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Development Watch – Week #5 November ’22

Development News

More than 400 Vande Bharat trains to come up in 3 years

The railway ministry has planned for the production of 475 Vande Bharat trains in the coming 3 years. Vande Bharat has also generated interest among other countries. The quality parameters are at par with world-class trains. In the 2022 and 2023 budgets, 75 and 400 VB trains got sanctioned, respectively. In the upcoming budget, close to 1.35 lakh crores would be allocated for the Railways Ministry. Indian Railways is also developing “tilting trains” for use by 2025-26. This technology will enable trains to maneuver curves at higher speeds (akin to motorcycles on winding roads). Close to a 100 of the Vande Bharat trains would have this technology. Such trains have already been operational in 11 countries like Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, UK, Switzerland, China, Germany and Romania.

First commercial flight takes off for Arunachal

Civil Aviation minister flagged off the first commercial flight between Kolkata and Donyi Polo airport. The return flight from Donyi Polo airport near Itanagar was flagged off by the Deputy CM of Arunachal Pradesh. It has been a historic day for the state. The new flights would lead to direct air connectivity from Itanagar toKolkata, Mumbai and other metro cities of India. Passenger travel has also been rising in 2022, which is around 3.70 lakh passengers per day. During 27-28 November, the domestic airlines flew the highest number of flyers, i.e. more than 4 lakhs per day. This was the pre-pandemic traffic in India.

Boost to Port Infrastructure in India

To smoothen the bottlenecks in logistics, India is looking at an upgrade of Rs. 2 Lakh crores for its port infrastructure. More than 290 projects, including for road and rail connectivity to ports have been identified under the upgrade plan. “Empowered Group of Secretaries”, headed by Mr. Rajiv Gauba, the Cabinet Secretary, has identified gaps in connectivity. These critical shortcomings would be treated on a priority basis, with implementation being reviewed on a monthly basis.

International Maritime Organization is also working on greater adoption of digital technologies in India. This would ensure safety, boost environmental protection, and manage cyber security risks better. Cooperation between all relevant stakeholders across shipping, ports and logistics. Digitalization of shipping will enhance efficiency and sustainability, and go on to facilitate trade and economic prosperity.

Cash usage higher in Rural India

Wider adoption of digital banking has slowed down withdrawal of money from ATMs in most urban parts of India. However, ATM manufacturers like Diebold Nixdorf and ATM operators like Euronet Worldwide are expanding capacities in India. This is mainly due to sustained demand for cash withdrawals in rural belts. UPI transactions have outdone cash withdrawal in top 10 metros of India. However, ATMS are increasingly relevant for cash customers in tier-2 to tier-6 towns and villages in India.

Mumbai’s rankings in Global Cities Index report

Knight Frank, UK-based property consultant, has published their “Prime Global Cities Index” for the third quarter (July-September) 2022. According to the report, there has been an increase in average annual prices of residences in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi. Mumbai is ranked at #22 position globally in the index. Last year Mumbai was ranked at #39. While Bangalore moved up from #41 to #27. Mumbai also recorded an increase of 4.8% year-on-year, while the figure stood at 3.3% and 1.2% for Bengaluru and Delhi.

The Global Cities Index measures annual appreciation of premium residential properties. It is a valuation based index which tracks movement in prime residential prices in local currency across 45 cities globally. The report has attributed price increase to strong market sentiment, sufficient affordability, and lower interest than pre-covid times. While challenges remain globally, India has more or less been resilient. Mumbai is also in the process of redeveloping 600 acres of Dharavi slum area at a bid-price of Rs. 5,070 crores.

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