The bicycle diaries: These residents drive home the green message

June 18, 2013

Hindustan Times  Gurgaon,

(Over 250 cyclists comprising of government officials, students, teachers, cycling enthusiasts and civic groups converged in Gurgaon to make the city bike-friendly. Students, government officials, teachers, cycling enthusiasts, civic groups cycled to create awareness about alternative transport systems.The Non-Motorised Transport group organised a ‘Walk to Work’ campaign in association with NASSCOM, in Gurgaon, India. HT photo/Manoj Kumar -HT Photo/Manoj Kumar)


For a city that is synonymous with expressways, high-end vehicles and fatal accidents, the idea of a dedicated cycle track was unheard of till some time back.

But that was before a quaint group of enlightened residents had joined hands to form a Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) group.

The group has been instrumental in urging the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) to work on a comprehensive NMT plan for Gurgaon with dedicated cycle and pedestrian tracks.

 It works with the vision to provide equitable road space to pedestrians, cyclists and other users in the Millennium City.

Since the latter half of 2011, this group has been conducting unique events to create a pedestrian and cyclists-friendly city.

The 500-member public group last month organised a unique ‘Walk to Work’ initiative in collaboration with industry body Nasscom where CEOs walked to their offices from the nearest Metro station instead of taking their cars.

“Thankfully, the NMT idea has now percolated into the minds of the city authorities. The city will set a positive example for the rest of the country if the plan gets the green signal,” Nisha Singh, a city councillor and one of the key group members.

The group also introduced Gurgaon to Columbia’s Ciclovia concept where roads are partly barricaded to stop the entry of motor vehicles so that cyclists and pedestrians can have a free and safe experience.

In an event in April at Leisure Valley Grounds, some of the most powerful men in Gurgaon — the Huda administrator, the municipal commissioner and the police commissioner – also took to the humble cycle.
















Akhilesh Yadav announces infra development fund

April 8, 2013

Akhilesh Yadav announces infra development fund

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Lucknow, April 03, 2013

 First Published: 17:54 IST(3/4/2013) | Last Updated: 17:58 IST(3/4/2013)
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said an infrastructure development fund would be set up with part of the profits of Noida, Greater Noida, GDA, LDA and other such agencies to develop infrastructure across Uttar Pradesh.

He also assured farmers that their interests would be protected.

The chief minister was speaking at a function here to inaugurate/lay foundation stones of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority’s projects worth R 3,337 crore.

Stressing that the state could not be developed without the development of rural areas as well, he said for inclusive growth government policies would have to benefit farmers too.

 ”The state government has withdrawn cases registered against farmers at BhattaParsaul and other places. We will ensure justice to them and their participation in the state’s development,” he said.

Yadav said his government had got in touch with Amul for dairy development to benefit farmers. “Amul has been doing business worth R 40 to 50 crore per month per village in other states. We will open many centres of the company in UP,” he said. He also announced an interest-free loan scheme for dairy development.

Inaugurating OPD services at a Greater Noida hospital, the chief minister spoke to the chief medical superintendent through video-conferencing and instructed him to ensure proper treatment to all patients at the OPD. He further said his government was making all efforts to take the state ahead on the path of development. A number of industrial units had already been set up in Noida and Greater Noida and more would come up soon, he said. “We will continue to make efforts to create a conducive environment to attract investment,” Yadav said. The chief minister asked Noida officers to solve traffic problems there.

He said the total budget of Noida, Greater Noida, GDA and others could be almost equal to the budget of Delhi. “The officers should, therefore, make serious efforts to provide better infrastructure support and cleanliness in the areas around Delhi,” he said.


Workshop on Nationwide Electronic Toll Collection, held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on June 14, 2011

June 15, 2011

Workshop on Nationwide Electronic Toll Collection

  • Mr. C P Joshi , Honrable Minister Road Transport and Highways
  • Mr.  Nandan Nilkani , Chairman , UIDAI
  • Mr. R S GUJRAL , Chairman NHAI
  • Mr. Ravi Palekar , GM (Electronics) , NHAI – Addressing the gathering
  • Mr. Sachin Bhatia, CEO, Metro Infrasys

Workshop on Nationwide Electronic Toll Collection held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. With an objective of paving way for a unified Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) technology for National Highways in India, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways constituted a Committee under the chairmanship of Shri Nandan Nilekani Chairman of UIDAI with a mandate to examine all technologies available for Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) and recommend the most suitable one for implementation throughout India. The other members of the Committee are Prof. Pankaj Jalote, Director, IIIT-Delhi ; Dr. Kolin Paul, Asst. Professor, IIT-Delhi ; Shri A.V. Sinha, DG (Road Development) & Special Secretary, MoRT&H and Shri. V.L. Patankar, Member (Technical), NHAI (Member Secretary).

The Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Dr. C.P. Joshi has said that we should chalk out a plan to increase the percentage of national highways from present 2.2 % to 5 % in the next 10 years. Delivering inaugural address at the Consultation Workshop with the Technology Providers and Concessionaires in respect of Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) here today, he said that keeping in view the various types of highways there should be a hybrid pattern of toll collection. The Workshop was jointly organized by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, National Highways Authority of India & National Informatics Centre. The Chairman of UIDAI Shri Nandan Nilkeni & Minister of State for RT&H Shri Tusharbhai A. Chaudhary also addressed the workshop. Shri R.S. Gujral, Secretary Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and Dr. V.K. Gairola, D.G (NIC) were present.

