Sep 3, 2014

Dear Modiji, bullet trains can wait, first rectify problems in metros

Thousands of commuters were again stranded on Tuesday as a technical snag hit Delhi Metro's Blue Line causing the trains to run slow and halt for several minutes at many stations resulting in overcrowding. Long queues were seen outside every metro station on the entire stretch between Dwarka-Noida/Vaishali routes. Technical snags, a daily phenomenon in metro The glitch on the Blue Line is very frequent and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) always blames the snapping of a strand of the overhead electrical wire. Delhi metro may have completed a decade, but no permanent solution has been formulated till date to cure this problem which has now become a daily affair. This not only eats up the precious time of thousands of commuters as these snags generally develop during peak hours, when there is maximum traffic on the route. Ironically, the stranded commuters were heard chatting about how Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a five-day visit of Japan, was seen wooing technical giants in Japan's capital, Tokyo, to help develop metro network in other Indian cities. Japan has already committed to providing financial, technical and operational support to develop India's first bullet train project. Japan has also promised to substantially invest in Ahmedabad metro project. These are really good signs as it will boost India's infrastructure but the government must also ensure that the existing projects are not ignored as well. Delhi's lifeline is metro In the past one decade, the state owned metro has turned Delhi's lifeline. It has achieved a daily ridership of an average 2.5 million and generates huge revenues. People in the entire Delhi-NCR region now depend on metros. With every passing month the coaches are getting overcrowded as people are shunning other modes of transport in the capital city and travelling metro to save their precious time and fuel. But there seems to be no remedy to curb overcrowding and the ever increasing glitches. Metro is facing technical snags every now and then One wonders why the DMRC is unable to fix this problem which is not only affecting its credibility but also making it a butt of all jokes in the international community. In this age of social media the news of such irregularities spreads like wildfire and thus, brings shame to the government. Rain in Mumbai metro We can take the case of Mumbai metro when water from an AC duct started pouring inside a metro coach, during its initial days of plying. The commuters inside the coach clicked pictures and made videos and posted them on social media. The state of the art metro had to face huge embarrassment with this incident. Since, metro is also used by foreigners visiting Delhi the instances of any such snag only brings global humiliation. Tall claims over improved transport facilities are being made but the existing system is not working properly. The DMRC washes its hands off every time a technical snag occurs. The government must fix accountability of those responsible for such glitches. Bringing foreign technologies and investments would be of no use if the existing ones are not maintained well. Expansion and development of the metro will be positive only when the government addresses this issue seriously so that no such problem is faced in coming days. india

High-speed race for China and Japan to export rail technology

The signing of the standard gauge railway agreement attended by Premier Li Keqiang of China, President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Salva Kiir of South Sudan at the State House Nairobi, May 11. (File photo/Xinhua)

Though China and Japan have been competing ferociously for overseas high-speed railway projects, they actually work together in the supply chain, with China bagging railway contracts and Japan exporting locomotives.

An example of such a tie-up can be seen in the United Kingdom, where China is more likely to win the tender for building a railway while Japan stands a better chance of supplying the trains, said Bai Yimin, a Chinese national who has worked for Japan's Mitsui Business Group.

Japan still needs to outsource many orders to companies in China if it wins tenders, while China also has to study Japanese technology after it wins a bid, which Bai said is a win-win situation.

Japan's Asahi Shimbun reported that China is gearing up to export its high-speed rail technology, targeting emerging markets in Africa, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Likewise, Japanese government officials and entrepreneurs have been actively promoting high-speed rail technology in India, Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia.

Japan, which has been a global leader in the manufacture of high-speed trains, is expected to establish its advantage in the global industry as its manufacturing of appliances slows down.

Japan's transport minister has called for a tender to be submitted for the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail project based on Japan's bullet train technology. The project, linking Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, is 350 kilometers long and tenders will be invited in 2015.

China on the other hand signed an agreement in May with five African countries to construct a high-speed train linking Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya. Construction will begin in October.

In addition, Premier Li Keqiang has promoted China's high-speed rail technology in several countries on his trips abroad, including Thailand, Turkey and the United Kingdom over the last two years.

On June 24, China's CSR Corporation signed an agreement with Macedonia, under which China will sell six bullet trains to the European country, the first such deal China has struck in Europe.

