Monday, June 21, 2021

Ticker Tape - Infrastructure

Atal Tunnel: World’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet, connecting Manali to Leh, completed in 10 years


Rohtang Tunnel Project: The world’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet, Atal Tunnel, the strategically important infrastructure project, the Rohtang Tunnel has been named after former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Connecting Manali to Leh was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. It has been built at a cost of around `3,200 crore. The estimated period for completion of the Atal Tunnel was less than six years but it was completed in 10 years, ANI reported.


The 8.8 km long, Atal Tunnel is one of the longest road tunnels in India. Under Rohtang Pass, the strategic road tunnel project is built at an elevation of 10,171 feet. There will be a reduction of nearly 45 km between Manali and Lahaul- Spiti’s administrative centre Keylong. Atal Tunnel will save crores of rupees in transport costs.




Kolkata East-West Metro Corridor: Howrah-bound tunnel complete; work on other tunnel to start in January


Recently, a critical part of Kolkata Metro East-West corridor’s construction was completed. According to a KMRC official quoted in a PTI report, one of the two tunnels connecting Howrah to Salt Lake via Kolkata under the river Hooghly was completed as the boring machine reached Sealdah. The Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) named Urvi reached Sealdah completing the Howrah-bound tunnel. The official said the tunnel is being developed as part of the rapid transport project that is 16.6 kilometres long, between Howrah Maidan and Sector V in Salt Lake. A stretch of 10.8 km of the total project is underground, while the rest of the 5.8 km section is elevated.


According to the KMRC official, the TBM Urvi broke open a metre-wide concrete barrier at Sealdah and it will now be turned around to complete the work of the other tunnel, which is incomplete as the machine boring met with an accident at Kolkata’s Bowbazar area in the month of August last year.


 The development work for the other tunnel of the East-West corridor is likely to start in mid-January, the official stated. Last year after TBM Chundee hit an aquifer on August 31, the tunneling work was put on hold. The accident led to severe ground subsidence as well as the collapse of buildings at the Bowbazar area in central Kolkata.


According to the report, with TBM Chundee getting damaged beyond repair in last year’s accident, the work is being done with Urvi. For the tunnel, the construction activities began in the month of February but due to the nationwide lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work had to be stalled again in March. After the relaxations were announced, it restarted again. Before the accident at Bowbazar, the two TBMs were working parallel, boring tunnels for the East-West Metro corridor’s up and down lines.



NCR Planning Board released `12,441 crore loan for infrastructure projects till Sep 27: HUA


The National Capital Region Planning Board has released a loan amount of `12,441 crore for various infrastructure development projects till September 27. The Board has provided financial assistance to 360 infrastructure development projects so far with an estimated cost of `31,464 crore, out of which, `15,105 crore has been sanctioned as loan.



Mumbai-Kanyakumari Economic Corridor will be a lifeline for Kerala: Gadkari


According to Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, 23 projects, involving a length of 650 km, are being developed in Kerala at an investment of `50,000 crore as part of the Mumbai–Kanyakumari Economic Corridor.


The corridor that covers north to south is expected to be the lifeline of the State. The corridor improves connectivity to major cities / towns such as Kasargod, Thalassery, Kannur, Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Kochi, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram.


35,000 km of national highways are being developed as a part of Bharatmala Pariyojana in the country. Of this, 1,234 km of national highways are being developed as part of the project in Kerala. Mumbai-Kanyakumari Economic Corridor, at a length of 1,760 km, is one such corridor being developed as a part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana.



Tunnel- 2 of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link: Indian Railways’ most challenging task in Kashmir


Konkan Railway Corporation Limited is currently working on one of the most challenging Indian Railways projects, Udhampur – Srinagar – Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) Project. The USBRL project, which is being said to be a phenomenal engineering project is crucial for the development of Jammu and Kashmir. According to the Railway Ministry, the Tunnel T2 as the main tunnel of the USBRL project is over 5 kilometres long (5092 metres) and is accompanied by a parallel escape tunnel. During construction of this tunnel, several challenges were faced by the team of engineers and workers. The over burden of the tunnel ranges from 7 metres near the portal to 1.20 kilometres at the centre of the tunnel.