Mr. Sachin Bhatia CEO Metro Infrasys expressing the support from Industry Fraternity

Based on the recommendations of the committee headed by Mr. Nandan Nilekani to use RFID technology for ETC, the Apex Committee, responsible for ETC implementation planning, is in the process of prescribing certain standards which should be complied with all over the country to ensure interoperability. The primary purpose of this workshop was to take feedback from the key stakeholders, comprising concessionaires and ETC technology service providers. Security, cost effectiveness, convenience and scalability have been the main criteria based on which the detailing has been done.

Based on the feedback, the specifications and data detailing will be finalized for open market release. The plan is that the authorized manufacturers will be producing Transceivers and Tags based on these standards, the concessionaires will be procuring these Transceivers and in turn, the technology service providers will be integrating the entire ETC system at the toll plaza. Although details on other aspects like clearing house are being worked out simultaneously, majority of the decisions will depend upon these standards only.

Followings are the Tolling Companies, RFID Manufacturer and concessionaire took part in the workshop:

  • Kapsch Metro
  • Egis Infra
  • L&T Infra
  • GMR
  • HCC Infrastructure
  • JICA
  • DSC
  • EFKON India
  • Siemens
  • IAITO Infotech Pvt. Ltd.
  • ESSEN, Mumbai
  • ATT System, Banglore
  • Mitsubishi
  • IBI Group
  • Neology
  • Steria
  • Tag Factory

Brief of discussion over finalization of technology between committee and Industry Peoples:

  • Dr. B.K. Gairola, Director General, NIC  – extreme left
  • Dr. Y.K. Sharma, DDG, NIC - middle position
  • Dr. Rajat Moona, Director General of CDAC, IIT Kanpur
  • Dr. Y.K. Sharma, DDG, NIC - extreme Right

Mr. Venkat from GMR expressed change from IP 66 to IP 65 for the readers as IP 65 is also good enough and IP 66 will increase the cost for the readers without any additional value.

Mr. Hari from Efkon
He raised an issue over the  relative humidity of 100% for Transceiver antenna.

Committee Conclusion :
Committee agreed for the IP 65 standard and 95% relative humidity as it comply against all possible environmental threat at toll scenario.

Mr. Anand Shenoy from IAITO Infotech Pvt. Ltd.
Raised his voice over minimum requirement of reading of 10 Tags per second with 240 bits of EPC memory and 64 bits of Tag Id.

Committee Conclusion: committee agreed onto change it to 2 Tags per second with above said minimum requirement. On the other query raised by Mr. Shenoy that the data retention period must be 3-4 year for the tag memory instead of 10 years as their is no UV protection asked for the tag and without any special material with the effect of UV rays its hard to maintain the data in tag for 10 years, The committee replied as they will keep it under consideration and if required they will bring it in next phase.

On the query raised by Team from Metro Infrasys- Mr. Nitin Thakur and Mr. Harimohan for the option of having color coded  Tags for different class of vehicles, as it will help in operation at toll plazas. The Committee said that it is difficult to see the color in the moving car in the sun. However committee will discuss it in next phase.

Mr. Vipul  Sharma(Left), Mr. Mayank Manish(Right)
The long discussed topic was the polarization standard for the antenna, Panel has asked for circular polarization pattern for the antenna but Mr. Vipul Sharma and Mayank Manish from one of the leading manufacturer of RFID Equipment Neology reasoned to have it linearly polarized due to its long range and less interference phenomenon, also linearly polarized antennas can work at higher speed , committee keep this for discussion and will revert again.

Mr. Manoj Agarwal and Mr. Manish from Delhi Gurgaon Expressway strongly supported the idea of a law for putting a penalty on cash vehicles coming to Tag lane .

For the standard for the communication between plaza server and CCH server, there will be addition of Plaza id into the prescribed format by the committee. Plaza level fare plan and policy will be governed by the plaza itself while the global discount will be governed by the CCH server and will be updated in all the plaza server by CCH server itself. Committee also agreed to look into the various aspects of fare plans at different plazas.

Highlights of the Workshop:

ETC critical components:
Tag Distribution Channel & Inventory Management

  • On-line channels by user
  • Authorized service centers of vehicles (Service centre need to install the SPV client software and antenna connection), since centre must have authorized people to affix tags.
  • RTO(Operation is similar to above)
  • Vehicle dealer network(Operation is similar to above)
  • Authorized point of sale installation(POS can be insurance companies, PUC centers, Petrol Pumps etc; Operation is similar to above)

Inventory Management of Tags:
SPV will keep track of allocated EPC Ids, Tag Ids etc. It will perform a demand forecast Tags and keep the tags available for distribution through distribution channel.

Handling Special Cases

  • Valid ETC enabled vehicle was ejected due to non-read of Tag – Premium cash lane should verify it with the ETC database.
  • Clone Tag – If customer complains/suspects that his/her Tag is cloned, Tag re-initiation is to be done for same Tag. Old Tag value is marked for special handling.
  • Change in registration number of vehicle – Vehicle should approach distribution channel network and get a new tag. Old tag is to be destroyed physically and listed for special handling.
  • De-registration of vehicle (due to destruction/ end of life/ Export etc.)-Tag is to be destroyed physically and listed for special handling.