Japan isn't standing idly by. To facilitate exports of Shinkansen, a network of high-speed railway lines manufactured in Japan and operated by four Japan Railways Group companies, the Japanese government established the International High-Speed Rail Association in March 2013 with the aim to secure high-speed rail projects in Europe, Southeast Asia, Brazil and Australia, while Japanese companies have also participated in the government projects.

Bai said Japanese enterprises are trying to make connections with companies in Southeast Asian countries to help them win tenders for major projects there.

China mostly exports high-speed rail technology through political cooperation.

However, both China and Japan have been facing obstacles in certain developing countries where the political and economic situation can be unstable, especially in Thailand, Brazil, Vietnam and India.
Source-wanchina times

Safer, smoother, shorter Char Dham Yatra

Road ministry had appointed a consultant after last year's devastating rain across the Himalayan state that had washed away bridges and roads.

NEW DELHI: The road transport and highways ministry has prepared a massive plan for realignment and improvement of existing National Highways in Uttarakhand that would make your travel to Char Dham smoother, safer and shorter in the next 4-5 years.

The plan covers seven stretches of NH-58, NH-94, NH-108, NH-109 and NH-125 totalling approximately 890 kms that connect the pilgrimage destinations and also Tanakpur in the hill state. The detailed plan was presented before the cabinet secretary and secretaries from other key departments on Tuesday, sources said. The project would take at least three years for construction considering the difficult terrain where man and machinery would be deployed for major civil work. The total investment would be around Rs 12,000 crore.

Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth has asked road and railway ministries to explore the road-rail alignments on these stretches so that combined efforts can be channelised. "The intention behind this coordination is the two departments must know what each of them have planned and where these can be synchronised," a government source said.

Road ministry had appointed a consultant after last year's devastating rain across the Himalayan state that had washed away bridges and roads. Government officials said that in the detailed project report, plans for realignment of existing roads, stabilisation of earth, bridges and tunnels have been incorporated for specific locations.

They added that since land sliding is a chronic problem in most of the vulnerable areas, different treatment has been planned for different localities. All locations including submerging and sinking zones have been identified. Stretches that have bad geometrics causing accidents would also be removed or treated. "Construction of long bridges will reduce the total length of the stretch and travel time significantly. There are provisions for building viaducts to bypass areas that are prone to land sliding and other hazards," said an official.

There are specific plans for building bypasses for towns on these stretches including Joshimath, realignment of the highway passing through Srinagar.
Source..times of india

Red Carpet, Not Red Tape, Awaits You in India, Says PM Narendra Modi to Japan

PM Modi makes a strong pitch in Tokyo for investment in India

TOKYO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tokyo today reiterated the "Come, Make In India" call he first made in his Independence Day speech. "You please come manufacture and make in India...we will ensure you have whatever you need for that," he said, delivering the keynote address at the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Mr Modi is on a five-day tour to Japan to strengthen defence, strategic and business ties between Asia's second and third largest economies.

"Just as India is focusing on Look East policy, we expect a Look at India policy from Japan," Mr Modi said to an audience of about 2,000, assuring Japan that "now a red carpet, not red tape, awaits you." He also stressed a massive consumer market and easy access to skilled and cheap labour in India. "There are more than 50 cities in India that are waiting to get metro rail projects... have you ever seen such business in one country in this one sector?" he said.

Mr Modi said India offers three vital 'Ds" -- democracy, demography and demand.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday that over the next five years, his country will invest nearly 34 billion dollars in infrastructure and other projects in India including the cleaning of the Ganga and the development of smart cities. Japan has also agreed to help India finance and launch high-speed bullet trains.

Mr Modi has guaranteed speedy clearances to Japanese investors, promising the creation of a team within his office that will handle proposals from Japanese industry.

Security threat: What will India's next step for China be?

New Delhi, Sep 3: India is all set to launch a major road-building exercise along the border with the neighbouring country China. As per a report in an English daily, the roads will be constructed along the border with China as well as in areas affected by Maoist insurgency to tackle security threats. This comes after a taking the perceived threat from China seriously, reported media. To ensure the projects do not get delayed, the government has also decided to relax environment norms The relaxation in norms is set to help in development of some 6,000 kilometres of roads within 100-kilometre of the border with China. The development holds significance in the wake of China announcing major plans to build rail network and roads along the border with India. After the Narendra Modi government took over in May this year, it had announced that major infrastructure projects, including road-building, along the border with Pakistan and China would be expedited. The government has already modified rules to allow such infrastructure projects to go ahead without adhering to strict environment protection norms. Rules have also been amended to waive off the compensatory afforestation requirement.

