June 2007

Works Information System in PWD Delhi

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The web based works information system has been developed by the Public Works Department, Delhi for this purpose. The web based platform provided in the Works Information System enables the field executives to report on the works by feeding information from their respective offices, at their convenience. This involves no duplication of efforts, it provides an instant access to the required information

At any given moment of time, hundreds of works under thousands of contract agreements are in progress in Public Works Department (PWD). Besides these there are several sanctioned works yet to start and there are other works in pipe-line i.e. in planning/conceptual stage. All stake-holders involved viz., client departments, Departments of Finance and Planning, Government of Delhi, even public in general crave for information in respect of all these works. For monitoring and managing of these works, periodic reports in the prescribed format have been specified.

For preparation of these reports, information flows from the primary level of field executives viz., sub division/division office through circle i.e. Superintending Engineer/ Project Manger and zones i.e. Chief Engineer to the head of the department viz., Engineer-in-Chief (PWD). PWD headquarters then compile the same for providing reports to the government. viz bureaucrats and political masters.

In the ‘information age’ this process proves to be highly unsatisfactory, because the reports can not be compiled unless the information has been received from all the agencies concerned, then by the time that is accomplished, these reports are already time expired. Besides this, it is a very un-user friendly means to access information from voluminous bunch of paper records and tables. As a result thereof, the reports which are prepared after considerable efforts and time consumption are seldom referred to for deriving information therefrom.  At the same time, it leaves information seeker completely dissatisfied. A computerised information system is thus not only a valid expectation, it is rather an absolute necessity for any such organisation.

The web based works information system has been developed by PWD Delhi for this purpose. The web based platform provided in the Works Information System enables the field executives to report on the works by feeding information (including visual information viz., site/construction photographs) from their respective offices, at their convenience. This involves no duplication of efforts, no physical transfer of reports required to communicate to higher offices, no manual compilation efforts required at any level; it provides an instant access to the required information in the manner desired by the user.

PWD Delhi

Any Public Works Department in India, typically caters to an annual work load of millions of INR. PWD Delhi at present caters to an annual work load of approximately INR 100,00 million over various works. These works fall basically in two categories:

i)  Road infrastructure works
ii) Buildings infrastructure works.

Besides the works regarding construction of new assets and upgradation of existing ones, PWD Delhi have approximately 2000 kms lane length of prime roads in Delhi alongwith several flyovers, bridges and pedestrian facilities thereon. It also has approximately 7.5 million sqms. of non-residential and residential buildings plinth area, spread over hundreds of different campuses all over Delhi, for maintenance .

Design of the Works Information System: The PWD works are further sub-divided into convenient classification viz.,:

Road Sector:

1. Road works (i.e. road widening/resurfacing/lighting/footpath/railing etc.)
2. Flyover works (including underpasses, road over bridges etc.)
3. Bridge works (Bridges over river ponds, drains etc.)
4. Pedestrian subways
5. Foot over Bridges (with and without escalators)

Building Sector:

1. Hospitals
2. Dispensaries
3. Schools
4. Colleges
5. Fire stations
6. Police Stations etc.

Structuring of works in this manner provides the facility to the information seeker, who may be an official of a particular department or a member of public, to see the category of work of interest to him; without having to fish out the relevant works from a long list or voluminous reports. This arrangement is therefore found to be very convenient because the user is not burdened with unnecessary information load.

The Life Cycle of Works: The works database gets built up gradually, as a work progresses in its life cycle from ‘concept’ to ‘completion’ over different stages viz;

1. Work in planning stage
2. Work in sanctioned stage (but not yet in progress)
3. Work already in progress and
4. Completed work

The system categorises ‘works’ into this classification automatically, based upon the inputs gradually built in by the executives over the life cycle of the work. This facility lets the viewer derive the information in respect of any selected group of works e.g. Fire stations in progress or Hospital works sanctioned but not yet started etc. The user can provide any selection as per his information requirement.

