A steering group chaired by the Prime Ministerís principal secretary Pulok Chatterji asked infrastructure ministries to expedite clearance for projects worth Re1 lakh crore in the aviation, road, railways and power sectors. The idea is to roll out these projects over the next six months. The steering group decided that bidding for the R30,000-crore Mumbai elevated rail corridor will begin soon after the state support agreement is signed in two months. The 534-km Sonnagar-Dankuni section of the eastern railway freight corridor, and construction of an electric locomotive factory at Madhepura and a diesel locomotive factory at Marhowrah (both in Bihar) are the other projects that would be expedited. The group also decided to speed up the work on Indiaís first national expressway, the 135-km Eastern Peripheral Expressway connecting Sonipat (Kundli), Ghaziabad and Palwal in the NCR and directed the shipping ministry to award the major port at Sagar in West Bengal over next few months.
Fertiliser firms to enjoy priority in gas supplies
An empowered group of ministers (EGoM) decided that fertiliser plants will continue to receive top priority in natural gas supply. The EGoM headed by defence minister AK Antony debated a proposal to give equal status in natural gas allocation to both fertiliser and power sectors. This would have enabled a part of the fuel currently consumed by urea plants to be diverted to fuel-starved power plants. But the EGoM decided against it. The group will meet again on Thursday (July 25) to consider making available natural gas to power plants from sources other than Reliance Industriesí KG-D6 fields. It could also finalise fresh bidding norms for ultra mega power projects.
L&T Metro Rail in talks with IIFCL to raise Re1,000 crore
L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) is in talks with India Infrastructure Finance Co Ltd to raise R1,000 crore through the external commercial borrowing route to fund the Hyderabad metro project. L&T is developing the R16,500-crore project, which is the biggest urban infrastructure project taken up as a public-private partnership in India. The elevated metro rail project will have three corridors, covering a distance 71.16 km and 66 stations. Banks have lent