Listing for Special Attention
Vehicle is listed for special attention following conditions:

  • Insufficient balance as determined by clearing house
  • Credit card co. declined the payment
  • On Police look-out
  • Suspected cloned Tag
  • Tag with invalid Vehicle Registration no. (e.g. when Registration no. is changed)
  • When toll plaza operator notices Tag carrying details different from vehicle itself (e.g. the vehicle Registration no. and/ or Vehicle class)


Conclusions drawn at the end of the seminar:

Documents Attached:

This story is covered by Mr. Sachin Bhatia.
Chief Editor, IndianTollways
CEO, Metro Infrasys
Email: [email protected]
Indian Tollways will Submit Industry feedback to NHAI in Bold and flashing. Please share your feedback below:

Your Name:

Your Email:

Organization / Company:

Organization / Company's Role in Industry:

Position in Organization / Company:

Advantages of Finalization of ETC standard and comments on standard if any:

Prove you're not a robot

Faridabad-Badarpur flyover to just beat Games deadline

April 8, 2008

With the authorities rushing up to complete all the projects related to road infrastructure before Commonwealth Games in 2010, commuters taking the Badarpur-Faridabad road can expect a smooth ride on this stretch by September 2010.

According to sources in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the Badarpur-Faridabad 6-lane elevated highway at a cost of Rs 340 crore is expected to be completed by September 2010. NHAI has already shortlisted five bidders for the 4.4 km signal-free road and the work is likely to be awarded by this June.

This proposed elevated corridor, to be built on BOT basis, will be a crucial link between Delhi and Faridabad. The proposed road will start from near NTPC, Badarpur and will end near Sector-37 crossing in Faridabad. The entire elevated corridor has five major intersections (two in Delhi and three in Haryana) namely NTPC junction, Sarai junction, Jaitpur junction, Mehrauli junction and Sector-37 junction.

Frequent traffic jams are reported from this road due to heavy traffic and encroachments and on average commuters spend over half an hour to cross this stretch on NH-2.

The elevated corridor will do away with all the seven junctions on this stretch. There will be three subways on the road for pedestrians.

The commuters using the elevated road will have to pay toll tax, said an NHAI official, adding that there will be two toll gates – one at Delhi-Faridabad border and the other near Sector-37 in Faridabad. The toll rates will be announced when the stretch gets operational, said the official. However, commuters using the ground road will not pay any toll. According to the project plan, the concessionaire will construct and maintain the entire project including the ground level roads for the period of 20 years.

While the NHAI had prepared the detail project report way back in 2004, it got delayed due to various “political” and “procedural reasons”.

“Haryana government gave the clearance in 2006, but Delhi government and Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) cleared it only in January this year. But now there will be no extension to the deadline of the project since everything has been cleared and the required land is acquired,” said an NHAI official.


Concrete gains

February 18, 2008

Mega investments in infrastructure and the recent market correction offers an exciting investment opportunity in construction stocks.

The robust GDP growth rate experienced by the country in the last few years is indeed commendable and was aided by investment in infrastructure. To sustain growth rates, it is imperative for India to make higher investments towards setting up world-class infrastructure. As per the planning commission estimates, investments in infrastructure is set to go up by a whopping 130 per cent to $520 billion for the eleventh Five Year Plan (FY 2008-12) as against the $226 billion made during the tenth plan (FY 2003-2007).

Construction companies will be among the first beneficiaries of these investments and will deliver good and sustainable long-term growth.

Since the investment plans for each of the sub-segments in infrastructure space varies, based on priorities, there is reason to believe that not all the segments or companies will grow at all times. For instance, regional players or less diversified ones may experience volatility in revenues. For companies, faster project execution capabilities and access to key construction machinery (equipment) are equally critical, which in turn will determine the growth rates and profitability margins, respectively for any company. For example some companies are looking at purchasing their own equipment to tackle rising hiring costs and protect margins.

Thankfully, despite issues, the huge opportunity dwarfs concerns. Says Satish Ramanathan, head equities, Sundaram BNP Paribas, “While the future is promising, earnings could be volatile. Choose companies on valuations, order book and services portfolio.”

Last, but not the least, the recent correction in stock markets provides an opportunity to buy good companies in the space at reasonable valuations. Among many stocks, we have picked 10 stocks—four large caps (Read: Bigger the better) and six mid-caps, which are likely to emerge as key beneficiaries of the ongoing investments in the infrastructure sector. Bigger companies are well-established, diversified and less risky. Investors with low risk appetite can consider them. The smaller ones are efficiently managed and are on the growth path with good earnings visibility. Notably, they may also grow faster, given the size of the opportunity and their individual strengths. But, small size also means that there is an element of risk and hence, investors need to review them on a quarterly basis and look at the flow of new business and financial performance.


Era Infra Engineering

Era Infra Engineering, which was earlier into the construction of industrial and commercial space, has diversified into verticals such as railways, roads and highways, airport, urban infrastructure and oil and gas. The company now commands a sizeable order book of Rs 4,100 crore, which is thrice its FY08 estimated revenue.

The company is also developing commercial and residential buildings on its 500 acre land in and around Delhi and Jaipur. Though some of these projects will only be completed by FY10 and FY11, four of them will be completed in FY09 thus providing significant revenue growth.

