Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Railways

Rail-based corridor to cut down travel time between the Capital and Rajasthan by half

You should know:

  • Commuters from the Capital will soon be able to reach Alwar in just 104 minutes thanks to the Delhi-Rewari-Alwar Regional Rapid Transport System (RRTS) project, which is all set to take off. At present, the journey takes around four hours.
  • The project was discussed at the Ministry of Urban Development on Saturday, ahead of a detailed project report being submitted for approval.
  • The stakeholders’ workshop was attended by municipal commissioners, officials from the Town and Country Planning departments from the governments of India, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan, besides consultants and representatives of the construction company.
  • About rail-based project, the 180.5-km project would cost an estimated ₹37,539 crore. The project, which is expected to be completed in about six years, will be funded by the Centre, State governments concerned and other funding agencies.

Project details:

  • The project will include 19 stations with the first 56 km being underground and covering the stretch between ISBT Kashmere Gate in Delhi to Cyber City in Haryana.
  • The remaining stretch of 124.5 km will be elevated.
  • With a design speed of 180 km/h, an operating speed of 160 km/h and an average speed of 105 km/h, the journey between Delhi and Alwar could be completed in 104 minutes.
  • Trains would be available on the corridor every five to 10 minutes, depending the time of the day, he added. With a six-car combination to begin with, each train is expected to carry 1,154 passengers.
  • It will also trigger economic development and employment generation in the region.
  • The NCRTC, a joint venture of the Governments of India, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan is planning to undertake three prioritised RRTS corridors — Delhi-Alwar, Delhi-Meerut and Delhi-Panipat.
  • Eight such corridors have been identified under the Integrated Transportation Plan, 2032, prepared by the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB).
  • Among the other RRTS corridors are Delhi-Baraut, Delhi-Hapur, Delhi-Khurja, Delhi-Palwal, and Delhi-Rohtak.

Source: Indian Express

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc

Soon, underwater tunnels will connect Howrah with Kolkata

About the tunnel:

  • On April 14, a gigantic Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) began cutting deep inside the bed of the Hooghly river, commencing the construction of the first underwater metro tunnel in the country.

  • By the end of July, two tunnels running parallel will connect the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata located on either side of the Hooghly.
  • The tunnels are being dug at a depth of 30 metres below the earth’s surface and 13 metres below the riverbed.
  • The twin tunnels, about 520 metres long, are crucial to the much-awaited ₹ 8,900 core East West Metro project that will connect Salt Lake Sector V in the eastern part of Kolkata to the Howrah Maidan across the river.
  • Of the 16.6 km East West Metro route, 5.8 km is on an elevated corridor and 10.8 km will run underground.
  • The last hurdle being faced by the East West Metro Project is the threat the tunnelling work may pose to three heritage buildings in Kolkata.
  • The Currency Building, an Italian structure that served as one of first banks of the country, and two 19th century Jewish monuments stand close to the Metro tunnels.

Source: The Hindu

‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Infrastructure: Energy.

Removal of incentives to hit wind energy projects

Investment insights:

  • With incentives offered for wind energy investments having come down this financial year, installations by small investors — those who have less than 10 MW — is expected to drop drastically.
  • Of the 32 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the country, 60% are by small investors.
  • The accelerated depreciation has gone down from 80% to 40%, after generation-based incentive and 10-year tax-free benefit for profits from investments in wind energy were withdrawn.
  • The annual installation was 3,472 MW in 2015-2016 and it peaked to 5,400 MW last financial year. This year, it is expected to be 6,000 MW.
  • Public sector units, power purchasers and bigger companies are investing now in wind energy. For smaller investors, especially those who operate power-intensive industries, renewable energy for captive use still gives price advantages compared with buying power from the grid.
  • Though these industries will continue to invest in wind energy, the volume will come down. While the cost of the turbines is going up, the prices realised for wind energy generated are declining. In February this year, the lowest price quoted in the competitive bidding was ₹3.46 a unit.

To be done:

  • At a time when the Government should encourage investments in renewable energy with incentives, these have been removed. There is almost no incentive for the smaller investors.

  • The Central Government should restore accelerated depreciation at 80%, encourage re-powering of turbines that are more than 20 years old, and the State electricity regulatory commissions should determine prices for hybrid generation capacities (wind and solar).

Source: Hindustan Times