Signal free corridor to transport organs for transplant

August 7, 2014

The traffic police of Delhi and Gurgaon along with a private hospital Wednesday set up a traffic signal free corridor to give uninterrupted passage to transport organs meant for transplant.

On the occasion of Organ Donation Day Aug 6, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) collaborated with the Delhi and Gurgaon traffic police to set up a “Corridor of Life” between the Indira Gandhi International Airport and the institute in Gurgaon.

A test run of the corridor that cut travel time and provided uninterrupted road access was carried out Wednesday.

“We want to replicate the success of our Green Corridor initiative at Fortis Malar Hospital in Chennai, where a heart was transported in 14 minutes covering a distance of 12 km and saving the life of a 21 year-old-girl,” Dilpreet Brar, regional director of FMRI, said at the launch.

Brar: “We recognize the importance of an efficient organ transport programme in saving lives and want to work closely with key stakeholders who can enable this process and make this a reality in Delhi-NCR.”

Source:The Hindu

State agency offers ‘permanent’ solution

April 8, 2008

A perpetual or permanent road is a long-life bituminous road that needs no maintenance, is of superior quality and ideal for heavy-traffic corridors

Bangalore: Bumpy rides on Indian roads may soon be a thing of the past, if the Central Road Research Institute, or CRRI, has its way. The institute is compiling a report on its research on introducing perpetual roads— that last as long as 30 years without cracking—in the country.

Perpetual roads are hugely popular in the US and China.

“Perpetual roads are the future for important roadways like the national and state highways where maintenance is a huge concern and need to be refurbished because of high traffic volume,” said Sunil Bose, deputy director of pavements at CRRI, which has just completed laboratory tests on perpetual roads in India.

Once the report is complete by July, the New Delhi-based institute wants to collaborate with the National Highways Authority of India, or NHAI, and run a pilot project on a stretch of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP).

A perpetual or permanent road is a long-life bituminous road that needs no maintenance, is of superior quality and ideal for heavy-traffic corridors such as the national highways, said Bose. It has three layers: a wear-resistant top layer, an intermediate layer and a fatigue-resistant base layer, he said.

In India, important roads are overloaded with traffic and therefore suffer harsh weathering, leading to cracks and potholes. Entire structures have to be rebuilt every four-five years at high cost. According to NHAI data, India’s 66,590km of national highways, for example, constitute 2% of its road network but carry 40% of the traffic.

Nirmaljeet Singh, technical member at NHAI, said despite good construction, NHDP roads invariably deteriorate due to the heavy traffic and have to be relaid every five years.

Road experts say that in perpetual roads, the layer of bitumen, a petroleum product that is used to lay roads, is 25-30% thicker than the usual 900mm, and of better quality, giving the roads a stronger cover.

“We are open to such research but it needs to be tested and seen whether it suits our roads and can be effectively maintained in the long run,” said Singh.

These roads are also less expensive in the long term, says CRRI. Bose said that while the cost of building 1km of any NHDP road is around Rs4.2 crore, a perpetual road would cost 25% more. However, these roads would last much longer, recovering the additional costs.

“Perpetual roads are a boon for the economy because goods are delivered on time and there is less fuel wastage because of reduced obstruction in traffic movement. And once you construct these roads, they don’t deteriorate,” said B.B. Pandey, emeritus professor of civil engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.



April 7, 2008


The Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Thiru T.R. Baalu has said that the proposal for setting up of the National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board, as recommended by the Committee on Road Safety and Traffic Management, is in the final stages of approval. Similar Boards would be set up in the States also. Thiru Baalu was addressing the Seventeenth Meeting of the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament attached to his Ministry here today.

Thiru Baalu also informed the Members that the Department of Road Transport and Highways is also contemplating constitution of a Committee of Experts to suggest a comprehensive scheme to improve the public transport system. The proposed scheme would stipulate certain reform measures to be undertaken by the States to be eligible for seeking financial assistance from the Central Government.

The Minister further informed that a ‘Working Group’ has been constituted by the Government to determine the technology for Advanced Traffic Management System, Advanced Travel or Information System and Electronic Toll collection. He said that a System is proposed to be installed for automatic traffic counting and classification to have better assessment of traffic moving on National highways. He said that these steps are being taken as part of Government’s efforts to give more emphasis on the modernisation of the toll collection system for which introduction of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) is proposed to be gradually introduced.

Thiru Baalu said that a proposal has recently been approved for creation of State and National Registers of driving licenses and registration certificates envisaging inter-linking of all Regional Transport Offices. This would enable creation of authentic database for road transport sector, ensuring transparency in the process of registration of motor vehicles and issuance of driving licenses at a total cost of Rs. 148 crore. The project period is two years. It would check issuance of fake driving licenses / registration certificates and lead to better enforcement of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act / Rules, he added.