Some of the few methods that were used during such challenging construction were the new Austrian tunneling method, which consists of a primary flexible support system and final concrete lining with a waterproofing membrane. The tunnel seismic prediction method was used to predict the strata availability of water borne zones and fracture zones well ahead of the tunnel face for a length of 100 metres. During excavation, high hindrances of water were encountered. These challenges were tackled by adopting new innovative methods like pipe proofing, chemical grouting method and multi drift method. The breakthrough of escape tunnel was achieved on 21 March 2020 and breakthrough of the main tunnel was achieved on 3 August 2020.


The USBRL project of Indian Railways is a National Project to provide rail connectivity to Kashmir valley. The Konkan Railway Corporation Limited has been assigned a part of this USBRL project from Katra – Dharam (km 30.00 to km 73.785) and (km 91 to km 100.868) for execution. The project comprises of 46.1 km (86 per cent) of route in tunnels, 5 km (9 per cent) of route on bridges and the rest of the 5 per cent of route in cuttings and embankments.




Adani Ports closes Krishnapatnam Port deal at enterprise value of `12,000 crore


Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has completed the acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd (KPCL) from the CVR Group for an enterprise value of `12,000 crore.


The enterprise value of `12,000 crore is lower than the `13,572 crore indicated at the time of announcing the deal on January 3.


KPCL runs a private deep-water port at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district.


The deal was announced on January 3 and was cleared by the Andhra Pradesh cabinet on September 3. It has also received approval from the Competition Commission of India.


In FY21, the port is expected to generate an EBITDA of approximately `1,200 crore, resulting in an acquisition EV/ EBITDA multiple of 10x.


This acquisition will accelerate APSEZ’s stride towards achieving 500 million tonnes (mt) by 2025 and is another step in implementing its strategy of cargo parity between the west and east coasts of India.



BRICS’ NDB approves loans for Mumbai Metro, Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS


The Mumbai Metro Rail II Project aims to improve Mumbai’s transport and traffic conditions by providing a modern metro system, featuring high-capacity, safe and comfortable mode of transport.


The New Development Bank (NDB) of the BRICS countries has approved $241 million loan for Mumbai Metro and $500 million for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) Project.


The two loans were approved by the NDB Board, the Shanghai-based bank set up by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). The $241 million loan for the Mumbai Metro Rail II Project will be used for the purpose of implementing a metro rail Line 6 with a length of about 14.47 km in the city of Mumbai. Line 6 will provide much-needed rail-based connectivity between the western and eastern suburbs, and will contribute towards an integrated seamless public transport network in Mumbai.


The NDB is supporting the implementation of metro lines in Mumbai with length totalling to about 58 km (Line 2 and Line 7) by financing of the Mumbai Metro Rail Project approved by the NDB in November, 2018.


The NDB Board also approved a loan of $500 million for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS Project.


The loan would be used by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC) for construction of a rapid rail corridor connecting the National Capital Territory of Delhi with the cities of Ghaziabad and Meerut located in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The RRTS will have a total length of 82.15 km (68.03 km elevated and 14.12 km underground) with 25 stations. It will have a design speed of 180 km per hour, maximum operating speed of 160 km per hour and high-frequency operations, which will reduce the journey time from Delhi to Meerut to 60 minutes.


Bombardier to make entire rolling stock for Delhi-Meerut RRTS in India, says NCRTC Head


In a major push to Make in India, the entire rolling stock to be used for the Delhi-Meerut high speed rail corridor will be manufactured in the country, with around 80% local content.


