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Cities - Developments, Projects & Construction
Hello all,

I'm kind of new to this forum though I've lurked for a while. I think a dedicated thread about India's civic development -- building and construction projects, city infrastructure development, city economic development -- should be created so that city-development-specific information can be compiled, from news and other economic threads.

Anyway, to start the thread off, here's an article about Mumbai I found

A megapolis in regeneration mode

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->BANGALORE, Hyderabad and Chennai may have stolen some of the limelight from the commercial capital of the country. While techies love the cooler climate of Bangalore, some manufacturers have opted for the lower real estate prices and better logistics of the South. But can Mumbai regain some of its lost charm?

Mumbai has been drudging along at a GDP rate of 2.4 per cent in recent years; the choc-a-bloc traffic and the particulate matter in the air are not helping. Mumbai's GDP growth fell from 7 per cent to a surprisingly low 2.4 per cent per annum between 1998 and 2002 while India's growth rate was higher at 5.6 per cent. But enthusiasts do believe that the city is nowhere near saturation levels and growth rates can scale up.

"There is considerable opportunity available for Mumbai if one were to look at the huge gap in financial trading time zones between Zurich and Singapore on the ring of global trade, which can be best filled by Mumbai considering its geographical location, time zone and the economic growth achieved so far," says Dr Subir Gokarn, Chief Economist, Crisil.

This ring now consists of Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, London and Zurich, after which there is a huge gap in time till the markets open in Singapore. "But the city needs to offer some bait for trading to shift here. Pretty much like the way the NSE offered incentives to attract trade from the BSE when the former was launched," says Dr Gokarn.

The Indian bourses have certainly caught the flavour of prominent foreign institutional investors and the NSE registers the third largest number of transactions in the world after the NYSE and the Nasdaq.

The full convertibility of the Indian rupee and the removal of curbs on FII investment limit in the domestic debt market are the hurdles to be cleared to make Mumbai more prominent from a global standpoint. But the Reserve Bank of India has made it amply clear that it is in no hurry to set the rupee on a free float. The depth and volumes in the debt, currency and derivative markets also do not match global standards.

Said the treasury head of a leading foreign bank in the country: "Mumbai is far from getting on the global map, although we do have plenty of talent and, of late, good communication systems. The foreign exchange and debt markets are lacking in terms of depth, liquidity, and volumes. Dubai is fast taking the slot between Zurich and Singapore on the global map."

The Indian debt market is the largest after Japan and South Korea, says Mr Jayesh Mehta, Head, Debt Research, DSP Merrill Lynch. However, it lacks the variety of investor profiles and the number of investors that Singapore enjoys because of the regulatory constraints and the nascent state of several financial intermediaries.

The foreign exchange market, though set in the right direction today, grosses well below a billion dollars daily while active global markets run into several billions of dollars.

Commercial activity is certainly on a roll in the city — which has a per capita income three times that of India's — with many companies, retail stores and residential complexes coming up. The maximum demand for property now is from IT and IT-enabled service companies.

The demand will only go up provided there is increased land availability at affordable prices and a host of infrastructure projects to fix bottlenecks in the city with a population of 11.9 million as per the 2001 Census. Real estate prices in the city have fallen to half in the posh South Mumbai addresses from the boom times of 1994-95 but some more reduction in valuations are expected as the textile mill land of Central Mumbai get released.

Several retail chains and malls have sprung up in the suburbs of the city. RPG Enterprises entered the city only recently. "We have entered Mumbai now since real estate prices have stabilised and there is plenty of land available with mill areas being released.

The rising mall culture will also create more opportunities," said the spokesperson of RPG Enterprises. RPG recently set up the Giant Hypermarket, Music World and Health & Glow stores in Malad, a northern suburb. For retail chains, Mumbai is a formidable market with a longer break-even period than in Chennai or Bangalore as not only are real estate prices higher but logistics is always a problem and labour is more expensive too.

Mumbai is undergoing a shift in activity from the manufacturing side in favour of the services sector, as do many large cities of the world as property prices hit the roof. The city has witnessed several corporates and small companies roll down their factory shutters to head out to the hinterland.