Building up the Works Database: As soon as any work is conceptualised, its available details and attributes are fed into the ‘Work Basic Information’ module of the system. Thereby a new work gets created in the system. Now, as the planning process of the work moves on, its details are captured in the ‘Planning details’ sub-module of the ‘work basic information’. Further when the work passes through the sanction and tendering process, the details thereof are input in the relevant modules of the ‘work basic information’. Besides this, the associated information in respect of PWD works, which is required for different monitoring processes, such as land encroachment details, Rain water harvesting details, Flyash usage details etc., are also fed in the ‘other details’ sub-module of the work basic information.

This gradual build-up of database is found very convenient by the information providing executives, who fill up the required details into the web based system from their offices by and by. The same comes very handy for deriving the required information online by the management on various aspects of the projects such as:

i)   Building Plans pending for sanction with civic agencies with reason/details thereof
ii)  Details of sanctioned works that have not yet started
iii)  Flyash usage by PWD for its different works
iv)  Encroachment details on PWD land
v)   Rain water harvesting for different projects etc.

Progress viz a viz Targets: At the start of any financial year, the annual physical & financial targets for various PWD works are fed into the system by all the executives for their respective projects, by utilising the ‘quarterly targets’ module. As the works progress, monthly physical and financial progress is fed in against the pre-planned targets in the ‘monthly progress’ module. Besides physical progress in percentage terms and financial progress in the form of expenditure, the executives can upload the latest site/construction photograph also. Descriptive status of work and more importantly the hindrances experienced by them for smooth/timely execution of the project are also indicated. The activity-wise detailing/programme is provided for each sub-work in the form of milestone charts into the system. There is a separate module ‘Milestone Reports’ for the same.

Works Reports: The reporting structure is designed to be a graduated one. ‘Brief report’ provides broad/basic information in respect of selected group of works. Selection of works can be specified by the user on the basis of:

a)  Cost of works e.g. all the works above INR 50 million or any other selection by user etc.
b)  Classification of works e.g. hospitals, fire stations, police stations, flyovers etc.
c)   Executing authority e.g. PWD Zone/Circle/Division
d)  Stage, e.g. In progress, sanctioned but yet to started, planning stage etc.

Brief report provides brief information in respect of selected group of works for a chosen work, from the brief report on a selected group of works, the user can access comprehensive details including latest photograph of the work by seeing the ‘Complete Status Report’ of a given work  This also provides the facility of a photo gallery, that stores the photographs of the project uploaded at different times in the past thereby showing how the works has progressed over the period of time. Yet another level of detailing is provided in the form of ‘Milestone Report’ which depicts the activity– wise details of a given work or its sub-works.

Intelligence in the system

The system has been provided with essential validations and a little intelligence e.g. when the descriptive status of work is fed into the system, it ask for ‘as on date’ first and the user cannot feed a future date for the same. Similarly the ‘Expected Date of Completion’ of a project is picked up by the system as the latest date from amongst various dates of completion fed in by the user for different components/sub-works and activities of the project e.g. if a user inputs the expected date of completion as March 2008, whereas the detailing available in the system contains the latest date say ‘lifts’ to be provided by June 2008, the system will show the expected date of completion as June 2008 ignoring the users incorrect input as March 2008.

The system also keeps the history of change of dates and remarks. This provides a very useful information and a potent tool to the manager/ bureaucrats monitoring the projects e.g if the activity-wise detailing originally shows the programme of completion of foundation work as January 2007 but because of slow progress and hindrance it was revised twice as March 2007 and then June 2007. The current programme viz., completion by June 2007 will be seen with the ‘history’ mark against this date showing that what were the earlier dates input into the system for this activity and when were these revised by the user.

Access Control: The input into the system is access controlled through ‘Login’ module, thereby the executives are able to access the works under their jurisdiction only for adding or modifying information thereto. However the output i.e. reports on the works are accessible to all including the members of public through ‘guest login’ feature.

Conclusion

The Works Information System in PWD Delhi has truly revolutionised the information accessibility making the latest status available online. The same is used for all the monitoring meetings including upto the level of the Chief Minister and is accessed by public including people from media for deriving information in respect of PWD works. The use of web based platform, thus provided, is not limited only to the works Information; the system is utilised for monitoring the inventory of PWD assets, court and arbitration cases etc. And the further development are also going to integrate the annual plan, budget and accounting system with the Works Information System.

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