Monday - March 25, 2019
Railways and Roads

Taking a step further in strengthening Andhra Pradesh in the energy sector, the Government of Andhra Pradesh today signed 2 MoUs for setting up a floating LNG Terminal at Kakinada Deep Water Port in Andhra Pradesh.

The first MOU is the Terminal Company Agreement between APGDC, GDF SUEZ and Shell. It supports the development/execution of the terminal. APGDC (a JV company between the Government of AP and GAIL), GDF SUEZ and Shell will have 48%, 26% and 26% equity in the project respectively.

The second MOU is the Trading Company Agreement between GAIL, GDF SUEZ and Shell and covers both the sourcing of LNG and the marketing of the regasified LNG from the terminal. GAIL, GDF SUEZ and Shell will have 48%, 26% and 26% equity in the project respectively.

The MoU signing took place in presence of the Chief Minister  Chandrababu Naidu and CMD of GAIL B.C. Tripathi, CEO of GDF Suez Philip Olivier, Anindya Chowdhury of Shell India and other executives from the companies.

The Floating storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) will be constructed with a cost of Rs.1,800 crore initially.

The Kakinada LNG terminal will use the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) with a peak capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with the provision to double the capacity.

The terminal will use high-end technology and will be one of the first of its kind of PPP projects in India. The Kakinada port was found suitable for a project of this nature, owing to its availability of a natural break-water in the Hope Island – a barrier that protects against the impact of high seas.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said: “I’m fully committed to the project and am sure that these domestic and international partners who have come together, will bring the best expertise, technology and speediness from all over the world to complete the project within 18 months.”
He described the LNG terminal as a great opportunity in the development of a project that shall ensure continuous availability of Natural gas and support the government’s gas grid which is one of the five grids.

“FSRU-based LNG project is the fastest and most cost-effective way to secure energy supply while bolstering sustainable development and simultaneously cutting down on pollution,” he said, adding that gas is the way to go as it dovetails world’s concerns about climate change.

Considering the state and country’s need for energy, the Chief Minister added that there are opportunities aplenty for scaling up. “This will be the first LNG terminal on the East Coast of India. In my efforts to boost port-led development, I realize that this project will help us in making the state a logistics hub,” he added.

BC Tripathi, CMD of GAIL, informed the audience that the state gas utility has been anchoring the project and expressed confidence in meeting the deadline of 18 months. “As a booming economy, we will support the state and the country in pushing this project and put in our best efforts.”

Secretary (Infrastructure, Energy and Investments) Ajay Jain said that this is a step in making Andhra Pradesh a gas hub. “There are massive reserves of gas in the KG-D6 and we need to realize that this will be the only LNG terminal on the East Coast. So, if this project is successful and is completed within 18 months, it will be the best example of PPP projects in the country,” he said, adding that this will also give a fillip to gas-based industries in the state.

Given that there is likely to be a shortage of gas of 15mmscmd and this might further drop to 40 mmscmd, the Chief Minister said: “This LNG Terminal would prove to be an important infrastructure for import of LNG on the eastern coast. Natural Gas is emerging as a significant fuel for economic development of the country and this FSRU-based LNG Terminal will surely play a far reaching role in making natural gas available to various consumers in industrial, commercial and domestic sectors.”

Ministers N

Chinarajappa, Kamineni Srinivas and others were present at the ceremony.

 

The post-lunch session of the 2-Day Collectors’ Conference in Vijayawada began with sector-wise presentations illustrating their achievements and way forward to achieve the double-digit growth. Evaluating the sector-wise reports, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu directed the district collectors and state officials to channelize resources to their fullest in order to achieve higher growth rate.

During a presentation on the Infrastructure Mission, Principal Secretary (Infrastructure, Investments, Energy and Ports) Ajay Jain informed the Chief Minister that Vijayawada Airport has registered 145% triple-digit growth rate till August 2015.

Elaborating on the current status of various ports and Logistics Parks across the state, he also pointed out interventions required by the district collectors to proceed with the projects. The Chief Minister stressed that the government should play the role of a facilitator, with minimal time intervention and nominal government expenditure in these projects. Tap the potential this sector holds to encourage PPP projects, he said.