Says Dr R. H. Patil, the visionary credited with the success of setting up the world-class, National Stock Exchange and currently Chairman of the Clearing Corporation of India Ltd, "Mumbai will soon become purely a financial hub and all industries will move out of here. We are already seeing this happen. Only financial intermediaries and the support functions will remain in the city. Soon, companies will maintain outfits in Mumbai only for raising capital since all the banks and capital markets are based here. Urban infrastructure should not be much of an issue for the well-remunerated executives of financial firms as they can afford to create their own little world."

Over the years, several companies have shifted their manufacturing set-ups out of the city to escape the high taxes and octroi here. FMCG giant, HLL and automobile-maker, Mahindra & Mahindra are cases in point of companies that moved out its manufacturing units to relocate in the underdeveloped areas of various states of the country. Set-ups in backward areas come with tax incentives, which go a long way in cost rationalisation.

Textile mills shut shop in Mumbai due to a variety of reasons in the mid-1980s and even today many small and medium enterprises in the less-expensive North Mumbai are considering shifting base.

"The teeming metropolis is undergoing a desirable natural regeneration that had long been delayed.

"Just like New York, which saw its many garment manufacturing units pushed out to be replaced by services and, later, more high-end services, Mumbai too is undergoing that state of replacement and regeneration.

For very many years the textile mill areas were lying as idle assets in the midst of the city even as real estate prices were skyrocketing. These lands are now getting converted into commercial ventures, which is certainly a good sign," says Dr Gokarn.

"The next stage of development will take place in the mill areas of Central Mumbai. There is so much land in the mill areas that it will be used up only over the next 10 years," says Mr Tariq Vaidya, Head, Advisory Services and Asia-Pacific Research, Knight Frank India, the Indian fraction of the UK-based, international property consultant.

There are 500 acres of mill land in Central Mumbai in the areas of Mahalakshmi, Sion, Worli, Parel and Lower Parel controlled by private firms and the National Textile Corporation.

While some, such as the Kamala Mills, have been converted into commercial office spaces, Phoenix Mills hosts several retail stores and, more recently, the Nicholas Piramal group developed a mill area into a prominent office address.

Says Mr K. G. Krishnamurthy, Senior General Manager, Technical Services of Housing Development Finance Corporation: "For this city to grow further and to retain its position as the commercial capital of India, the State and Central governments need to make the mill lands of Central Mumbai and salt pan lands in suburban Mumbai available for development. Property taxes must be rationalised and the Urban Land Ceiling Act needs to be scrapped. Infrastructure projects are also critical to create linkages within the city."

It might be a few years before the implementation of the Bombay First-McKinsey report to transform Mumbai into a world-class city by pumping in $40 billion much like the transformation of Shanghai in the late 1980s.

Meanwhile, a few road linkages, such as the 25-km long, Sewri-Nhava Sheva link across the Arabian Sea, will help the city grow horizontally as against the vertical growth seen over decades.

The Worli-Bandra link would also help relieve bottlenecks and sustain growth in the interim period.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Govt approves privatisation of Mumbai, Delhi airports</b>
A Government panel of senior ministers approved a plan on Monday to privatise two of the country's biggest airports - in New Delhi and Mumbai, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday.
"They have approved the proposal made by the Ministry of Civil Aviation (to privatise the airports," Mukherjee told reporters.

A Government spokeswoman said domestic airlines would be allowed to hold 10 per cent stake in the airports

[Why defence minister is making announcement?
Seems like Left had made a deal, we will screw Education and you will have free hand on disinvestment]
Interestuing link for earth based construction:-

Auroville earth centre
Dome of the Dhyanalinga temple
While studying old south indian cities, it is very intresting to not that a temple stays as the center of the city and the whole city is planned in and around the temple.One can easily understand when one see the city map of madurai ! The old city structure still remains they say !
<b>Has Karnataka become a Bihar?</b>?

Has Karnataka become a Bihar?