7400 Additional Berths/Seats by Attaching Additional Coaches

In order to clear extra rush of passengers, South Central Railway will temporarily augment the following Trains with additional AC II Tier/AC III Tier/AC Chair Car/Sleeper Class coaches as detailed below:-

  1. Train No. 12285 Secunderabad – Hazrat Nizamuddin Duronto Express will be augmented with o­ne AC III Tier Coach from 4th to 14th September, 2014 and o­ne AC II Tier Coach o­n 4thSeptember, 2014.
  2. Train No. 12286 Hazrat Nizamuddin - Secunderabad Duronto Express will be augmented with o­ne AC III Tier Coach from 5th to 15th September, 2014 and o­ne AC II Tier o­n 5thSeptember, 2014.
  3. Train No. 22204 Secunderabad - Visakhapatnam Duronto Express will be augmented with o­ne AC III Tier Coach from 3rd to 15th September, 2014.
  4. Train No. 22203 Visakhapatnam - Secunderabad Duronto Express will be augmented with o­ne AC III Tier Coach from 4th to 16th September, 2014.
  5. Train No. 17007 Secunderabad – Darbanga Express will be augmented with o­ne AC II Tier Coach from 2nd to 13th September, 2014.
  6. Train No. 17008 Darbanga - Secunderabad Express will be augmented with o­ne AC II Tier Coach from 5th to 16th September, 2014.
  7. Train No. 17002 Secunderabad – Shirdi Sainagar Bi-Weekly Express will be augmented with o­ne AC II Tier Coach o­n 7th and 14th September, 2014 (Sundays).
  8. Train No. 17001 Shirdi Sainagar - Secunderabad Bi-Weekly Express will be augmented with o­ne AC II Tier Coach o­n 8th and 15th September, 2014 (Mondays).
  9. Train No. 12769 Secunderabad – Tirupati Seven Hills Super Fast Express will be augmented with o­ne AC II Tier Coach from 2nd to 12th September, 2014.
  10. Train No. 12770 Tirupati - Secunderabad Seven Hills Super Fast Express will be augmented with o­ne AC II Tier Coach from 5th to 15th September, 2014.
  11. Train No. 12761 Tirupati - Karimnagar Express will be augmented with o­ne AC II Tier Coach from 3rd to 13th September, 2014.
  12. Train No. 12762 Karimnagar - Tirupati Express will be augmented with o­ne AC II Tier Coach from 4th to 14th September, 2014.
  13. Train No. 17037 Secunderabad-Bikaner Bi-weekly Express will be augmented with o­ne AC III Tier Coach from 2nd to 10th September, 2014.
  14. Train No. 17038 Bikaner - Secunderabad Bi-weekly Express will be augmented with o­ne AC III Tier Coach 5th to 14th September, 2014.
  15. Train No. 17618 Nanded-Mumbai CST Tapovan Express will be augmented with o­ne AC Chair Car Coach from 1st August to 15th September, 2014.
  16. Train No. 17617 Mumbai CST- Nanded Tapovan Express will be augmented with         one AC Chair Car Coach from 2nd to 16th September, 2014.
  17. Train No. 17688 Dharmabad-Manmad Marathwada Express will be augmented with o­ne AC Chair Car Coach from 1st to 15th September, 2014.
     18. Train No. 17687 Manmad - Dharmabad Marathwada Express will be augmented with o­ne AC Chair Car Coach from 1st to 15thSeptember, 2014.
Source-Chief Public Relations Officer

Arjuna Awards–2014 for Railway Sportspersons

The Government has approved to confer National Sports Awards 2014 upon the following sportspersons of Indian Railways:
Arjuna Awards 2014
Ms. Tinku Luka
Southern Railway
Ms. Geetu Anna Jose
Southern Railway
Ms. Mamta Pujari
South Central Railway
Ms. Renu Bala Chanu
Northeast Frontier Railway

The awardees will receive the awards from Hon’ble President of India at a special function at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 29th Aug. 2014.

