Development Watch – Week #1 May ’23
Cover Image: Anji Khad Bridge (Source: Zee News)
Gram Panchayats for a Self-Reliant India
Launch of the government’s Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) scheme in 2014 was a step towards Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of a robust “Panchayati Raj” system. It recognizes good governance in gram panchayats based on holistic development. The finance commission provides for grants to 2.5 lakh gram panchayats in India. The sarpanch, or GP head, is uniquely positioned to bring in multi-department functionaries to work together towards a goal based plan. However, the sarpanch is not empowered to do so. Sarpanches also need to have same convening power as other elected members and officials. It could be the office of the CM or PM who c an address, decide and act on state or national priorities. There is a need for greater rural decentralization. Panchayat leader must be empowered to leverage unutilized funds and divert them where needed.
Maximum no. of delayed projects in Road sector
As per a government flash report on infrastructure projects, road transport and highways sector has maximum delayed projects (402) followed by Railways (115) and petroleum industry (86). 402 out of 749 projects are delayed in the road transport and highways sector. The Infrastructure and Project Monitoring Division (IPMD) is mandated to monitor central sector infrastructure projects costing Rs. 150 Crores and above. This is based on the information provided on the online computerized monitoring system (OCMS) by the project implementing agencies. IPMD comes under the ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI).
Special Working Group for Transport Collaboration in SCO countries
A special working group (SWG) has been formed to promote collaboration in the field of transportation among member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Member states of the SCO aim to reduce carbon emissions, promote digital transformation, and implement new technologies to make transport more efficient and sustainable. The 10th SCO meeting was chaired by Indian Minister for Road Transpoprt and highways. SCO comprises countries like India, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Connectivity with SCO countries is a priority for India.
Electric Scooters to boost employment opportunities in Bengaluru
Zypp Electric has deployed 2,000 electric scooters in Bengaluru and onboarded 2,000 delivery executives to expand it’s last mile delivery services. Firm has plans to onboard over 5,000 riders and add 8,000 additional electric scooters in the next 2 months. It will also install more than 100 Gorogro battery swapping stations at the Bengaluru hubs in the next 12-18 months. Zypp Electric provides deliveries and ride-sharing services for many quick ecommerce service providers like Zomato, Swiggy, Amazon, Flipkart, Dunzo and Blinkit. It claims to have completed 15 million deliveries, saving $33 million kg CO2 and employs 10,000 gig workers.
Bangladesh gives India permanent access to ports
What is hailed as a landmark decision, Bangladesh has given India access to Chattogram and Mongla ports for transit and transshipment of cargo vessels. Cargoes can now be transported from Chattogram and Mongla ports to Agartala in Tripura. This would be done via Akhaura, Dawki in Meghalaya via Tamabil, Sutarkandi in Assam via Sheola and Srimantapur in West Bengal, via Bibir Bazar. The same routes can be used for transporting commodities from NE states to the ports of Chattogram and Mongla. This would also push regional connectivity in the Bay of Bengal. Bangaldesh government is also announcing an Indo-Pacific policy that would enable wider cooperation between New Delhi and Dhaka.
Largest spillway gates built for Subansiri hydropower project
Texmaco Rail and Engineering limited has built the largest spillway radial gates for the Subansiri hydropower project. These gates are on of the largest in the country in terms of hydraulic capacity, size and weight. The Subansiri river serves as a border between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The power generation project consists of 8 units, each with a capacity of 250 MW. It is scheduled to be commissioned in two phases. The first unit with a capacity of 250 MW is expected to be commissioned later this year.
India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge in J&K completed
India’s first cable stayed bridge in Reasi, Jammu and Kashmir, known as Anji Khad bridge, has been completed. The work on the bridge has been completed in 11 months. It is part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Railway Link (USBRL). This provides rail connectivity between Kashmir Valley and rest of the country. The bridge has a single pylon with a height of 331 metres above the river bed on USBRL. Total length of the cable strand used in the bridge is 653 km. The total cost of the project is Rs. 37,000 crores. All the 96 cables have been installed in record time of 11 months. The asymmetrical cable stayed bridge crosses deep gorges of Anji river, a tributary of the chenab.
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