Srinivas R
Posted online: Monday, September 20, 2004 at 1551 hours IST
Updated: Monday, September 20, 2004 at 1605 hours IST

Bangalore, September 20: <b>The battering that Bangalore’s image has received in recent months is obvious in a CEO’s remark that Karnataka has become a ‘Bihar’ thanks to its poor infrastructure and ‘lazy’ government. There has been much talk that foreign investment will be driven to other towns like Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad. </b>

In a way, the Silicon Valley has become a victim of its own success. Starting out as the most attractive destination for the IT industry, it has witnessed explosive growth in the last decade, leading to several infrastructure problems.

The good news is that government does have plans to address the problems of Bangalore. PGR Sindhia, minister for industries and aviation pointed out that work on Bangalore International Airport will commence in the next 100 days. New power projects are being taken up to generate over 2,200 mw in the next 2-3 years. <b>“Unfortunately all infrastructure projects take time. The projects, which are underway will be completed on schedule. We are taking all measures to solve the infrastructure bottlenecks,”</b> he said.

Recently, FICCI made an offer to work with the state government and help brand Karnataka globally. FICCI has also proposed to hold a joint a Business Partnership Summit around March-April next year to showcase the state’s competence under a programme called ‘Dynamic Karnataka’. The proposal is to revitalise opportunities in Karnataka and make them attractive for domestic and international investors.

The government is doing its bit. In an attempt to decongest the city, it is planning to construct a residential colony in Electronic City. “This 1,000-acre project has been awarded to Mahindra & Mahindra,” said Shankaralinge Gowda, Secretary, IT, BT, Science and Technology, government of Karnataka.

“We are also asking corporates to build their technology parks in Bangalore North, so that sout-bound traffic comes down,” he said. The government has also responded positively to Mr Premji’s suggestion to set up educational facilities near Electronic City.

The MNCs are pitching in, but they can’t do anything about the roads. Phillips Software Center is building a campus in the city. Dr Bob Hoekstra, CEO, says, “I am afraid now that if government doesn’t maintain the roads, people will take a long time to reach office. There is no clue what government is doing on infrastructure projects like the international airport or elevated railways. One can judge the performance by its results. Here we have no projects and no results.”

<b>Mr Hoekstra believes that places like Delhi and Noida will come up because of good infrastructure. “I am sure that investors will take infrastructure concerns into consideration before finalising their investment plans,” he said. </b>

This vote of confidence is sorely needed, especially as other heavyweights like NR Narayana Murthy, chief mentor and chairman of Infosys, have not minced their words in the past.

Mike Weston, MD of the UK-based Logica CMG, had spoken on the same lines: <b>“Bangalore’s infrastructure is deteriorating. The government should take up projects to improve roads, sanitation and power.”</b> Now it seems as if the government has taken heed.
<b>BJP highway plan set to enter fast lane</b>
What's up with Chandigarh, with all that univ, PEC, PGI , Mohali , 6 or is 8 lane highway to Delhi, still like poverbial India..... all the potential , but nowhere on the horizon.

Looks like NOIDA and all has sapped up the juices..

Any body from Chandigarh on the forum here ?
<b>Virgin gets 10 flights to India from UK</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->British Airlines, which is currently operating 19 flights, had been given seven more while its smaller rival, the British Midlands, has got nod for four services, the CAA said in a statement.

Virgin said it was not satisfied with the proposal which gave it a daily service to Delhi but only three weekly flights to Mumbai.

Virgins Chairman Branson said he was "disappointed and surprised" at the proposed settlement which would give BA exclusive rights to service Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore.
Why they are not allowing more flights? It is always difficult to get connection to and from India to Europe.
<b>Bangalore Crumbling</b>
<i>World Economic Forum meets in New Delhi today to buy The Hot India Story. Foreign investors have poured a record $7.3 billion into an economy fuelled by a city that is the country’s biggest global brand. But it could all come undone as a callous Karnataka government pushes India’s Silicon Valley to the brink</i>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->India’s tech homeland urgently needs an international airport, a metro, and—most important—a government committed to a work-plan that should be under implementation every day, says Hoekstra, 59, a Dutchman who’s watched the city’s four-year upturn covert into sharp decline during 2004.

