Development Watch – Week #2 September ’22
Atmospheric water generator kiosks for Drinking Water
Meghdoot, an atmospheric water generator (AWG), is a device that extracts water from ambient air using the process of condensation. Maithri Aquatech has been awarded the contract of setting up 17 Meghdoot AWGs in the Mumbai division of Central Railways. The kiosks are being set up under the “New, Innovative non-fare revenue ideas scheme (NINFRIS) for 5 years. Meghdoot-AWG converts water vapour in the air into fresh and clean drinking water. It operates in a wide range of ambient temperatures (18-45 C) and relative humidity (25-100%). It can generate up to 1,000 litres of water in a day. A refill of 1 litre would cost Rs. 12, while a 1 litre bottle would cost Rs. 15.
Digitalization of Kisan Credit Card lending to simply Rural finance
RBI announced a pilot project for end-to-end digitalization of KCC lending developed by Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH). The pilot project would lead to automation of various processes within banks and integration of their systems with service providers. This would lead to more efficiency, convenience, and affordability. Digitalization of KCC lending will reduce the Turn Around Time (TAT) from loan application to disbursement. Currently the TAT ranges from 2-4 weeks. The pilot starts in September 2022 in select districts of Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. UBI and Federal Bank are respective partners with active cooperation of the state governments.
New design shared for Delhi Railway station
Ministry of Railway has shared pictures of redeveloped railway station at New Delhi. The futuristic design would have two dome like structures with ample use of glass. The revamped layout will also include ample greenery and foot-over-bridges for movement of pedestrians. NDLS is the busiest railway station in the national capital (Delhi). It has 16 platforms, and witnesses movement of more than 2 lakh passengers daily. The new design would cost 4,700-4,800 Crores.
Tata Sons to Raise $4 Billion for Air India
Tata Sons is the holding company of Tata Group. It is looking to raise $4 billion to infuse fresh capital into Air India, and refinance costly debt. A mix of equity and hybrid debt would be used to refinance part of the debt and revamp airline. Air India’s market share has halved to less than 10% in the last year. Tata group faces an uphill task to revive the airline which hasn’t made money since its 2007 merger with Indian Airlines.
Railway Land License fee lowered by Union Cabinet
Union cabinet lowered the land license fee (LLF) to 1.5% per annum of the land market value. It has also allowed for increasing the lease period up to 35 years. Earlier the land could be leased for just five years. This would allow for development of more permanent structures on the leased land. It would help monetize railway land better. These decisions have been made with the intent of promoting infrastructure and cargo terminals.
Highways contribute to Indian Growth Story
60% of India’s cargo movement occurs by way of road and highway system. Improved mobility will help in lowering logistics costs from 16-18% of GDP to 10% of GDP. This would also facilitate export. Bank of America Securities India report states that India is on course to build more national highways during the decade ending 2025, than it has cumulatively built between 1950-2015. The government’s focus has been on connecting major industrial towns, along with every metro, town and village. NHAI is also set to increase its toll income from 40,000 Crores per year to Rs. 1.40 lakh crores per year by 2024.
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