News Bulletin : January 2022 – Issue 1

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1. Smart ports, digitization & more! Sagarmala programme to boost India’s coastal economy

The Modi government’s Sagarmala programme is strengthening India’s coastal economy like never before! Apart from building new ports, it is also modernizing old ports of the country with a major infrastructural overhaul. According to details shared by the government, as many as 802 projects worth Rs 5.53 lakh crore are part of the Sagarmala programme. So far, a total of 172 projects have been completed already and 235 projects are underway.

A new port is being constructed, worth Rs 6,554 crore. With the Sagarmala programme, the digitization of various systems under one common platform has increased efficiency and output as well. Some of the major initiatives and benefits under digitization include the introduction of smart ports in India, transparency and clarity of work, streamlined communication by a web-based system and a paperless regime.

Source: Financial Express

2. Bokaro to be develop as industrial, investment hub

 

Bokaro is set to emerge as an industrial as well as an investment hub. Under the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC), an Industrial Production Node (IMN) would be established in Bokaro.

The exercise for setting up new industries on around one thousand acres of land has been started in the district. Director Industries Jitendra Kumar Singh, Deputy Commissioner Kuldeep Choudhary, BIADA Regional Director Kirti Sri, Additional Collector Sadat Anwar along with BSL officials inspected various sites of the district recently.

Under the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (ADKIC), an Industrial Production Node (IMN) will be set up in Bokaro, informed a district administration official.

Source: Daily Pioneer

3. National Waterway III cries for attention 14 years after its inauguration

Faced with little patronage for the 205-km-long Kollam-Kottappuram National Waterway III, which was inaugurated in 2007, and the ambitious plans drawn up by successive governments to shift movement of hazardous and bulk cargo through inland waterways falling flat, the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is finally gearing up to invigorate NW III.

The IWAI, which attracted considerable flak for the next to nil patronage for national waterways in the State (barring select corridors in Ernakulam), despite investing over ₹300 crore, is readying to set in motion a project to transport hydrochloric acid from Kochi to Chavara through NW III. “The waterway corridor is navigable, including at night. The reconstruction of the navigation lock at Thrikkunnapuzha is under way. In addition, tenders have been invited for dredging the waterway south of Chavara up to Kollam,” said IWAI Director Mathew George

Source: The Hindu

4. Troubled waters: Coastal Road Project

It is peak fishing season in Mumbai. For over two months, nearly 200 artisan fishers of the Worli Koliwada (fishing colony) have been taking out their boats each morning, however, all are not heading out to go fishing. From September 20, around 25 motorised and non-motorised boats in rotation set out through the day and night from Cleveland Bunder in Worli, to park their boats around a temporary jetty in protest against the Coastal Road construction.

On December 20, Worli Police warned the protesting fisherfolk that a charge sheet will be filed against them for unlawful assembly. However, a day after the warning, the protest continued amid heavy police deployment. Their demand is singular— increase the gap between two pillars that will come at the Worli end of the project. The Coastal Road is a 10.58 km stretch starting from the Marine Drive promenade to the Worli-end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, promising to ease up traffic in one of the most congested cities.

Source: Indian Express

5. Centre develops blueprint for Maritime Vision 2030

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has prepared a blueprint – Maritime India Vision 2030 (MIV 2030), to ensure coordinated and accelerated growth of India’s maritime sector in the next decade with the objective of driving India to the forefront of the Global Maritime Sector.

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, Waterways and Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal has said in a virtual CII Partnership Summit 2021 in New Delhi today, that India is aiming to increase the supply chain efficiency and lower logistics costs which will facilitate India to achieve its well-defined goal of being a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.

Source: KNN India

6. Warehousing policy on cards to reduce India’s high logistics cost

To help ease transportation and logistics costs, the government is planning to introduce a warehousing policy, which will lay the roadmap for developing exclusive warehousing zones through public-private partnerships.

The zones, with proper storage facilities, will be set up on the outskirts of major cities to avoid traffic congestion within city limits.

7. Centre develops blueprint for Maritime Vision 2030

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has prepared a blueprint – Maritime India Vision 2030 (MIV 2030), to ensure coordinated and accelerated growth of India’s maritime sector in the next decade with the objective of driving India to the forefront of the Global Maritime Sector.

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, Waterways and Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal has said in a virtual CII Partnership Summit 2021 in New Delhi today, that India is aiming to increase the supply chain efficiency and lower logistics costs which will facilitate India to achieve its well-defined goal of being a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.

Source: KNN India

8. Maharashtra to get 5 more multi-modal logistics parks

The Centre and Maharashtra government on Friday signed five agreements to set up multi-modal logistics parks in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik and Dighi Port Industrial Estate.

These MoUs were signed by the National Highways Logistics Management (NHLML), Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and Rail Vikas Nigam (RVNL) at the conference on investment opportunities in highway, transport and logistics here in the presence of Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Under the agreement, while MIDC will provide the land for multi-modal logistics parks (MMLPs), NHLML will provide external road connectivity to the sites, and RVNL will give external rail connectivity.

Source: Republic World

9. In a first, Indian Railways to roll out hybrid financing framework for pvt developers

There’s some good news on the horizon for private developers bidding for Indian Railways’ public-private partnership (PPP) projects. The railway ministry proposes to share in their financing risks through the hybrid built, operate, transfer or HyBOT model.

This will be the first such structure offered under PPP by Asia’s second-largest rail transporter.

