Companies & Sectors
Coal India directed to sign pacts with power cos even without PPA

In December last year, the PMO had directed power producers to sign FSAs with CIL in a month’s time. However, NTPC has refused to sign FSA, saying CIL was supplying poor quality coal

The Union coal ministry has directed Coal India (CIL) to sign fuel supply pacts with power generation companies, including NTPC, before finalising power purchase agreements with them.

 

“The Coal Ministry has directed Coal India (CIL) to sign Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) with power companies, including NTPC, without waiting for PPAs (power purchase agreements),” according to a source.

 

In December last year, the Prime Minister’s Office had directed power producers to sign FSAs with CIL in a month’s time.

 

So far, 60 power companies have signed FSAs while many have not signed citing varied reasons.

 

India’s largest power producer NTPC has refused to sign FSA, saying CIL was supplying poor quality coal.

 

NTPC chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury had said it had agreed on almost all terms and conditions of the FSA and is ready to sign the agreements provided CIL promised to give a minimum calorific value coal.

 

NTPC power plants need coal of minimum 3,100 kilocalories, but CIL at times had supplied coal with average heat generating capacity of about 2,100 kilocalories, according to the power company.

 

NTPC buys close to 140 million tonnes of coal to fire its thermal power plants. The company has not signed FSAs for 4,500 MW power generation capacity.

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Driving is a necessary skill which must be improved in the city of Mumbai, says HPC

To improve the technology in use for driving tests, necessary hardware such as simulators will  be  installed  at the three  RTO offices  on a  pilot basis,  and  will be eventually installed at all RTO offices, says the HPC report

While the city of Mumbai is working towards better infrastructure and superior vehicles on the roads to have more orderly traffic, it is important to observe that driving is a necessary skill which must be improved in the city of Mumbai through improved quality driving test, says  a report by High Powered Committee (HPC) appointed by the Home ministry.

 

A public interest litigation (PIL-18/2010) was filed in the Bombay High Court by the Bombay Bar Association, dated 29 January 2010. This PIL primarily addresses various issues of traffic management in the city of Mumbai. The petition is regarding improper regulation of traffic, several issues related to traffic operations, technology, enforcement, manpower, road markings, etc. In the 17 hearings held by the high court, several issues related to enforcement and infrastructure was raised. The high court held a chamber hearing of all agencies on 7 May 2012 where in everyone was asked to put forth their views.  Subsequently,  to  look  into  these issues,  the  high  court  directed  that  a  High  Power  Committee (HPC)  be appointed. This article is based on the HPC report.

 

Improving Quality of Driving Test: In order to ensure that the quality of

driving  test  conducted  by  the  Transport  Department  is  improved,  necessary

infrastructure  to  conduct  proper  driving  test  as  per  the  provisions  of  Rule  15  of Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR), 1989, such as the test tracks to test the driving skills of the drivers, will be provided. Provision of such infrastructure in Mumbai only will not suffice as the drivers from all over the state and even from outside the state drive the vehicles on Mumbai roads. Improvements are needed state-wide, according to the HPC report.

 

Action proposed: Providing infrastructural facilities like test tracks etc. throughout the state for better quality of driving test as per Rule 15 of CMVR, 1989. This must be completed in a time frame of four years.

 

Modern Technology for Driving Test: Use of modern equipment such as driving simulators is being considered to assess the driving skills and relevant behavioural aspects of a candidate in different situations by simulating the scenes. Presently, the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, do not provide for the use of simulators in assessment of the driving skills. 

 

Action proposed: Government of Maharashtra may consider sending the proposal to MORTH (ministry of road transport & highways) and to further follow up for amendments to Motor Vehicles Act & Rules. Once the proposal for amendment is submitted and approved, necessary hardware such  as simulators will  be  installed  at the three RTO offices  on a  pilot basis  and  will be eventually installed at all RTO offices. This must be completed in a time frame of three years.

 

Capacity  Building  in  RTOs  for  Driving  Tests: Sufficient  number  of  the technically qualified and properly trained personnel to utilize the modern systems and tools to make accurate assessment and evaluation of the driving skills of the applicants appearing for driver’s license test also needs to be made available to the department as a part of the policy to improve the quality of drivers. Such measures shall help reduce accidents and ensure better compliance of the traffic rules.

 

Action proposed: Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) to develop suitable training courses for officers conducting driving tests. Additional manpower is needed in the cadre of IMV/AIMV. This must be completed in a time frame of three years.

 

Refresher Training for Drivers: The Motor Vehicles Act does not provide for a efresher training to the driver, once a driving license is obtained. 

