COVID-19 Vs Post Lockdown – Part IV

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on May 20th, 2020 in Strategic Advise And Management Support

Business Continuity Strategies in a post-COVID World In a little over 4 months, COVID 19, the disease caused by the novel Coronavirus has become a serious international public health concern. To minimise its effects on the health and mortality of their citizens, many countries have declared national lockdowns, a difficult choice that has led to a virtual standstill of economic, business, and social activity. As of 18th May 2020, India had been in lockdown for almost over 56 days. Since the beginning of the lockdown declaration, the Narendra Modi-led Government has periodically reviewed the situation to determine if and when lockdown conditions can be relaxed to allow businesses to commence their operations. However, following expert analyses on the economic impact of COVID19 by organisations such as the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), it is evident that the current slowdown will remain the ‘new […]

COVID-19 and FIDIC – Part III

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on May 20th, 2020 in Strategic Advise And Management Support

A Short Guide to the FIDIC Contracts amid the Covid 19 Pandemic On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 crisis – a pandemic that is time-dependent and geography-independent – as a “public health emergency of international concern”. , This statement followed by the declaration of national lockdowns by several federal and state-level Governments all over the world have jeopardised thousands of commercial contracts in almost every industry. In general, contracts could be governed by well-drafted FIDIC clauses. They could also be based on any standard international format. Alternately, contracts could be completely ‘bespoke’, i.e. tailored to fit the specific requirements of a particular project. This article focuses on FIDIC contracts and the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on these particular types of contracts. Bespoke contracts, governed by Section 56 of The Indian Contract Act, 1872, are beyond the scope of this article. Almost all FIDIC contracts […]

COVID-19 and Commercial Contracts – Part II

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on April 22nd, 2020 in Strategic Advise And Management Support

Often, pandemic outbreaks – whether completely of unforeseen or reasonably- anticipated – are geographically-independent and experienced by only a few regions or countries. They also tend to be time-dependent, working themselves out – usually due to the availability of a cure or the development of ‘herd mentality’ – after a certain period of time has elapsed. The COVID-19 pandemic is an exception to both these general rules of history due to its geography- and time-agnostic trajectory. With dozens of countries declaring national lockdowns and emergencies, several areas of citizenship as we know it have been affected – from political and legal to medical, educational, and even social. In this blog, we focus on the pandemic’s effect on commercial life, specifically on contracts and their non-performance in the present economic and human crisis. In particular, we analyse the significance and impact of the COVID-19 crisis on commercial contracts with respect to […]

COVID-19 – “An Engineer’s Perspective”

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on April 22nd, 2020 in General

The “free world”, typified by the US and UK, initially prioritized business over public health and are now paying the price. Even though there are passenger flights, including repatriation flights, still arriving at UK airports, I do not know whether strict health screening and quarantine measures are in place now, or whether the authorities are still relying on people being “honourable” about undertaking self-quarantine and volunteering information on their movements to facilitate contact tracing. The public health situation in the UK today is dire, with up to 900 people dying of the virus daily, and that is just the number of people testing positive who died in hospitals. Many more are dying in residential care homes and at home, most of which are thought to be due to the virus. If the infection and death rate curves in the UK population of approx. 65 million are replicated in India’s 1.3 […]

COVID-19 and Commercial Contract

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on April 8th, 2020 in Strategic Advise And Management Support

Outbreak of unforeseen and or reasonably anticipated Pandemic swept industries both manufacturing and services alike, affecting the performance of contracts of former heavily than the later. Pandemic is characterized as time dependent but geographically independent, however due to prevalence, the time dependent resulted to be longer than anticipated. With developing and developed nations declaring lockdown and emergency, non-performance of contracts due to impossibility gains significant importance. Notwithstanding many Nations declared pandemic as “Force Majeure”, it is reasonably foreseen that dispute between parties and litigation shall linearly increase. Therefore in the present economic / human crisis, we analyze, the significance and impacts on commercial contract. Commercial Contracts reiterate that impossibility of performance of the contract works by a contractor will not, in general, relive him from liability in damages for breach of performance, save and except under exemptions. If, however the impossibility to perform his contract arises from a cause that […]