The Minister also informed that to formulate a scheme for trauma care facilities across the country in general and along the National Highways in particular, his Ministry has been working closely with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to work out a -2- combined plan of action. For this purpose, Thiru Baalu informed that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has introduced a scheme for setting up of an integrated network of Trauma Centres along the GQ, North-South and East-West Corridors of the National Highways by upgrading the trauma care facilities in 140 identified State Government Hospitals at a total cost of Rs.732.75 crore during the Eleventh Five Year Plan period. Our Ministry has to supply 140 ambulances and NHAI has to provide 50 Ambulances with advanced life support equipment to identified hospitals.

Giving an account of the progress made on the National Highway Development Programme (NHDP), Thiru Baalu observed that upto February 2008, out of the 5,846 kms under the Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) Project, 4/6 laning of about 5,650 kms has been completed and works are in progress in the remaining 196 kms length. Out of about 7,300 kms length under the North-South and East-West Corridors, 4/6 laning was completed in 1,962 kms and works were under implementation in about 4,359 kms. Under NHDP Phase-III, out of 12,109 kms length, 4-laning has been completed in 330 kms and works are in progress in about 1,745 kms and under NHDP Phase-V, out of 6,500 kms length, 6-laning was in progress in about 1,030 kms.

So far 86 projects valued at Rs.29,576.94 crore have been awarded on BOT (Toll) basis. Out of these, 34 projects have been completed and 52 projects are in progress. Also, so far 25 projects valued at Rs. 9,411.88 crore have been awarded on BOT (Annuity) basis; out of which, 8 projects have been completed and 17 projects are in progress, the Minister informed.

The Members of Parliament who participated in the meeting are: S/Shri M.R. Reddy, S. Ajaya Kumar, L.R. Patil, Hari Kewal Prasad, M.L. Mandal, Tiruchi Siva and Ms. Mabel Rebello.



December 20, 2007

The Government’s approval for construction of Ring Roads/Bypasses etc. around the major cities across the country, upgradation of National Highways under NHDP Phase III A and III B, awarding of 18 contracts by NHAI under NHDP Phase III, IV and VI and approval of modified SARDP-NE programme for widening of NHs in NE States marked the major activities of the Department of Road Transport and Highways during the year 2007. The Department of Road Transport notified the rules for accreditation of bus body builders, Government approved the amendments in the Motor Vehicle Act and Sunder Committee recommended the creation of a dedication body on road safety and traffic management during the year.


- India has about 3.3 million kilometers road network, which is the second largest in the world. It includes National Highways, State Highways, Major District Roads and Rural Roads.

- National Highways (NHs) having length of 66590 km, constitute only 2 per cent of the total road network but share approximately 40 per cent of the total traffic on roads.

- Overall Achievements made by the Ministry through all agencies i.e. NHAI, State PWDs and BRO under different schemes of development of National Highways during the calendar year 2007 from January 2007 to October, 2007 are as under

Name of Scheme



1) Widening to 4-lanes (km)



2) Strengthening of existing weak pavement (kms)



3) Widening to 2-lanes (km)



4) Improvement of riding quality (IRQP) (km)



5) Rehabilitations / Construction of Bridges ( No.)



6) Construction of Bypasses (No.)



7) Improvement of low grade sections (km)



National Highways Development Projects Phase I, II, III and V

The present status of NHDP I, II, III and V as on 30th November, 2007, is as under:

Golden Quadrilateral (GQ): Out of total Length of 5846 Km, four laning of 5629 km has been completed and the balance length is under implementation.

During the calendar year 128 km length has been completed.

North-South & East-West Corridors: Out of total length of 7300 km for four laning, 1559 km length has been completed and 4762 km length is under implementation. The remaining length is under various stages towards award of work.

During the calendar year 707 km length has been completed.

Port Connectivity Project & Other National Highways: Under Port Connectivity, out of 380 km, 163 Km has been completed and 211 km is under implementation. The work is yet to be awarded in remaining length. Out of 945 km of other National Highway, so far 337 km has been completed and four laning of 605 km is under implementation.

During the calendar year 28 km length has been completed for the Port Connectivity

National Highways Development Project Phase – III, V, VI & VII

Government has approved up gradation of 780 Km of National Highways under NHDP Phase-IIIA in Bihar at an estimated cost of Rs,6782 Crore in April 2007. With this approval, total length approved under Phase-IIIA is 4815 km at an estimated cost of Rs.33,069 crore.