“The PPP model has evolved well in the country in sectors such as roads & highways, ports and airports. However, the railway could not move in that direction,” union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said during a panel discussion.

Source: Business Today

10. Mumbai CSMT revamp: PPP model dropped, railways to go for hybrid annuity model

The Indian Railways which had decided to redevelop the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station on a public-private partnership (PPP) model, will now be developing it under a hybrid annuity model wherein the station will be leased out to a private developer for just 27 years, instead of 99 years.

Under the new model, the railways will initially have to invest 40 per cent of the total Rs 1,350 crore project cost and 60 per cent will be invested by the developer, which the railways will have to repay in the next 27 years before taking over the station, an official said.

Source: Indian Express

11. 2021 was the year clean energy finally faced its mining problem

This year, the clean energy sector finally started grappling in earnest with one of its biggest challenges: how to get enough minerals to build solar panels, wind turbines, and big batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage. Figuring that out will be critical for escaping fossil-fueled ecological disaster. It’ll also be crucial for policymakers and industry to move forward without throwing certain communities under the bus in the transition to clean energy.

Instead of cutting through landscapes with oil and gas wells and pipelines, clean energy industries and their suppliers will open up the Earth to hunt for critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, and copper. Compared to a gas-fired power plant, an onshore wind turbine requires nine times more mineral resources, according to the International Energy Agency. Building an EV requires six times more minerals than a gas-powered car.

Source: The Verge

12. India’s Renewables Boom Set to Lift Power Exchange Spot Trading

A surge in renewable energy in India is set to massively increase spot power trading, according to the country’s largest electricity bourse.

Buyers will increasingly turn away from traditional long-term contracts in favor of cheaper renewable energy, said Rohit Bajaj, head of business development at Indian Energy Exchange Ltd. More than a quarter of the nation’s electricity could be purchased through spot deals within a couple years, quadruple the current level.

Source: Bloomberg

13. Power ministry working on resource adequacy plan guidelines :

The Union Power ministry was working on resource adequacy plan guidelines to ensure 24×7 power supply to the consumers, a senior official said on Wednesday. The ministry was also discussing some bigger reforms to make discoms viable and was working on steps like de-regulating the sector or making regulation adaptability more industry friendly, the official said.

Resource adequacy is the ability of a utilities’ reliable capacity resources (supply) to meet the customers’ energy or system loads (demands) at all hours The factor that affects supply is the availability of sufficient dispatchable capacity resources in order to meet the demand.

Source: Economic Times

14. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways Year End Review 2021; National Highways construction goes up by more than 50%

New Delhi: The year 2021 was significant for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) as it not only continued with the good work done previously but also initiated certain measures which will have far reaching impact on the life of the citizens. The Ministry carried forward with its mission to build good quality of National Highways (NHs) during the year. In the last 7 years, length of NHs has gone up by more than 50% from 91,287 km (as on April 2014) to around 1,41,000 km now. All this happened despite the adverse situation due to Covid restrictions and heavy & long monsoon season.

The Union Cabinet approved “PM Gati Shakti – National Master Plan (NMP)” including institutional framework for rolling out, implementation, monitoring and support mechanism for providing multi-modal connectivity.

Source: Orissa Diary

15. Govt exploring public financing for road infra projects: Gadkari

The government is working on a scheme to raise funds from the public at 6 per cent annual interest rate for road infrastructure projects, union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha.

“… We are working on a scheme to raise funds from the poor and ordinary persons for road projects. We will raise funds at 6 per cent annual interest rate which is higher than what banks provide,” he said in the Upper House.

This will benefit the public as they will get a fixed return, he added.

Source: Business Standard

16. Lack of robust road connectivity to ports major barrier for shipping sector: Parl Panel

Asserting that lack of robust road connectivity to ports is one of the major bottlenecks faced by the shipping sector in India, a parliamentary panel has expressed concern over the slow progress of port connectivity roads under Bharatmala Pariyojana. The panel also expressed concern over various hindrances being faced in the filling up of vacancies in the National Highways Authority of India (NHai).

It noted that even though the initially targeted date of completion of Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I was 2021-22, only 168 km of the port connectivity roads have been awarded while the rest 2,105 km are in various stages of detailed project report (DPR) preparation.

Source: Business Today

17. Delhi to publish first ‘state of environment’ report next year

Delhi will publish its first ‘State of Environment Report’ next year that will have data on all key areas, including sewage, water quality, waste collection and segregation etc., put together succinctly.

The city government is also likely to give funds to municipal corporations for the first time for the management of road dust and potholes and to prevent open waste burning.

“The multiplicity of departments in Delhi impedes problem resolution. Had it been Nagpur or Mumbai or Chennai, it would have been easier. So, the objective is to fix accountability of the concerned departments,” an official said.

Source: NDTV

18. Kerala’s Delicate Ecosystem Demands the Necessity for Immediate and More Strategy-Oriented Efforts

Kerala, the glorious “God’s own country”, is blessed with greenery, lagoons and a marine ecosystem, all spread across 38,863 square km. Comprising just 1.18 per cent of India’s landmass, Kerala is placed between the Lakshadweep Sea to the west and the well-forested mountain range, the Western Ghats, to the east.

The state has three climatically distinct regions with a coastal belt of 560km. In the eastern part, we have highlands with mountain terrain ornamented with tropical rain forest, central rolling hills, and western hot and wet lowland containing a diversity of freshwater, brackish water, and marine ecosystems that constitute the coastal plain.

Source: Weather

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