The Infrastructure Industry in India: Current Scenario and Future Prospects

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on March 18th, 2020 in Infrastructure Improvement Process and Advice

The present-day challenges that the Indian infrastructure industry is facing are neither new nor exclusive to India. And they are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon. While various forward-looking mega infrastructure projects like Dedicated Freight Corridor, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, and Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) have been announced over the last decade or so, many of these have still a long way to go towards reaching their finishing point due to various reasons.   Since the past several years, we as a country have learned many valuable lessons while conceiving and implementing such large-scale infrastructure projects. In the process, we have identified several underlying factors for both successes and failures, particularly those related to policy, marketing and the level of preparedness for future market conditions and technologies. However, identifying these factors is no longer enough. Learning the right lessons from them is even more critical to ensure the […]

Conservation of Natural Resources through Alternate Options

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on February 15th, 2020 in Sustainable Environmental Solutions

All structural engineering consultants know that cement, the primary ingredient in concrete, is not only an extremely important construction material for infrastructure development in particular, but also a key to economic growth in general. The strength, durability and other characteristic of concrete depends on the properties of its ingredients, proportion of mix, method of compaction and other controls during placing and curing. The production of cement is an energy-intensive process, resulting in the emission of greenhouse gases which adversely impacts the environment. Moreover, from a financial perspective, the cost of producing cement is increasing at an alarming rate, and the natural resources that provide the raw material for cement manufacturing are exhausting – two facts that really worry international engineering consultants. For both these reasons and more, the use of industrial by-products having cementitious properties as a replacement for cement in cement concrete has become the need of the hour […]

Desirability of having ‘Recycling Parks’ in clusters proposed under Sagarmala Project

Posted by : Sravanthi Rallabandi, Sajith Sreedharan on January 18th, 2020 in Sustainable Environmental Solutions

The Government of India is focused on boosting the performance of the country’s logistics sector. One effective way of doing this is of course leveraging the country’s 7,500 km-long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and the multiple strategic locations that are already present along key international maritime trade routes. In keeping with this ambition, the ‘Sagarmala’ project was envisioned and initiated. The project, launched in 2015, aims to accelerate port-led infrastructure development in the country. Along the way, it expects to create 1 crore new jobs (including 40 lakh direct jobs) over the next 10 years. The project has a unique approach in that it that integrates various projects that are usually stand-alone. These projects cover port connectivity, freight expressways, new pipelines for transporting crude and petroleum products, inland waterways, multi-modal logistics hubs and coastal community development. The Sagarmala programme seeks to unlock the huge potential inherent in […]

Infrastructure maintenance – a value addition to Swachh Bharat mission?

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on December 12th, 2019 in Infrastructure Improvement Process and Advice

Designation : Managing Director

Back in the 19th and 20th centuries, civil engineering infrastructure designed and built in India was based on the then-prevalent state of technical knowledge and general practices of British professionals.  Thanks to their simple and robust construction, and the use of good quality, naturally available materials, these structures have required relatively lower maintenance effort over time, especially when compared to modern structures.  Evidence shows that some of these “old” structures including, PWD road bridges, railway bridges and dams have stood the test of time for over 100 years. In fact, we use many of these structures even today!  It would not be incorrect to say that these structures were frequently “over-designed”, which was definitely not a bad thing in the ‘lower cost, lower competition’ world of yore. As the latter half of the 20th century ushered in advances in construction materials, building technology and analytical design tools, it led to […]

Storm Surges

Posted by : Sajith Sreedharan on November 26th, 2019 in General

Designation : Managing Director

A storm surge is the abnormal rise of the water levels near the coast or near large lakes. The onset of a storm surge is not sudden. Therefore, with existing tools of prediction, prior warnings can be made available to the people residing near the coastline so they can make appropriate preparations. A storm surge should not be confused for a tsunami. Storm surges happen frequently and are basically the effect of tropical cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons. They are caused due to high winds and pressure, and occur right along the coastlines. History is witness to the major impacts caused by storm surges around the globe. In fact, they can be life-threatening to the people and infrastructure along the coastline, though not always. Tsunamis, on the other hand, happen less frequently, originate from earthquakes or seismologic activity, and can reach thousands of miles. They also bring with them much more […]