Tribunal stays road widening work in Vasant Kunj, govt admits PWD illegally felled trees

April 12, 2013

Tribunal stays road widening work in Vasant Kunj, govt admits PWD illegally felled trees

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday ordered an interim stay on a road widening project in South Delhi’s Vasant Kunj till the next hearing on May 29. The tribunal also warned the Delhi government of strong action if further felling of trees took place.

The government admitted that the Public Works Department had started felling trees without mandatory permission from the forest department.

The tribunal also issued a bailable warrant against the chief executive engineer of the PWD because he was not present at the hearing.

The tribunal was hearing a petition against the widening project filed by Sonya Ghosh, a resident of sector D3 of Vasant Kunj. The tribunal has asked the government to file a reply in two weeks. In a three-part series on March 5, 6 and 7, Hindustan Times had highlighted how the PWD widening a 3.5-km stretch from Andheria Mod towards Mahipalpur by demolishing boundaries and felling trees illegally.

A group of residents had said that a 75-metre-wide road (current width is 17.2 metres) for high-speed traffic through a densely-populated colony would disturb normal life. On completion, this would be the Capital’s widest road.

A local court on February 26 has already stayed work on the road-widening project in front of Sector D2 on a plea by the residents.

They claimed that the project was being executed in the most brazen manner and in complete disregard of the civic and environmental norms.

The representation of PWD in the tribunal is necessary to adjudicate the dispute and, in fact, PWD is responsible for carrying out the widening work, said the tribunal.

The 3.5-km stretch where it is being widened from four lanes to eight lanes has on its both flanks hundreds of flats in several pockets of sectors such as A and D. Sector A has pockets named A, B and C. Rest of the sectors in Vasant Kunj have pockets named in numeric value.

The brazen felling of trees without permission has exposed the lack of seriousness on part of the authorities in protecting Delhi’s green cover.

When the felling started residents and activists went up in arms. As the chorus grew, felling was stopped but the digging of soil continued, leaving a number of trees with exposed roots and without any soil support.

Source- http//www.hindustantimes.com

 

 

 

India to build new 357km Delhi-Ludhiana Expressway

January 23, 2013

India is set to construct a six-lane expressway that will connect Ludhiana in the state of Punjab with the capital Delhi, at an estimated cost of $200bn ($3.68bn).

The new 357km Delhi-Ludhiana Expressway, which is expected to reduce the distance between the two cities by almost 50km, has received approval from the states of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. The route map for the new project will be finalised by February 2013.

India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi told reporters that the cost of the expressway per km will be around Rs400m ($7.3m), as well as Rs50bn ($919.3m) that will be invested on land acquisition.

The new expressway will start from outer Delhi and feature a 266km-long stretch that passes through the Sonipat, Safidon, Asandh, Kaithal districts in Haryana and Samana and Nabha districts in Punjab. It will also include a 91km-long node to ease connectivity to Chandigarh.

Joshi said that townships will be allowed develop alongside the expressway nodes and will be given exclusive connectivity to the new road.

“We would discuss the cross subsidy model from real estate for funding the project once the alignment is finalised,” he added.

“We have also appointed PWD Secretaries of the three states as the nodal officers for the expressway project,” the minister said.

The new expressway is one of the seven expressways announced by the government under the flagship highways building programme NHDP VI.

In October 2011, the government had granted approval for the construction of 1,000km of expressways in the country.

source: http://www.roadtraffic-technology.com

‘No-way’ state mulls highway tax – Govt planning to levy user charges with private role in collection and maintenance

January 11, 2012

Calcutta, Jan. 4: The Mamata Banerjee government is working on a plan to levy user charges on vehicles plying on the 14 state highways in Bengal.

If the initiative is allowed to proceed unhindered, it will be a departure for a government that has been allergic to levying or increasing user charges and the first instance of decisive action from within to fight the financial crisis.

The success of the project will depend on a larger issue that is vexing Bengal: industrialisation. The more the industrial traffic, the more the state stands to earn as toll tax.

As the first step, the government is clearing the decks to set up a company under the public works department to look after all the 14 state highways, which in turn will get private players to maintain the roads.

“The company will invite private parties to maintain the roads under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. They will be allowed to charge toll tax to recover their investments,” said A.R. Bardhan, the state PWD secretary.

