Economy
Permit railway lines to be built by power generators

If  we are really serious about generating adequate power and distributing it, the coal industry should be given the responsibility of appointing private contractors to lay the railway tracks, so as to establish the required connection from pithead to the main connecting line, from where it becomes the Railway’s responsibility to haul the coal

In the recent months, the issue of coal blocks has been discussed at great lengths and all that has really happened is actually ‘discussions’ back and forth. Not much progress in work, really.
 
One thing that has clearly emerged is that progress in these meetings has simply come to a naught all because work cannot proceed further due to lack of clearances of one or another.
 
As we said before these columns before, each department or ministry is concerned with ego trips and papers are moving on snail mail.
 
For instance, we had earlier covered the issue of non-availability of rakes for coal movement from pitheads, where more than 100 million tonnes are lying for evacuation.  Now Coal India chairman Narasing Rao has volunteered to pay for idle rakes to the Indian Railways, if they are made available at the designated locations and not ‘used’ by CIL. This is a welcome gestures and shows that Mr Rao is keen to get the coal moving to hungry customers.
 
Railway Board chairman, Vinay Mittal, has now openly charged that although they are trying to complete the tracks, the main stumbling block is from ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) without whose clearances, work cannot be speeded up, which is on hand.
 
According to Mr Rao, the three rail road projects for coal transportation that cover Tori-Shibpuri (73 km), Raigud-Mand (300 km) and Vasundra mines-Jharsaguda (55 km) are under various stages of development.  Both Tori and Vasundra links are financed by Coal India but the work has been far from satisfactory!
 
Passing the buck to the MoEF, Mr Mittal has stated that the bottleneck for progress lies with them, and he is helpless. He has categorically stated that if there are further delays in clearances, the whole project will not only be delayed but become more expensive due to cost overruns!
 
And this is not the first time that the MoEF is under fire for inordinate delays in issuing clearances. Its rigid stand in application of norms to be complied, before being given clearance, supposedly takes an average three to four years in practice. State government clearances are also stumbling blocks before work can commence in the mines. These areas have to be revisited to see if some relaxation is possible so that work on hand does not suffer.
 
In the meantime, the question of appointing a Coal Regulator and the proposal to discuss the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill by the Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by P Chidambaram, has been postponed for the time being.
 
It would therefore appear that all those involved in such vital development, expansion and consolidation of the coal industry, so essential to the nation’s progress, are actually participants in playing the musical chair. It is strange that the coal ministry and power ministry are planning to set up a meeting to discuss various issues pending before them, without the very presence of the railway ministry! No doubt, if the three were to sit together to discuss important issues, who knows, the MoEF may give it a miss. In other words, someone vital in the whole chain will be found missing and the matter will again get postponed.
 
Are we really serious about generating adequate power and distributing it without interruptions for the industry and masses? Then why not the coal industry be given the responsibility of appointing private contractors to lay the railway tracks on approved blueprints given by the Railway Board, so as to establish the required connection from pithead to the main connecting line, for a coal siding, from where it becomes the Railway’s responsibility to haul the coal? 
 
Let the government give power generators the right to make proposals on these lines with a time frame within which it becomes the individual responsibilities of companies to get the job done, whether by local or international rail-road contractors?

Read more from AK Ramdas

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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Delhi protests: Some defining moments at Raisina Hill and India Gate

Delhi protests: Some defining moments at Raisina Hill and India Gate, when tear gas shells and water failed to deter the protesters who refused to vacate the area that houses the North and South Blocks including the Prime Minister's office and turned the area into a virtual battleground

They say one image is equivalent to more than thousand words....

Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,


Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,
Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police
Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,
Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,

Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,


Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,
Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,
Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,
Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,
Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,


Delhi, India Gate, Raisina Hill, protests, Delhi gangrape, Delhi protests, police,
Images Courtesy: Sri Ram Channel
 

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COMMENTS

Shadi Katyal

4 years ago


BEFORE I REPLY I WOULD LIKE TO BOW OUR HEADS IN SHAME AND PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF DEPARTED VICTIM.

