Companies & Sectors
Jio consortium announces 8,100-km, multi-nation cable system
Mumbai : A global consortium with Reliance Jio as a key member on Monday announced the launch of a 8,100-km, 100 GBPS fibre optic communications cable system, inking East Asia and West Asia, with a landing at Chennai. It can also connect with other systems for a global reach.
 
"Linking Malaysia and Singapore with Oman and the UAE, with branches to India and Sri Lanka, the cable provides ample diversity to South East Asia, India, Middle East and European routes," the consortium said in a statement.
 
The cost of the project was not divulged.
 
In addition to Reliance Jio, the partners in the Bay of Bengal Gateway, as the cable network is called, include: Dialog Axiata, Etisalat, Omantel, Telecom Malaysia, and Vodafone. The Indian company Reliance Jio has invested in the system as part of its broadband plans.
 
"This brings key global content hubs closer to our customers, delivering much richer experience as an important part of driving India's broadband adoption and enabling consumers to shift away from the current high-cost low value propositions," Jio president Mathew Oommen said.
 
The Indian company owns and operates the strategically important undersea cable landing facility in Chennai, providing high-speed, high-capacity, low latency route to connect the subcontinent with the rest of the world.
 
The Bay of Bengal Gateway has deployed the latest submarine cable transmission technology with an initial capacity of 9 terabits per second and a design capacity that can take it up to as much as 55 terabits per second, the consortium said.
 
The network can also be used to interconnect with existing land and undersea cables at Oman and the UAE for Europe, Middle East and Africa -- and similarly at Malaysia and Singapore for Far East Asia, all the way to the US. 
 
It also promises enhanced reliability as the marine route design is such that it avoids the busy and crowded Malacca Straits and other cable-cut prone areas with diverse terrestrial connection directly to two gateways in Singapore, the consortium said.
 
Among those who can benefit from the system are carriers seeking cost-effective ways for global connectivity, large corporates with high bandwidth requirements in the region such as financial institutions and IT providers, as also others seeking route-diversity for reliability.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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India's annual wholesale inflation moves up
New Delhi : India's annual wholesale inflation inched up to (-)0.85 percent for March, from (-)0.91 percent in February, official data showed on Monday.
 
The annual inflation rate, based on the official wholesale price index (WPI) data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, stood at 2.33 percent in March 2015.
 
The firmness in the annual rate of inflation was attributed to rising prices of food articles which rose by 3.73 percent for the month under review. Pulses were costlier by 34.45 percent over the past year.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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Railway cost overruns = $16.4 billion = annual salary bill
Delays in completing railway projects resulted in cost overruns of Rs.1.07 lakh crore ($16.4 billion) - equivalent to the yearly salary bill of its three million employees - according to an IndiaSpend analysis of a December 2015 audit report.
 
As of March 2014, the railways needed Rs.1.86 lakh crore ($28.6 billion) to complete these projects, said the report, "Status of ongoing projects in Indian Railways", conducted over five years (2009-14) by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
 
Of 442 incomplete projects - new railway lines, gauge conversion and doubling - only 156 (35 percent) had deadlines, but despite targets, 75 were incomplete after more than 15 years.
 
The combined cost overrun of projects with a budget of more than Rs.150 crore (319 of 442) was Rs.1.01 lakh crore ($15.5 billion); for projects less than Rs.150 crore (123 of 442), the combined cost overrun was Rs.5,614 crore ($0.89 billion), the report said.
 
Three projects unfinished after 30 years; 22 not started, although cleared 16 years ago
 
Of the 75 projects incomplete for more than 15 years, three were unfinished after 30 years. Further, 22 projects had not started, although some were cleared up to 16 years ago.
 
Here are two examples:
 
1. An 83.74-km railway line from Nangal Dam in Punjab's Rupnagar district to Talwara in Hoshiarpur district: Cleared 34 years ago, the 43.91-km first phase of the line (from Nangal Dam to Amb Andaura, a town in Himachal Pradesh) was completed after nine years, in 1991. The 17-km second phase, from Una in Himachal Pradesh to Charuru Takrala, a village in Una district, started in 1998 and opened seven years later. There has been no construction since, because no money was available. Until March 2014, Rs.383.89 crore had been spent on 46-km and 45 percent of the line is incomplete, the CAG report said.
 
2. A 42-km railway line from Howrah, West Bengal, to Amta in the same state, with a 32-km branch line to Champadanga, a town in Hooghly district: Cleared for construction 45 years ago, the first stretch of 24 km from Howrah to Bargachhia took nine years; the second 18-km stretch, from Bargachhia to Amta, was stalled for several years. Construction restarted in two phases, in 2000 and 2004, but was never completed because land could not be acquired between Bargachhia to Champadanga. In 2014, the railways wanted the project cancelled. But it is presently considered "ongoing", with an anticipated "throw forward" cost - meaning the money required for completion - of 
Rs.356 crore.
 
These are extreme examples, but they reveal how projects are started without clear plans and preparations; many fail the railways' own financial standards.
 
Only 30 percent of projects meet financial requirements, rest are unviable
 
A provision of the Indian Railway Finance Code states: "No fresh investment proposal would be considered financially justifiable unless the net gain (rate of return) expected to be realised as a result of the proposed outlay, after meeting the working expenses or the average annual cost of service, is 14 percent or more".
 
The rate of return is based on the earnings from anticipated traffic. Only 30 percent of the incomplete projects had a net gain or rate of return of 14 percent, whereas 126 projects had a negative rate of return. This means 70 percent of the projects were not financially viable.
 
The CAG report included recommendations for future projects. Some of them:
 
Indian Railways need to revisit all projects that are incomplete after more than 15 years and assess their financial viability.
 
Indian Railways need to prioritise projects and ensure these are adequately funded, so they can be completed on deadline.
 
The Railway Board and zonal offices need to monitor projects better, so no more money is wasted.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Param

10 months ago

waiting 15 years to decide on viability is certainly a new record, even for infra projects :)

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