At present, the PWD spends around Rs 200 crore a year on all the 14 state highways. The state government doesn’t collect any toll tax from these highways.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), however, follows the private-agency model to maintain national highways across the country. For example, the NHAI has engaged three private agencies to maintain NH2 between Howrah and Asansol. The three agencies levy toll tax at three points on the stretch — at Dankuni, Palsit and Asansol.

Senior officials at Writers’ Buildings told The Telegraph that the highway decision had been taken to ease some of the financial burden on the state government.

“The PWD spends one-third of its budgetary allocation, which comes to around Rs 200 crore, on maintaining the state highways. The pathetic state of the roads suggests that the department is facing trouble in maintaining the roads because of paucity of funds,” an official said.

As many of these highways will require re-laying, which calls for fresh investments, the government, according to the official, is banking on private players.

States like Maharashtra are also following a similar model for better maintenance and expansion of the road infrastructure.

“For example, Maharashtra has already developed a state road development corporation through which private agencies can play a role. Private agencies maintain state highways and roads and construct bridges and culverts. They are allowed to collect toll tax to recover their investments,” said a PWD official.

He added that Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh had also brought in private players for road maintenance.

The move to collect user charge on state highways has come after months of refusal by the chief minister to tax water and raise power tariff.

“It is a good sign… If she can collect user charges for use of roads, then why not levy water tax or raise power tariff?” asked a city industrialist.

Estimates drawn up by the power department reveal that the combined losses of the power utilities in this financial year will be around Rs 2,400 crore.

“We see a ray of hope in the government’s decision on levying toll tax. If the chief minister allows us to raise power tariff, our losses will come down. The question is whether she will accept the economic logic of raising power tariff,” said a senior power department official.

According to the PWD proposal, the West Bengal State Construction Corporation Ltd — with the chief minister as the chairperson and the PWD secretary as the managing director — will be set up to look after the maintenance of all the state highways.

“The company will be allowed to take independent decisions. If its board of directors approves a decision, it will not require approval from the finance department. It will expedite the projects,” Bardhan said.

PWD officials said it had been decided that a formula would be drawn up along the lines of that of NHAI to determine toll tax rates.

“We are expecting the chief minister to clear the file as soon as possible as it has been drawn up after consulting her. We will start the process of setting up the company and inviting private players very soon,” said a PWD official.

The proposal may look fetching on paper, but implementing it will mean persuading Bengal to kick some of its habits.

“The state has to ensure proper security for the agencies that will collect toll tax. The NHAI had engaged a couple of agencies for maintenance of NH31 but when the agencies tried to collect the tax in North Dinajpur, local people chased them away and dismantled the toll tax plaza,” said a PWD official.

Infrastructure analysts pointed out that drawing private players might not be easy as the companies conduct viability studies before committing investment. “It has been observed that private companies lap up high-demand roads. Unless industrial activities go up in Bengal, getting private players will be difficult,” said an infrastructure finance analyst.

PWD officials said that of the 14 state highways, only five to six have significant industrial traffic, largely driven by natural factors such as coal, stone quarries and clay.

Source: telegraphindia.com

Depts lock horns over Ghaziabad FoBs

January 11, 2012

The public works department (PWD NH division) and Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation (GMC) are at loggerheads over the construction of two foot-over bridges (FoBs). While the PWD NH division has threatened to stop the construction of FoBs at high-pedestrian movement points near Vasundhara
and Vaishali over the NH-58e stretch, the latter claims to have initiated work.

The corporation has started the construction of two 105-feet-long FoBs, which will connect Sahibabad to Vasundhara and Dabur Crossing to Vaishali on NH-58e stretch, on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. The FOBs, to be built at Rs 4 crore, are expected to be completed in two months.

However, PWD NH division officials maintain that no such work can be undertaken on BOT basis without a prior permission from the ministry of road transport and highways.

“We can’t allow them to proceed with the BOT work and put up posters on FoBs. Their structural safety should be certified,” said Ravi Dutt Kumar, executive engineer, PWD (NH division).

The department officials have even forwarded a complaint to the Indirapuram police, asking them to lodge an FIR against the agency carrying out the construction activity.

On the other hand, GMC officials claim that the PWD had been apprised about the construction in August 2010 and the civic body would proceed with the work at any cost.

“The FoBs fall under our jurisdiction. The construction is being carried out in larger public interest as the two points are congested and pose a threat to pedestrians. The Municipal Corporation Act allows us to undertake such work,” said AK Singh, executive engineer, GMC.

