A Case Study of Metronet PPP in the UK: Implications for India
Shahana Sheikh, Mukul G. Asher and V. Ramakrishnan
This paper analyses the challenges faced by the policy makers in the U.K. in designing, managing, and winding up of a Metronet Public-Private-Partnership (Project), with a value of nearly GBP 16 billion. The PPP project, initiated in 2003, was envisaged to be a 30 year project, but by 2008 the project was wound up and reverted to the public authorities. The paper examines the reasons for this outcome, and the performance of the London underground since the wounding up of PPP in 2008. The paper is an instructive case study for India, a middle income country which plans to use the PPP method extensively in meeting its infrastructure and social sector challenges. Among the key implications arising from the Metronet PPP case study for India are the government’s willingness and ability to rethink major decisions, and even reverse them; flexibility in re-skilling its government agencies to fulfil mission objectives; and demonstrated intent and accountability to meet citizen’s emerging and aspirational needs. Intangible aspects involving social and political norms of the stakeholders were found to play an important role in the outcome of the Metronet PPP project.