MH: JNPT Liquid Bulk Terminal Project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given green signal for the development of an additional liquid bulk terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Navi Mumbai. The estimated total cost would be Rs 2496 crore. The award would be on highest ‘Royalty’ basis. The project will be taken up for implementation under the private public partnership (PPP) mode on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis. The project is envisaged to be implemented in two phases with overall capacity as 26.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). Phase I envisages construction of four berths to accommodate vessels size up to 180,000 Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) with a capacity of 15 MTPA. Phase II envisages construction of two additional berths for 180,000 DWT vessels with a capacity of 11.6 MTPA. The project would enhance the liquid bulk cargo handling capacity of JNPT from the existing 5.5 MTPA to 20.5 MTPA by 2017-18 when Phase-I is expected to be commissioned. Capacity would go up to 32.1 MTPA with the commissioning of Phase-II by 2025-26. This infrastructure will facilitate industrial growth in the hinterland and also reduce transaction cost for users who are suffering high waiting time in the existing berths. The project will also create, additional employment opportunities and lead to socio-economic development of the region. Private participation is expected to improve efficiency in handling of bulk liquid cargo through state-of-the-art technology and also by applying improved management...

KA: Amrutotsava Bhavan project stalled

With Information Minister R. Roshan Baig ordering the authorities to stop the work on Amrutotsava Bhavan, the dream of Karnataka to have a permanent venue to organise Bangalore International Film Festival (BIFFes) on the lines of Nandan in Kolkata and Siri Fort in New Delhi has come crashing down. This development has disappointed the organisers of BIFFes and film enthusiasts, who were expecting that an exclusive venue will be ready for BIFFes that is coming up in December. Following an appeal by the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy (KCA) that has been organising BIFFes from the past three years, the government had decided to develop Amrutotsava Bhavan as permanent venue. Making an announcement on developing Amrutotsava Bhavan as the permanent BIFFes venue, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had earmarked Rs. 10 crore in this year’s budget for developing multiplex theatres with four-screen facility to organise BIFFes, and to establish a film museum in Amrutotsava Bhavan that is under construction at Nandini Layout. Speaking to presspersons, Mr. Baig said he had directed the authorities to stop construction as the quality and the facility in the structure would not match the expected international standards to organise BIFFes. “I proposed to the Chief Minister to shift the venue and he agreed to that,” he added. According to official sources, a decision was taken to build the Amrutotsava Bhavan to mark 75 years of Kannada cinema. Initial plan was to develop Madhyama Bhavan and Amrutotsava Bhavan on 2.5 acres of land allotted by the Bangalore Development Authority in Nandini Layout. However, bowing to the pressure from the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, it was finally decided to...

AS: Guwahati drainage project stalled

A tussle between Hudco and the Assam government has put the Guwahati Metropolitan Area Storm Drainage Improvement Programme in limbo. The Rs 96 crore project sponsored by Hudco was launched in December 1999 and was expected to be fully operational by March 2002. However, Hudco’s fresh condition that the state government stand surety for Hudco loans drawn earlier by agencies like the Guwahati Municipal Corporation and the state Housing Board has almost stalled the implementation of the project midway. The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority is the nodal agency for the project while four state government departments, namely PWD, Irrigation, Flood Control and Town and Country Planning, are engaged in the programme implementation. Of the total project cost, Hudco had committed Rs 70 crore. However, to date the funding agency has released only Rs 21.46 crore. According to Hudco sources, the release of Rs 19.51 crore has been withheld pending surety from the state government. Any delay in implementing the project due to paucity of funds is likely to escalate the cost of the project, as certain works may require redoing owing to constant siltation in the rivulets. Despite this the authorities are confident of opening the Bharalu Swice Gate of the project...

MH: Bombay HC halts work at Mulund-Thane SEZ

The Bombay High Court has put a spanner in the land reclamation work currently on at the Mulund-Thane Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project site in the ecologically sensitive coastal area in northeastern Mumbai. It has asked the project proponent, Zeus Infrastructure, to stop dumping solid waste in the area immediately. The company was using construction debris and municipal garbage to reclaim land. The court order came in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Mumbai-based non-profit Vanashakti. The SEZ for information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITES) is being developed on the site which earlier had salt pans. Earlier, a Right to Information (RTI) application filed by the non-profit had revealed that the Union environment ministry overturned its own decision to give approval to the SEZ in the ecologically sensitive coastal area. Dumping of the solid waste to reclaim land is illegal. This was clear from the response of the environment ministry counsel in the court who said that environmental clearance would stand cancelled if the proponent is found to have dumped municipal solid waste at the site. The ministry had initially rejected the Rs 3,000 crore SEZ in 2006 because the project site spread over 54.23 hectares (ha) was on land classified as Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) I. CRZ rules are applicable up to 500 metres (m) on the landward side of the high tide line and up to 100 m from high tide line along water bodies like estuaries that are influenced by tides. CRZ-I refers to those areas in the regulated zone which are ecologically sensitive and have special geomorphological features like mangroves, marshes...

KA: Gulbarga Airport Project

The State government has approached Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd. to complete the remaining 20 per cent of work on Gulbarga airport and operate it. The work on the greenfield airport has remained suspended for more than a year following disputes among the partners of the joint venture company Regional Airport Holdings International (RAHI) Ltd. Minister for Infrastructure Development R. Roshan Baig told presspersons here on Friday that the State government, after exhausting all efforts to persuade RAHI to resume construction, had started discussion with IL&FS on completing the remaining work and operating the airport. Two of the subsidiaries of IL&FS — IL&FS Transport and IL&FS Engineering — were part of the joint venture RAHI, and differences between RAHI and IL&FS and other partners led to the suspension of the airport work. The 3,100-metre runway was completed and 50 per cent of the work on the terminal building was done when differences cropped up among the joint venture partners. Mr. Baig said RAHI did not respond to notices issued by the State government to restart the work. This forced the government to suspend the contract with RAHI and look for other players to complete the remaining work. The Minister said a high-level executive team of IL&FS would visit the Gulbarga airport site next week and study the possibility of taking over the work. Subsequently, the State would hold discussions with IL&FS and take the final decision. When asked if the State would take up the remaining work on its own if IL&FS refuses, Mr. Baig said the government would consider other alternatives after holding talks with IL&FS...

TS: Vikarabad Satellite Township Project

With uncertainty over bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, especially the fate of Hyderabad city, the Union urban development ministry has put the Vikarabad satellite township project on hold. Though the project got in-principle approval from the Centre and Planning Commission four months ago and sanction of Rs 148 crore for first phase works, funds were not released. As a result, the municipality has not called for tenders for the works so far. Officials said funds are likely to be released only after there is some clarity on the division of the state. Sources said Vikarabad, which is about 60 km from Hyderabad, has been chosen for development as satellite township because of its proximity to the city. As big cities were facing traffic congestion woes, the Centre has decided to develop some municipalities, which have above one lakh population, as satellite townships. Eight projects were sanctioned in the country and Vikarabad was selected due to its proximity to Hyderabad. Though Bheemili municipality was also proposed for the satellite township, it was rejected as the municipality population was only 55,000. Officials said the main idea behind the satellite township concept was to develop infrastructure and housing in surrounding areas of congested cities like Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. The facilities would be provided so that people should be able to commute to the city from the township daily to attend their offices and carry out their routine works and go back to the township. Facilities like water supply, drainage, solid waste management, health and sanitation, roads and housing infrastructure would be provided to meet a population of five lakh...