[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Union Cabinet approved highway projects worth around Rs 7 trillion on Tuesday, Bharatmala project finally approved
In a move that paves the way for a major boost to India’s surface transport infrastructure, the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday, approved a slew of highway projects, including the ambitious over 20000-km-long Bharatmala.
The projects are collectively are pegged at an estimated cost of a staggering Rs7 trillion. These highway projects are to be executed within the next five years.
Aimed at pushing economic activity and generating at least 32 crore man days across the country in the next five years, this biggest ever highway development plan to be approved by the Modi Cabinet hopes to develop and expand approximately 83,000 km of roads at an investment of Rs 6.9 lakh crore (Rs 7 trillion) by 2022. The Bharatmala highway project alone is estimated to cover a vast network of 28,400 km – connecting border areas of the country.
The focus of the plan is to improve speed of traffic flow on key corridors by providing uniform four-lane roads between two identified points. Most of these corridors will be shorter and access-controlled for faster movement of cargo vehicles.
“The new highway development programme is both building roads and improving mobility to reduce logistic cost. Better road network and rolling out of smart-tag based tolling will transform the road transport sector”, a report in the Times of India said quoting an official privy to the Cabinet’s decision.
The development comes barely few months after Union minister for surface transport Nitin Gadkari declared that the central government will soon launch the first phase of the Bharatmala project. The Cabinet’s approval can also be seen as a personal victory for Gadkari, whose performance as the Union transport minister has been applauded within the BJP circles – and also by the Prime Minister – primarily because he has managed to carry out his mandate of developing India’s roads and highway infrastructure without attracting any controversies or being embroiled in scams. It was largely due to this performance record that Gadkari was tipped for a promotion as the Union railway minister in September this year – an offer he reportedly declined because he didn’t want any additional responsibilities.
Given that the Cabinet’s approval for the mega-infrastructure plan comes close on the heels of the high-stakes Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh – both states where the Congress and BJP are in a direct contest – it is expected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party will use the decision as an example of their commitment to development.
The Bharatmala project – a pet plan of the BJP government – is the second largest highways project after National Highways Development Project (NHDP) that saw development of about 50,000km. Detailed project reports of the Bharatmala project have been in the process of finalisation for over two years now.
News agency PTI quoted an official privy to the decision to outline that the Cabinet’s decision also includes economic corridor developments aimed at faster movement of cargo. The government had earlier planned to develop economic corridors with a length of about 21,000km besides 14,000km of feeder routes.
The corridors included Mumbai-Cochin-Kanyakumari, Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Hyderabad-Panaji and Sambalpur-Ranchi, to name a few. A study under the proposed Bharatmala project by global consultancy firm AT Kearney had identified 44 economic corridors. The Prime Minister’s Office, earlier this year, had asked for Public Investment Board’s (PIB) clearance to the first phase of the project.
With the Indian economy still reeling under slow growth and investor sentiment being severely dented in the aftermath of demonetisation and the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax regime, it is expected that 70 per cent of the sanctioned highway projects will be implemented through government funding. According to a report in the Times of India: “about one-third of the investment will come from fuel cess, over one-fourth from market borrowing and the rest from budgetary support, private investment and auctioning of completed highways.”
National Highways Authority of India(NHAI) has already prepared detailed project reports (DPRs) for about 10,000 km of the identified network, which will help faster roll out of projects.
What, however, remains unclear at the moment is how the Modi government plans to ensure that land acquisition for this mammoth and ambitious mega-project will be executed without attracted protests and controversies.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Tiger death toll reaches 10 in Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu
The death of the 10 tigers including 6 cubs has caused great controversy. The enviornmentalists are demanding a high level inquiry into the ongoing deaths of tiger in Mudumalai, a tiger reserve.
Ten tigers have died over 35 days in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu according to the National Tigers Commission. A team of National Tiger Commission crime Branch went to Ooty to investigate the matter. The team included Central Forest Animal Research Centre Senior Scientist Ramesh Krishna Murthy, Central Forest Animal Crime Prevention Unit South Zone Director Kripa Shankar and Inspector General Murali Kumar.
The death of the 10 tigers including 6 cubs has caused great controversy. The enviornmentalists are demanding a high level inquiry into the ongoing deaths of tiger in Mudumalai, a tiger reserve. The forest department has not been able to find the two mother tigresses of the dead tiger cubs.