Besides, the company is also investing about Rs 200 crore in growing the building structure segment. Building structures, which includes the construction of metal structures used at public and private places, is a high growth and high margin business accounting for 21-22 per cent operating margins. The company is currently having total capacity of 45,000 tonne per year of structure, which will be expanded to 185,000 tonne per annum by September 2008. The contribution from new capacity will reflect partially in FY09 and fully by FY10. The expanded capacity at current realisation of Rs 58,000 per tonne can get additional revenue of Rs 750-850 crore per year, assuming 70-80 per cent capacity utilisation.

Additionally, the company is also investing in plant and equipment to scale up its in-house capabilities; currently, 75 per cent of its equipment requirement is met in-house (gross assets at Rs 500 crore). The company will further spend about Rs 200-250 crore over the next year towards purchase of equipment. This will help cut costs and generate additional revenues by way of renting out to third parties.

That apart, Era also plans to increase its Ready Mix Concrete (RMC) capacity 10-fold by installing about 50 new RMC plants over the next 2-3 years, at an estimated cost of Rs 350-400 crore. About 90 per cent of the new RMC production will be sold to third parties. Expect this business to contribute a large chunk to revenues.

Given its in-house equipment and RMC facilities, Era enjoys healthy operating margins of about 20 per cent and RoNW (return on net-worth) of 30 per cent, among the best in the industry. The company’s core business is growing at robust pace, which along with the strong order book and investments will drive growth.


Sadbhav Engineering

Sadbhav Engineering, with a focus on the road segment, would be a key beneficiary of the ongoing investments in this segment. Of the company’s current order book of Rs 2,300 crore, road projects account for over 70 per cent, including 32 per cent from BOT projects. Enhanced focus on BOT projects has seen the company win four BOT road projects in consortium with other players over the last six months; Sadhbav’s equity contribution is pegged at Rs 92 crore. Going forward, the BOT projects are expected to contribute significantly to revenues as the company has achieved financial closure of Aurangabad-Jalna and Nagpur-Shinoi project during Q3FY08. It expects the Mumbai-Nasik expressway project to achieve closure by December 2008.

From Q4FY08 onwards, its projects in the relatively higher margin mining segment (9 per cent net margin) would be a positive trigger, and will help in improving its bottom line. The revenue will accrue from its ongoing project with GHCL and the recent Rs 245.24 crore order from the Northern Coalfields. Sadbhav Engineering currently has 15 per cent of its current order book from mining. However, the mix is expected to go up as domestic companies are allotted more mines and thus, reflects huge potential for excavation work.

Considering its current order book, which is over three times its FY08 estimated revenue, the company is expected to maintain revenue growth of over 50 per cent for the next two years. Also, with the increasing share of mining and the captive resources, the operating margins are expected to improve from 11.9 per cent in the FY07 to 12.5 per cent in FY08 and 13 per cent in FY09. The expansion in margins will also lead to the higher earnings growth. While these positives are partly reflecting in the higher valuations, the stock has good potential.

Pratibha Industries

Pratibha Industries is emerging from being a small player handling projects with an average size of Rs 10-20 crore to a bigger player. The most recent order bagged by the company is as big as Rs 300 crore. The company, which was primarily into the water projects (about 70 per cent), has diversified into other construction segments such as industrial projects, roads, urban infrastructure, airports, railways, pipeline and tunneling. The company has a strong focus and expertise in handling water-related projects, accounting for 60 per cent of its total order book.

Further, to grab the growing opportunities in the water segment, micro tunneling and piping projects, the company has formed a JV with Ostu Stettin of Austria, the world’s third largest tunneling company. It will help getting complex projects involving tunneling for laying pipes in high density urban areas for underground tunneling.

Besides, the company is also integrating backwards into manufacturing of SAW spiral pipes, with a capacity of 90,000 tonnes per annum. These pipes will be used for captive consumption as well as commercial sales to other companies for use in water transmission, oil and gas, sewerage and other industrial usage.

Within construction, the company has also diversified into some of the high potential segments, having undertaken (either independently or jointly) construction of complexes, buildings, airports and roads.

A strong order book of almost 4.5 times its FY08 estimated revenue and better outlook for urban infrastructure and water-related projects, indicates a robust future for the company. Besides, growth would be driven by the increasing revenue share of pipe manufacturing business in FY09. According to estimates, the SAW pipe segment alone can add about Rs 240 crore of revenue in FY09 at 60 per cent capacity. Overall, the stock is attractive from a long-term perspective.

Ahluwalia Contracts

Ahluwalia Contracts, primarily into construction of residential and commercial projects, is now diversifying into the urban infrastructure space. Although urban infrastructure still contributes just 3 per cent of its revenues, the company plans to increase its share to 20-25 per cent over the next three years.

On these lines, the company will bid for select BOT projects, especially multi-level car parking and bus terminus. The company has already been awarded a BOT project in Rajasthan for constructing a bus terminus, which also includes a commercial complex, wherein the targeted IRR (internal rate of return) is a sound 20 per cent. There is huge opportunity in the multi-level car parking segment, as over 30 projects are likely to be awarded in Delhi alone.

The company being an established player in the National Capital Region (NCR) is expected to gain from the residential and commercial projects consequent to the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi and also the all round infrastructural development in the NCR region. It has already won some of these projects, including the recently bagged Rs 688 crore Commonwealth Games 2010 village residential project.

Considering its growth plans and projects in hand, the company is incurring a capital expenditure of around Rs 55 crore in FY08 and Rs 110 crore in FY09. This will also include the expansion of its RMC capacity from 210 cubic meter per hour currently to 300 cubic meter per hour in FY09. The RMC division, which contributed over 18 per cent to revenues in FY07 (Rs 81.40 crore), should see its revenues grow at a healthy pace over the next two years.