It is not the first time that such construction is being carried out on highway stretches passing through the city.

The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) had recently carried out the widening of GT Road from Mohan Nagar to Dilshad Garden border. It has also completed the first phase of widening six to eight lanes from Dabur Crossing to Mohan Nagar.

Further, the work of widening six to eight lanes of GT Road from Mohan Nagar to new bus stand is on. GDA is also undertaking the construction of third bridge over Hindon river near GT Road. Sources said no prior permission had been obtained for the previous projects.

Source: hindustantimes.com

CRISIL assigns valuation grade 5/5 to MBL Infra

December 19, 2011

CRISIL assigns valuation grade 5/5 to MBL Infra

CRISIL Research has come out with its report onMBL Infra . The research firm has maintained the valuation grade 5/5 to the company in its December 12, 2011 report.

MBL Infrastructure Ltd’s (MBL’s) Q2FY12 revenues and earnings were above CRISIL Research’s expectations. Given the timely execution of projects, revenues registered robust growth of 25.3% y-o-y. Although high raw material cost pulled down EBITDA margin by 156 bps y-o-y to 15.2%, it was above our expectation of 13.7%. PAT registered muted growth of 1.8% as lower EBITDA margin and increased interest and depreciation costs offset revenue growth. Order inflows remained subdued during the quarter – MBL’s current order book is valued at ~Rs 12.5 bn (1.1x TTM revenue), which provides visibility only for the next 12 months. We maintain our earnings estimate and fundamental grade of 3/5.

Q2FY12 result analysis:

  • Revenues grew by 25.3% y-o-y to Rs 1,540 mn due to the timely execution of projects. H1FY12 revenues grew by 34.1% to Rs 4,671 mn.
  • EBITDA margin declined by 156 bps y-o-y to 15.2% due to increased raw material cost. H1FY12 EBITDA margin declined by 98 bps y-o-y.
  • PAT increased 1.8% y-o-y to Rs 80 mn due to lower EBITDA margin and higher interest and depreciation costs. However, it was better than our expectations. H1FY12 PAT increased by 20.2% y-o-y to Rs 283 mn.

Key developments:

  • Order intake during the quarter was subdued. The company received orders worth Rs 1 bn from Haryana PWD and National Building Construction Corporation and ~Rs 2 bn from Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation. The current order book is valued at ~Rs 12.5 bn (1.1x TTM revenue), which provides visibility for just 12 months.
  • Recently, it received road projects worth Rs 415 mn in Madhya Pradesh on BOT basis (toll + annuity). With this, the company now has four road BOT projects in its portfolio, of which one is operational and three are under construction.
  • Construction work on the Orissa road project is on schedule; till date, the company has completed work worth Rs 40 crore.

Valuations: Current market price has strong upside We continue to value MBL based on the sum-of-the-parts method. The contracting business has been valued on the P/E method (with a P/E multiple of 6x), while BOT projects have been valued on the DCF method. We maintain our fair value estimate of Rs 249 per share. At the current market price, the stock merits a valuation grade of 5/5.

To read the full report click on the attachment

Disclaimer: This report (Report) has been commissioned by the Company/Investor/Exchange and prepared by CRISIL. The report is based on data publicly available or from sources considered reliable by CRISIL (Data). However, CRISIL does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of the Data / Report and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of Data / Report. Opinions expressed herein are CRISIL’s opinions as on the date of this Report.  The Data / Report are subject to change without any prior notice. Nothing in this Report constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice or any solicitation, whatsoever. The Report is not a recommendation to buy / sell or hold any securities of the Company. CRISIL especially states that it has no financial liability, whatsoever, to the subscribers / users of this Report. This Report is for the personal information of the authorized recipient only. This Report should not be reproduced or redistributed or communicated directly or indirectly in any form to any other person or published or copied in whole or in part especially outside India, for any purpose.

Source: http://www.moneycontrol.com

PWD Haryana invites bids for road project

November 9, 2010

The Public Works Department (PWD), Haryana, proposes to take up four-laning of a road project on DBFOT basis.

The PWD has invited tenders from interested parties for the development of Rai Malikpur (Rajasthan border)-Narnaul-Mahendragarh-Dadri-Bhiwani-Kharak corridor. The project spanning 151 km is to cost Rs 1,201.70 crore. The last date of submission of bids is 1 December 2010.