Bombardier Transportation, which won the rolling stock contract for the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), will start delivering the coaches from April 2022 onwards, a year before a priority section of the project is targeted to be commissioned, The global mobility solutions giant had in May won a `2,500-crore contract to supply 40 train sets for the corridor. These train sets would be a first of their kind where both design and construction take place in India. The Delhi-Meerut project will be made operational in phases, with the 17-km Sahibabad to Duhai section targeted to be complete in March 2023. The entire 82-km corridor will be open for public by 2025.


The Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut RRTS corridor is being built at a cost of `30,274 crore. Of this, 20% is borne by Centre, 3.22% by Delhi, and 16.78% by Uttar Pradesh. The rest 60% would be raised through multilateral funding.



NCRPB has released `12,441-crore loans for infrastructure projects so far this year


The NCRPB has provided financial assistance to 360 infrastructure development projects so far with an estimated cost of `31,464 crore, out of which `15,105 crore has been sanctioned as loans


The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) has released loans worth `12,441 crore for infrastructure projects till September 2020.


Six projects worth `389 crore were sanctioned at the 59th PSMG-I meeting of the NCRPB.


The six projects include four transport sector projects having an estimated cost of `149.31 crore with PWD (B&R), Haryana; a power project having an estimated cost of `31.58 crore of RRVPN, Rajasthan; and a river rejuvenation project with an estimated cost of `208.33 crore of the Patiala Development Authority (PDA), the ministry said in the statement.




Capital Land in talks to develop 3 million sq ft warehousing space near Gurgaon


Singapore-based Capital Land is in talks to develop 3 million square feet of warehousing space in Sohna, near Gurgaon, as investors rush to invest in a segment that’s growing at a fast clip despite the economic slump owing to increasing demand from e-commerce companies. The company is in discussions with Mayar Group, which owns a 100-acre land parcel in Sohna. It is going to be a joint venture where the foreign fund will develop and lease it. The expected investment will be around `450 crore.


Of the 180-acre land in Sohna, about 80-acre has been sold to ESR, a venture of private equity firm Warburg Pincus and some global investors. For the remaining 100 acres, Mayur Group is in talks with investors and expect the deal to close soon



432 infrastructure projects show cost overruns of `4.29 lakh crore


As many as 432 infrastructure projects, each worth Rs 150 crore or more, have been hit by cost overruns of over Rs 4.29 lakh crore owing to delays and other reasons. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation monitors infrastructure projects worth `150 crore and above.


Total original cost of implementation of the 1,670 projects was `20,58,193.26 crore and their anticipated completion cost is likely to be `24,87,361.54 crore, which reflects overall cost overruns of `4,29,168.28 crore (20.85 per cent of original cost). The expenditure incurred on these projects till July 2020 is `11,51,222.81 crore, which is 46.28 per cent of the anticipated cost of the projects.However, it said that the number of delayed projects decreased to 418 if delay is calculated on the basis of the latest schedule of completion. For 945 projects neither the year of commissioning nor the tentative gestation period has been reported.


Out of 505 delayed projects, 120 have overall delay in the range of 1 to 12 months, 118 have delays of 13 to 24 months, 157 reflect delay in the range of 25 to 60 months and 110 projects show delays of 61 months and above. The average time overrun in these 505 delayed projects is 43.49 months. The brief reasons for time overruns as reported by various project implementing agencies are delay in land acquisition, delay in obtaining forest/environment clearances and lack of infrastructure support and linkages. Besides, there are other reasons like delay in tie-up of project financing, delay in finalisation of detailed engineering, change in scope, delay in tendering, ordering and equipment supply, law and order problems, geological surprises, pre-commissioning teething troubles and contractual issues, among others. It has also been observed that project agencies are not reporting revised cost estimates and commissioning schedules for many projects, which suggests that time/cost overrun figures are under-reported.


Infra pipeline: Only a fifth of large projects ready for tenders: report


According to a research report by Emkay Global that reviewed the top 1,000 projects accounting for over 80% of the pipeline value, only a fifth are “close to tender-ready stage”.


As many as 6,633 projects involving potential investments of `128 lakh crore over a six-year period through FY25 are showcased under the government’s National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), but only a fraction of the large projects is ready for tenders.