Government has approved upgradation of 7294 km under NHDP Phase IIIB at an estimated cost of Rs.47557 crore in April 2007.

With approval of NHDP Phase-IIIB, total length for NHDP Phase-III is 12109 km at an estimated cost of Rs.80,626 crore. NHDP Phase-III is targeted for completion by December, 2013.

12 nos of contracts involving a length of 749 km under NHDP phase III have been awarded so far.

Government has approved construction of stand alone Ring Roads, Bypasses, Grade Separators, Flyovers, elevated roads, tunnels, road over bridges, underpasses, service roads, etc. on BOT (Toll) mode under NHDP Phase VII in December 2007 at an estimated cost of Rs.16680 crore.

In all 18 Nos. Contracts for the length of 928 km amounting to Rs. 6816 Crore were awarded by NHAI under NHDP Phase III,IV & VI.

Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North-East (SARDP-NE)

The modified SARDP-NE programme approved by Govt. on 1.10.2007 envisages widening of 3846 km of National Highways and improvement including widening/improvement of 4891 km of State roads. This will ensure the connectivity of remaining 58 district head quarters to the National Highways / State Roads in the 8 North-Eastern States.

Ministry has set up a High Powered Inter Ministerial Committee to approve and co-ordinate individual sub projects under SARDP-NE. Till date Committee has approved various sub projects covering 664 km length at an estimated cost of Rs. 1613 Crore under Phase “A” of the program.

Central Road Fund

Under the Central Road Fund Scheme, an amount of Rs. 12830 crore has been earmarked for all categories of roads (including share of Railways). Out of this, Rs.6541.06 crore have been allotted for National Highways, Rs.1565.32 crore for the State Roads, Rs.3825 crore for the Rural Roads and a sum of Rs.173.93 crore to be given as grants for development of Inter-State Connectivity and Economic Importance Roads. An amount of Rs. 724.69 Crore has been allotted to the Ministry of Railways for construction of Road Over Bridges/ Road Under Bridges and other safety works in unmanned level crossing.

During the calendar year 2007 till 30th November 2007, 408 proposals amounting to Rs. 1263.09 Crore have been approved for improvement of State Roads under CRF.

Economic Importance & Inter-State connectivity (E&I and ISC)

In the current financial year 2007-2008 an allocation of funds of Rs 173.93 Crore has been made for E & I and ISC.

During the calendar year so far, 41 nos. (16 of EI and 25 ISC) proposals amounting to Rs. 347.79 Crore with a central share of 302.93 Crore have been given in-principle approval for improvement of State Roads under Economic Importance & Inter-state Connectivity Scheme.

Public Private Partnership

BOT (Toll) Based Projects: So far 82 (56 NHAI+ 26 MoSRTH) projects valued about Rs. 23104.31 Crore on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis (Toll based projects) have been awarded. Out of this, 32 (8 NHAI+ 24 MoSRTH) projects have been completed and 50 projects are under progress.

During the calendar year, 10 (NHAI) contracts for 698 km of length have been awarded on BOT (Toll) basis.


Accreditation of bus body builders:

This Department has notified the rules for accreditation of bus body builders on 23.3.2007. As per these rules, the bus body builders in the country would be accredited through the system of Zonal and National Level Accreditation Board. It is expected that these rules would come into effect from 23rd March 2008. This would bring uniformity in the bus body design and enhance safety and comfort to the passenger

Amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 1st March 2007 has approved the proposal of this Ministry to amend the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to enhance penalties for various traffic offences, to delegate powers to the states , to make the transport authorities in the States more responsive and to rationalize various provisions in accordance with new/emerging requirements as well as compensation to road accident victims. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2007 has been introduced in Rajya Sabha on 15.5.2007 and the same has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture for examination and appropriate recommendation.

Creation of Dedicated body on Road Safety and Traffic Management

A committee under the chairmanship of Shri S.Sunder, Former Secretary erstwhile Ministry of Surface Transport was constituted on 23.11.2005 to deliberate and make recommendations for creation of dedicated body on Road Safety and Traffic Management. The Committee has submitted its report on 20.2.2007. The main recommendations of the Committee include creation of an apex body i.e. National Road Safety & Traffic Management Board at national level to promote road safety and improve traffic management in India, through an Act of the Parliament. In its advisory role, it has been proposed that the Board will advise Government on various road safety aspects. Creation of similar State level boards has also been suggested in the report. The Committee has suggested earmarking of minimum one per cent of total proceeds of cess on diesel and petrol for Road Safety Fund. A note for Committee of Secretaries for creation of a National Road Safety and Traffic Management Board is being finalised.