 

Action proposed: Transport Commissioner’s Office to send a proposal to the government for amendment  in  Motor  Vehicles  Act  for  introduction  of  the  concept  of  refresher training  for  drivers  and  further  test  of  driving  skills  and  behavioural  aspects  for commercial vehicle drivers. Appropriate policy changes are being recommended to make the drivers undergo a refresher training and further test of their skills and relevant behavioural aspects periodically. This must be completed in a time frame of three years.

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HPC says vehicles in Mumbai are landing up on parking space in alarming manner

MCGM  has  invited  an  Expression  of  Interest  (EOI)  for implementation  of  “Web  Based  Paring”  for  on-street  parking,  which  involves electronic  hand -held  devices  capable  of  issuing  the  e-challans  of  parking  fees and storing   data  to  the central  server  of  MCGM

In Mumbai the proportion of free parking on roads is ample while the parking cost is low, between Rs5 and Rs20 per hour (Source: Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai— MCGM). Mumbai is at the lower end in terms of pricing for parking. And with the annual addition of more than 50,000  cars  (Source:  TCO) excluding  a  larger  number  in  two -wheelers,  as  well  as  substantial increase in  water tankers, school buses and commercial vehicles, there will be a high requirement of new parking spaces per year. The effect is clear and visible, most of these vehicles land up on the roads for parking in an unregulated manner. The situation is getting alarming.

 

A Public Interest Litigation PIL-18/2010 was filed in the Bombay High Court,  by the Bombay Bar Association, dated 29th January 2010. This PIL primarily addresses various issues of traffic management in the city of Mumbai. The petition is regarding improper regulation of traffic, several issues related to traffic operations, technology, enforcement, manpower, road markings, etc. In 17 hearings held by the HC, several issues related to enforcement and infrastructure was raised. This article covers aspects of parking from the HPC (High Power Committee) Report of the Bombay High Court.

 

According to the HPC report, excessive  vehicles  and  consequential  parking  beyond  available  space  has increased  traffic  congestion  severely.  Narrow roads and random parking on both sides  of  the  roads  has  been  causing  inconvenience  for  the  commuters  and  pose safety concerns for commuters and pedestrians. A large number of vehicles are parked on the roads, in many cases on both sides of a narrow and high volume road. On some of the arterials, out of four lanes only two lanes are available for an effective carriageway leading to considerable slowing of  traffic  and  additionally  resulting into  stop -start  operation,  leading  to  very  high exhaust emissions. 

 

Devising  Strong  and  Effective  Parking  Policy: A  strong  and  effective  parking  policy  needs  to  be  formulated  and  implemented, recommends the HPC report.  The  policy  and enforcement  needs  to  ensure  restricted  on-street  parking  along  major  corridors. Parking should be allowed at designated locations only. Strict  enforcement  of provisioning  of  mandatory  parking  spaces  by  the  establishments  is  required.  No “change of use” permission should be given unless provision of mandatory parking requirements is followed.

 

Action  proposed:  The MCGM will appoint the consultants/ transport planners to prepare the Parking Policy for Greater Mumbai in consultation with Traffic Police Department.  Necessary assistance for hardware required by Traffic Police

Department  for  effective  enforcement  of  no-parking  zones  will  be  provided  by the MCGM. This must be completed in two years.

 

Establishing  Comprehensive  Parking  Unit: A  comprehensive parking  unit  (CPU)  for  Mumbai  should  be  established  that  will  look  after  all  on road/off  road  and  vertical  parking,  management,  personnel  management  for operation, marking, metering as well as use of smart cards, other electronic devices for  information  and  effective  controls.  It can work towards a regime of close to market driven prices (over a period of time) and develop compliance mechanism. 

 

Action  proposed:  According to the HPC report, MCGM  has  invited  an  Expression  of  Interest  (EOI)  for implementation  of  “Web  Based  Parking”  for  on-street  parking,  which  involves electronic  hand -held  devices  capable  of  issuing  the  e-challans  of  parking  fees, taking photograph of vehicles, noting registration numbers of vehicles and transferring and storing  all  data  to  the central  server  of  MCGM.  These devices will also have extendibility to use smart cards, etc. in future. The system can be extended to include private parking in malls, large commercial establishments etc. This must be completed in three years.

 

Pay and Park policy for old and congested areas as well as night time

on-street  parking  in  residential  areas: CPU  should  also  work  towards establishing area  pay and  park for night time  with preference for local residents.

Parking needs of local residents in old buildings should be considered where there is very little parking inside the premises but that need not be free.

 

Action proposed: In the near future, MCGM will have many off street parking lots under the provisions of Development Control Regulation and work must be completed in two years, concludes the HPC Report.

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