Chennai 22 June 2011
Did I need a drink! My oh my….I will not name my project, but those who know where I am know the project I am talking about. I just want to share the sheer frustration in relation to this project. While this is not representative for all projects in this region or India in particular it is certainly something that many of my colleagues can relate too when it comes to the final stages of commissioning a project. Now I have to clarify that we have not been to site since September last year, not because we did not want to just because the client felt it not necessary for us to come. As our travel arrangements are reimbursable separately from our fees, this may have had something to do with it…
Let me just run you through some of the issues…First, light fixtures not properly looped together. In other words some lights switch on together that should be separated. Why? The electrician/ contractor thought it was easier to wire this way, did not really check the drawings, did not really care. Second, lights that are supposed to be dimmable are not. Why? The non-dimmable version was cheaper, saved a lot of money. Yes, but…. Another one… shoddy installation. Linear lights poorly aligned, resulting in awful light throw with uneven light distribution. Never mind we have proper details showing how to install, connect and align the lights. Who reads these details on site anyhow? Best of all, cheap local replacements for the lights you specified. It is not only the fittings. In some cases we found that the original lamp specification was replaced with some replacement bulbs found on the local market. There was I wondering why 2 out of the 5 down lights in the same circuit had only half the brightness. Only after some probing I found out.
The list goes on and on. It is a strange mentality because in the end the cheap alternatives, whether product or contracting work, are counter-productive. After having to repair, correct, replace and redo several times more money is general spent than if it was done right in the first place! Your feed peanuts, you get monkeys! Cheers!
Light Watch 115: Marina Beach, Chennai