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PM has lofty dreams about India's infrastructure

Last updated on: June 28, 2013 19:23 IST

PM has lofty dreams about India's infrastructure

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In a bid to ramp up investor sentiment, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday set an investment target of Rs 1.15 lakh crore in PPP (public private partnership) projects across infrastructure sectors in rail, port and power in the next six months.

The proposals include Mumbai elevated rail corridor (Rs 30,000 crore), two international airports in Bhubneshwar and Imphal (Rs 20,000 crore) and power and Transmission projects (Rs 40,000 crore).

The decisions were taken at a meeting Prime Minister held here to finalise infrastructure projects for 2013-14 which was attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Ministers of Power, Coal, Railways, Roads, Shipping and Civil Aviation. The meeting decided that the proposal for creating a rail tariff authority will be accelerated and brought before the Cabinet soon.

The Prime Minister highlighted the need for ramping up investment in infrastructure to revive investor sentiment. "For this purpose, a target of rolling out PPP projects of at least Rs 1 lakh crore in the next six months was set. A steering group is being formed to monitor the award and implementation of projects on priority basis," a PMO release said.

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks during a news conference in New Delhi.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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The Prime Minister emphasised that a lot of work was needed to be done to improve infrastructure sector and there should be no slackening of the pace of work, the release said.

Ahluwaila also made a presentation about the performance of the six infrastructure ministries and the targets for 2013-14. The government, the release said, decided to form a steering group to monitor the award and implementation of projects.

Besides airports and Mumbai's elevated rail corridor projects, the group will also monitor two Locomotive projects (Rs 5,000 crore), accelerating E-DFC (Eastern-Dedicated Freight Corridor) (Rs 10,000 crore) and port projects (Rs 10,000 crore).

In the civil aviation sector, apart from two new international airports, 50 new low cost small airports will be taken up by Airports Authority of India.

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Image: Terminal 2 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
Photographs: Courtesy, MIAL

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Besides, a target for awarding eight greenfield airports was set for this year in PPP mode at Navi Mumbai, Juhu (Mumbai), Goa, Kannur, Pune (Rajguru Nagar Chakan), Sriperumbudur, Bellary and Raigarh.

The statement said airport operations and maintenance through PPP contracts will be introduced in AAI airports and the airports considered for these are Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Guwahati, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.

Besides new low cost airports would be set up at 51 places in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

As far as ports were concerned, it stated that both the new ports on PPP mode -- one at Sagar (West Bengal) and the other Durgarajapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) -- approved by Cabinet will be awarded. 


Image: A signboard at the proposed site of the Navi Mumbai International Airport.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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