Chinese workers fuel India's staggering infrastructure boom

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by ajtr, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Chinese workers fuel India's staggering infrastructure boom


    By Rama Lakshmi
    Sunday, October 24, 2010
    IN CHANDANKYARI, INDIA Perched precariously on scaffolding, several Chinese workers showed Indian laborers how to weld the shell of a blast stove at a steel plant construction. Step by step, the Indians absorbed the valuable skills needed to build a large, integrated factory from scratch in record time.

    "I have worked on building four new steel plants in the last 10 years in China, and I am here to teach Indian workers to do the same," Hulai Xiong, 38, said about the construction site in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. "In China, we build very fast. Indian workers are slow and sometimes lazy. They are not familiar with modern industrial construction processes."

    Clad in blue overalls, 1,600 Chinese supervisors, technicians and other laborers work at the 2,000-acre site. The $1.7 billion factory, which also relies on Chinese technology, employs 5,000 Indian workers.

    Skilled Chinese workers are helping India expand its infrastructure at a frenetic pace, even as the two Asian giants compete for economic dominance.

    Their presence in a nation of more than a billion people with staggering unemployment may appear incongruent. But the government says Indian workers lack the technical skilled needed to transform the country into a 21st-century economic powerhouse.

    Until the gap is bridged, companies are relying on the expertise of Chinese workers to build mega infrastructure projects. Chinese workers have worked on ports, highways, power and steel plants in India. Chinese equipment and expertise have also been used in a crude oil refinery, a cable-supported bridge, the telecommunication networks and even the glass facade of the new airport terminal in New Delhi.



    "India may be an IT superpower and producing thousands of doctors, lawyers and MBAs every year. But the biggest gap is in the availability of skilled electricians, carpenters, welders, mechanics and masons who can build mega infrastructure projects," said Raghav Gupta, president at Technopak, a consultancy that released a report on skill development last year. "Most of these workers have to be trained on the job. And that often delays the projects and makes it more expensive."

    As the center of economic gravity shifts from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, analysts say, the world's two fastest growing economies will transfer even more technology and skills.

    Fears of displacement

    The Chinese workers in labor-surplus India prompted an outcry last year, and India clamped down by making visa rules stricter. About 25,000 workers had to leave dozens of projects midway and return to China because they were on business visas and not worker visas. Construction at 14 power plants was affected.

    "We have no problems if . . . Chinese workers skilled in specialized functions come to India. We just don't want them to displace Indian workers by doing the jobs that Indians can do," said G. K. Pillai, India's home secretary, who said there are a little over 15,000 Chinese laborers in India now.

    Diplomatic relations between the two nations, who have fought a war and have lingering territorial disputes, have remained testy. In recent years, Indian officials have expressed concerns about China's close ties with Pakistan, India's arch rival.

    "We also do not want the Chinese in projects that are strategically sensitive or near our border areas," Pillai said, echoing these concerns.

    Industry analysts say India's demand for steel is growing exponentially, and steel production, now at 70 million tons a year, will need to grow 12 percent every year to keep up. The Chandankyari plant will begin operations in June 2011 and is expected to produce 3 million tons a year.

    "China is the only country in the world that has built so many new steel plants in the past decade, almost like assembly-line products, adding about 80 million tons of steel capacity each year.

    So we decided to get their technology and manpower,"
    said R.S. Singh, director of Electrosteel Steel Ltd., the company building the factory in Chandankyari.

    "This factory is a classroom for Indian workers and we will create a benchmark for speed, quality and cost," Singh said.

    The Indian workers earn slightly less than the Chinese, whose speed ultimately brings down the cost of the project, Singh said. The steel plant is expected to take 18 months, a rare feat in India. A government report last month said that more than half of 600 large infrastructure projects are delayed, resulting in 68 percent cost overruns.

    "If I had just used Indian workers, it would have taken five years to construct," Singh said. "Can India afford the delay?"

    New kind of teamwork
    Before the Chandankyari steel plant hired him to weld, Babujaan Ansari made wooden furniture in his village.

    "The Chinese make us work very hard, and we cannot speak their language," said Ansari, 27. "We rely mostly on gestures."

    The Chinese workers have learned a few Hindi phrases such as "do work," "let's go" and "I love you."

    The Chinese live in a row of air-conditioned pre-fab rooms and have Chinese cooks. Some say they find the Indian heat unbearable; others complain that the Internet speed is too slow for streaming Chinese movies. Sometimes, they go into the villages for an under-the-tree haircut or for the locally brewed toddy.

