Faced with a severe manpower crunch, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) has begun appointing project management consultants for its projects.

Companies with technically-qualified personnel, architects, electrical engineers, planners and financial experts are being roped in to supervise projects.

These project management consultants, or third party supervisors in technical parlance, are involved in preparing conceptual and detailed drawings, preparing estimates and getting approval from the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and directorate of Town and Country Planning, said a source in the Board.

Projects, including ones at Sholinganallur and Mandavelipakkam in Chennai and Ellis Nagar in Madurai and Navalpattu in Tiruchi, are to be managed by these consultants, who will be paid 1.5 per cent of the project cost as supervisory charges. “They have experienced manpower and have worked in government projects. We supervise everything they do,” he said.

“We do not have enough technical assistants. The personnel have been promoted and many posts are lying vacant now,” the official explained.

Apart from ensuring quality and speedy implementation of projects, the consultants have been armed with the power to issue notices to contractors and can make them rectify errors. “While providing details of financial and physical progress, the consultant also provides details of requirement of men and materials at every stage,” the official said.

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