Economy
NHAI to miss target of building 2,500 km roads in FY11-12: Report

NHAI’s execution rate has been positive on a y-o-y basis from the current 5.8 km per day as compared to 4.9 km/day, but it is still insufficient to meet the target

Policy paralysis, difficulty in getting environment clearance and achieving financial closures has taken toll on the execution of projects by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). A recent report suggests that NHAI is likely to miss its targets to build 2,500 km roads in FY11-12. It also indicates that building 20 km a day is a far-fetched dream.

A report prepared by PINC Research says, “Total length (of roads) completed has only increased by 8.6% y-o-y (year-on-year) till December end, despite record awarding of projects last year. Till December 2011 the NHAI has completed 1,258 km of roads and is likely to miss its target of 2,500 km. However, we expect NHAI to complete around 2,110 km in FY11-12, an 18.2% y-o-y growth.”

According to the report, NHAI has a total target of 7,300 km road projects of which 4,285 have been awarded till FY11-12 while award to 3015 km of road projects are pending. “Considering the awarded projects, current bid stage and execution; we believe NHAI will miss both its target of awarding and completion. Till date (FY11-12), NHAI has awarded approximately 4,285 km of road projects worth Rs408.90 billion. We believe it is difficult for NHAI to award around 7,300 km this fiscal, as current bid stage of projects suggest possibility of awarding nearly 1,635 km by end of March. Though NHAI may stretch and award around 2000-2200 km, still it will fall short by nearly 800-1000km of awarding.”  

NHAI’s execution rate has been positive on a y-o-y basis from the current 5.8 km per day as compared to 4.9 km/day, but it is still insufficient to meet the target. “We have factored in execution of about 2,110 km and awarding of nearly 6,285 km in FY11-12. To achieve 20 km/day of target requires nearly 22,000 km of work in progress, which currently stands at approximately 13,258km. Hence, we believe it would be an uphill task to achieve 20 km/day target,” the report says.

Recently the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved three projects worth Rs35 billion spanning 332 km. The PINC report says that, “Though we have witnessed very competitive bidding throughout last year, we believe competition would ease going forward, as already developers are facing challenges regarding financial closures and our channel check suggests nearly 40 projects are on the block. Our stance gets further vindicated by looking at the recent bid of Kiratpur-Ner Chowk in Himachal Pradesh won by ILFS Transportation that witnessed only four bidders.”

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Electricity export to India possible: Iranian minister

Iran’s energy minister Majid Namjou said that India is one of the frontrunners in the field of generating renewable energies and Iran will prepare the ground for the development of new energies in the country in co-operation with India

Dubai: Iran is keen to explore the possibility of exporting electricity to energy-hungry India after the much-touted tri-nation gas pipeline project with New Delhi slid into limbo, reports PTI.

Iran’s energy minister Majid Namjou said Iran might well export electricity to India instead of gas.

Mr Namjou said that India is one of the frontrunners in the field of generating renewable energies and Iran will prepare the ground for the development of new energies in the country in co-operation with India.

The minister said India has expressed readiness to import electricity from Iran, pointing out that holding related negotiations with India has been placed on the ministry’s agenda.

He noted that a new power plant is under construction on Iran’s border with Pakistan.

“Currently, one of the new methods for energy exports is to transform natural gas into electricity,” he said, adding that power transmission is less costly compared to natural gas exports.

Earlier in January, in a meeting held between Indian Ambassador to Tehran DP Srivastava and head of Industrial Development and Renovation Organisation (IDRO) Majid Hedayat, ways of expanding cooperation between Iran and India in the fields of industries, oil, gas and green fuels were discussed.

MR Hedyat said IDRO has focused on development of technologies and modern industries with the cooperation of private sector.

Referring to the collaboration between Iran and India in generating electricity from solar, wind and hydroelectric power plants, Mr Namjou noted that some 17,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy power plants have been set up in India and this can be used as a model for development of clean energies in Iran.

Some 100 MW of wind and solar power plants have been established in the country so far, adding construction of a 2.5 MW power plant in Energy Research Centre is in final stages, Iran Daily quoted him as saying.

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Dazzle ’em and down ’em with paraprosdokians

Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of the sentence or phrase is surprising or antithetical, but most often humorous. Winston Churchill was a master of paraprosdokians and often floored his opponents in Parliament with them

Do you want to win a heated office debate hands down? Do you want to shut up the loud-mouthed low-life at your colony’s monthly cocktail party? Does any one of Team Anna want to crush Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram and Salman Khurshid during a verbal free-for-all on the dais at the Ramlila grounds?

I have a secret weapon for you: Paraprosdokians. You need not learn to pronounce the word; only get the meaning right. Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of the sentence or phrase is surprising or antithetical, but most often humorous. Winston Churchill was a master of paraprosdokians and often floored his opponents in Parliament with them.
Here are some examples, which you can adapt to your situation: cocktail party or Ramilia grounds or a TV interview.

1. Where there is a will, I want to be in it.
2. The last thing I want to do is to hurt you, but it is still on my list.
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
5. We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.
6. War does not determine who is right—only who is left.
7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
8. They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
10. Buses stop in bus stations. Trains stop in train stations. On your desk is a work station.
11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.
12. In filling out an application, where it says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR.’
13. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
17. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
18. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
19. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
20. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
21. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
22. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
23. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
24. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
25. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
26. Where there’s a will, there are relatives.
27. I asked God for a bicycle. Then realised God does not work that way. So I stole a bicycle and asked Him for forgiveness.

Happy hunting!!!

(R Vijayaraghavan has been a professional journalist for more than four decades, specialising in finance, business and politics. He conceived and helped to launch Business Line, the financial daily of The Hindu group. He can be contacted at rvij10@yahoo.com.)

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