DF govt to spend Rs 3000 cr on road to power

March 3, 2008

Though its four-year rule in Maharashtra is yet to bring a visible change in the state, the Democratic Front (DF) government now wishes to make amends during its final year in office.

For the 2008-09 fiscal, the state will witness large-scale road construction works, senior officials of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and Public Works Department (PWD) told ET. The two agencies, which have been keeping a low-profile during the DF rule, compared to the 1995-1999 Shiv Sena-BJP government’s period, want to make up for the lost time. “We will have many more projects to showcase before the people,” Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had said earlier.

Road works amounting to more than Rs 3,000 crore have been initiated by these two agencies across the state. All projects are being undertaken on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis and the state agencies are collaborating with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). Such is the project’s volume that the PWD, MSRDC and NHAI would upgrade around 900 km of roads across Maharashtra.

“Most of the roads under construction would be completed in a year or so. We are following a strategy of aggressive development in the road sector, which is one of the main drivers of socio-economic growth. Roads not only connect but also bring investment,” PWD secretary DB Deshpande told ET.

The state is using the Rs 2,000-crore grant sanctioned by the Union government to upgrade the corridors of national highways, which pass through Maharashtra. This allocation has to be used in the 2008-2009 fiscal. The work includes six-laning of the 90-km corridor between Dahisar-Talasari on Mumbai-Ahmedabad National Highway, the 275-km corridor between Satara-Karad-Kagal, which leads to Bangalore, the 86-km stretch between Igatpuri and Pimpalgaon and construction of an elevated 5.5 km long corridor bypassing the Nashik city.

“Maharashtra has always been regarded as the leading state as far as quality of road is concerned. But good roads have utility beyond the obvious connectivity point of view. The World Bank has estimated that an investment of Rs 20 lakh in road works creates one perpetual job.

We are looking at employment generation and economic potential of roads, which would be give an edge to Maharashtra in these industrially competitive times,” an MSRDC official said. Lot of action is also visible on the state highways. The PWD has got Cabinet approval for the Rs 800-crore four-laning of Shirur-Nagar-Pune-Aurangabad state highway, which is 300-km long. “Work has started on this project and should be completed by May 2009,” Mr Deshpande added.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Jharkhand hoping PPPs will attract investors

July 28, 2006

Jharkhand is yet to see the concept of public-private partnership (PPP) take off in any form, especially on its 7,000-odd km network of roads and bridges. The state has not itself tried out the concept; it has seen the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) thrice floating tenders for the Ranchi-Barhi road on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis without evoking any response from the private sector. And the Barhi-Ranchi stretch is said to be the state’s highest traffic corridor!

“Let’s see what happens here (at the PWD level), as we are going to launch the concept in the state soon,” said an apprehensive senior road construction department bureaucrat. Says DK Tiwari, secretary of the department: “We are now seeking to get some roads on that (PPP) basis.”

Read more

First edition of e-Magzine – Editorial

January 2, 2006

Dear Reader,

We are glad to bring out the first edition of this e news magazine bringing you the latest news on the developments of BOT projects in India.

As you are all already aware that the future of road construction in India is going the BOT way . Not only the NHAI , but even the state governments such as the Government of Punjab through PIDB and Madhya Pradesh Government through MPSRD has come out with no. of BOT projects .

Apart from Road Projects even Check Post Management has gone the BOT way with state governments such as the NEW DELHI already having implemented and KERELA and RAJASTHAN in the planning stage to go for BOT projects for CHECK POST MANAGEMENT.

With this magazine we hope to bring together companies and professionals in BOT road projects to share news ,views ,problems and solutions through a platform which will bring together best of the industry through a forum for sharing thier knowledge .

Also we hope to use this a medium for recruitment of High skill professionals having experience in managing different aspects of BOT projects by the leading BOT concession companies.

Last but not the least we want to constantly educate the concessionaires about the latest in Tolling and Traffic Management Technologies offered by Metro Road Systems and its global partners –Kapsch Trafficom , Austria.

We would really appreciate constructive and critical feedback on this maiden venture in the Industry.

In the next issues you can look forward to :

1. Articles from renowned people in Industry
2. Web Chat with experts on Hot topics concerning industry
3. Lot of illustrations and pictures

Thanks and Regards,
Sachin Bhatia
Chief Editor ,
METRO ROAD TIMES
;
sachin@metroroadsystems.com