India InfraHub Newsletter: Bullet Train Construction Begins, Rail Freight Crossed Pre-Covid levels, UttarPradesh Seeing Infrastructure Expansion & More!


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After a week of Infra promising budget,Infrastructure sector is again seeing major reforms, new “Major Ports Authority Act 2021” which will liberalize  state owned ports, Ladakh to get India’s first geo-thermal project, 1000 air routes to be operated under UDAN scheme, and NHAI eases usage of FASTag for road users, and Eastern Railways is 100 per cent electrified, and much more Infra and related developments have occurred in past week, India Infra Hub team brings all updates to you.

Apart from News, further nudging you with niche analysis and deep insights into various sectors of Indian infrastructure, we are launching our first infrastructure exclusive print and e-magazine. our first magazine looks at Metro rail systems in India, current developments and envisions a future of metro rail transit in India cities. 

As several sectors grow back inching towards pre-COVID levels, we bring you all events in Railway, Roads, Aviation, Energy, Transport and Affordable housing sectors, our takes and expert commentaries on daily infrastructure events composed.

Top Commentaries Of The Week

Wood Is Making A Comeback In Construction, Will be Main Building Material Soon!

by Abhishek Patil

Wood is one of the oldest construction materials, known for its exceptional properties — strength, low weight, easy machinability, and, most importantly, its renewability and limited carbon footprint.

It was the most popular material until the mid-eighteenth-to-nineteenth century and has been abandoned for brick, steel, and concrete, with the fear of flammability being one of the biggest reasons for its abandonment.

Wooden construction is only catching speed now. It is still in the early stages, awaiting some technological advances that can alter the landscape of construction and city skylines in the future. (read full article)

Yogi Adityanath Has Done More For Uttar Pradesh’s Infrastructure Than Any Other Chief Minister In Decades

Four years into his first term as Chief Minister of India’s most populous state, the English media remains as hostile and prejudiced against Yogi Adityanath as it was in 2017.

His record as Chief Minister is seldom discussed. And when it is, facts are conveniently ignored to reach a preconceived notion.

Within the city, multiple other existing facilities and tourist attractions, including the city’s bus station and the ghats along the Sarayu River, are being revamped. A 1,200-acre area in the town will be developed as ‘Smart Ayodhya’. (read full article)

India’s Unconventional Way Into Industrial Revolution 4.0 Through Construction

– by Abhishek Patil

The world today is on the cusp of a major technology overhaul, the “Industrial Revolution 4.0” (IR4), with the advent of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, Internet of Things (IOT), and quantum computing. These advances promise to fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and interact as a society.

Specifically in the industry and construction space, IR4 is offering to bring together mechanical systems, which can perform harder and repetitive physical tasks, and digital systems, which can carry out complex cognitive tasks. When these two forces are put together, we can not only do complex physical tasks but constantly self-learn new and efficient patterns of going about work. (read full article)

Road & Railways

UAE Envisions An Ultra-Futuristic Under Water Train Project Between Mumbai And Fujairah

UAE’s National Advisor Bureau is exploring a concept to connect Mumbai and Fujairah trough under water rail, which will be 2000 Km long rail line, to be covered in mere 2 hours.

Abdulla Alshehhi, Director of UAE’s National Advisor Bureau Limited, speaking at UAE-India conclave, held in Abu-Dubai said, this line will not only facilitate movement people across Arabian sea, but will also have pipelines for oil and water, UAE will export oil to India and India can export fresh water to UAE, Khaleej Times Reported. (read full article)

Mumbai-Ahmadabad Bullet Train Project: L&T Begins Pier Concreting In Mumbai

In a significant milestone, on Wednesday (10 February), Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has started the construction work to build the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Line popular as the bullet train project which passes through the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, reports The Metro Rail Guy.

In an event attended by the top officials of L&T and National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), workers have started pouring concrete for the first pier’s open foundation (pile cap) and started the test piling work on the Package C4 of the project that extends up to 237.1 km. (read full article)

Indian Railways’s Eastern Zone Becomes 100 Per Cent Electrified, Nationwide Electrification By 2023

With the electrification of the Nimmita – New Farakka railway section in the state of West Bengal, the Eastern Railway zone has achieved complete electrification, reports Financial Express.

This was achieved due to considerable increase in the speed of project implementation. For example, while just 710 kilometres of electrification was done by the Eastern Railway Zone in West Bengal during 2009-14, this has been increased to 1,290 kilometres between 2014-19. In the year 2019-20 alone, 153 kilometres of railway electrification was completed in West Bengal. (read full article)

Delhi-Dehradun Expressway: Gadkari Unveils Detailed Design And Timeline For Under-Construction Project That Will Cut Travel Time By 4 Hours

The under-construction Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Economic corridor, will reduce the distance between the two cities from 235 kms to 210 kms, and compress the travel time from 6.5 hours as of now, to just 2.5 hours, once it is completed.

The expressway will have a total 25 kilometres of elevated road – 6 kilometres in open, 14 in tunnels. The six-lane highway will pass through pristine forest areas.

The entire corridor is designed for driving with a minimum 100 Kmph speed. (read full article)

NHAI Removes Minimum Amount Requirement In FASTag Wallet, And More Changes To Wallet Use You Should Know

National Highways Authority of India has decided to remove minimum amount of balance required in FASTag wallet.

