70% rural households have tap water connection
70% rural households have been provided tap water connection under Jal Jeevan Mission. Among the states and union territories, 9 have 100% coverage, 10 more than 75% coverage. 11 more than 50% coverage and 4 have below 50% coverage. The Union Territory of Lakshadweep has the lowest tap water connection coverage at 32.36%. Out of the 19,24,26,914 rural households in India, as many as 13,47,50,894 have been provided tap water connection.
Bamboo to replace steel crash barriers
India is looking to replace steel crash barriers on highways with bamboo. This is being done to make them safer and while bringing down the overall construction cost. The technology, which is patented in India and meets European safety standards, is expected to bring down the cost of constructing highways by up to 20%. The Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, plans to initiate trial projects across 25 states. This covers a length of 86 km of highways. If successful, the use of bamboo crash barriers could benefit growers and reduce construction costs by 10-20%. The price of existing barriers depends on thickness, weight and quality of metal used, and varies from Rs. 1,200/- to Rs. 2,500 per metre. Bamboo’s hollow circular structure with robust internodes gives it the strength and flexibility. It also ensures that it swiftly regains its original shape after a vehicle impact.
India giving a push to cruise services with IGST waiver
The government is giving coastal cruise services a push by offering IGST waiver to luxury vessels converting to coastal run and encouraging setting up of cruise terminals in ports. The near-term goal is to encourage tourists who would otherwise be boarding cruises from Dubai or Singapore to onboard cruises from Indian destinations. The centre is also encouraging setting up of cruise terminals to improve passenger experience in the country’s coastline ports. These are currently focused on transporting goods. The GST Council recently gave a conditional and limited duration waiver to foreign flag foreign-going vessels converting to coastal run from the 5% integrated good and services tax (IGST).
Air India enhances global reach via renewed GDS partnerships
Air India has renewed partnerships with Global Distribution Systems (GDS) partners Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport. It would help it offer travel agents, resellers, and corporations around the world to access Air India’s seat inventory and fares. The renewed agreements include the delivery of New Distribution Capability (NDC) products, offering personalized pricing, attractive fare bundled, and enhanced ancillaries. Air India’s distribution agreements with Amadeus and Sabre have been expanded to include the domestic content as well with distribution and servicing of NDC content. Airlines use GDS systems such as Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport to distribute their tickets to travel agents globally for a fee.
From 38 hour to 12 hour long journeys in NE India
From 38 hours to just 12 hours, this is how the new India-Bangladesh rail link can be a game changer for the North East. Until now, travelling from Kolkata to Agartala required a lengthy and circuitous journey. This routes passengers through northern West Bengal, Assam’s capital city Guwahati, and finally heading southward towards Tripura. The arduous journey typically consumed approximately 38 long hours. The gruelling 38-hour journey will be trimmed down to a mere 12 hours. Businesses are expected to flourish in the region, as the rail system can now efficiently transport much heavier and bulkier cargo in substantial quantities. The rail link covers a total length of 12.24 km, with a dual gauge rail line spanning 6.78 km in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura.
PropTech to be a $1 trillion industry in 7-8 years
PropTech is expected to become a $1 trillion industry in 7-8 years. This is according to CBRE, which has selected 3 startups as part of the PropTech challenge, Disruptech 2.0. Delhi-based Strawtcure has emerged as the winner, while Enlite (Mumbai) and SuperBolter (Bengaluru) are runners up. The 3 companies will be entitled to rewards and recognition, including access to real estate angel funding, participation in the CBRE Global Startup program, opportunities for proof of concept (POC) collaborations with CBRE clients, access to NASSCOM startup ecosystem, mentorship with experienced investors, and valuable marketing support from CBRE Advisory.
Amazon surpasses 1.1 GW clean energy capacity in India
E-commerce and cloud company Amazon has surpassed 1.1 Gigawatts of renewable energy capacity in India. It has added a new 198 MW wind farm project in Osmanabad, Maharashtra. The company now has 50 wind and solar projects across India. Amazon is also the largest buyer of renewable energy globally since 2020. Amazon’s wind and solar projects will help power all their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025. Between 2014 to 2022, the company’s wind and solar farms have helped generate an estimated $ 350 million (Rs. 2,885 Crores) of direct and indirect investment for India’s communities. They have also contributed approx $87 million to the country’s total GDP. This also supported more than 20,600 local full-time equivalent jobs in 2022.