Carriage by Road Act, 2007

The carriage by Road Act, 2007 been notified in the Gazette of India on 1st October 2007 after obtaining presidential assent on the Carriage by Road Bill, 2007 passed by Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on 7.9.07 and 10.9.07 respectively.. The new Act would replace the Carriers’ Act, 1865 and would cater to the need of the modern day trade and transport by road. The new Act would help to make the transport system transparent and modernise the systems and procedures of the transportation trade through registration of common carrier. It also provides scope for apportionment of liability between the common carrier and the consignor.

National Road Safety Council:

10th meeting of the National Road safety Council was held on 21st April 2007 at Coimbatore As a follow up to this meeting, a high powered committee under the chairmanship of Transport Minister, Tamil Nadu has been set up to address the problems faced by the States in enforcement of the provisions relating to overloading, speed governors, speed fixing limit of motor vehicles, other road safety issues and to suggest proper mechanism to formulate an effective National Road safety Policy.

Road safety activities:

During the current year grants-in-aid have been sanctioned to 121 number of NGOs for carrying out road safety activities in the country.

Refresher training to about 60000 drivers of heavy commercial vehicles in the unorganized sector has been sanctioned during the year 2007-08


CARE assigns A+ rating to NCD issue Era Infra Engg

October 4, 2007

CARE has assigned a ‘CARE A+ [Single A (Plus)]’ rating to the proposed Non Convertible Debentures (NCDs) aggregating Rs.100cr. of Era Infra Engineering Ltd.(EIEL), formerly known as Era Constructions (India) Ltd. These NCDs would be redeemed in 8 quarterly installments in 2nd and 3rd year from the date of allotment. Instruments with this rating are considered to offer adequate safety for timely servicing of debt obligations. Such instruments carry low credit risk.

CARE has reaffirmed a ‘CARE A+ [Single A (Plus)]’ rating to the Secured NCDs aggregating Rs.50cr. of Era Infra Engineering Ltd. (EIEL). . Instruments with this rating are considered to offer adequate safety for timely servicing of debt obligations. Such instruments carry low credit risk.

CARE has reaffirmed a ‘CARE A+ [Single A (Plus)]’ rating to the Unsecured NCDs aggregating Rs.100cr. of Era Infra Engineering Ltd. (EIEL). Instruments with this rating are considered to offer adequate safety for timely servicing of debt obligations. Such instruments carry low credit risk.

The ratings take into account EIEL’s experience in diversified construction activities, strong pre-qualification credentials, increasing order book position resulting in improved financial performance, reputed clients and positive outlook for the construction sector. However, the rating is constrained by increasing working capital requirements given the aggressive growth, increasing investment requirement for BOT projects, vulnerability to increasing competitive pressures given its relative size and inherent cyclical trends associated with construction sector.

EIEL, the flagship company of Era Group was incorporated in September 1990, promoted by Mr. H.S Bharana, a civil engineer by profession, having more than two decades of experience in construction industry. The company is engaged in construction activities of infrastructure, institutional, industrial, commercial and housing. EIEL has executed 65 projects in the last 16 years valued at Rs.650cr.

Total operational income of the company has increased 99% and 145% in FY’06 and FY’07 respectively due to increase in average contract size and its ability to execute projects as per time schedules.

Consequent to the increase in the total income, profitability of the company has also been rising consistently. PBILDT margin during FY’07 have increased from 15.64% to 18.35% due to increase in ticket size of the contracts and changing project mix towards high value turnkey contracts.

Overall gearing, however, has increased as on Mar 31, 2007 on account of issue of FCCBs and increase in borrowings to meet capex, investment in BOT and working capital requirements. On excluding FCCBs, overall gearing improves to 1.68 as on  Mar 31, 2007.

EIEL has raised USD 75 million (Rs. 326 crs) through FCCBs in Jan’07 to fund capex plans and investment in BOT projects. As per FCCB terms, the conversion price will be decided in Jan’08 and conversion process would commence from Mar’08.

EIEL has issued 55 lakh fresh warrants to promoters and associates in May 2007 at a price of Rs.425. Application money equal to 10% (Rs.23cr.) has been received at the time of issue of these warrants. These warrants would be converted to equal number of equity shares in Nov 2008, expected to bring Rs.210cr. Besides, existing warrants issued in Dec 2005 at a price of Rs 135 would contribute Rs.48cr. towards equity in FY’08.

Liquidity as measured by current ratio is satisfactory at 2.78 times as on March 31, 2007. Company’s working capital requirements have been mostly funded from the borrowings during the year. Going forward, the liquidity of the company is likely be under pressure on account of increasing order book position, working capital intensive nature of operations, increasing order book position and increasing investments in BOT projects.