By Doug Hudgeon
The Cost Reduction Tip
Some problems just need to be fixed, regardless of cost. Last year, near our apartment in South Delhi, maintenance workers spent more than two months resurfacing our road. Every fortnight thereafter (and possible continuing to this day), a sinkhole would appear in the road and a roadwork crew would come and resurface the road.
Shortly before we left Delhi, the wheels of a water truck broke through the road surface into a cavity that everyone aside from the road works department suspected was there.
What did the department of roads do?
They sent another road crew to resurface the road. The problem, of course, is not with the surface of the road but with what’s underneath (or what’s not underneath in this case); and even if they permanently stationed a road crew next to this intersection, they would not fix the problem.
Tackling the core problem – the sinkhole created by leaking water pipes – is simply too frightening to contemplate and so the endless road repair work continues.
One of Delhi’s core problems is the poor quality of its water infrastructure. Many thousands of Delhi residents go without enough water not because of inadequate supply but because of inadequate distribution (more info).
Fixing this problem will be costly and difficult but Delhi must do it before it will be considered a world-class city.
Delaying the repairs will not make the work less expensive or easier to do. In fact, each day’s delay costs the city dearly in more road works, water distribution by trucks, and lost productivity from households spending part of their day securing an adequate water supply. Not spending the money to fix it now is false economy.
Doug Hudgeon who is lawyer and vendor management professional who has branched into finance and accounting shared services management.