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LESSONS:

Jing-Jiu Railway Technical Engineering Project (Loan 1305-PRC)

sector: Transport | country: China, People’s Republic of

Although the land acquisition and resettlement were generally carried out in accordance with laws and generally accepted practices, several aspects call for further improvement. These include (i) lack of basic documentation, at ADB and EA of resettlement activities (e.g., written resettlement plan, and lists of persons and entities affected); (ii) greater participation by persons and entities affected in designing a resettlement program and transparency in compensation distribution; and (iii) better monitoring of resettlement implementation.

The executing agency reported frustration with the high costs and long waiting time for procuring spare parts from some foreign suppliers. The EA also stated that, under the project, ADB imposed a maximum amount of spare parts that could be procured with new equipment. After these spare parts are used up, it is expensive and difficult to purchase replacements. For the computer-based hump control system, lack of spare parts has threatened shortening its service life from 15 years to 7 8 years. Fortunately, in this particular case, a domestically produced system, perhaps less powerful, is available at much lower cost. For similar projects in the future, adequate amounts of spare parts should be procured with the equipment. Requests for such procurement should be included in the procurement packages prepared by executing agencies for ADB s approval. In addition, the costs of additional spare parts and quality of after-sale service should be taken better account of in evaluating bids.

The People’s Republic of China has long been known for its centralized project management style. The construction of Jing-Jiu railway best exemplifies the advantages of such a model in terms of speedy execution of complex projects. The transferability of such a model to other developing member countries is debatable. However, an important lesson here is that strong commitment at the very top is necessary to deliver a complex project on time.

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