The healthy order book (3.24 times of FY08 estimated revenues) provides earnings visibility over next two years. Over the long-term, growth will be aided by the company’s diversification.

Tantia Construction

North East and eastern India are considered to be underdeveloped. Investments are required towards construction of roads, ports, power and other infrastructure facilities. The Centre has already indicated that it intends to spend Rs 50,000 crore towards construction of roads and another Rs 2,000 crore for rail connectivity in the North-East over the next five years.

Tantia, which generates about 96 per cent of its revenue from the eastern and north eastern region by undertaking roads and railway projects, will be the key beneficiary.

To further capitalise on this, the company is foraying into other segments of infrastructure and BOT projects. Its relatively smaller size and limited presence is reflecting in the lower valuation it enjoys vis-à-vis its peers, which should hopefully correct as the market gains confidence in the company. What is currently playing in its favour are opportunities and relatively less competition in the North East.

Considering the industry outlook and healthy order book to be executed over the next 30 months, the company may maintain revenue growth of over 50 per cent in the next two years.

Gayatri Projects

In a recent development, Gayatri Projects signed an MoU with DLF to jointly undertake construction of road projects on BOT basis. The new entity will leverage the capabilities of the two companies and, is expected to develop projects worth over Rs 1,000 crore every year. The tie-up with DLF is also expected to provide Gayatri Projects an entry into the real estate business; it would be developing properties along with DLF. Gayatri Projects is a focused player in the construction of roads and irrigation segment, which account for about 98 per cent of its order book. The company is now venturing into urban infrastructure and the water treatment segments, which will not only help diversify revenue streams but also improve margins; these are already high at over 15 per cent compared with the industry average. That’s because, the company owns nearly 100 per cent of the project related equipments.

Apart from constructing infrastructure, like other companies, the company is looking at capitalising on the growing opportunities in the BOT segment. It currently has five BOT road projects, which have already achieved financial closure. Of this, revenue from three projects is expected to start flowing from March 2010. Analysts value the BOT projects at Rs 120-170 per share, based on the discounted cash flow method. The BOT projects will provide a sustainable or steady cash flow in the long run and help in improving its profitability on the back of higher margins.

Given the high opportunities in the infrastructure sector and diversification into other geographies and segments, the cash contract (non-BOT) business will continue to grow at a robust rate, over the longer term. For the next two years though, earnings will grow on a sustainable basis, backed by the strong order book of Rs 3,400 crore (almost 4.5 times its FY08 estimated revenue) executable over the next 30 months. At current price levels, the stock is trading at a relatively lower valuation, compared with its peers and, is capable of delivering good returns.

Bigger the better

Bigger companies score heavily on size, services portfolio, strong execution capabilities and have a proven track record, all of which provide great comfort and hence justify premium valuations.

IVRCL Infrastructures & Projects

The increasing allocation towards water-related projects augurs well for IVRCL, which generates 57 per cent of its revenue from it. Besides, IVRCL is also present in other growing segments such as roads, building & structures and power. Its order book of Rs 11,000 crore provides strong revenue visibility. Analyst value the company at Rs 550-650 per share on a sum-of-parts valuation of its different businesses and investments in subsidiaries like Hindustan Dorr Oliver and IVR Prime.

Hindustan Construction Company

A dominant player in transport segment, Hindustan Construction is now focusing more on profitable segments such as water and power. Of its order book of Rs 9,050 crore, power projects accounts for 44 per cent and water projects 22 per cent. This diversification will not only help it grow faster but also improve margins. Long-term growth will be aided by improving revenue mix, strong order book and its real estate business (12,500 acre Lavasa project, valued at Rs 60-100 per share. On a sum-of-parts basis, analysts value its share between Rs 210-260.

Nagarjuna Construction

Nagarjuna Construction has been growing at 58 per cent annually over the last four years and is expected to grow at about 40-45 per cent during FY08-10. The growth will be driven by robust order book coupled with expansion of volumes and margins, led by diversification into segments like metal, oil & gas and real estate development. Nagarjuna is investing in BOT projects; has five road projects, two hydro power and two sea port projects. Its businesses are valued at Rs 315-395 per share.

Punj Lloyd

After acquiring Singapore-based Sembawang in FY07, Punj Lloyd tapped the growing global energy market with extended services portfolio. In the domestic market, it has forayed into onshore drilling, real estate and ship building business with 25.1 per cent stake in Pipavav Shipyard. Its consolidated order book of Rs 18,500 crore, provides reasonable comfort. Going forward, net profit is expected to grow faster on the back of turnaround of Sembawang; consolidated operating margins are expected to improve to 10 per cent by FY09 (8 per cent in FY07).

Source: Jitendra Kumar Gupta :

India’s Largest Toll Plaza – Delhi-Gurgaon

January 28, 2008

Kapsch Metro JV has commissioned the Delhi Gurgaon Expressway with 3 Toll Plazas with a total of 59 toll lanes. The largest toll plaza has a total of 32 + 4 reversible toll lanes.

The Project has a total of 24 ETC with some of them mixed type with cash and smart card facility ; the remaining being cash and smart Card type.

All lanes are equipped with Automatic vehicle classification systems . All the three plazas are interconnected through a WAN.

India’s Largest Toll Plaza -Delhi-Gurgaon is in operation!