‘‘<b>In the last six months, we have gone back ten years</b>,’’ said Hoekstra, a Bangalore loyalist who said his board could now question a recently approved $50-million new investment. ‘‘Bangalore represents India. If the city does not scale up fast, why come here at all?’’ argues Hoekstra, who in October startled the government by boycotting India’s signature infotech event, BangaloreIT.com. ‘‘If we lose out now, we lose out to China.’’

The damage to India’s biggest brand couldn’t have come at a worse time. Foreign investors have poured a record $7.3 billion into India this year ($1.4 billion in November alone). The topping to the rising cake of success will come tomorrow as some of the globe’s biggest names descend on the World Economic Forum’s summit in Delhi to take stock of India’s journey.

Here, that journey is wobbling—literally.
Bangalore Crumbling
World Economic Forum meets in New Delhi today to buy The Hot India Story. Foreign investors have poured a record $7.3 billion into an economy fuelled by a city that is the country’s biggest global brand. But it could all come undone as a callous Karnataka government pushes India’s Silicon Valley to the brink
Send Feedback E-mail this story Print this story
Posted online: Sunday, December 05, 2004 at 0131 hours IST

BANGALORE, DECEMBER 4: Bob Hoekstra looks at the potholed, jammed road from his glass-clad office and shakes his head. But the crumbling road is only part of a larger rot that worries the CEO of Dutch multinational Philips’ cutting-edge research centre.

India’s tech homeland urgently needs an international airport, a metro, and—most important—a government committed to a work-plan that should be under implementation every day, says Hoekstra, 59, a Dutchman who’s watched the city’s four-year upturn covert into sharp decline during 2004.

‘‘In the last six months, we have gone back ten years,’’ said Hoekstra, a Bangalore loyalist who said his board could now question a recently approved $50-million new investment. ‘‘Bangalore represents India. If the city does not scale up fast, why come here at all?’’ argues Hoekstra, who in October startled the government by boycotting India’s signature infotech event, BangaloreIT.com. ‘‘If we lose out now, we lose out to China.’’

The damage to India’s biggest brand couldn’t have come at a worse time. Foreign investors have poured a record $7.3 billion into India this year ($1.4 billion in November alone). The topping to the rising cake of success will come tomorrow as some of the globe’s biggest names descend on the World Economic Forum’s summit in Delhi to take stock of India’s journey.

Here, that journey is wobbling—literally.

Lines of vehicles back up along the roads sealed off to allow free access to the three-car motorcade of Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh.


‘‘If we don’t do something very quickly, fallout as far as foreign investment goes could be serious.”
N R Narayana Murthy, Infosys

‘‘I’ve never seen it so bad ... we’re all shouting ourselves hoarse, but it’s all falling on deaf ears.”
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Biocon

‘‘We don’t see the scene improving. Hence, our decision to look beyond Bangalore.’’
Azim Premji, Wipro

‘‘In six months, we’ve gone back 10 years...My investment is threatened,’’
Bob Hoekstra, CEO, Philips Software

“Madtaiddivi, Madtaiddivi (We are doing it, we are doing it)”
Dharam singh, CM, Karnataka

‘‘Running this government is a very difficult task, it requires a lot of patience,’’ Singh, 67, tells The Sunday Express with a sigh as his Ambassador Grand barrels down the four lanes of a 12-km stretch of Hosur Road, a ramshackle highway that is the main route to Electronics City, the heart of India’s knowledge economy.

Down a side road, waiting as usual—even on a holiday—is India’s biotech icon and richest woman, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. ‘‘How can this happen even on a holiday?’’ fumes a frustrated Shaw later, narrating how growing jams are making two-hour commutes normal, crippling employee productivity, shocking foreign partners and forcing many meetings onto the cell phone.

