Hold public meeting in Polavaram affected areas: SC to Centre


The Supreme Court, hearing a petition on the status of Polavaram multi-purpose project, ordered the Centre on November 29 to hold a public hearing in the project affected area in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The Centre replied saying it was ready to appoint an independent agency to conduct the same.

The SC bench, led by Justice Madan B. Lokur, also said that the project will only move forward after the public hearings are held. The court was hearing a petition filed by the non-profit Readiness for Empowerment through Legitimate Action (RELA) and the Odisha government.

The Polavaram project was accorded national status in 2014 in the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Act and its design was changed. The petitioner had told the court that since the dam design has been changed and new components were added, it’d require a new environmental clearance.

Polavaram Project is a multi-purpose irrigation project. The dam across the Godavari River is under construction located in West Godavari District and East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh state and its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Orissa States also.

The project is multipurpose major terminal reservoir project on river Godavari for development of Irrigation, Hydropower and drinking water facilities to East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, West Godavari and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The project is likely to displace over 1.88 lakh people across 222 villages and so far, 1,730 persons in six villages have been rehabilitated by the government.

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Why should we not stay green nod for Char Dham highway? SC asks Centre

The Narendra Modi government’s ambitious plan to connect the Char Dham pilgrimage spots in Uttarakhand by all-weather highways was put under a question mark. The Supreme Court (SC) sought the Centre’s response on why it should not stay the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) clearance to the project.

The proposed four-lane expressway to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath in the hill state has been among the flagship projects of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. Expanding the national highway network itself has been a key thrust area for the current regime.

But the idea of the 900-kilometer road network in the sensitive mountains of Uttarakhand drew skepticism from environmental activists who fear the highways and the tourists they would bring in will be at the cost of the ecological balance.

About Chardham project:

The project involves developing and widening 900-km of national highways connecting the holy Hindu pilgrimage sites of; Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri at an estimated cost of Rs.12,000 crores.

The highway will be called Char Dham Mahamarg(Char Dham Highway) and the highway construction project will be called as Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana (Char Dham Highway Development Project).

The roads will be widened from 12m to 24m and the project will involve the construction of tunnels, bypasses, bridges, subways, and viaducts.

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Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) sign $200 Million Loan to improve State Highways in Bihar

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed here today in New Delhi a $200 million loan on 26.11.20L8 to finance widening and upgrading of about 230 Kilometers State Highways in Bihar to all-weather standards with road safety features.

The signatories to the loan agreement for the Bihar State Highways III Project (BSHP-III) were Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, who signed on behalf of the Government of India, and Mr. Rajeev P. Singh, Officer-in-Charge of ADB’s India Resident Mission, who signed for ADB. The project agreement was signed by Mr. Vipin Kumar, Resident Commissioner, Govt. of Bihar and Mr. Chandra Shekhar, Chief General Manager, Bihar State Roads Development Corporation Limited.

Advantages of improved roads under the Project:

  • It will contribute to savings in vehicle operating cost and travel time.
  • It will reduce vehicle emissions, and
  • It will improve road safety.

Asian Development Bank (ADB):

  • The Asian Development Bank was conceived in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world.
  • It assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
  • ADB is composed of 67 members, 48 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region.
  • Established on 19 December 1966
  • Headquartered — Manila, Philippines
  • Official United Nations Observer

Voting rights

It is modeled closely on the World Bank and has a similar weighted voting system where votes are distributed in proportion with members’ capital subscriptions.

United States > Japan  > China > India >Australia

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Govt launches chatbot loaded AirSewa digital platform for air passengers

Chatbots will now help air travelers in addressing their grievances, as the government Monday launched an upgraded version of AirSewa digital platform.

Besides, passengers can have access to real-time flight status and schedule for both domestic and international flights, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry.

AirSewa 2.0, the upgraded version of the web portal and mobile app, provides chatbot support for a faster resolution and personalized traveler experience. Also, passengers can sign up using their Facebook and Google accounts.

Generally, chatbots are computer programmes that interact with people through audio or text messages.

The AirSewa portal and mobile app were launched in November 2016. Since the launch, AirSewa 1.0 has helped resolve a significant

Around 12,000 complaints have been dealt with through AirSewa, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said.

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India gets its first sewer cleaning machine

In order to reduce sewer deaths and put an end to the unsafe practice of manual scavenging, the Sulabh International introduced India’s first “sewer cleaning machine”.

The machine, Sulabh International founder Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak said, “will do away with 99 percent of manual scavenging” in the country, where at least one worker has died while cleaning sewers or septic tanks every five days since the beginning of 2017.

The machine, which costs Rs 43 lakh, was unveiled on the occasion of World Toilet Day 2018 by the mayors of all the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCD), in the presence of Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari and Pathak.

To avert such tragedies, the Sulabh sewer cleaning machine is electro-hydraulically operated, with personal protective devices and a quick-view pipe inspection camera which extends up to 20 feet.

“The quick-view pipe view camera is designed to felicitate inspection of manholes, sewer, tunnels, tanks, mainline and other lateral pipeline facilities with an outstanding zoom function (industrial HD camera), scalable carbon fiber rods and a sunlight presentable controller,” he informed.

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AAI in pact with US agency to prepare modernisation roadmap

State-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has inked an agreement with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to develop a roadmap for modernization of its air traffic services.

Air traffic services (ATS) comprises air traffic management (ATM) and communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS).