Mr. Khera you and I are discussing different issues of the same subject.I discussed the lawless and crossing Luxman Rekha while you are discussing the unfortunate rape and now death of the victim.
Let us hope that she becomes the soul searching of us Indian men .Why do we look on the other side when a woman is being molested, grabbed and goosed in buses and trains. Why do not speak up when eve teasing is going on.Are we not responsible for such acts
Sacrificing is necessity and she has given her life but breaking Law is not a sacrifice

Vaibhav Dhoka

4 years ago

This can be changed to large extent if there is timely JUSTICE DELIVERY system.One should be fearful of punishment,but exactly opposite is happening here.Punitive action is need of hour.

Shashikant Koppikar

4 years ago

There can be no two opinions that the horrendous gangrape in Delhi and other crimes of sexual assault-- on women, children, foreign tourists and so on, elsewhere in the country call for a determined effort at preventing them. But, is the present discussion, concentrated on death for the guilty, fast track courts, tougher laws etc. an adequate response? Instead of retributive justice alone, should we not aim at closing the tap which feeds a mentality of only the lust, towards women. A mentality, which considers women as the object to be physically used, with no regard for a mutually respectful and healthy mental and sexual relationship.
If India is to prevent such crimes, we need to take a much closer look at what causes them. The beginning has to be made in the schools, where the civic studies must include a portion each year, devoted to equality of genders and a respect for the opposite sex.
Much additional training must go into moulding of all administrative and law enforcement personnel, to sensitise them into understanding a healthy, man woman relationship, based on equality and respect.
May be this has already been done and most of us not aware of it, but extensive studies need to be undertaken to determine if repressed sexual desires cause such crimes. If yes, the social factors which cause such repression, need to be identified and measures for avoiding such repression need to be implemented. Is poverty and lack privacy the only reason of repression as a stray opinion expressed by a social activist? Then why have even wealthy individuals been found indulging in such acts of atrocities on women?
I am a lay person but know for sure that ancient Indian Philosophy boasted of many women scholars in positions of eminence. The multitude of politicians, senior police officials as well as local bodies like Khap Panchayats, who want to restrict women on various counts, need to be aware of this. Social equality for women does not mean aping Western standards but means restoring ancient Indian wisdom. It will be ironical, if in the land of Khajuraho, a healthy, open man -woman relationship, shorn of hypocritic male dominence, is not accepted.
Although politicians of all parties have been found wanting in their response, Mr Rahul Gandhi's comment that " Any hasty decision will have undesirable consequeces", is an admission of total lack of thinking by the rulers so far,on the issue. Or else a decision now would not be called hasty.

nagesh kini

4 years ago

These picture of police brutality of wanton lathi charges must be filed with the Judicial Commission to enable action each clearly visible and identified cop.

nagesh kini

4 years ago

These picture of police brutality of wanton lathi charges must be filed with the Judicial Commission to enable action each clearly visible and identified cop.

Shadi Katyal

4 years ago

These photos don't do justice to the nation. It shows how lawless we are and when the police tries to protect the Govt buildings., why riots. When the barriers has been placed as a Luxman Rekha why cross and try tom push the police???
No one can deny that police might have used moe force but it was provoked.
It is unfortunate that trouble makers from outside with view of looting took over and students were misled and all the efforts for justice for rape was diverted into this police brutality.
Why can we the citizen not be Law abiding????

REPLY

sudhir khera

In Reply to Shadi Katyal 4 years ago

Mr. Katyal, have some pity and empathy for the protesters who braved the chill and faced water cannon and batons. They left the cosy comfort of their homes to protest against the brutality of inhumans who perperated the heineous crime and wanted change. In a democracy, citizens have the right to protest and seek change. This cannot be achieved without some sacrifice. What right the authorities had to clamp sec 144 and order lathicharge. State is insensitive to the changing scenario and its mindset is still steeped in the british rulers. They try to quell dissenting voice by the use of excessive force. 'Ahinsa parmo dharam' is ok, state must know that it also has to work within laxman rekha,Indiscriminate use of powers and force will not be tolerated and anger amongst the citizens will lead to this kind of situation.

R Balakrishnan

4 years ago

Fantastic photos.

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