Companies & Sectors
Road contracts simplified, 10,000-km target by March: Jaitley
New Delhi : The government has begun awarding road construction contracts following a simplification of procedures in this regard and plans to award a total of 10,000 km of road projects by the end of the current fiscal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.
 
"All procedures have been simplified. There is an exit policy, there is a hybrid model and so on. Various options of flexibility are there in the sector," Jaitley said after a meeting here with bankers and contractors along with Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
 
He said 6,800 km of highway projects have already been awarded and by March this figure would go up to 10,000 km.
 
"With such large projects being awarded, I think it has a spiral effect on steel, cement, auto sector, and all is going to take place," Jaitley said.
 
The success of highway programmes has taken the stress out of the banking sector and a large number of contractors are wanting to execute projects, the finance minister said.
 
"You didn't have a single contractor responding to the tender. And today all major contracts attract multiple contractors' bidding," he said.
 
Jaitley said the government, the financial sector, financial services and the contractors who execute projects were currently meeting on how to expedite the national highways programme.
 
Gadkari told reporters that the meeting with the ministers is to be followed by a separate one of the stakeholders of 19 stalled road projects involving blocked investment of Rs.40,000 crore.
 
"My department says 5-6 of these problematic projects can be solved. In this meeting we hope to do it," Gadkari said.
 
"In case we need to do some out-of-the box thinking on some difficult cases, I have suggested setting up a committee under the finance minister and with the secretaries of finance and road transport to decide on these," he added.
 
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

Subramani P K

1 year ago

It is good news that 10,000 KM of road projects are to be cleared & conditions simplified. While executing these projects please make sure that there is no compromise on quality of work & timely completion. All projects half done or stalled for various reasons should be critically analysed & solution found to be completed by end 2016-17.

19 stalled road projects to be resolved by end-January: Gadkari
New Delhi : Nineteen stalled highway projects, some stuck for almost a decade, and involving investment held up of around Rs.40,000 crore, could be resolved following an ongoing stakeholders meeting here, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.
 
"We are expecting a solution tonight. My department says 5-6 of these problematic projects can be solved. In this meeting, we hope to do it," Gadkari told reporters after a meeting here with bankers and contractors along with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
 
"In case we need to do some out-of-the box thinking on some difficult cases, I have suggested setting up a committee under the finance minister and with the secretaries of finance and road transport to decide on these," he said.
 
"There are only 19 projects where no solution could be found out. Secretary, bankers and contractors sat today (Thursday)...under no circumstances should any project be pending before January 31," he added.
 
Gadkari said that if issues remained unresolved, an "out of the box solution" would be found by the finance ministry in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office.
 
The minister said that as many as 384 projects had been stuck for the last 10 years due to issues like land acquisition, forest and environment clearances, railway over-bridge problems, litigations, delayed decisions and financial problems.
 
"The government has terminated 41 projects and solved problems related to all these projects barring 19," Gadkari said.
 
These projects include national highways in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, involve contractors like like Larsen & Toubro, HCC, Gammon and Essel Infra, while the loans are from major state-run banks like State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Bank of India.
 
Gadkari also said his ministry will soon launch a website for "cooperation, coordination and communication" where bankers and contractors could post their complaints and suggestions that would be scrutinised by the road transport secretary.
 
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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Centre announces first 20 smart cities
These cities were chosen from 98 cities shortlisted for the 'Smart Cities Mission'. 
 
New Delhi : Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday announced the names of the first 20 cities which will be developed into smart cities in 2016.
 
These are: Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Pune (Maharashtra), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Surat (Gujarat), Kochi (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Sholapur (Maharashtra), Davangere (Karnataka), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC, Delhi), Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Belagavi (Karnataka), Udaipur (Rajasthan), Guwahati (Assam), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Ludhiana (Punjab), and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).
 
These cities were chosen from 98 cities shortlisted for the 'Smart Cities Mission'. 
 
"These 20 cities will be the first to receive funds, hence kickstarting the process of developing them into 'smart cities'. The next two years will see the inclusion of 40 and 38 cities more," Naidu said at a press conference here.
 
"In terms of population, these 20 cities account for 3.54 crore people. A total investment of Rs.50,802 crore has been proposed in the selected smart cities and towns during the five-year period," he said.
 
"The Smart City Mission marks a paradigm shift towards urban development in the country since it is based on 'bottom up’ approach with the involvement of citizens in formulation of city vision and smart city plans and the urban local bodies and state governments piloting the mission with little say for the ministry of urban development," he added.
 
Naidu also said that the winners were from 11 states and the Union Territory of Delhi and the selection was objective and transparent based on standardized processes.
 
The minister also informed that 23 states and Union Territories who could not make it to the list of winners will get an opportunity to participate in a ‘fast track competition’.
 
"Each top ranking city form these left out states can upgrade their smart city proposals and submit them by April 15 this year for inclusion in the mission," said the minister.
 
Naidu added: "Smart cities need to be inclusive, sustainable and effective engines of growth, fulfilling the aspiration of Young India."
 
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

Deepak Narain

12 months ago

This government has all perverted priorities. Instead of smart cities, government should first have worked to provide toilets in all households throughout the country and in all girls' schools, with enough provision to keep them clean as well. So also for providing clean drinking water everywhere including the presently crisis-ridden Latur district in Maharashtra.

Mr Jitendra

1 year ago

The criteria for Smart city and the list of cities is debatable. Take eg of Indore. It already has broadband, dedicated citybus routes for iBus, drinking water supply, connectivity with rail, air and land. So what is going to get added or change in Indore in next 5 years?

Will Indore remain what it is today with no trams or any suitable ring route mobility across city? What may end up is, during 2019 election propaganda, Indore will get named as "Indore Smart city".
I just do not get the expenditure of Rs 1000 crore per city for 100 cities.
Take one more criteria of smart city which is affordable housing. Today one row house in Indore costs Rs 27 Lakhs which is around 18 km away from city centre. Will the row house in that area cost Rs 18 lakh in 2020?

If there are no concrete answers to the above doubts raised, Smart City could result into a major scam in next 7 years.

pradeep

1 year ago

It is a good govt initiative but because of this land mafia has increased and the prices have sky rocketed. It has become impossible to buy any land.
Govt should control the land price and bring it down.

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