National grid will facilitate some of the surplus northern producers to supply power to southern states. However, it is of equal importance for southern states to establish inter-regional links, many of which are under various stages of execution
Three years ago, the consortium consisting of Patel Engineering, Simplex Infrastructures and BS Trans Comm was awarded the contract to build Raichur-Solapur 765kV single circuit line, which they have committed to complete and hand over by 6 January 2014.
This project is estimated to cost Rs1,930 crore and, thankfully, the progress in work has been satisfactory and the same will be handed over to become operational even before the due date. This will ensure connection of the southern grid with the western grid. In effect, truly, the national grid will become operative and southern states, which have been cut off from the mother grid, will no longer be treated as a 'powerless' orphan, needing to pay high tariff, which varied from Rs5.87 to Rs17.50 per kWhr (kilowatt hour), as against the rest of India paying anything between Rs2.38 and Rs3 per kWhr!
It may be recalled that the entire north Indian states experienced a complete power blackout in July last year for several hours. It took hours of work to restore normalcy and return power to homes and industries leading to a great loss in production. Pakistan too experienced a similar power outage couple of weeks ago, though a smaller version, which lasted for a couple of hours!
With the commissioning of this Sholapur-Raichur link, south India will be able to access 3,000MW (it was 2,000 MW before) and the fully integrated national power grid will become operative, bringing relief to the whole country.
In the past, due to the corridor congestion, it was not possible to supply surplus power from northern producers to the southern consumers. This link would make it possible.
It may be noted that the NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) did not utilise its full production capacity (5,000 MW was idle) in the last few months as the consumers in the north were unwilling to pay higher tariff (than normal rates) because of the higher cost of imported coal involved in generating the power. In fact, right at this point of time, a great number of thermal units have adequate stocks of coal with them and are in a position to supply power, and looking for consumers!
On the top of this, coal stocks are lying at the pitheads and open warehouses and there are media reports that imported coal being left at the ports by the importers showing reluctance to clear the same due to depreciating value of the rupee. They perhaps, do not realise that demurrage, due to non-clearance of cargo, would be an additional burden that they will have to face.
The southern states cannot become complacent because of the ensuing connection to the national grid. True, this will facilitate some of the surplus northern producers to supply power, but it is of equal importance for them to establish inter-regional links, many of which are under various stages of execution.
These include Wardha-Hyderabad 765 kV double circuit line, Kolhapur (new) Narendra 765 kV double circuit line, Anjul-Srikakulam-Vemagiri 765 kV double circuit line. At a later stage, additional power supply can also be obtained from wind farms for which the government had offered special rebates.
There is therefore, substantial business opportunity for transmission line tower companies to head to the south to seek new avenues of profit.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also 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.)
The CIC directed the PIO of MCD to get information from principal secretary, urban development at GNCTD and provide it to the appellant. This is the 182nd in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing a complaint, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) at Slum and Jhuggi Jhopri Department in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), to seek information from principal secretary of urban development at Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and provide to the appellant. The PIO was seeking clarification from the principal secretary of urban development at GNCTD, which was not forthcoming.
While giving the judgement on 7 July 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, "The Bench directs the PIO of MCD to seek assistance of the principal secretary, urban development at GNCTD under Section 5(4) to obtain the information and supply it to the Appellant. In case the information is not supplied to the Appellant before 30th July 2009 the Commission will consider ordering the compensation to the Appellant."
Delhi resident Amit Kumar Sinha, on 12 February 2009, sought from the PIO information regarding non-receipt of money deposited by him with the MCD. He also complained that his name has not been included in draw for allotment of plot.
In his reply, the PIO said Sinha's name was not in the survey list and hence the appellant was eligible for allotment of plot in draw and his case for refund of Rs7,000 is under consideration before the GNCTD.
Sinha, citing unsatisfactory and false information provided by the PIO filed his first appeal. There was no mention of any order passed by the First Appellate Authority (FAA).
Sinha then approached the CIC with his second appeal.
During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that Sinha had sought information about allotment of plot for relocation. However, the PIO stated that Sinha was not eligible for the allotment of plot.
Sinha also paid Rs7000 in 2002 and wanted to know when his money will be refunded.
The PIO stated that Department had been writing to the principal secretary, Urban Development from 1 July 2008 and sent subsequent reminders to get clarification on the same.
While allowing the appeal, Mr Gandhi directed the PIO of MCD to seek assistance of the principal secretary of urban development at GNCTD, under Section 5(4) to obtain the information and supply it to Sinha. "In case the information is not supplied to the Appellant before 30th July 2009 the Bench will consider ordering the compensation to the Appellant," he said.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001305/4012
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001305
Appellant : Amit Kumar Sinha
Respondent : Public Information Officer &
Assistant Director (SUR)
Municipal Corporation of Delhi
Slum and JJ Department
The committee will consider the advantages and challenges of having a single application across all handsets in an SMS-encrypted environment
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up a technical committee to examine the feasibility of encrypted SMS-based fund transfers to boost mobile banking in the country.
RBI said, the committee will study challenges faced by banks in mobile banking. It will consider the advantages/ challenges of having a single application across all handsets in an SMS-encrypted environment, it added. It will also think over fund transfers that can be facilitated using an application which can run on any mobile handset.
B Sambamurthy, director, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, will chair the committee and Vijay Chugh, chief general manager at RBI, will be the member secretary.
The members of the committee will include officials of State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank and Anthony Thomas, chief information officer of Vodafone India.
The committee may include specialists in the field as permanent invitees, the central bank said.
The committee will also look at any other solution to expand the reach of mobile banking and accordingly, draw a roadmap to implement those solutions.