MSRTC Bus booking on IRCTC Website
Travellers will soon be able to book tickets for the Maharashtra State Road TRansport Corporation (MSRTC) buses on the website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). IRCTC, a public sector undertaking and the Maharashtra government-owned MSRTC on September 13 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard in Mumbai in the presence of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Minister of State for Railways. The IRCTC will integrate the MSRTC bus ticketing link on its website and mobile apps. This integration will give the passengers the advantage of seamless access of last-mile connectivity via the IRCTC Bus Booking Portal. More than 75% of travellers book rail journey tickets on the IRCTCs ticketing portal. The MSRTC ferries more than 60 lakh passengers every day across Maharashtra and has a fleet of around 15,000 buses.
Coherent Maritime Strategy for G20 nations
Adopting a coherent maritime strategy for G20 nations can have huge economic significance. There is also a need for streamlining Visa procedures for seafarers. A maritime strategy is crucial for G20 nations as they rely heavily on ocean-related business activities for economic growth. This would also reduce the administrative burden on both seaferers and the authorities, making international maritime more efficient and economically viable. The Blue Economy is a shared resource and requires a shared commitment to ensure its sustainability and the well-being of those who navigate its water.
Ayodhya airport may be operational from November
The construction of the Maryada Purshottam Shriram International Airport in Ayodhya is progressing rapidly. The acquisition of land for the project has been completed. The runway, ATC tower, and facilities for CAT-1 and RESA night landing and landing in fog have also been completed. The terminal building is over 78% complete, with work being carried out in two shift daily. The aim is to start operations by the end of the year. Flights are planned from major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad. The UP government is making efforts to provide various facilities to the devotees in the coming days. A total of 821 acres of land has been acquired for the project.
Odisha’s 2nd Vande Bharat Express under trial
Indian Railways will soon launch the second Vande Bharat Express in the state between Puri and Rourkela. The train will run on the Puri-Bhubaneshwar-Cuttack-Dhenakal-Angul-Rourkela route to cater to passengers between the coastal and western Odisha regions. The train will run on the Puri-Bhubaneshwar-Cuttack-Dhenkanal-Angul-Rourkela route to cater to passengers between the coastal and western Odisha regions. First Vande Bharat train in Odisha was flagged off from Puri to Howrah.
Real estate leasing companies facing issues over blocked credit eligibility
Real estate developers in India are facing blocked credit eligibility for leasing their properties due to a dispute over the availability of input tax credit (ITC) under certain sections of the GST law. If a developer sells a commercial building before obtaining an occupancy certificate, they may be eligible for ITC. Commercial RE developers leasing their properties are receiving notices about blocked credit eligibility under sections 17 (5) and 17 (5) D as the cases are being argued. If a developer constructs a commercial building and sells it before obtaining an occupancy certificate, they may be able to claim credit, provided they pay output GST on sale transaction. However, if the developer uses the building for leasing, such an ITC is not available for set-off.
Hotels’ role in success of G20
The hospitality industry in Delhi ensured a comfortable stay for G20 delegates during the summit. Over 2,000 room nights were booked in top hotels including Taj, ITC Maurya, The Lalit, Leela Palace, The Imperial, The Claridges, and Le Meridien. The catering at Bharat Mandapam (in Pragati Maidan) was handled by ITC chefs. They delivered over 100,000 covers and provided a variety of cuisines. These also called for expertise in vegetarian cuisine based on seasonal and local produce.
Increasing export of India-made construction gear
JCB Bamford Excavators is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of construction equipment like backhoe loaders, telescopic handlers. It aims to increase exports from its India unit this year to 45% of its output. This would be up from 10% five years ago. India is one of the fastest-growing major economies. It is also JCB’s largest market outside Europe. The Bamford-family owned company is also looking to test its recently developed hydrogen combustion engine. JCB is also looking to make electrolysers which will produce hydrogen from water for testing its zero-emission backhoe loaders. This is a first in the construction equipment sector. The electrolysers would be produced for captive consumption. In 2022, JCB announced an investment of $100 million in a green field facility in Vodadara to consolidate manufacturing and fabrication of machine parts meant for its global factories.
G20 Countries to accelerate energy transition through collective pathways
G20 leaders through their declaration have agreed to accelerate energy transitions in order to achieve climate objectives. According to the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, they will support innovation, technology transfer and low-cost financing for developing countries to foster clean and sustainable energy. The leaders also emphasized the importance of uninterrupted energy flows, energy, security, and market stability. Developing countries will be supported in their transitions to low carbon emissions through low-cost financing. The countries commit to accelerating clean, sustainable, just, affordable and inclusive energy transitions. The role of grid interconnections, resilient energy infrastructure and regional/cross-border power systems integration has been recognized. The leaders have also taken a note of the Presidency’s “Voluntary High Level Principles for Collaboration on Critical Minerals for Energy Transitions”. The countries will promote responsible nuclear decommissioning, radioactive waste and spent fuel management and mobilizing investments.
Sanchi: India’s first Solar City
Sanchi, the historic home of the Stupa, has become India’s first ‘solar city’. The project aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 14,324 tonnes annually and currently includes a 3 MW solar plant that caters to the city’s energy needs. A 5 MW plant for agricultural requirements is also under construction. The city is expected to generate surplus energy once completed. The 3 MW plant occupies a 5-hectare land close to UNESCO World Heritage site. Sanchi’s green transition also encompasses the development of energy-efficient devices, e-charging stations, solar streetlights, and solar water pumps for the civic body. Farmers in the region will also receive support in installing solar pumps. Street vendors will also be equipped with solar lanterns. All the necessary equipment has been procured using CSR funds.