In a presentation on the Primary sector mission, the Chief Minister was informed that Andhra Pradesh is rated number 1 in soil sampling. In order to achieve better results, collectors were suggested to earmark problematic soils and plan seeds plantations based on that.

Stressing on increasing organic cultivation, the Chief Minister suggested to adopt scientific farming methods to increase soil fertility and productivity.

Meanwhile, a presentation on Animal Husbandry has been shown a 10% increase in sector’s growth over previous year. In this regard, the government has taken serious cognizance on the cruelty against animals and directed officials to take action against the perpetrators.

In a presentation on Irrigation, the Chief Minister was informed that 10 projects have been prioritized in a time-bound manner. Upon the successful water release from the first pump at Pattiseema today, he appreciated the officials who worked hard for the completion of Pattiseema project in 5 months and 20 days. This is a historical moment for us, he said.

In this regard, the Chief Minister said water conservation and management is very important. He added that the state should be made drought-proof and all techniques should be put in place to divert surplus water to drought-hit states, focus on drip and sprinkle irrigation, etc.

Under drought-mitigation initiatives, Avagahana Sadassulu (Awareness Programs) were held in 10,561 Gram Panchayats. The department will soon undertake a 45-day intensive program across the state. The Chief Minister was also informed that the geo-tagging of 70,512 works pertaining to water harvesting works has been completed.

Meanwhile, it has been proposed to set up school nurseries at 1,000 schools across the state to increase the green cover in the state. These nurseries will be integrated with school sanitation. Each nursery will raise 10,000 tall plants.

In view of transforming Andhra Pradesh into an education hub, the Chief Minister said that worldwide companies are evincing interest to partner with Andhra Pradesh in Skill Development and Knowledge enhancement.

He also stressed on effective operationalization and monitoring methods of model primary schools. He suggested officials to introduce technology-driven practices to reduce the drop-out rate and also monitor teachers’ attendance. Set up English medium cluster schools and provide transport facility, he said.

The first-day session concluded with a presentation on Urban Mission. It has been formulated with a vision to transform cities and towns of Andhra Pradesh into growth engines. For this, the mission will focus on skill development and knowledge enhancement, housing and providing effective civic service delivery.

The Chief Minister stressed on increasing urban population to 40-50%, which will further lead to economic development. He also suggested adopting nearby village panchayatsinto a town municipality and providing infrastructural facilities.

A delegation from China Railway 23rd Bureau Group Co. (International) Ltd. (CCRC) met Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu here in Vijayawada.

Outlining the areas in which Andhra Pradesh and CCRC could work together, Mr Dong Fengie, General Manager, Overseas, CCRC said they are keen to work in sectors like railways, metro rail projects and multi-purpose dam projects.

The Chief Minister has asked the CRCC executives to participate in the tender-bidding process for the metro rail in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

He also explained that there are numerous opportunities for investors in infrastructure, airports, ports and the housing sector in Andhra Pradesh.

“We are building our new state and a new capital. Everything that we start with can be made the best practice,” the Chief Minister said, continuing that availability of natural resources, gives the state an advantage to build a world-class city.

The Chief Minister the CRCC Group to come up with a proposal on identifying areas of investments.

In a meeting with DMRC principal advisor E. Sreedharan today, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu asked Sreedharan to complete the first phase of Vijayawada Metro Rail Project by August 2018 and Visakhapatnam Metro Rail Project by December 2018.

Discussing about the funds required for the project, the Chief Minister informed Sreedharan that the project can be be executed with the support of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).

The Chief Minister suggested the DMRC team to prepare a process chart which will enable the government to keep track of the progress of the Metro Rail project on a monthly basis. “We should expedite the process of setting up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and appoint a permanent officer who will monitor the progress of the project.”

Further, the Chief Minister also suggested Sreedharan and his team of officials to expedite the process of procuring land for the project. On the sidelines, he also asked Sreedharan to explore the possibility of Metro Rail Project for the Capital City of Amaravati.

