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When Public Private Partnership is not built on a Sustainable Basis

Here is an example of what happens when a public-private partnership is not built on a sustainable model. The website uttara.in with good information and viewereship is being closed down due to lack of funding support from the Government.

Uttara.in is a website which provided lot of useful information on Uttrakand Government activities. It appears that the site was maintained under a public-private partnership where the Government was funding the expenses of maintaining the website.

An announcement a the website indicates that due to the lack of continuance of funding the website is being closed from October 1st, 2009.

For a website which was very useful and had a good viewer ship to close down for lack of maintenance support indicates that an appropriate revenue model had not been built into the system when it was planned.

Obviously the Government would have barred advertisements on the site and the beneficiaries of the site have not been asked to pay  service fees. While Government spends money to advertise tender information on the print publication, most of the time they donot pay for similar information to be advertised on websites.

These are some of the reasons why such PPP projects do not become sustainable. Unless the Governments of the day understand the short, medium and long term funding requirements of such projects and accordingly plan its implementation, such projects are bound to collapse once the initial enthusiasm of the creators fade. If PPP has to succeed, then there has to be a fundamental change in the thinking of Governments of how they can work in partnership without falling into a trap of corruption and without the opposition political parties wrongly tainting the projects for their own political gains.

A larger debate is required in this regard.


29th September 2009

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