultants

How do you look upon the Government’s approach in regards to project awarding and execution for the sector?
Infrastructure is critical for the social and economic development of the country. The GoI has allocated Rs. 111 lakh crore (US$1.4 trillion) under the National Infrastructure Pipeline for FY2019-25 with considerable investment planned for the energy, roads, urban and railways sector. This offers huge opportunities to be tapped by players in infrastructure sector. While the government follows a conventional approach of bidding to award projects, it is imperative to do the evaluation and assessment of the capabilities of contractors bidding for the project, to ascertain on-time delivery, quality and cost effectiveness.

Considering the current uncertainties and ongoing pandemic situation which model will be best suited for infra majors like you in bidding and executing projects? Also considering the ROI benefits. 
EPC is still the best model best suited for infra projects provided that Schedule H is amended and contractor cash flow is maintained in such a way that progress is achieved as per Schedule specified in Contract. Government has already considered relaxation in payments based on actual executions of works rather than Schedule H and has given relaxation for money retention and performance security.

Tell us about your unique executionary modes while planning, executing and maintenance of projects. 
Deployment of right type of staff that has the dedication to complete the project within allocated budget, specified time and quality as per the contract. Apart from this ensuring adequate safety measures is also critical. Efficient planning is required for optimum usage of manpower and machinery and completion of the project within budgeted profit margin. During execution, utmost care must be taken regarding quality so that maintenance in defect liability period is minimal.

Please name few of your current projects being executed and in pipeline?
We have more than 72 ongoing projects at the moment. Few current projects being executed are GSHP II Road Project in Gujarat which is on EPC Mode, Chhattisgarh Loan III Project in State of Chhattisgarh which is on BOQ Mode. Projects that are due for inauguration shortly are the R block Digha Bridge Project in Bihar and the ADB Manipur Road project.

What are the approaches you adopt while selecting machineries for your projects?
Our approach is to look at cost, suitability, constructability due to schedule, lead time, start-up/commission-ability, ease and cost of operations and maintenance, total cost of ownership, experience and reputation of the equipment manufacturer, noise criteria (NC), lifespan, environmental health attributes and safety.