As NHAI is making FASTag mandatory by 15th February 2021, and has 80 per cent of all NHAI users, it is making FASTag more easier, simple and acceptable to adopt for rest of NHAI users.

“In order to increase the FASTag penetration to ensure seamless movement of traffic and to reduce avoidable delays at the toll plazas, NHAI has decided to remove the mandatory threshold amount for the FASTag account / wallet, which was paid by the user in addition to the security deposit for the passenger segment (Car/Jeep/Van),” NHAI said in a statement. (read full article)


Railways Carried Over 119 MT Goods In January: Surpassing Pre-Covid Levels

Indicating fast moving economic upswing, freight movement continues to maintain the high momentum in terms of earnings and loading in the month of January 2021 for Indian Railways.

Continuing with growth in freight transportation, the national transporter has registered highest ever loadingfreight at 119.79 million tonnes (MT) in January 2021.

The last best was in March 2019 at 119.74 MT.. (read full article)


Railway Design: Indian Railways Unveils State-Of-The-Art Economy AC 3-Tier Coach To Replace Sleeper Class

As per the report, this coach will have 83 berths instead of the existing 64 present in the current 3-Tier coaches. These will be 11 more than the berths in the Sleeper Class.

Despite the added capacity, the passenger comfort has not been compromised and the added space has been created by moving the main electrical control to the coach’s underslung. (read full article)


Kisan Rail: Operation Greens – Top To Total Scheme To Benefit Farmers

Aiming to incentivise farmers to transport their agricultural produce through Kisan Rail, Indian Railways and Ministry of Food Processing Industries have included mandarin (a variety of orange) and turmeric (raw) in the list of eligible fruits and vegetables for 50 percent transportation subsidy through any type of train service provided by the public transporter under Operation Greens – Top to Total.

Fruits like mango, banana, guava, kiwi, litchi, papaya, mosambi, orange, kinnow, lime, lemon,  pineapple, pomegranate, jackfruit, apple, almond, aonla, passion fruit and pear are already under subsidy. (read full article)

Urban Transport & Aviation

20,000 New City-Buses To Be Rolled Out In 111 Cities: Sustainable & Green Public Transport

Pitching for augmentation of city buses and urban green mobility, a scheme to induct over 20,000 city buses in more than five lakh plus population cities will be launched to strengthen organized city bus services and ease in living.

The initiative as part of the Budget proposal is estimated to cost Rs 18,000 cr would cover a total 111 cities including Hilly/Union Territories/ North East State capital cities. (read full article)


Boost For Domestic Civil Aviation: Govt Targets To Start At Least 1,000 Air Routes Under UDAN Scheme

In a big push for the domestic civil aviation sector, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri announced yesterday (7 February) that his Ministry has set the ambitious target to operationalise 100 unserved routes and underserved airports, reports Economic Times.

Puri also shared that the Ministry is looking to start at least 1,000 air routes under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) which is also popularly known as UDAN. (read full article)

Maharashtra May Build Undersea Metro Rail To Reach Proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Memorial In Arabian Sea

In an effort to increase accessibility to the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial in the Arabian Sea during monsoon, Maharashtra’s Public Works Department (PWD) is now exploring the option of building an undersea metro rail to reach the memorial site, reports The Indian Express.

During a meeting held in September 2020, the consultants mentioned that it would not be possible to reach the project site during the four months of monsoon. Following it, Maharashtra PWD Minister Ashok Chavan had issued the directions to prepare a detailed report on the project. (read full article)

GMR Run Delhi And Hyderabad Airports Recognized With ‘Voice Of Customer’ By Airports Council International

Both the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Hyderabad run by GMR group have bagged the Airports Council International’s (ACI) prestigious ‘Voice of Customer’ recognition, reports Hindustan Times.

The ‘Voice of the Customer’ recognizes airports that continued to prioritize their customers and remained committed to ensuring that their voice was heard during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.(read full article)

Ports & Energy

Major Port Authorities Act 2021: Greater Autonomy To Ports And Attract Port Investments

Parliament passed Major Port Authorities Act 2021, Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shei Mansukh Mandaviya moved the bill in Rajya Sabha which was passed yesterday, and is now waiting for president’s assent.

This act will provide autonomy to major ports in determining tariffs, their port-related services and engage with private developers they can partner with.

It will release ports from the cusp of previous centralised tariff regulatory body, TAMP (Tariff Authority for Major Ports), now ports will be governed by respective Port Authority, which can fix reference tariffs for its port services, based on market conditions. (read full article)

Ladakh To Get India’s First Geo-Thermal Project, Free Power Distribution To People

India’s first geo-thermal project will be set up in Puga, a village in eastern Ladakh, the site has long been identified as hotspot for geo-thermal energy.

A tripartite agreement is signed between, Union Territory of Ladakh, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), and Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), the agreement was signed in presence of  Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur and Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Member of Parliament, Ladakh.

“The signing of the MoU with ONGC for the first geothermal project in India is a promising initiative towards innovative and sustainable development of Ladakh and also a step towards achieving the goal of carbon-neutral Ladakh,” the Lieutenant Governor said. (read full article)

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