According to a research report by Emkay Global that reviewed the top 1,000 projects accounting for over 80% of the pipeline value, only a fifth are “close to tender-ready stage”. Nevertheless, there are “niche opportunities” for regional road EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) companies and metro rail contractors in the near term, while water, railways and affordable housing segments offer longer-term opportunities, the report says, after collating data from the dashboard for the NIP.


“Out of `104 lakh crore of projects data that we have collated (remaining cost outlay of ~`95 lakh crore), only about `37 lakh crore is in the development stage and less than 20% of overall pipeline is close to tender-ready stage, with the remaining in either idea/nascent stage or already ordered out,” it added.


In the transport segment, against a total NIP estimate of `54.7 lakh crore, projects worth only `31 lakh crore (57%) are likely to materialise over the stipulated FY20-25 period, the report has forecast.


“Metro space offers a strong DPR (detailed project report) approved development pipeline though at risk of deferment due to potential change in mobility pattern post rising work from home,” it says.


Railways lacks an immediate development pipeline as most of the large projects envisaged, such as new DFC corridors, are in the conceptual stage. Roads capex is likely to dip from current levels initially due to weak orders in recent past, but can pick up in later years due to long pipeline in place; funding will be key though, according to the report.


Energy has the largest share in development-stage projects but largely consists of thermal and renewable power generation projects that may face viability hurdles.


Funding remains a key challenge even before execution of various projects and land acquisition, it says. The research agency recently estimated that the combined infrastructure spending by the Centre and states is likely to decline to a compounded annual growth rate of just 5.5% over the FY19-25 period from 21% over FY13-19.


With the economy battered by the pandemic, a government task force on the NIP had in April firmed up a road map for capital investments of `111 lakh crore in infrastructure up to FY25, pledging 71% of the expenditure for energy, roads, urban development and railways.


The government had then said out of the total expected capital expenditure, projects worth `44 lakh crore (40%) were under implementation, projects worth `33 lakh crore (30%) were at a conceptual stage, projects worth `22 lakh crore (20%) are under development (project identified and DPR prepared, but yet to draw-down funds) and the balance projects worth `11 lakh crore (10%) were unclassified.


Of course, as some analysts have already pointed out, Covid has hit the progress of many infrastructure projects, delaying the tendering process of many of them. However, despite resource crunch, the Centre has told various infrastructure departments to keep pace with the budgeted spending level.




Bharatmala Pariyojna sees construction of 2,921 km highways, 322 projects awarded till August 2020


A total of 322 projects in a length of 12,413 km have been awarded under Bharatmala Pariyojana till August, 2020. 2,921 km has been constructed under the Project till the same date. The government envisages building 34,800 km of highways at a cost of about `5.35 lakh crore under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojna. Of the 34,500 km of highways approved under Bharatmala Pariyojana, 10,000 km pertain to residual highway stretches under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP).



PM Modi launched seven urban infrastructure projects in Bihar


Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of seven urban infrastructure projects worth `541 crore in the poll-bound Bihar via video conference. Out of these projects, four are related to water supply, two to sewage treatment and one to riverfront development. The implementation of these projects has been undertaken by the Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCO) under the urban development and housing department of the state. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will also be present at the ceremony. Giving details of the projects, the PMO said the sewage treatment plants have been built under the Namami Gange mission, at Beur and Karmalichak, in Patna Municipal Corporation. Water supply projects built under the AMRUT Mission in Siwan Municipal Council and Chhapra Municipal Corporation will help local residents get pure drinking water 24 hours a day.


Modi also laid the foundation stone of Munger water supply scheme under AMRUT Mission, and it will help residents of Munger Municipal Corporation get pure water through pipelines.The foundation stone of Jamalpur water supply scheme under AMRUT Mission will also be laid. The foundation stone of Muzaffarpur Riverfront Development Scheme, being built under Namami Gange, was also laid by the prime minister.


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