“We will meet again on 9th September in Vijayawada and decide on when to lay the foundation stone and other issues related to the project,” the Chief Minister said.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also asked Sreedharan to explore the possibility of Light Road Transport System (LRT) in the state.

Sharing his experiences about his Turkey trip, the Chief Minister said that the traffic management system in the country is efficient. “Their road and rail systems are managed well.  “This has not only increase the tourist arrivals in Turkey but also increased the per capital income of the country,” the Chief Miniser explained.

Stating that an expert like Sreedharan is required for urban planning in efficient transport management systems in the country, he asked the DMRC team to prepare a report which will estimate the growing population and its transport needs. “I would suggest you visit countries like Turkey and others which have efficient transport systems,” he concluded.

Andhra Pradesh will soon have resting areas with all amenities for drivers for every 100 kms on National Highways in the state.

The resting zones for drivers will have parking spaces, lounges, commercial complexes and toilets, allowing drivers to rest for sometime.

This is one of the many initiatives the government is taking up to bring down the number of accidents in the state, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said today in a meeting with Road Safety Council here on Tuesday.

For the Road Safety Fund, the government will sanction Rs. 10 crore.

Further, the Chief Minister suggested forming a committee that will exclusively analyse the accidents in the state and submit a monthly report, linking it to the type of vehicle, type of road, reasons behind the accident and stating reasons on how each accident could have been avoided.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister was informed that 78.43% of accidents happen due to drivers’ fault. Of the total accidents, 74% happen due to drunk driving and overspeeding.

As an immediate step towards bringing down accident rate by 30%, the Chief Minister suggested improving signages, identifying blind spots and correcting them as well as improving markings on the roads.

In addition, the Chief Minister has suggested decreasing or partial removal of boards of wine/liquor shops on highways. “This will decrease the visibility of wine shops and reduce the number of drunk driving cases/accidents”, the Chief Minister added.

Stating that the Road Safety Council has to work on a mass campaign in educating public on road safety, the Chief Minister suggested the Council to hold workshops in educational institutions and other programs on following traffic rules and educating them on signages.

Meanwhile, the government has also taken a decision to standardise specifications of helmets in order to bring down manufacturing of fake helmets. It has also permitted bike showrooms to sell helmets if they meet the government specifications on helmets.

Though the government has made helmets compulsory from August 1st, the government is giving three months time so that fake helmets are eliminated from market and the rule is strictly implemented from November 1st, 2015.

Given that 43% of road accidents happen on other roads while 23% on State Highways and 33% on National Highways, the Chief Minister asked the Council to ensure that roads connecting National Highways are not joined directly.

The Chief Minister asked the Health department to declare all nursing homes and private hospitals too as trauma centres so that those in need treatment can seek immediate help from these centres.

On the other hand, to ensure pedestrian safety, the Chief Minister directed the Council to prepare a plan to create pedestrian paths in cities and towns.

Before concluding, the Chief Minister asked officials to prepare action plan on bringing down accidents in the state to a level, meeting international standards and also hire consultants and involve various stakeholders like engineering colleges, experts, etc.

Heads of Departments of Transport, NHAI, R&B, Health, Police, Excise, Finance and, EMRI, Lorry Owners Association, NGOs and others were present.

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Prime Minister’s ambitious multi-purpose and multi-modal platform PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation) is a unique integrating and interactive platform which is aimed for monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by the State Governments.

During Video Conference today Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with IYR Krishna Rao, Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and reviewed on the pending Railway Projects in the State. Current status of the Railway Project between Nadikudi and Srikalahasthi was briefed by the Chief Secretary.

The Chief Secretary informed that the Government of Andhra Pradesh is proactively pursing with the Railways to complete the project on time and willing to handover the acquired land to the railways and also informed that compensatory forest land and also indentified. Joint inspection has already been done by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Railway Authorities and more railway teams to be involved in the project.

