Comprehensive and well-coordinated Infrastructure planning is a prerequisite in developing a new town or housing estate and is carried out in tandem with the master town planning and well in advance of any physical developments. It serves to establish the full infrastructure requirements and guide their timely implementation thereby ensuring quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the infrastructure provisions for the proposed development.
Specific functional modes of Infrastructure can be listed as Streets, roads, water supply and water resources, waste water management, sewage treatment plants, solid-waste treatment and disposal, electric power generation and transmission, telecommunications and hazardous waste management etc.
Infrastructure planning can be conceived as a multi-stage process. Each of these stages varies in duration. The greater the time spent on project preparation and structuring, the more likely it is that the project can be implemented smoothly and in a cost-effective manner. Hasty project preparation often leads to rework of documents, leads to false or missing information, and leads to project delays.
The planning process must to take into the local context. More specifically;
• Local needs should be satisfied.
• The project should comply with the existing institutional and legal frameworks
• The project should align with political objectives and ideology
• The project should be technically and economically feasible
Various stages of planning are listed below:
a) Preliminary Feasibility Study
The preliminary feasibility stage of the project establishes the need for the project. Existing information as well as field visits are conducted to substantiate the need for a project. This phase also determines the kinds of detailed studies that need to be undertaken.
b) Detail Study and Project Structuring
This stage is most time consuming. During this stage various technical studies like Geotechnical, land surveys are taken up. Economic market study, Environmental compatibility, Environmental Impact Assessment, Socio-economic Cost Benefit Analysis, Financial Analysis.
c) Detailed Project Report (DPR)
At the conclusion of the above stage, a Detailed Project Report (DPR) is also prepared with detailed technical specifications Financial Engineering and Structuring must also be done during this stage. Lenders, Terms of Loan (Tenors and Rates of Interest), mix of debt and equity, and user charges can all be modelled to determine the financial viability of the project. For Private participation in infrastructure, the private sector may be tasked with many of these studies.
d) Contracting and Procurement
Once the DPR is prepared, the project can be contracted out. Expressions of Interest are sought, Requests for Proposals are sought. Pre-bid conferences are held to clarify terms of the project. Proposals are evaluated and a successful bidder is selected for execution. In the case of Private Provision of Infrastructure, a winning bidder is selected based on their ability both to build and operate the infrastructure.
The successful bidder then proceeds with the construction of the project. Material, manpower and productivity risks must be managed in this phase. Once the project has been built and commissioned, operations can commence and the infrastructure service can be availed by the citizens.
f) Operations and Maintenance
An Operations and Maintenance Contract can be given to a separate party. Maintenance Parameters can be fixed well in advance. Technical Maintenance and quality issues, Revenue generation issues and Administrative risks must be considered in this phase.
Editor’s Note: Masters has been involved with several township developments these include Batanagar Township at Kolkata, IQ City at Durgapur. In addition we have executed large-scale developments such as L&T Phoenix SEZ at Hyderabad, Godrej Prakriti at Kolkata and Godrej Anandam at Nagpur and Riverdale at Pune all of which had considerable infrastructure requirements.