As the mother tiger never leaves her cubs more than 200 metres away. An investigation is being conducted. It may be possible the dead tigers may have been hunted. The National tigers Commission crime Branch will investigate the reason for the tiger deaths IN the Nilgiri district forrest area.
After the investigation is over, the team will visit the Chinna Coonoor area. Four tiger cubs had previously died in the area. A tiger cub was found dead in the sgur forest area in China Coonoor in the Nilgiris on September 19. On examining the dead cub the forest veterinarian of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve said he was severely dehydrated.
According to the Forest Secretary Supriya Sahu the cub could not be saved despite restless effort of the team. On November 14 information of the tiger cub’s movement was recieved in the Chinnacoonoor area of Nilgiris.
Immediately a team along with trackers from Muddumalai tiger reserve reserve camped in the region and started monitoring. During the monitoring process it was found there are four cubs in the region. A female tiger was seen by the villagers last month. The cubs were monitored regularly as they thought the cubs might be in the nearby areas.
Chhattisgarh: Rahul Gandhi says PM Modi also has a remote control but he presses it secretly
The Congress MP said when he questioned PM Modi on Adani in the Lok Sabha and his Lok Sabha membership got cancelled.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched Mukhyamantri Gramin Awas Nyay Yojana in Chhattisgarh through a remote control. He said PM Narendra Modi also has a remote control but he presses it secretly. Rahul Gandhi waved a remote control at the event in Chhattisgarh and said BJPs remote controls are all secret. Gandhi said the Congress party presses the remote control in the open. But the BJP presses secretly and the public sector becomes private and Adaniji gets Mumbai airport.
The Congress MP said when he questioned PM Modi on Adani in the Lok Sabha and his Lok Sabha membership got cancelled. He attacked the BJP government at the Centre after PM Modi addressed a rally in the poll bound Madhya Pradesh and said the Congress party has rusted like iron. PM Modi said Congress would push back Madhya Pradesh in the sick category whereas 1.5 crore people came out of poverty under the BJP rule in the last five years.
According to PM Modi the Congress and its allies have supported the bill out of hesitation and compulsion as they understood the power of Nari Shakti. PM Modi said Modi means the guarantee of fulfilling guarantees. Rahul Gandhi repeated what he had said in the Lok Sabha during his intervention on the women’s reservation bill.
He said there are only 3 OBC bureaucrats working for the government of India. Rahul Gandhi said caste census is the X-ray of Hindustan. The caste census will determine how many Dalits, SC/STs are there. Gandhi said the government is running away from caste census. He promised the congress will do a caste census.
In all Congress ruled states the public is at the centre and the government is not run by Adaniji. Talking to the media on Sunday Rahul Gandhi said he was confident Congress is winning the election in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. In Rajasthan the fight would be close Gandhi predicted.
Bihar: Dalit woman stripped naked over Rs 1,500 loan, money lender, son booked for assault
The accused have not been arrested so far, and police have initiated a search for them.
In yet another shocking incident, a Dalit woman was assaulted in Bihar’s Patna district by a money lender and his son on Saturday, according to the police. The victim alleged that the accused also urinated on her and tried to disrobe her for not making recurring interest payments on a Rs 1,500 loan that her husband had taken.
According to the victim, Pramod Singh and his son Anshu Singh summoned her to their house on Saturday night mentioning that they had detained her husband and that he would be allowed to go only after the interest on the loan he took from them was fully repaid.
When she reached Singh’s house, her husband was not there. They had lied to her about detaining her husband. The father and son beat her up and tried to disrobe her, and the son also urinated upon her, the woman told the police.
The woman also mentioned that the Rs 1,500 her husband took on loan years ago had already been repaid with interest, but the money lender continued to seek interest from them at regular intervals.
According to reports, police have registered a case against Pramod and Anshu Singh under IPC sections related to assault and misbehaving with a woman, as well as under sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The accused have not been arrested so far, and police have initiated a search for them.
Patna Rural SP Imran Masood asserted that the woman was undergoing treatment for her injuries at a primary healthcare centre. The woman’s brother-in-law told The Indian Express that the poor people of the village have been trapped by money lenders and that it is like a goonda bank. He explained that as most of them are illiterate and cannot get loans from banks, they have to depend on these money lenders and face humiliation.