Later, Chairman Railway Board AK Mittal has briefed about the project total estimations are to be prepared tenders are to be finalized. Mittal also informed to the Prime Minister that the efforts are being made by the Chief Secretary IYR Krishna Rao for reviewing on this railway line regularly, to complete the project at the earliest and within two years.

Prime Minister has appreciated the efforts made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and suggested to adopt the modern technology for construction to complete the Railway Project within the estimated period.

To plug leakages in the supply chain and ensure proper distribution of liquor stocks in the state, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu today directed officials to install all vehicles with GPS trackers.

“We need to ensure that supplies are not diverted while vehicles are on their way to retail outlets. All stocks that are being supplied to government-run retail outlets should be tracked. Install GPS trackers in all the vehicles transporting stock and manage the supply chain efficiently,” the Chief Minister said.

Stating that the entire system has to be streamlined within 2 months, the Chief Minister said Hedonic Path Finder System (HPFS) and Hologram Tracking System should be implemented. “The excise department should work on integrating the data in such a way where we know the stocks in depots, distilleries and retail outlets on a daily basis including sales,” he added.

Meanwhile, to bring down accidents in the state, the government will implement a code of conduct that will lay down rules and regulations for drivers in the state.

On the other hand, the state government is toying the idea of setting up an open driving school system where they will take courses on driving and safety. At the end of the course, they will take an exam that will test their skills. “This school will not only fulfil their academic criteria but also be a platform to hone their skills and teach them about road safety.”

The Chief Minister was informed there has been an expression of interest on setting up a Global observatory on Road Safety in Andhra Pradesh.

 

Chief Secretary IYR Krishna Rao convened a meeting with the Officials of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) New Delhi to review on the progress of Railway Projects and Cement Industries in Andhra Pradesh.

Regarding Sanjanamala to Kolimigundla Railway siding for a distance of 40 KMs, the Chief Secretary informed that as it is there are three licenses given there for a total capacity of 10.5 Million Tonnes of cement production with a consumption of 1000 Million Tonnes of Limestone whereas the remaining total estimated limestone available there is 3000 Million Tonnes and it is now propose to issue licenses to other entities also under the new mining policy. Hence, participation of the manufacturers as part of the SPV will not be a problem and it is prima facie concentrated at one place which is one of the highest anywhere in the country. Keeping this in view Chairman, RVNL is requested to expedite the proposal and get going at the earliest.

Even after the issue of licenses, these manufacturers are saying that still there are certain infrastructural constrains and it is one of the main reasons for not starting the factories. The Chairman, RVNL is requested to take action on this railway line at the earliest.

The issue of construction of a separate freight line was discussed by the Chief Secretary, as an alternative to a freight corridor on the railway site involving Government of Tamil Nadu, Odisha as well, it was decided that the Advisor Railways in the State Government of Andhra Pradesh PK Srivastava would be in touch with RVNL to work out the modalities of further going with it.

The 3rd freight line would be running between Tada-Ichapuram Railway Stations covering about 1000 KMs touching in between Nellore – Vijayawayda – Rajahmundry – Visakhapatnam. This has higher importance in view of the Port based economic strategy the State Government of A.P. is envisaging in terms of developing number of minor ports in the coastal area. Presently the traffic between Central India and Northern India is going to the West and then getting into the Country. Even that is coming from the South East Asia. Therefore the Development of other lines namely East Coast Line also would become viable by re-shifting the merchandize to the East Coast.

Already on the East Coast in Andhra Pradesh Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada, Krishnapatnam Ports are functioning. Further Ports are planned and are in the process of establishing at Machilipatnam, Bhavanapadu, Ramayapatnam, Dugarajupatnam, Vadarevu, Nizampatnam and Narasapuram, Chief Secretary added.

Present status of the Nadikudi – Srikalahasthi Railway line, Doubling the railway lines between Guntur – Guntakal, Guntur – Tenali, Gudivada – Nidadavolu were also reviewed.

RVNL Chairman-Managing Director Satish Agnihotri, Prl. Secretary Revenue JC Sharma, Chairman-Managing Director TRANSCO Vijayanand, Director Mines and Geology Susheel Kumar and others attended the meeting.

STATE NEWS

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