The First Kapsch Toll System In India Finalized: Toll System For One Of The Most Frequented Highways Is Up And Running.

Since End of January 2008 runs the operation of the first road toll project of Kapsch TrafficCom AG in India with no problems. Within a joint venture structure – the Kapsch Metro Joint Venture – Kapsch TrafficCom alongside the Indian Metro Road Systems Ltd. fitted one section of the National Highway No. 8 with a modern manual/electronic toll system. This highway covers the route from Delhi to Gurgaon and is one of the most frequented roads in the region. The central toll plaza with altogether 32 toll lanes is one of the largest toll stations in all of Asia.

Since January 2008, the road from Delhi to Gurgaon features a modern manual/electronic toll system based on microwave technology (CEN 278). Completion of this toll system marks the successful finalization of the first road toll project of Kapsch TrafficCom in India. The principal, licensee DS Constructions Ltd., decided to award the contract to the Kapsch Metro Joint Venture in September 2006.

“For us, the selection of KapschMetro JV as a technology partner was an important step in the management of the traffic volumes on the project. The technology selected is stable, secure and has processed over 3 million transactions to date with no problems. The installation of the equipment was done in difficult circumstances with live traffic of over 130,000 per day travelling through the lanes during the installation period. The equipment implementation of the Delhi-Gurgaon toll project is a success story, Kapsch Metro JV delivered the project on schedule and to our complete satisfaction“, explains Allan Le Roux, Chief Operations Officer- Tolling of DS Constructions Ltd.

“Kapsch has already performed successful projects in India in the past, contracting GSM-R work for Indian Railroads, the Indian national railway system. With this commission, we were able to enter the Indian toll system market within an extremely short time, owing our success largely to our staff’s wealth of know-how and to the many years of experience we have in the Asian area. For me, the route that has now been completed is just the beginning of numerous further business ventures in Asia“, says Erwin Toplak, Board Member of Kapsch TrafficCom AG.

The Toll Road project is constructed on a 20 year BOT basis and has a length of 27 km long and rates among the most heavily trafficked projects in the region and provides important connectivity to the Indira Gandhi International Airport of New Delhi and the “New Millennium City” Gurgaon which boasts as having one of the worlds biggest shopping malls! The three toll plazas on the project have a total of 56 toll lanes. The main toll plaza located on the Delhi Haryana Border has 32 toll lanes. Motorists are able to use cash or use a Smart Card in at all lanes except the 4 dedicated non stop lanes with exclusive payment via microwave TAGs.

Kapsch TrafficCom AG is a global provider of innovative road traffic telematic systems, products, and services. Kapsch TrafficCom develops and supplies electronic toll collection systems, in particular multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) systems, and is also able to act as the technical and commercial manager for operating these systems. Further, Kapsch TrafficCom offers traffic management solutions (with the focus on road safety and traffic control), electronic access control systems, and parking space management. Kapsch TrafficCom has established itself among the global market leaders for ETC systems with more than 140 installed toll systems in 30 countries in Europe, Australia, Latin America, the Asian/Pacific Area, and South Africa, which altogether feature more than eleven million transponders and about 11’000 fitted lanes. Kapsch TrafficCom is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, and has subsidiaries and representative offices in 18 countries.

Vienna on 27th March, 2008

For further information, please contact:
Brigitte Herdlicka
Public Relations & Sponsoring
Kapsch Group
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Taj expressway set to be completed by 2010

December 19, 2007

The Rs 2,250-crore Taj Expressway project, which envisages a six-laned 165 km stretch connecting Greater Noida to Agra, would reduce travel time between Delhi to Agra from the current four hours to around two hours.

The project, which is being implemented on build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis by the concessionaire Jaiprakash Associates Ltd (JAL), is expected to be completed by February 2010, before the commencement of the Commonwealth Games.

A special purpose vehicle by the name Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) has been incorporated recently to implement the project by the concessionaire. The project had been awarded to the JAL on the basis of competitive bidding by the UP government through the Taj Expressway Industrial Development Authority (TEA).

Though the concession agreement between the UP government and JAL was signed in February 2003, and the implementation of the project was delayed due to various judicial inquiries over it, JAL officials said they would be able to complete it by February 2010, the original deadline of the project.

Jaypee officials said they have already carried out surveys, studies, investigations, design and engineering work. They have also finalised the alignment and have obtained clearance from the Union environment ministry, and construction work for the first 5 km has already started.

JIL has to construct the six-lane access controlled expressway on left bank of the Yamuna at its own cost. For this, TEA has to provide around 1,775 hectares of land, while in addition to this, TEA also has to provide 2,500 hectares of land for development along the expressway, which JIL would use for commercial, industrial and residential development purposes.

Apart from this, JIL would have to levy and collect toll from the users for the concession period of 36 years. Once the concession period is over, JIL would hand over the project to TEA at nil cost. Since it is an infrastructure project, JIL, sources say, would be entitled for a tax holiday for 10 year period out of 15 years, starting from the commissioning of the project.

The expressway would have 37 underpasses, three main toll plazas, six plazas on the interchange loop, and 42 minor bridges.


A K Bhattacharya: India`s infrastructure puzzle

December 19, 2007

National highways in India have seen a dramatic improvement over the last decade. Improvements are more evident in shorter stretches. For instance, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Agra are now well-connected with Delhi. Similarly, the highway that connects Mumbai with Pune can easily compare with the best anywhere in the world. This is true of many other national highways connecting major cities in southern and eastern India.

