From focus on Railways safety, crop residue burning to load-shedding, here are infra moves that grabbed spotlight

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Published: October 4, 2017 4:28:17 AM

Railways will spend over Rs 15,000 over the next year on improving safety. All high density stations will get more elevators and foot-overbridges.

infra tweets, financial express infra tweets, fe infra tweetsFollowing the Elphinstone tragedy, a safety audit of the 100-odd stations of the Mumbai suburban network is to be conducted.

High density rly stations more complex to run than large commercial complexes. Require new age Facilities Mngmnt type organistn structure
Avoiding another Elphinstone
Railways will spend over Rs 15,000 over the next year on improving safety. All high density stations will get more elevators and foot-overbridges. Following the Elphinstone tragedy, a safety audit of the 100-odd stations of the Mumbai suburban network is to be conducted.

 

Regulation: Clearly d responsibility of “independent” (!) state power regulators to come down heavily on Discoms reneging on signed PPAs
Taking on reneging discoms
The Centre is planning to arm state power regulators with more teeth to take on discoms walking out of long-term power purchase agreements. But the members of these regulators are appointed by the state governments that control the discoms in most states.

Imminent auction of coal blocks to pvt cos with freedom to price & sell now coming with a simple bid parameter—highest royalty to state
New norm for coal auctions
The government will not quote the value of the blocks, a practice followed so far for captive-coal blocks. Bidders will have to make bid based on their own assessments. The bidder offering the largest royalty to the state takes the block.

Differ with NITI recco that “challenge” amongst states desirable for allocating central govt projects. Many developmental considerations
‘Compete or perish’ not the right idea
States will be assigned scores ranging from zero to 100 against certain parameters including land allotment, infrastructure support and financial contribution. However, this puts poorer states at an immediate disadvantage.

NHAI Board does well to ask for a recast of d next round of ToT bid format to allow more Indian cos to participate vis a vis global biggies
Levelling the highways’ playing field
As per current rules, potential tolling-right holders must make an upfront payment of $1 billion. NHAI will experiment with two models: one, reducing the concession period from 30 years to 20 years, and the other, bringing down the upfront payment to an amount much smaller than $1 billion.

ShipMin feels it’s better off on future PPP bids with fixed payment on physical goods moved rather than hazy revenue-share model presently
Back to royalty
The ministry is planning to go back to royalty model to curb private operators “misusing” the freedom to set rates after port trusts become become authorities. Terminal operators have to pay royalty per tonne or per 20-foot equivalent unit.

Economic incentive to prevent crop residue burning & prevent pollution ~ NTPC offers to use it. A market for stubble should thus emerge
Preventing crop residue burning
NTPC and few biomass power units have offered to buy crop residue from farmers. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had proposed incentivising farmers by offering per quintal bonuses for shunning crop-stubble burning, a major reason behind pollution.

Power Minister RK Singh against “load-shedding management” by Discoms. Laudable, but requires parallel & tough last mile reforms. Possible
Powering load-shedding reduction
Even as the government launched the Saubhagya scheme, India faced 10 hours of power cuts in August and the average number of power outages was 15.5, as per the Urja India dashboard.

A weekly collection of the author’s tweets, with a brief backgrounder, by Sarthak Ray

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