Maharashtra to seek citizens' say on metro rail project

NAGPUR: The city's ambitious metro rail project will soon come up before the general public to elicit their views and objections. The state urban development department has prepared two notifications and will invite suggestions and objections on the two proposed corridors and increase in floor space index (FSI) to 4 for plots within 500 meter radius on each side of the two corridors.

Meanwhile, the project's nodal agency Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has sent a proposal to the state government to raise loan of 50% of total project cost from Japan-based Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) chairman Pravin Darade, who has been instrumental in planning the project, told TOI two notifications will be issued in a day or two by the state urban development department. One is alignment notification and other transit oriented development (TOD) notification. Metro rail is proposed along two corridors, 19.65km from Automotive Square to MIHAN along Indora, KP, Sitabuldi, Khamla and Airport, and 18.55km from Prajapati Nagar to Lokmanya Nagar along Central Avenue, Sitabuldi, North Ambazari Road and Hingna Road.

Citizens can submit suggestions and objections to these two corridors within 60 days from the notification. Similarly, there is a proposal to give 4 FSI on the two corridors and suggestions and objections will be invited from citizens for the changes in FSI.

"Citizens can submit suggestions and objections at NIT office or with the government. Hearings of those submitting suggestions and objections will be conducted. Then the government will give final approval to the two proposals," he said.

NIT superintending engineer SS Gujjalwar said process to raise loan of 50% of total project cost will begin with JICA after government approval. "Centre and state's share is 20% each and NMC and NIT's share is 5% each in the project. Remaining 50% will be raised through loan from JICA," he said.

JICA provides technical and financial aid to developing countries to implement projects and it is one of the top financiers for Delhi metro rail project.

Interestingly, NIT has considered the old project cost of Rs 8,680 crore approved by the central government, and not the revised cost of Rs 10,526 crore for the loan proposal. Darade said metro region project can be expedited once it gets the state government's approval.

Meanwhile, the government has transferred Darade, who will be replaced by Aurangabad municipal commissioner Dr Harshdeep Kamble.

New plan to clean up Pili river

Pravin Darade revealed a project to reduce pollution level in Pili River. "NIT and Neeri have started the process to set up a project for treatment of sewage flowing in Pili river without any mechanized unit. Treated sewage water will be utilized in gardens and such purposes. It is a pilot project and would be implemented in different stretches of the river once it is successful," he said.

Darade added that NIT also plans to treat sewage water in some stretches of Pili and Pora rivers by using mechanized units. "It will be small sewage treatment plants with latest technology consuming less land and requiring low investment," he said.
Source..times of india

‘Metro rail project cost may escalate’

The HinduHyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project authorities testing Automatic Train Wash Plant walk alongside a Metro Train during a photo call at the Uppal Metro Rail Depot in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Photo: Nagara Gopal

Without even considering the alignment change being sought by the Telangana Government, the cost escalation of the Hyderabad metro rail project is likely to go up to Rs.3,000 crore due to prevailing high interest rates, inflation, delay in announcing the appointed date of construction (July 2012) etc.

This was stated by L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad (L&TMRH) Chief Executive and Managing Director V.B. Gadgil during the press tour of the overhead station and depot facilities coming up at Uppal on Tuesday. The concessionaire which is building the largest ever Public, Private Partnership (PPP) mode metro project has spent Rs.5,000 crore till date.

He also made it clear that while works were on continuously from the last 25 months on various fronts without any “slowdown”, it was halted in “certain sections” for the last three months because of the Government’s insistence of changing the alignment at two places – before the Legislative Assembly and Sultan Bazar.

“We have received no official communication from the Government about alignment change,” Mr. Gadgil asserted.

Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) Managing Director N.V.S. Reddy, who was also present, chipped in to state that a technical feasibility study was on to look into the probable alternative routes and a report along with the financial implications will be presented to the Government to take appropriate action.

“L&TMRH will be informed about the same and based on the Concessionnaire Agreement (CA)’s clauses and penalties, the work will be taken up after additional funding required is stated. The Government is fully aware of the consequences and we have to follow its directions,” he said.

Mr. Gadgil said a project of this magnitude was bound to face several challenges and his firm was confident of overcoming them but any delay will add up to the cost. He also revealed that test runs are being carried out till Habsiguda every day and power lines till Mettuguda will also be done in three days to make the entire construction of stage one of the project – Nagole to Mettuguda (8 km) ready.