Many of these roads can be used only on payment of toll charges. Going by the available statistics on toll collections, these roads have become the preferred option for motorists and even heavy vehicle drivers. In fact, the toll charges are quite low compared to the benefits they offer to the road users. There is a clear case for raising these toll charges so that the maintenance of the roads can be ensured without any funds constraint. Not surprisingly, the National Highway Authority of India is planning to build more such toll roads connecting different cities across the country.

Yet, better highways have not led to a reduction in the total travelling time. This is ironical. If you are travelling from Jaipur to Delhi, you will take at least 45 minutes to an hour to cover a distance of about 10 kilometres within the city before reaching the national highway. Once on the highway, the journey is smooth and fast with about 250 kilometres being covered in about three and a half hours. The problem starts again once you are about to enter the city of Delhi. And depending on your final destination point, this might mean an additional travel time of a couple of hours. It is the same story if you were to travel by road from Chandigarh to Delhi.

So, national highways have made driving easy once you get out of the city. But to reach a destination, you need to travel through the city. And the bottleneck is at the entry point of the city. Nothing much has been done in any of these cities to decongest the arterial access roads. The city of Delhi may have seen more flyovers in the last few years, but the impact has been marginal because the growth in the vehicular population in the city has also been phenomenal.

Airlines should have gained from this increasing vehicular congestion at the entry points of all cities. But pause for a moment to reflect on what is happening to airport congestions in almost all the major cities, you will notice a virtual re-run of what has already happened to Indian highways. The flying time between Delhi and Mumbai is only about an hour and a half. But the wait on the tarmac (in addition to the early check-in requirements because of security reasons) before the aircraft can take off is almost half an hour. There is another 30-45 minutes of hovering in the skies before the aircraft can actually land and you can be taken to the arrival terminal building. In effect, you end up waiting for almost the same time that you take to cover the actual distance. All this is due to airport congestion. Gone are the days when once you were airborne, you could confidently estimate the time by which you would be home. Consequently, there is little to choose between taking a Delhi-Chandigarh flight and travelling this sector by car.

In any other country, the railways should have benefited from this immensely. Since most railway stations are located in the heart of these cities, there is no long wait before one can reach the final point of destination. But the irony is that the Indian Railways has failed to take full advantage of this situation. The Shatabdi trains that run on these sectors could have easily become a preferred option for those who fly or travel by road on such sectors. But the quality of service and an erratic punctuality record are major problems for the Indian Railways.

Things might change though in the next couple of years. Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore would get new or completely refurbished airports with a capacity to handle more passengers without causing congestion and delays. There might be more expressways connecting more cities. Even the Indian Railways is planning to launch faster trains to connect different cities in all the regions.

But the worries might still remain. India’s infrastructure problems arise not just from its inability to create facilities with adequate capacity. Equally frustrating is the failure of most managers of these infrastructure projects to identify the last-mile problems and fix them before they become unmanageable. Even the country’s best-managed infrastructure project, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, is not free from this malaise. And the solution does not lie with these individual project managers. There is an urgent need for the civic authorities in each of these cities to move in tandem with the infrastructure project managers and create necessary facilities within the cities to resolve the last-mile problems and remove other bottlenecks so that the full benefits of these huge projects accrue to the people.


Noida – a Paradise for Abode & Personnel

November 12, 2007

New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (Noida) is known to be the largest industrial town of Asia, but now it has undergone a paradigm shift in the last few years. The real estate in Noida is hitting the sky, which is due to a large migration of people from Delhi who are being bullish to make it their home. As a part of Uttar Pradesh, Noida cannot remain untouched by the problems prevailing in the state. Despite all, the individuals who have shifted their base to Noida witness to live a splendid life. And today with one more reason for all the real estate players in Noida is none other than the proposed second international airport at Greater Noida. The development is likely to give a push to prices of residential and commercial property projects in twin cities of Noida and Greater Noida.

Noida certainly benefits from the relative proximity to Delhi. Excellent network of roads, 100 per cent power back up make up for a good idea to stay here. Also, Noida is attracting large interests from young well to do professionals who are making the highest income tax paying district in UP. Even many prominent names in both domestic and international hospitality sector are to initiate exclusive five-star hotel projects in Greater Noida. The list includes Unitech, Carlson, ITC, Bharat Hotels, and NRI hotelier Sant Chatwal. To be located in the close proximity to the proposed international airport, these commercial establishments will enjoy an added advantage.

According to Mr. M L Sehjpal, Director of Pearls Infrastructure Projects Limited, “Noida has developed into the land of opportunities. Property demand has sky rocketed here. Housing opportunities are in great demand as are commercial spaces. Moreover, the demand for residential property in Noida and Greater Noida is likely to shoot up in very near future, feels industry watchers. In the wake of better infrastructure facilities, Greater Noida already gains preference over Gurgaon. A direct metro link with Delhi and the Expressway will further improve accessibility of Noida.”

As conglomerates, Indian corporate is scouting for commercial spaces; NOIDA is emerging as a preferred IT & ITES destination of India. Real estate developers in Noida in their bid to lure investors are coming up with state-of-the-art office spaces as per international standards. Mr. Harjeet singh Arora, MD, Best Groups, “There is an excellent potential in India and abroad as there is a lot of movement in corporate circles as India’s large, educated middle class has made its name in the field of software and IT-enabled services, thereby fuelling demand for about 40 million square feet annually in IT and ITES office space. With the sudden jump in demand for space, the real sector is witnessing a huge charn.” Best is also coming up with an IT Park in Greater Noida.

