If you are under the impression that Bihar has not changed since long and is one of the most backward state in terms of office infrastructure and work culture in government offices, expect the unexpected on entering the office of the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam (BRPNN) also known as Bihar State Bridge Construction Corporation Limited. Besides the sleek, well kept offices with visitors’ lounge and a gymnasium, it is the statistics of the work done in that office that surprises a visitor the most.
Sorry State of Bihar’s Roads
This otherwise dead corporation has constructed 336 bridges in past three years. Compare it to the fact that it had built 330 bridges since 1975 and you can yourself assess the sudden vitality that has been infused into the corporation. This corporation also earns the distinction of being the largest taxpayer in the Eastern India and has made a significant contribution of Rs 20 crore to the Chief Minister’s relief Fund during Kosi floods.
The obvious question that arises is “How has this metamorphosis been possible in a state known for rusted government machinery and government officials apt at siphoning off funds allotted for public projects?” The credit goes to a man known as Pratyaya Amrit, an IAS officer of 1991 batch who was called to his home state by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to head the corporation.
At that time, the corporation was on the verge of a shutdown. The salaries were unpaid since long which had resulted in the morale of the employees being in the boots. In fact, steps to liquidate the corporation had already been initiated by the Rabri Devi government. When IAS officer Pratyaya Amrit took over the office, the first thing he had to carry out was revamping of the office whose state could induce nausea to any sane man. After getting the office in shape, he took off for Katunjha in Sitamarhi only to find no work done on a bridge that was sanctioned 15 years ago. He transferred the engineer for non performance and announced fresh date for its inauguration. With the announcement of the date for inauguration, the company officials found very less time left to complete the work but with warning of serious consequences from Amrit, the bridge that proved vital during floods six months later was inaugurated on time.
Turn Around and Achievements
When Pratyaya Amrit took over the outfit, it was nose deep in debt of Rs 17 crore. Astonishing enough, it registered a profit of Rs 83.30 crore in just three years. The corporation receives full funding from the government but it charges nine percentage on every project that becomes the source of its earnings.
The corporation leaves no stone unturned to rise up to its slogan: “We Build Bridges of Confidence”. With a WiFi enabled campus, this is the only company in the state of Bihar that has received ISO 9001 and 14001 certification. A corporation that could never meet the deadlines is now preparing to beat them.
Besides being strict on deadlines, Amrit also used technology to boost the morale of its employees and institute checks at a number of places to monitor the progress of work. He outsourced SUVs for his engineers who had no vehicles to more around for inspections earlier. He also allowed them a maintenance allowance of Rs 18,000. He got all officials networked through BSNL CUG or Closed User Group to enable better and faster communication at reduced costs.
The Mobile Inspector System introduced by him allowed all Executive Engineers to use their GPRS enabled cell phones to take pictures of the bridge, add details like name, location and status and send them to the chairman to see on his computer every day. This has introduced a better sense of accountability. The corporation celebrates all festivals and also organises free yoga and medical camps for its employees.Pratyaya Amrit Interview in Hindi
Pratyaya Amrit believes that different people have different motivating factors for them and in an effort to pull every lever that he could, he created an environment conducive for work resulting in motivated employees. With the new found confidence, this corporation wants to grow even bigger and give more and more successful projects in time to the state of Bihar.