During UPA-II regime, the Centre had tried to boost PURA in 2013-14 in an effort to bridge the...
Bridging The Urban-Rural Divide: During UPA-II regime, the Centre had tried to boost PURA in 2013-14 in an effort to bridge the rural-urban divide and reduce migration to urban areas. The new government has brought PURA under its ‘Rurban’ mission, which is an extension of the Gujarat ‘Rurban’ model at a national level and aims to provide urban amenities in rural areas.
Tweet: Smart Villages: President Kalam had advocated PURA (Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas). Needs push too along with Smart Cities.
Challenges Galore For Solar: Currently, solar power generation accounts for a mere 1% of installed energy capacity. The problem: India’s electricity distribution companies are unwilling to buy renewable energy, which is 15% more expensive than thermal, as it cannot pass on the cost to consumers.
Tweet: German solar consultancy firm estimates India’s ‘Rooftop Solar Potential’ at a staggering 100,000 MW. But installed today is only 285 MW.
Connectivity Is The Key: The spanking new Authority with its headquarters in Pune, being set up at a cost of ₹100 crores, will coordinate the development of industrial corridors and ensure transport connectivity with smart cities. The move is aimed at ushering in a robust manufacturing environment.
Tweet: Smart corridors now in tandem with smart cities: New govt body being set up – the National Industrial Corridor Development Authority.
Auction Terms Set To Change: Companies with existing power, steel or cement plants and experience in developing mines will find favour in the new round of coal blocks auctions. Those that have operating end-use plants or have made 90% investment in associated projects will get priority.
Tweet: Coal ~ best described as a “Restricted Auction”, as many conditions at play. Latest is that cos with “good record” to get preference.
Tweet: Optimising multiple objectives never gets best auction value. But as Coal Secy has rightly opined: “It’s not a revenue maximising approach.”
Airport Upgrade Plan On Hold: Since five of 17 international airports are not delivering high traffic volumes, the Planning Commission has advised the aviation ministry not to go ahead with plans to turn Bhopal, Raipur and Indore into ‘world class’ airports.
Tweet: Craze for “world class” airports to subdue as Plng Comm tells PM that 17 existing international airports nowhere near projected traffic vols.
Green Laws To Be Amended?: The Committee has given voice to the long-standing industry demand for a self-certification model of environment law compliance. This, along with other recommendations by the Committee, is aimed at creating new industry-friendly environment clearance norms.
Tweet: TSR Subramaniam Committee on Green Laws agrees with industry demand for “self-certification of compliances” & expects “utmost good faith”.
Need For Restructuring Railways: The PM has set the Railways the task of achieving 90% operating ratio in the current fiscal year. But in the absence of a restructuring of the organization, can the railways minister deliver?
Tweet: Suresh Prabhu inherits tough challenge. Operating Ratio (cost/ rev) in Rlys has deteriorated to 94% from 91% last year. PPPs not cooked yet.
Putting A New Strategy In Place: Hopefully, outlays will lead to outcomes now in elec distribution ~ Cabinet cleared 3 T&D schemes aggregating to around Rs 80,000 crs.
Tweet: In a bid to make power outages a thing of the past, the focus is on strengthening power distribution and transmission infrastructure. Power supply for agriculture and non-agriculture purposes too will be provided separately.
– Vinayak Chatterjee is Chairman of Feedback Infra
His Twitter handle: @Infra_VinayakCh
A weekly compilation of the author’s tweets— with a brief backgrounder—in the infra space, by Adite Banerjie