Futuristic Plan of Noida

  • Plans are to set up a multipurpose SEZ (Special Economic Zone) spread on 2,500 acres of land along the Expressway envisioned to be categorically divided into industrial, residential, recreation, commercial and facilities. Within this plan, 600-1000 acres of land has been earmarked for handicrafts related SEZ. The much-awaited Noida City Center between sectors 25A and 32 is also a futuristic offspring of this plan.
  • Noida authority is looking forward to set up a medical city on a spread of 50+ acre of land along the expressway to be named Arogya Dham. This medical city shall be a congregation of super-specialty hospitals with world – class facilities and matching commercial complex, attendant’s homes and plenty of open space thanks to wide roads, parks and green cover.
  • The Botanic Garden of Indian Republic (BGIR) is being set up on a spread of 200 acres in sector 38A to conserve the endangered plants of the country and showcase its near extinction plan diversity.
  • It is also planned to connect Delhi and NOIDA through Delhi Metro Rail Corporation phase II construction program, latest by 2009.
  • NOIDA is also setting up CNG-based outlets for vehicles in collaboration with Indraprastha Gas Ltd.


Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. becomes the first Indian infra company to get the prestigious IMS international certification

November 1, 2007

Ashoka Buildcon Limited (ABL), a renowned infrastructure developer with a track record of over 25 years, has achieved the distinction of becoming the first Indian infrastructure construction firm to receive the prestigious Integrated Management Systems (ISO 9001:2001, ISO 14001:2004 & 18001-1999) certificate (IMS) from International Standards Certification Pty., Australia, covering all business operations, which includes all BOT (build-operate-transfer), EPC (engineering procurement construction) projects, RMC (ready mixed concrete) plants and Toll operations.

This certification is in recognition of the Company’s commitment to continuing improvement of quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management system performance and complying with all applicable legal and contractual requirements while adopting state-of-the-art technology in project execution.

Mr. Ashok M. Katariya, Chairman, ABL, said, “Our technological superiority, rapid progress, quality and construction management skills are guiding us towards our dream of building India 2020. The principal objective of our organisation is to offer the latest technology in civil construction and structural engineering, besides maintaining a quality oriented economy. We have now steadily progressed towards being one of the country’s most experienced infrastructural developers.”

Mr. Satish D. Parakh, Managing Director, ABL, said, “The initiative of acquiring this prestigious international certification was taken in June 2007. Subsequently, we launched a campaign through training reviews, documentation and internal audits, covering all our divisions including operations and maintenances of road infrastructure.” Mr. Parakh added, “This is an endorsement of our ability to conduct operations in a manner wherein we protect people, property and the environment. We do this by identifying, controlling and reducing all associated risks to a level as Low as ReasonablyPracticable.”

Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. had earlier adopted quality management system (QMS) current standard ISO 9001-2000 during the year 1998. In view of the emerging scenario of globalisation of the Indian infrastructure industry and the increasing need for compliance to the requirements of the stakeholders and also for continual business improvement based on sustainable development, the Company went for IMS certification to include EMS (ISO14001) and OHSAS 18001.

This IMS certification will benefit the Company in areas such as reducing multiple assessments; improving legal statutory and regulatory compliance; enhancing employee related safety and good housekeeping, making it more socially responsible; and being perceived as a quality player with a competitive edge for better customer satisfaction.

The Nashik-based Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. is among the first few companies in India to get the ISO 9000 certification, keeping in kind the need of the times to prevent global warming and to preserve the environment. It has received recognition from United Nations for its contribution towards the “billion tree” plantation campaign.

Starting off as an industrial contractor, the Company has now steadily progressed towards being one of the country’s most experienced infrastructural developers spanning across a plethora of mega-infrastructural assignments. It received the Limca Book Awards from completing the bridge across the Mandve river, Maharashtra, within 38 days as against the allotted time period of 12 months.

Over the years, the Company has completed several major bridges and 94 minor bridges. In addition, it has also completed 4 railway-over bridges, 5 flyovers and 7 foot-over bridges. In terms of road length, the Company has completed 1,888 lane kms of road and 988 lane kms of road work is in progress. It has also an established track record of commissioning 13 BOT road projects — the largest in the country. The Company is committed to become an icon in infrastructure development,through innovation, professionalism, active leadership in product quality and sustained growth by delivering value to its customers.

Since its inception in the early 1980s, Ashoka Buildcon Ltd. has successfully completed projects in several states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and the NCR region. It has emerged as a major BOT toll road operator in the country. It was the first infrastructure Company to complete the work among the seven corridors of Phase I of RIDCOR (Road Infrastructure Development Company of Rajasthan) much ahead of the schedule. It has executed several prestigious projects including the BOT project of Indore Edlabad Road and the East Coast Road from Chennai to Pondicherry, which is reputed as a world class road. The prestigious projects executed by the Company in the western region also include the Pune Shirur Road Project and the Nagar-Karmala road project. It has also executed various projects including the construction of a five star Hotel Sun-N-Sand at Shirdi, Railway overbridge at Nashirabad, Yashvantrao Chavan Open University Building at Nashik. The Company is a responsible corporate citizen engaging in philanthropic activities committed to environment protection, education and agriculture.