IIT Madras develops Integrated Database on Infrastructure Projects for Governments, Funding Agencies, Developers & Researchers

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Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras has launched a Data Platform of ‘Integrated Database on Infrastructure Projects’ (IDIP) aimed at enhancing the efficiency of infrastructure development in India and enable effective decision-making among different stakeholders involved in the infrastructure sector.

India’s infrastructure network is among the largest in the world. The Government of India along with different State Governments and Local Agencies has embarked on an ambitious investment-led plan to boost the capacity and quality of infrastructure services.

The Data Platform was launched today (29th May 2019) during the 15th World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR) conference held at IIT Bombay in a special session on Public-Private Partnership in Indian Transport Sector. It can be accessed at www.idip.co.in. The data platform was released by Prof. G. Raghuram, Director, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, in the presence of Prof. Thillai Rajan A, IIT Madras, and Prof. Swapnil Garg, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Management Indore and Co-ordinator of PPPINDIANET.

Speaking about the importance of this Infrastructure Data platform, Prof. G. Raghuram, said, “Databases such as the IDIP highlight what the real issues in the sector are. Such data also help investors and developers to understand the performance of the existing projects and formulate their investment strategies for the sector.”

The initial focus of IDIP would be on the Road Sector, which has received the highest private investment among all infrastructure sectors. The PPP (Public Private Partnership) programme in the roads sector in India is the largest in the world.

Highlighting the unique points of this database, Principal Investigator of the Project, Prof A. Thillai Rajan, Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras, said, “Availability of high quality and reliable data has been biggest bugbear in the Indian Infrastructure Development. The objective of IDIP is to address this strong need. The comprehensiveness of data available in IDIP is unmatched. Availability of this facility would provide a big impetus for research in infrastructure and promote evidence-based decision making among policy makers, funding agencies, and developers.”

Salient features of the IDIP platform include:

Ø Data coverage across the project lifecycle comprising development, construction and operation phases. Close to 50 different parameters are tracked for the projects,

Ø Data curated and validated from multiple sources,

Ø Covers almost all the PPP road projects awarded so far, including those awarded by the state governments. The database would be enriched with the NHAI EPC projects shortly,

Ø Only source that provides the financial performance data of the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs),

Ø Querying, visual analytics and search features of the platform facilitate ease of analysis and decision making, and

Ø In addition to roads, other transportation sectors such as Railways, Ports, and Airports would also be included in the platform shortly. In the next phase, the coverage of IDIP would also encompass other sectors of infrastructure such as power, transmission, water supply, sanitation and solid waste management.

Technical expertise for the development was contributed by faculty members from multiple institutions. Faculty members who contributed in this effort are Dr. Ashwin Mahalingam, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, Dr. Akash Deep, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, Prof. Venkata Santosh Kumar Delhi, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Bombay, Prof Ganesh Devkar, CEPT University. The development partner for the project was Akara Research and Technologies.

Mr. Sethuraman, Director, Akara Research and Technologies, who is the development partner for this Data Platform, said, “IDIP currently has the data for all PPP projects and efforts are on to increase the coverage to other sectors, namely, seaports, airports, water & sanitation and power. The data for each project is updated regularly including the performance of the SPVs.”

Prof. Swapnil Garg, Associate Professor, IIM Indore and Co-ordinator of PPPINDIANET, said, “I found the IDIP to be quite comprehensive and also correct. I checked the validity of data for a small sample of projects that I have been tracking for a decade now. It will be very useful for researchers who work in to develop the nations PPP expertise.”

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