It gives me immense pleasure to state that our colleague engineers have been dedicatedly serving the nation. It is to the credit of the engineers, that our country has made tremendous achievement in the field of infrastructure building. While the accomplishments are well appreciated, I would like to take this opportunity to convey few fundamental engineering issues that have been on my mind for a long time, as a minister in-charge for Ministry of Works and Human Settlement and as a fellow engineer. On the backdrops of occasional complaints on public infrastructure from the general public, I reiterate the need for professionalization among our engineering fraternity, especially in the aspects of Quality, Aesthetics and Professionalism.
In this era, we should count not only how much of public infrastructure has been built, but how well they have been built. All engineers who are responsible for the physical infrastructure development projects are constantly struggling with all-time unavoidable cost-time-quality tradeoffs. Added to these, are other pressing issues of workforce, contracts, environment, government regulations, safety, etc. Despite these constraints, our engineering professionals should strive to ensure that the quality of infrastructure in not compromised. The general public demands the professionals for delivery of quality services and we engineers in turn must constantly introspect our professional ethics and strive to give the best to our society. It is therefore, very important for all engineers to understand and navigate through these realities with genuine concerns and make effort “towards quality infrastructure”, the very motto of our Ministry.
Most frequently quoted examples of unprofessional workmanship and poor aesthetics are- haphazard laying of water pipes and electric cables, inferior plumbing works in buildings, unsightly bridges and pot-hole-ridded roads. Infrastructure development must always take into consideration the aesthetics, quality and context. Our rich architecture, culture, art, ecology and settlements must be well integrated in the best synergy possible in every manifestation of our profession, to represent our unique Bhutanese Identity. Every Bhutanese planner, architect, engineer and contractor must play their respective roles responsibly. And these should not only be on paper’ but ensure that these are translated on the grounds to have clean, safe, comfortable and beautiful towns and cities in the country
Many incidences of unprofessional conduct by engineers such as collusion with the contractors, manipulation in tendering process and acts of corruption have been reported time and again through various channels. We can work towards our common vision of being professional engineers by being little more ethical and quality conscious; respecting and adhering to the policies, procedures and norms. It is very important to unconditionally inculcate self-respect in order to earn the deserved respect for the engineers. Please persevere to provide the best services to the clients with the highest integrity and always be cooperative for positive changes.
Having expressed the above views, I once again, speak in confidence that many of our colleague engineers all over the country, have been dedicatedly serving to the best of their capacities. It is to inform that the Ministry henceforth would seriously take measures to identify those who are genuine performers and they will be appropriately rewarded. By the same token, non-performers and unethical engineers will not be tolerated and will be subjected to fitting consequences.
Finally. I sincerely urge my fellow colleagues to put in some extra effort to deliver services with PROFESSIONAL ETHICS, OF STANDARD QUALITY, and that is AESTHETICALLY APPEASING. Engineers are the main force behind nation building; we deserve respect; let us demand that respect through exhibiting greater professional practice and conduct.