In July, India’s richest man, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji in a rare public outburst said his future investments would not be in Bangalore. Dharam Singh promised redressal. But like Hoekstra, every CEO The Sunday Express spoke to said the downslide since has only gathered pace: if it continues, there will be no option for many but to move.

The patience that Singh prides himself on has worn thin in the gleaming glass towers and lush campuses of 1,200 IT firms and their 2 lakh employees. About a million people and industries feed off them—taxis, retail, banking, auto sales, hotels—firmly driving Bangalore’s booming economy. At stake, then, is much more than the future of investments worth about $15 billion (Rs 64,500 crore) made in this gridlocking, crumbling city of 7.2 million.

Since the Congress party began its coalition government with Singh—an affable leader with a love for Ghalib and ghazals—at the helm in June, Bangalore’s attempts to transform itself are rapidly unraveling: flyovers are stuck, so is a new international airport and metro, and the roads are simply falling apart.

Worse, the signals are all bad: a dedicated team of officers overseeing the upgradation of Bangalore has been systematically dismantled; and a unique government partnership with the city’s big names (headed by Infosys MD Nandan Nilekani), which oversaw the city’s progress over the last four years, has not just been ignored but even mocked by ministers in Singh’s government.

‘‘If people know you’re trying, they give you the benefit of the doubt,’’ says the CEO of one of India’s top three IT companies, requesting anonymity. ‘‘The previous improvements weren’t Nirvana, but the system was manfully coping, the investments came on the assumption that improvements would continue.’’

The sense of doom couldn’t come at a worse time. Bangalore accounts for 35 per cent of India’s software exports: expected to cross $16 billion (Rs 70,000 crore) this year.

A superheated IT growth rate of about 30 per cent means you can’t get a five-star hotel room in Bangalore unless you book more than six months in advance. And no bargains: you must pay the rack rate, which now hovers around $250 a night. Visitors are often sent to resorts upto two hours out of town when the hotels clog.

So six months in a city so besieged by growth implies (thousands of new techies, new companies and an explosion of support industries) that if support infrastructure doesn’t keep up, collapse is around the corner.

As he explains the difficulties of running a coalition government with a previously implacable foe, former Prime Minister Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular), Singh does not see the irony of a nine-minute zip down a stretch of road where the Premjis, Narayana Murthys and Shaws spend at least two hours every day stuck in a daily commute that is now among the nation’s worst urban journeys.


• 131-km peripheral ring road, critical to decongesting the city. Plans ready since January. Land acquisition hasn’t even started.
The Flyovers
• 3 flyovers started last year now deserted construction sites. No sign that deadline will be met.
• In shambles, pavements once laid with tiles chaotically dug up. PWD minister H D Revanna (Deve Gowda’s son) is bizarrely turning the blame on the IT industry, saying its representatives should have fixed the roads.
The Airport
• The Bangalore International Airport, despite getting a Central go-ahead, is grounded. No reason is being given. ‘‘We will clear it this month,’’ Dharam Singh said in November. It’s now December.
The Task Force
• The Bangalore Agenda Task Force, a body of bureaucrats and industry that planned and implemented civic works, helped revamp and skyrocket the city’s revenues, even built public toilets, has been ignored, even mocked by state govt

‘‘I met Narayana Murthy and Premji, and I told them for four years we had no rain, this year we had lots of rain,’’ says Singh. “I told them we are pro-poor, pro-farmer. Don’t you need political credibility?’’ It’s a veiled reference to the rejection of the government of his predecessor S M Krishna—who promised to convert Bangalore into another Singapore—by rural voters.

‘‘At the same time,’’ Singh adds, ‘‘Krishna did good work. Bangalore now has a place in the world.’’ Isn’t it time then to keep that place instead of losing it to not just to Kochi or Kolkata or Chandigarh, but China?

‘‘Madtaiddivi, madtaiddivir, (we are doing it, we are doing it),” says a defensive Singh, who’s promised 15 new flyovers. ‘‘You can ask the people of the state, they are very happy.’’

