Commendable: Achievements in Transmission have indeed brought India closer to dream of ‘One nation, One grid, One frequency, One market’
Transmission network growth leaps
Transmission infrastructure has surpassed 12th Plan target by a significant measure. The grid now has more than 3.7 lakh circuit km of extra-high voltage AC lines with a transformation capacity of 7 lakh MVA and inter-regional capacity of 75,050 MW.
Sensible: CivAvMin rationalises parts of UDAN regional scheme. Changes relate to dilution of route exclusivity & Proximus airports defines
The VGF for helicopter operations has been increased, and small planes are allowed. The ‘150-km distance’ (between origin and destination) rule has been abolished while multiple carriers may fly on a particular route, with NOC from airline with the winning bid.
Push: SEZs generated huge buzz in UPA times. NDA’s Coastal Econom Zones is a relevant idea but needs to be pushed far more aggressively
Make coastal economic zones a priority
The Sagarmala programme envisages the creation of 14 coastal economic zones, with port-proximate industrial clusters as its backbone. Sagarmala has garnered `1 lakh crore of investment from the private sector in the last three years, but the need is for `12-14 lakh crore.
Clean chit for Solar projects: EnvMin announces that Environmental Clearance for solar projects will henceforth not be required. Sensible
Lighter green approval burden for solar
While the 2006 Environmental Impact Assessment provisions will not apply, disposal of PV cells will come under the Hazardous and Other Waste (Management and Trans-Boundary Movement) Rules, 2016. Relevant air and water pollution control laws will be applicable.
Hiring 2 lac workers for enhanced safety patrolling fuzzy solution for Rlys in 21st century. Salvation lies in investing in safety tech
Safety tech first for Railways
Almost 16% of the safety posts in the Railways are vacant, but technology will help the cause of safety better. The govt has drawn up a `2.8 lakh crore investment plan for the Railways, with improving safety as one of the targets. It plans to import technology like a sensor-based system to detect cracks in the rails, etc, from Australia.
Jolt: MINT ~ Chinese suppliers of solar modules (60% of project cost) demanding 6 cents more/watt over agreed, as global prices firm up
Chinese shock for solar power
Modules are currently priced around 37/watt. Any rise in prices will impact the internal rate of return for solar projects that have already signed PPAs with various states. Along with many discoms reneging on PPAs with renewable developers, this is a double whammy.
PPP delivers. Delhi Airport in for massive `16,000 cr expansion that will 2X capacity by 2021. Service quality widely acknowledged too
DIAL-ling airport growth
The investment will double the capacity of domestic T1, boost the capacity of international T3, create a fourth runway parallel to the third, and go into the setting up of a new terminal in the next seven years.