How many times have you driven past a street where construction work for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is being carried out behind eight-feet high metal barricades? But, did you ever notice that now, it is no longer just the DMRC which follows this norm, even small contractors, laying sewage pipes or digging to lay telecom cables, have followed suit.
DMRC’s style of working has completely changed the approach to civic work in the Capital. The spillover of a better work culture is becoming very evident on Delhi streets and construction sites now.
DMRC spokesman Anuj Dayal takes great pride in the fact that wearing helmets on construction sites is now commonplace in Delhi. “Safety gear has a two-fold impact. The first is the safety of the person on the site. The second and equally important factor is that it instills a sense of pride in people that the work they are doing is important. That pride is very crucial for motivation.”
Dayal, like many others, has noticed that DMRC workers don’t take off their helmets even on a tea break. More importantly, construction workers — irrespective of who they are working for — have been issued helmets in several places.
“I got a few labourers who had worked for DMRC on contract earlier. They asked for helmets and I thought it was not such a difficult request. After sometime all my labourers wanted them. But it has improved their attitude. Fewer people miss work now and they are more careful,” says K.K. Yadav, who carried out small construction jobs in the Badarpur area.
Helmets and barricading aren’t the only things that have slowly made their way into Delhi’s engineering environment. Flow of information has also made it to the list.
Earlier it was only DMRC officials who came and informed Residents’ Welfare Associations about construction work in the area. “Last month, an MCD engineer came and told us about sewage work that will be carried out,” says P.K. Bose, a resident of MIG flats, Rajouri Garden.
In Mayapuri, residents asked a contractor who was repairing colony roads to place traffic marshal at night if work was carrying on, as visitors would not know how to find their way to the main road. “I could not provide a trained marshal but I did place two men with fluorescent jackets on the road to guide passing vehicles,” says Madan Thapar, the foreman of the project.
And while it may take a long time yet to resemble the West, Delhi Metro Rail has certainly ushered in the beginning of a better work culture.