The collaboration is aimed at developing a CNS/ATM roadmap for the AAI for modernization of the national airspace system (NAS), the release said.

Under the pact, US aircraft manufacturer Boeing will provide technical assistance which will create a roadmap to enhance communications, expand existing systems and airspace capacity, and invest in CNS/ATM facilities, it added.

The double-digit growth in air passenger traffic over the last 49 months has brought several challenges with it, including maintaining safe and efficient aircraft operations, he said.

In this backdrop, it was decided to draw a robust roadmap for sustained ANS infrastructure to meet the growth challenges in a planned way, Mohapatra added.

According to the release, utilizing global and regional best practices as a benchmark, the technical help will recommend a roadmap and implementation plan to the AAI for improving airspace utilization and implement CNS/ATM air and ground equipage in the short, medium and long-term (up to 10 years).

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PM Modi inaugurates India’s first multi-modal terminal on inland waterways

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated India’s first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga River in his parliamentary constituency here and received the country’s first container cargo transported on inland waterways from Kolkata.

The first consignment containing food and beverage had set sail from Kolkata in the last week of October.

Container cargo transport comes with several inherent advantages. Even as it reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage, it also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.

About Jal Marg Vikas Project:

The Jal Marg Vikas Project seeks to facilitate plying of vessels with a capacity of 1,500-2,000 tonnes in the Haldia- Varanasi stretch of the River Ganga. The major works being taken up under JMVP are the development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking etc.

The JMVP, which is expected to be completed by March 2023, is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1500-2,000 tons on NW-I.

Its objective is to promote inland waterways as a cheap and environment-friendly means of transportation, especially for cargo movement. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency.

Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia was declared as National Waterway No.1. The NW-1 passes through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal and serves major cities and their industrial hinterlands.

 

 

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PM Modi inaugurates India’s first multi-modal terminal on inland waterways in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in his parliamentary constituency here and received the country’s first container cargo transported on inland waterways from Kolkata.

This is the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.

This is the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India.

Benefits of container movement on inland waterways:

Container cargo transport comes with several inherent advantages. Even as it reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage, it also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.

About Jal Marg Vikas Project:

The Jal Marg Vikas Project seeks to facilitate plying of vessels with a capacity of 1,500-2,000 tonnes in the Haldia- Varanasi stretch of the River Ganga. The major works being taken up under JMVP are the development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking etc.

The JMVP, which is expected to be completed by March 2023, is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. The project will enable commercial navigation of vessels with the capacity of 1500-2,000 tons on NW-I.

Its objective is to promote inland waterways as a cheap and environment-friendly means of transportation, especially for cargo movement. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the project implementing agency.

NW 1:

Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system from Allahabad to Haldia was declared as National Waterway No.1. The NW-1 passes through Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal and serves major cities and their industrial hinterlands.

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IIT-Madras develops portable cold storage device

The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has developed a portable solar-powered cold storage device with a 500 kg capacity for storing vegetables, and fruits, among other items.

The device will help farmers store their produce for sufficient time so that it does not get spoilt before it is sold, thereby preventing wastage of agricultural produce.

The first unit of the device, which provides a storage facility with temperature ranging between four and 10-degree Celsius, was deployed at a farm in Madurantakam in Kancheepuram district, around 80 km from Chennai, recently.

Each unit would cost between Rs 5.5 to Rs 6 lakh and storage capacity could be scaled down based on requirement.

The project has been funded by the Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of Science and Technology) and IIT-M.

A startup called Tan90, initiated by IIT-M students aims to commercialize the technology and take it to individual farmers with even smaller devices at affordable prices.

Three years ago, students of IIT-Kharagpur developed a similar system which works at almost zero running cost.

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Cabinet approves leasing out six airports – Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru through PPP

“In-principle” approval for leasing out six airports of AAI viz. Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru for operation, management and development under Public Private Partnership (PPP) through the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).

Constitution of an Empowered Group of Secretaries headed by CEO, NITI Aayog with Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Secretary, Department of Expenditure to decide on any issue falling beyond the scope of PPPAC.

PPP in infrastructure projects brings efficiency in service delivery, expertise, enterprise, and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector.

The PPP in airport infrastructure projects has brought World class infrastructure at airports, delivery of efficient and timely services to the airport passengers, augmenting revenue stream to the Airports Authority of India without making any investment, etc. of these, for development of Greenfield Airports at Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Presently, the airports being managed under the PPP model include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Cochin.

The PPP airports in India have been ranked among the top 5 in their respective categories by the Airports Council International (ACI) in terms of Airport Service Quality (ASQ).

While these PPP experiments have helped create world-class airports, it has also helped AAI in enhancing its revenues and focusing on developing airports and Air Navigation infrastructure in the rest of the country.

Background:

The increase in domestic and international air travel in India combined with congestion at most airports, and the strong traffic growth at the 5 airports which were privatized over a decade ago has attracted the attention of several international operators and investors. The airport sector is the top contender among infrastructure sectors in terms of international interest. International operators and investors prefer brownfield airport expansion opportunities with having more than 3-4 million passenger capacity. The airport sector may provide an immediate opportunity to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) by the adoption of a PPP approach.

Therefore, it has been decided to lease out six airports viz. Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru of AAI in the first phase for development, operation and management under PPP. This is expected to enhance the revenue to AAI and increased economic development in these areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure.

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