‘‘Yesterday,’’ Singh continues airily, ‘‘I opened a flyover’’. He doesn’t mention it was built by the railways over a rail crossing, and had nothing to do with his planners. ‘‘I have a fixed time-bound programme. I have released Rs 400 crore for roads, I am monitoring day to day. There were heavy rains first. Now, work will begin.’’

But the work is sporadic, there is no urgency. At two major flyover sites, workers and engineers have been scarce for the last six months. “We are sorry for the delay,” proclaim signs with December 2004 and March 2005 deadlines, which simply will not be met. At one intersection spanning the crucial road to the airport, not a worker was visible over all of the last two weeks.

Not surprisingly, rivals are now seeing great opportunity in Bangalore’s distress. ‘‘We are closely tracking developments in Bangalore after the statement by Mr Premji,’’ admits West Bengal’s IT minister Manab Mukherjee.

At BangaloreIT.Com, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy tried luring IT further south. Wipro Software has got itself 200 acres in Thiruvananthapuram and Infosys 50 acres. Consultant McKinsey has set up an outsourcing centre and Tata Consultancy Services is building a training centre. All this despite Kerala’s big problem—poor English skills.

In Tamil Nadu, English isn’t a problem. TCS has acquired 70 acres for a 20,000-strong development centre, Wipro intends to ramp up its campus to 20,000 and Infosys to 25,000. A new technology park at Hosur is only an hour’s drive south of Electronics City.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>ND Rly Station to get a 20-storey facelift </b>
Deepak Kumar Jha/ New Delhi
The Northern Railway is all geared up to give newlook to the New Delhi Railway Station before the flavour of Commonwealth Games envelopes the Capital. A new 20-storeyed building with commercial complex, VIP lounge, food plazas, a foreign exchange centre and an International Tourist Bureau will come up at the Ajmeri Gate Terminal besides the Metro station.  

<b>The station building will be one of the modernised station in the country providing sophisticated passenger's lounge catering to the needs of elite class</b>. Platform numbers 12,11 and 10 from the Ajmeri Gate terminal are earmarked for Rajdhanis and Shatabdi Express. So far this side of the station had all temporary arrangements projecting a dingy look. The other terminal of the station is the Pahar Ganj terminal which has become very congested.

The first floor of the building will be equipped with superior signages, ATM and foreign exchange counters and also deluxe pay and use toilets and lounges.

The International Tourist Bureau office will also be located on the first floor which is likely to full air-conditioned.

"With the upcoming metro railway station in the vicinity, the increase in passenger demand in terms of more space and convenient waiting area, it was decided to build a new railway station building on the Ajmeri Gate Terminal Side," said DPS Sandhu, chief public relations officer. The construction work for the Rs 20 crore project is likely to begin in a couple of months and will be completed in a year's time.

The building will also have commercial complex like few stations in the country. Enough facility will be provided for the convenience of the physically challenged persons.

The Ajmeri Gate building will have 6000 square meters area of which 3000 square metres will be available on the ground floor and another 3000 square metres on the first floor.<b> The facility will include 20 current ticket booking counters, a ticket booking hall, waiting halls with facilities for handicapped passengers, cloak rooms, refreshment rooms, food plazas, upper class and general waiting room, bookstalls, shops and VIP lounge.</b>

