The original concept of setting up 100 new smart cities was aimed at accommodating the growing pressures of urbanisation...
Smart cities—change of plans?: The original concept of setting up 100 new smart cities was aimed at accommodating the growing pressures of urbanisation. It appears now that the plan is being modified whereby existing towns and cities are to be upgraded under a city challenge contest.
Tweet: The concept of Smart Cities now clearly appears to have been completely morphed from ‘greenfield’ developments to upgrading existing cities.
Coal auctions—bidding woes: ICRA report has pointed out that aggressive bidding in power-linked coal auctions equals an under-recovery in fuel cost for generators from R0.39 to R1.02 per unit for 25 years.
Tweet: Aggressive bidding in power-linked coal auctions transfers economic benefit from efficient power generators to inefficient Discoms.
SEZs—Tamil Nadu shows the way: In recent times, special economic zones have demonstrated lacklustre investor interest and operational performance. But Tamil Nadu has shown that proactive state policies and a facilitative framework can go a long way in making SEZs a success story.
Tweet: States can turn a bad Central Policy to their advantage by localising creatively. For example Tamil Nadu has the most sizzling SEZs.
DGCA fails to impress US aviation regulator: The Federal Aviation Authority had downgraded India to Category II market. One of the reasons cited for its action was inadequate training of DGCA officials.
Tweet: IAS officer heading DGCA since 2008. Now US Aviation Regulator has asked India to hire professionals with requisite technical background.
Haldia gas pipeline, a boon for eastern India: Nearly ten million households in Kolkata, Gorakhpur, Patna and other cities in eastern India will benefit from the government decision to set up a 2,000-km-long gas pipeline.
Tweet: Move East Policy: Cabinet clears R10,000 cr Haldia-Jagdishpur gas pipeline to supply gas to cities in that Eastern India corridor.
Sreedharan for revamp of Railways’ procurement policy: With Railways spending almost R1 lakh crore a year on procurement,
E Sreedharan has called for decentralising the system and recommended more decision-making powers to be given to functionaries
at the operational levels.
Tweet: Railways is the 2nd biggest procurer after Defence. Sreedharan lashes out at centralisation of procurement decisions at Railway Board level.
The infrastructure funding conundrum: Infrastructure funding needs are estimated at a whopping R62.60 lakh crore. RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has urged the sector to develop new sources of risk capital as banks already have too much exposure.
Tweet: RBI Guv Rajan: “Excessive reliance on banking sector to fund infra could impact financial stability.” Right. But fast track alternatives pls.
Colours of Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court has sought an explanation from the West Bengal government for its move to grant property tax rebate to residents who paint their houses blue and white.
Tweet: Taxation blues: Trinamool Cong Govt in W Bengal provides a property tax discount if building is painted in favoured colours of white & blue.
Killer trucks—capital chokes on toxic fumes: Unmonitored trucks driving through Delhi run on a mixture of kerosene and diesel, releasing toxic fumes in a city that already has high levels of air pollution.
Tweet: “Poison on Wheels”: IndExp’s expose on how 80,000 trucks that enter Delhi every night contribute significantly to deteriorating air quality.
—Vinayak Chatterjee is Chairman of Feedback Infra
His Twitter handle: @Infra_VinayakCh
A weekly selection of the author’s tweets—with a brief backgrounder—in the infra space, by Adite Banerjie