    On their way back to their rooms after a hard day's work, many Chinese workers lined up at tiny shops to buy sachets of flavored betelnut powder, which has a mildly intoxicating effect and is popular here.

    The Indian workers are learning a new work ethic from the Chinese and are now more punctual, not stopping work to take frequent tea-breaks or gossip, managers said.

    There are subtle politically-tinged changes, too.

    "The Chinese do not like it when Indian workers ask too many questions or argue," said Singh, the plant director. "But after working together, the Chinese are now learning to answer some of the questions, and the Indian are learning to ask fewer questions. The hare and the tortoise are learning to work together."
     
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  3. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    India is not lack of labour, but seriously lack of self-disciplined skilled labours. any industrialized society is based on disciplines and teamwork.

    those bad habits of Indians such as "unpunctual" is a biggest obstacle against India's industrialization.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    3 Chinese engineers held for Balco tower collapse


    BHOPAL: Chhattisgarh police on Monday arrested three Chinese engineers in connection with the collapse of the 240-metre under-construction chimney of metal major Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) in Korba district on September 23 last year. Around 300 labourers were working when the chimney collapsed, killing 41 people at the site 225 km from Raipur.

    The arrested were identified as Wu Chunnan (project in-charge) and two civil engineers Wang Weiquing and Liu Gao of the Shangdong Electric Power Construction Corporation, which was entrusted with the job of building a 275 metre tower in the 1,200MW thermal power plant. Korba SP Ratanlal Dangi said the three Chinese engineers were arrested and produced before a first class magistrate who denied them bail and sent them to judicial remand till January 13.

    Police said the engineers were arrested on the basis of findings of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Raipur which was asked to investigate the cause of the accident. In its report, NIT claimed that mishap was caused due to the use of sub-standard construction material, lack of supervision, inadequate curing time and poor soil testing. It cited parameters which did not meet the Indian Standard Code and faulty technical design among other lapses. With Monday's arrest, the total number of persons nabbed for the Balco chimney collapse is seven.

    On November 17, the police arrested three top officials of the Vendanta Resources Plc of London, including the company's vice president and power project manager V Mehta, assistant general manager Deepak Narang and a trainee engineer Anoop Mahapatra.

    Balco is owned by Vendanta while the Government of India has 49% stake in it.

    Read more: 3 Chinese engineers held for Balco tower collapse - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ollapse/articleshow/5434728.cms#ixzz13GWZkkD9
     
  5. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    are the china bazaars in all the nukkads legitimate? household items supposed to be from our small and medium scale industries are being replaced with cheap quality(of course not all) and cheap Chinese made ones. i was told , many of our small time cellphone charger makers and other goods manufacturers have turned themselves in to traders selling Chinese goods,unable to meet the price!!!.Chinese are every where !!! Toys,electronic gadgets,batteries,house hold items, electrical fittings,lamps,auto parts, construction hardware,household furniture,leather goods.which are supposed to be the alma matter of our SS and MS industries....what will happen to our industries? Lakhs will be left unemployed!!!! Is this kind of dumping is part of the WTO agreement? such agreements will bring doom!!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    compete otherewise perish.Atleast indians will be getting imported foreign maal for which indians fall over each other to acquire it.=heheh
     
  7. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    infrastructures,disciplined skilled labour,fund, and industry chains.....the above four are essential to a manufacturing houbor.

    pls honestly tell youself how many of the 4 are owned by India now?
     
  8. venkat

    venkat Regular Member

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    ^^^^ i don't know whether we have all the 4, but certainly we don't have military dictatorship and concentration camps of the kind run by chairman Mao and his ghost!!!
     
  9. ZOOM

    ZOOM Founding Member

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    There is no need to glorify your self satisified weakeness of Indian labours. What kind of skill defination have you created to judge the character of Indian labourers. India has seen massive Industrial and Manufacuring boom, if not equal to what china has does in last several decades. All this economic growth and upliftment of many from below poverty is testimony to the fact of Indian Labours can ask for their share from globalisation. Heck, every years thousands of Indian skilled and unskilled workers are mobilizing all across India. Gulf Countries has always been prime desination for skilled and unskilled workers from India's remote regions. In last few decades, Indian workers and labours are also migrating to Eastern countries in search of employment.

