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Development Watch – Week #2 April ’23

Development News

Rajasthan’s 1st Vande Bharat & India’s first RAPIDX trains

On April 12, the Indian Prime Minister flagged off Rajasthan’s first Vande Bharat Express train. This runs on the Ajmer-Delhi cantonment route. The train will boost tourism. On the same day, India’s first semi-high-speed regional rail services were also launched. The RAPIDX services will run on the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridors. This would connect key urban nodes across the NCR. A joint venture of the union government and states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and UP, the NCRTC will run on green energy by installing solar panels on stations and depots. NCRTC is targeting to commission Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor by 2025. It will bring down the travel time from Meerut to Delhi.

Delhi Airport 9th busiest in the world

For the year 2022, Delhi ranked 9th among world’s busiest airport for 2022, with a footfall of 5,94,90,074. This surpasses Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Delhi airport increased its rankings from 13 in 2021 and 17 in 2019 to 9th in 2022. It is mainly due to recovery of domestic passenger traffic from post-pandemic lows. The airport will further expand its capacity through its ongoing terminal expansion project worth $850 million.

Terminal 1’s capacity will increase from 20 million to 40 million. Atlanta in the US is ranked most busy in the world. It is followed by Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Dubai, Los Angeles, Istanbul, London (8th). Recently, US Aviation assessment agency Federal Aviation Association (FAA) has also given a Category 1 status rating to India. IASA Category 1 allows airlines of a country to operate and expand services in the US, and codeshare with US air carriers.

Air passenger traffic 60% higher YoY

Domestic passenger traffic in India has increased up to 60% year-on-year. even though it remains 4% below pre-pandemic volumes of 14.15 crores. Compared to FY22, over capacity deployment of airlines was higher by 38%. However, domestic aviation industry is still hampered by high cost of aviation turbine fuel. The rupee’s depreciation against US dollar also impact the cost structure of airlines. The industry’s profitability margins will depend on ensuring fare hikes proportionate to input cost increases.

UP RERA to act against 41 developers

51 promoters have been called to attend the review meeting by UP RERA, but 41 of them were absent. As per UP RERA secretary, Rajesh Kumar Tyagi, strict action would be taken against promoters who are ignoring orders of the authority and are absent in review meetings. Promoters who are selling units in projects after the lapse of the registration will be charged with imprisonment as per sections of the RERA Act. Actions could include freezing of bank accounts, withholding the purchase of unit sales, and even ban on new project registration.

Higher tourist arrivals in 2022-23

India has received 6.19 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2022, compared to 1.52 million in 2021. Minister of Culture, Tourism and development of North-Eastern region, Mr. G. Kishan Reddy, said that the information has been received from Bureau of Immigration. In the pre-pandemic year of 2019, there were 10.93 FTAs in India. According to the Ministry’s provisional estimates, foreign exchange earnings through tourism in India was Rs. 1.34 lakh crores in 2022. Under the schemes of Swadesh Darshan, PRASHAD and assistance to central agencies, the Ministry provides central financial assistance to state governments, UTs for developing tourist infrastructure. In India, e-visa has been liberalized and visa fee has also been substantially reduced.

BHEL-NP Corp pact for nuclear reactor technology

BHEL and Nuclear Power Corporation (NPCIL) have inked a pact to jointly pursue business activities in nuclear power, based on pressurized heavy water reactor technology. BHEL is a leading manufacturer of power plant equipment. This includes nuclear, hydro, thermal and renewable power plants. BHEL has supplied steam turbine jets for 50% of India’s total installed nuclear capacity. On the other hand, NPCIL is the sole Indian organization responsible for design, construction and operation of thermal nuclear power plants in India. It has more than 580 reactor years of safe operating experience.

Iconic “Waldorf Astoria” hotel coming to India

Hilton group is planning to bring Waldorf Astoria brand to India. As per the president and CEO of Hilton hotels, there is a rapidly growing middle class in India. People travel for leisure, business and events. However, there are not enough hotel rooms. Hilton and Danyagach Group announced the signing of a branding and management agreement for Waldorf Astoria Jaipur. The hotel may be ready by 2027. Currently Hilton has 24 hotels and aims to have 75 hotels by 2026.

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