The New Delhi Railway station was built in 1922 when New Delhi area was coming up. Construction material was brought to the door step of Connaught Place so that it could be transported easily while Lutenys Delhi was still being built. As a natural development of the circumstances, this station later became an important passenger railway station handling about hundreds of trains and 25 lakh passengers per day.
I don't see Singapore
Dileep D'Souza on Mumbai's demolition drive.
Demolition slide show on Rediff.
<!--QuoteBegin-siddhartha_shukla+Feb 7 2005, 01:12 PM-->QUOTE(siddhartha_shukla @ Feb 7 2005, 01:12 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> I don't see Singapore
Dileep D'Souza on Mumbai's demolition drive. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Dilip D'Souza's father J B D'Souza was the cheif secretary of Maharashtra and one the top beaurocrats of Mumbai for several decades. So for Dilip, answers to the questions aren't too far.
<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+Feb 7 2005, 10:59 PM-->QUOTE(Viren @ Feb 7 2005, 10:59 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <!--QuoteBegin-siddhartha_shukla+Feb 7 2005, 01:12 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(siddhartha_shukla @ Feb 7 2005, 01:12 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> I don't see Singapore
Dileep D'Souza on Mumbai's demolition drive. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Dilip D'Souza's father J B D'Souza was the cheif secretary of Maharashtra and one the top beaurocrats of Mumbai for several decades. So for Dilip, answers to the questions aren't too far. <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Actually I don't think he is asking any questions.Its just a big whine providing no solution to this massive problem of encroachment on public land.Which I think is good as I remember one of his solution for saving democracy in India was, asking western powers to take over India.
Lets stop any development in India- Thank you Ms Sonia and Rubber stamp PM<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>PM asks for Rs 172,000 cr review for road development plan </b>
Agencies/ New Delhi
With the possibility of imposition of a cess to implement the recommendations of the infrastructure committee looming large, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is understood to have directed a review of the proposals for road development plan as the toll-based model was found unviable by the National Advisory Council.

<b>Singh's directive follows reservations expressed by the Council headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, which is of the opinion that implementation of the recommendations may have "adverse political fallout" <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo-->  as most of the projects under the Rs 1,72,000 crore programme are continuation of the NDA regime's road development plan, official sources said.</b>
The Left parties have also expressed concern over the toll-based model, which would be accomplished primarily through private participation.

Since a major part of the programme is based on private participation, toll is an important component on deciding the size and magnitude of the network and as such the viability of such a model is subject to serious scrutiny, sources said.

The ministry of road transport is slated to send the multi-crore project to the Cabinet for its nod in April. The project, to be completed in the next seven years, will include the next two phases of the national highway development programme, including construction of national highways, ring roads, bypasses and expressways. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
World's tallest building in pipeline near Delhi
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The skyscraper, to be built as part of the ambitious Noida City Centre in Uttar Pradesh, will be higher than the 508 metre-high Taipei 101 in the Taiwanese capital, currently the tallest building in the world.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Collector prefers sweeper to politicians</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Pathak did not even invite local politicians for the function... The hospital sweeper was given a new dress and garlanded before he cut the ribbon," fumed a politician, famed and feared before the imposition of President's rule for his "right" and "high" connection<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Pathak is unfazed. "I opted for a sweeper because it takes three years to get an appointment from a 'VIP'," he told ToI and justified his decision, saying the old hospital building was in a dilapidated condition and would have collapsed in the three years' time. The plaque, of course, would be soon put on the building.

Not that Pathak did the unthinkable for the first time. In the run-up to the elections, he gave a rude shock to the state's ruling elite when he ordered the externment of many heavyweight politicians, including Lalu's "saala" Sadhu, from the district for, what he said, ensuring peaceful polls.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Airport revamp delayed again </b> <!--emo&:thumbdown--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif' /><!--endemo--> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But the most important part pertains to the commercial development of the airport land in both the metros.

The attorney general, while offering his view, has reportedly clearly stated that commercial development could only be for purposes related to the development of the airport and its benefits should directly accrue to the passengers.

<b>As such, one cannot build commercial complexes unless they are part of the passenger terminals.</b>

<b>So, definitely no golf course. But restaurants, hotels and even medical care facilities can be part of the development.</b>

Thus, the last expert group of ministers has articulated that not more than five per cent of the land could be utilised for commercial development.

It is believed that the transaction document states that it would be five per cent for Delhi and 10 per cent for Mumbai. or Mumbai specifically, this effectively translates into 145 acres. Pegged at a land cost of Rs 40 crore per acre, it works out to approximately Rs 7,000 crore.

For an airport which will be built for something like Rs 2,800 crore, the operator is to get prime real estate worth Rs 6,000 crore.

The moot point is that at all times the commercial development has to be for passenger use, and certain sections in the government are not willing to give this astounding piece of realty for a song.

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