    One of the biggest weakeness of indian labours is not how acquire the skill rather how to earn meaningful livelihood in proper manner as many Powerful and wealthy in India often exploit this workers to their core and at less salary. The thing that seperates Indian and Chinese workers is the idology that they are living in. China as a communist nation has always prefer lower income and unskilled people as a major area of its concern, since china don't won't their wealthy and powerful to expolit them.
     
  10. ZOOM

    ZOOM Founding Member

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    I Honestly says everything have owned by India and beyond.
     
  11. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    You are correct . We donot have punctuality and disciplined and we are not skilled at all to work in slave camps. This is bacause we donto flog or shoot our employees and our police or armed forces donot side with oppressing owners. May be we can import some of super skilled labour camp supervisors from China? What do you say?
     
  12. badguy2000

    badguy2000 Respected Member Senior Member

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    here is the most deep impression on India labours from Chinese workers who have been to India and worked together with local Indians.
    1. lack of discipline.
    Most of Indians, whether they are elites ore grassroots, are serioulsy lack of the awareness of "punctual".
    If one indian tells you give him "Just 5 minutes" in India , it might be 5 minutes if luckily, but also can be 15 minutes,50 minutes or even 5 hours. all depend on your fortune!

    Besides, "volouteer overtime" is a routine and "frequent tea-breaks or gossip" are usually looked on as "laziness" in east Asian economnies such as PRC,Korea,Japan,Taiwan and Hongkong.

    But in India, Indian people seem to think that ""frequent tea-breaks or gossip"" is routine while "volouteer overtime" is unaccepted!


    2.low cost-performance and low effiencyI don't want to quote those Chinese worker's words, because some Indians might think it is a insult.
    So, words from Indians might be eaiser to be accepted here.


    3 .resign theirselves to their fate and have serious awareness of social class.

    CHinese working in India sometimes find it surprising that local security refused to give a hand to busy local drivers or local servants, however free those local security were,juse because securities felt that they were higher caste and driver or sevants were lower caste careers.

    not only higher castes ,but also lowe castes has such serious awareness of "social class" and resign theirselves to their fate.
    For example, Indian local drivers always find it a honor and moving that Chinese bosses invited them to have a dinner aroung the same table,because as lower caste, India drivers have hardly such chances. However in China, it is almost a routine that bosses and their drivers have a dinner aroung the same table.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  13. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Give us a break, ajtr.
    If i am not mistaking, we have gone through this before. The construction of chimney was outsourced to an Indian company, they should be responsible for the collapse of it.
     
  14. navida

    navida Regular Member

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    Educated, passionate Indian labors usually go to gulf to work their a$$es off. All the remaining are lazy , illiterate ones with think they are destined to be poor and never try to work hard. The middle and upper middle class Indians are those who strive to perform well and improve their lives.

    I am happy this issue is looked into now and I hope our labors learn some skills and discipline.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  15. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    There's nothing wrong with what he said about Indian labour ethics. I've also traveled a lot and I must say that as much as companies are to blame for exploiting labourers so are labourers and workers to blame for lazing half the time. The entire work ethic is corrupted here in India and that is why countries like Indonesia and Malaysia and even Thailand are miles ahead in infrastructure development compared to us.

    Chinese might be our competitors and rivals in many fields but there are some good points we have to learn from them and that is working seriously, sincerely and really hard. Their work ethics are clearly visible when you go to see Beijing and Shanghai. True that they have poverty just like we do. But their rich and plush is far more grander than ours and their poor is better off than our poor. If we have to strangulate certain self-righteous laws of democracy to achieve that, there's NOTHING wrong in it. This "DEMOCRACY IS GOD'S GIFT" attitude of fellow Indians is what I don't like that for the sake of this concept of governance, Indians even forget seeing their own interests. And THIS is something we need to learn from Chinese.

    Beijing and Shanghai today even if we call them show cities are equivalent to New York and Tokyo and Moscow. Is Delhi and Mumbai anywhere close? Not even by a single touch.

    Criticizing Chinese for everything isn't right. They to others might be a problem but they've successfully shown their clout and capabilities compared to India where we boast about Democracy as the best governing system and sit on the pile of underdeveloped rubble. We don't need to have Communist state since I myself abhor its principles; but the work ethics that all East Asians have, we Indians need to learn; Whether Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Singaporeans, or anyone else. All of them are fiercely sincere and hardworking and it shows in their lifestyle and cities.
     

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