Projected cost of project at time of awarding the contract was Rs.12,132 crore and it is being built across three traffic corridors of 72 km: L.B.Nagar- Miyapur, JBS-Falaknuma & Nagole-Shilparamam-Raidurg.
Source..the hindu

Rail deal before my term: Roy

Mukul speaks about probe when asked about Saradha deals

Mukul Roy at Trinamul Bhavan on Tuesday

Calcutta, Sept. 2: Trinamul all-India general secretary Mukul Roy today distanced himself from the deal between the railways and the Saradha Group, saying such arrangements were in place before he became the railway minister.

Replying to a question on the deal, in which Saradha was tasked with promoting a budget travel, accommodation and food to pilgrims and covers pilgrim centres, Roy said: “Aamar kichhu jana nei, karan chukti gulo jokhon hoy, ami jokhon dayitwa nei, tar agey hoyechhe (I don’t know anything about it because the deals were struck before I took charge).”

Mamata Banerjee was the railway minister between May 2009 and May 2011, during which the deal with Saradha Tours and Travels was struck. Trinamul’s Dinesh Trivedi succeeded Mamata as the railway minister. But when Trivedi proposed a railway fare hike in the March 2012 budget, Mamata ensured his removal from Rail Bhavan. Roy took over and continued as the railway minister till September 2012, when Trinamul walked out of UPA II.

After Trinamul’s exit, Saradha fell off the railway radar.

At a news conference at Trinamul Bhavan, Roy refused to “go into details”.

“I don’t know anything about that. When one thing has been done, it should be investigated and decided,” he said when asked again about the deal.

Elaborating on the investigation, Roy said: “CAG aachhe, railway audit aachhe. Everything aachhe (The CAG is there, so is the railway audit. Everything is there).”

The Trinamul leader criticised the CBI over the Saradha probe, during the course of which the names of several politicians have cropped up.

“The CBI is an absolutely political organisation. Just a few months ago, we had seen the man, who is now in the Prime Minister’s chair, being interrogated by the CBI for 19 hours. The present BJP chief (Amit Shah) was taken into their custody and is yet to be acquitted. The CBI is absolutely a political organisation and is acting on a political basis,” Roy said.

“Earlier, we used to call it the Congress Bureau of Investigation. It has only changed hands now. Everything else about the organisation remains the same…. It is a political organisation and is acting like one. The CBI works according to someone’s instructions,” Roy added.

On August 28, chief minister Mamata had assured the CBI of all help, after fighting tooth and nail in courts against a probe by the agency into the Saradha scam.

Bengal BJP president Rahul Sinha said: “Trinamul is seeing the BJP’s ghost in the CBI probe because the agency has turned its focus on Trinamul ministers and leaders. The BJP is not influencing the probe in any way,” Sinha said.

“If Trinamul leaders feel that the CBI is being used politically, they can move the Supreme Court,” he added.
Source - Telegraph

Chinese firms to team-up with Indian firms for rail projs

The Indian government will soon open the projects for public bidding and Tata Projects, one of the fastest growing infrastructure companies in India, is in discussions with an undisclosed Chinese company that owns the advanced technology used in the bid, state-run China Daily reported today.

Chinese firms are teaming with Indian companies to jointly bid for five high-speed railway projects in India in an apparent attempt to compete with Japan's plans to build bullet trains . The Indian government will soon open the projects for public bidding and Tata Projects, one of the fastest growing infrastructure companies in India, is in discussions with an undisclosed Chinese company that owns the advanced technology used in the bid, state-run China Daily reported today. Industry insiders believe the potential partner would be one of China's major rail companies, CSR Corp or CNR Corp, though neither company would confirm they were part of the bid, the front page report from Mumbai titled "Chinese firms eye Indian rail projects" said. The Daily's report came as Japan has announced financial, technical and operational support for bullet train projects in India during the current visit of PM Narendra Modi to Tokyo. China is expected to unveil its investments in India during President Xi Jinping's visit to New Delhi, scheduled for the third week of this month. The issue of Chinese investments in Indian railways figured in yesterday's talks between Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng here. She told media after the talks that India wants Chinese investments and expertise to upgrade the existing tracks to increase the speed of the trains up to about 160 km besides modernising stations. Asked whether India is open for bullet trains from China, she said "I would not close the door but what exactly it is going to be and will it work out which the railways can work out". Sitharaman's talks with Chinese officials focussed on Chinese investments to be announced by Xi during his visit to India. Vinayak Deshpande, managing director of Tata Projects, said his company has previously cooperated with CSR on a train project in Navi Mumbai. "We like to use China's technology and products because they are proven to be reliable and the cost is relatively low," Deshpande was quoted by Daily as saying. He said the Indian government plans to complete the high-speed railway projects in the following five years. "When the new prime minister, Narendra Modi said India will make great efforts on railway construction and urban infrastructure, it brings big opportunities for Chinese companies," Deshpande said. Although Chinese companies face competition from japanese and European counterparts, they have advantages in rich experience and lower cost in the high-speed railway sector, Deshpande said. Feng Hao, a researcher at the Institute of Comprehensive Transportation at the National Development and Reform Commission, said India has been advancing high-speed railway projects to improve transportation, as it is keen to be part of the Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-China economic corridor and to upgrade the service level of its public transportation. "This indicates that having an efficient and fast railway network is critical for India to reach all its goals," Feng told the Daily. "China's Yunnan province is the gateway to South Asia and geographically close to West Bangladesh, and has a lot of potential to enhance business cooperation and tourism exchanges with East India," Feng said. "As the China high-speed railway network grows, choosing Chinese technologies and products should be beneficial to a developing nation such as India or Turkey, because it offers competitive prices and timely after-sale services," he said. Tatas have big investment in China which includes Tata Steel , TCS and Tata automobile unit. Tata steel has also cooperated with Shougang Group and Sinosteel Corp, two major Chinese steel companies, on a steel plant in eastern India. Madhu Kannan, a member of Tata Group's executive council told the Daily that China is becoming an important source for Tata. "The group, as the parent company of Tata Projects, is also looking forward to working with Chinese companies in many other sectors," he said. "The business cooperation will strengthen the friendship between China and India," he said. Premier Li Keqiang paid a visit to Tata Consultancy Services during his visit to India last year. Tata Steel stock price On September 03, 2014, at 13:10 hrs Tata Steel was quoting at Rs 524.00, up Rs 4.80, or 0.92 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 578.60 and the 52-week low was Rs 266.15. The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 75.41 per share as per the quarter ended June 2014. The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 6.95. The latest book value of the company is Rs 629.60 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 0.83.

New policy in offing to attract pvt investment in rail sector

New Delhi: In a bid to tap private investment, railways on said some new policies are in the offing to attract funds as the government has simplified the procedure to remove hurdles in doing business with investors.
"We are framing new policies to attract private investment and it will be publicised soon," Minister of State for Railway Manoj Sinha said at a seminar here.
Citing example, he said for the development of a station a complete data on total land area near it will be prepared through geo-mapping system so that it can be utilised for commercial purpose.
The Minister said that trains can also be run on public-private partnership (PPP) model for tourism purpose.
"Some tourist trains in religious circuits can also be run by private players. Whether a train for Tirupati or Patna Sahib, one can decide on the private venture with railway support," he said.
He said railways have finalised five PPP models. "We have prepared five PPP models for the industry. You can work in station development, freight terminal, port connectivity or new line as these areas are open for PPP investments."
On foreign direct investment (FDI) in the rail sector, he said, "Now 100 per cent FDI is allowed in railways. Barring operation, FDI is allowed in eight areas including high speed, dedicated freight line and suburban trains."
Emphasising on transparency, Sinha said, "It is the prime criteria in private investment."
Admitting that there are "hurdles" in private investment, Sinha said, "Several steps have been taken in the recent past to decentralise the system and all remaining hurdles will be removed in a month."
"Even for construction of rail overbridge (ROB) or rail underbridge (RUB), designs used to be approved at the Board level. Now, we have empowered the zones to take decision and execute it at zonal levels," he said.
The Minister said till now railways have attracted Rs 16,000 crore in private investment. 
Speaking at the seminar, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said need of the hour was to work on the projects already underway and remove the hurdles that had so far prevented their completion.
He holds the portfolios of Power, Coal as well as New and Renewable Energy Ministries.
According to him, the government plans to invest heavily in building more power transmission infrastructure.
Source..zee news





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