East’s Economic Gateway
By: Debabrata Mohanty
Paradip Refinery Project, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Orissa | Began in: 2004 | Deadline: April 2015 | Cost: Rs. 30,000 crore
The foundation stone for what is the biggest industrial project in Orissa was laid by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2004, just before the NDA was voted out of power. Spread over 3,344.65 acres with projected production of 15 million tonnes per annum, it is IOC’s biggest refinery in the country as well as India’s first zero-residue refinery.
It will also help the PSU aim for bigger profit margins by allowing processing of the cheapest varieties of crude, and fits in with its plan to have refineries on shore to allow easier shipping of petro products to international markets in case of a glut.
“Paradip would not just be the hub of petrochemical products, it would be the economic gateway for eastern India,” says Dharmendra Pradhan, Union minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas (Ind charge).
A steel complex of POSCO next to the refinery couldn’t take off because of land acquisition problems. Similar problems also plagued the Paradip refinery till 2009. Since then, over 30,000 labourers and 650 engineers have been at work to meet the deadline.
Mission Kedar 2015
By Sanjay Singh
Kedarnath Rebuilding, Uttarakhand | Began in: 2013 | Deadline: Sometime in 2015 | Cost: Rs. 26 crore approx
Height 13,000 feet; Temperature between 10 degrees Celsius and sub-zero; Men 500. Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat has made the start of the yatra to Kedarnath, a major moneyspinner for the region, one of his top priorities.
And against the backdrop of the still majestic Kedarnath temple, the work is on at a feverish pace, be it tractors laden with iron rods and cements hurrying to their destination, the two JCB-2DX machines clearing snow in their path, the mixer machines readying construction material, the six All Terrain Vehicles carrying supervisors to sites, the five excavator machines mining sand required for construction, or the 500 men carrying equipment or running all of the above.
The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, assigned the task of major construction activities at Kedarnath, including laying of the track — after the destruction of the June 2013 floods — got the heavy equipment, machines and vehicles manually transported to the town. These were carried from Soneprayag to here by trekkers in August. The smallest part of the dismantled machines, which were later reassembled, weighed 200 kg.
Apart from that, more than 30,000 bags of cement have been brought in on mules. “We have also transported about 10,000 magic bricks, which are lighter, cheaper,” NIM Instructor Ranjit Singh Negi, who is camping in Kedarnath, says.
Bringing J, K closer
By: Bashaarat Masood
Mughal Road Began in: October 2005| Original Deadline: March 2013 | Cost (initially): Rs. 640 crore
Four-Laning of NH 1A Began in: 2011 | Deadline: 2016 | Cost: Rs 9,377.46 crore
The Shopian-Bafliaz mountainous road known as the Mughal Road, for it was used by the Mughals to reach Kashmir, passes through the Pir Panjal mountains and runs at an altitude of 11,500 feet. Apart from NH 1A between Jammu and Kashmir, this is to be Kashmir’s alternative link to the outside world.
It is to connect Kashmir to Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region. The 84-km stretch that connects Shopian in Kashmir to Bafliaz in Jammu was originally scheduled to be completed in 2008 but has missed five deadlines. The last deadline was set as March 2013. However, small work is still pending and the road is officially yet to be thrown open to traffic. Only light vehicles for now move on the road during summer. It is set to be finally thrown open in 2015.
The Srinagar-Banihal four-laning of NH 1A, a sub-project of the four-laning of the entire Srinagar-Jammu national highway, was to be completed in June 2014 but is delayed. It will finally be completed in 2015. The total project, which includes digging two major tunnels at Nashri and Banihal, is scheduled to be completed by 2016.
Giving city wheels
By: Sreenivas Janyala
Hyderabad Metro Rail Project Began in: 2012 | Deadline: March 2015 (first stage)| Cost(entire project): Rs. 17,000 cr
One of the biggest metro rail projects in the country, the 72-km elevated Hyderabad Metro Rail is expected to ease traffic congestion in the busiest parts of the city. The 8-km-long first stage is expected to be open to commuters from March 21, according to Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited Managing Director N V S Reddy.
Hyderabad Metro Rail trains will be managed remotely and will be ‘loco-pilotless’. The sole loco-pilot onboard will only assist in the entry and exit of passengers.
While it shares Hyderabad as capital for now, 2015 will see Andhra Pradesh give shape to its own capital city near Vijayawada. A lot is at stake there as the bifurcation has already left Andhra with a huge fiscal deficit.
Crawling in hi-tech city
By: Johnson T A
Bangalore Metro Rail Project | Began in: 2006 | Deadline: Sept 2015 (first stage) | Cost (entire project): Rs. 40,200 crore
The first phase of the total 114-km metro line has been crawling because of slow progress in tunneling work on a 6-km underground stretch in the heart of the city. As a result, the cost for the 42-km Phase I has escalated from the initial projected figure of Rs 11,600 crore to Rs 13,800 crore, and its deadline pushed from March 2015 to September 2015. Meanwhile, 17 km of the 42 km is already operational, of which one stretch was opened in October 2011.
Work on the 72-km Phase II, costing Rs 26,405 crore, is also expected to begin in 2015. “Approval of the Centre has been received,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had stated in his Budget speech. Estimated deadline for it currently is 2018-19.
Rosy in Pink City
By: Sweta Dutta
Jaipur Metro Began in: 2010 | Deadline: March 2015 | Cost: Rs. 3,149 crore
Touted as one of the fastest metros in terms of construction time, the link despite missing deadlines repeatedly will still keep that distinction. Trials on the 9.3-km corridor have begun and approvals from various authorities are now awaited. If all goes well, the Jaipur Metro will be open to the public in March 2015.
According to projected estimates, the line will ferry approximately 1.2 lakh passengers per day, linking the shopping hub in Walled City, a tourist destination, to the residential area in Mansarovar. The link with nine metro stations is expected to come as a boon for tourists who are now at the mercy of a poor and unregulated intra-city transportation system, as well as ease traffic congestion in Walled City.
By: Samudra Gupta Kashyap
Lumding-Silchar Broad-Gauge Railway Project Began in: 1996-97 | Deadline: March 2015 | Cost: Rs. 5,200 crore
Srirampur-Silchar Four-Lane East-West Corridor | Began in: 1998 | Deadline: June 2015 | Cost: Rs. 7,150 crore
The two major infrastructure projects, both passing through the difficult Barail mountains which also constitute the militancy-infested Dima Hasao district of Assam, will improve surface communication between the Brahmaputra Valley and Barak Valley of Assam and also immensely benefit Tripura, Mizoram and Manipur.
Both are expected to be completed in 2015. While the Northeast Frontier Railways has already set a “final” deadline of March 31 for the 210-km Lumding-Silchar broad-gauge railway project, the 670-km Srirampur-Silchar Four-Lane East-West Corridor Project is nearly 80 per cent complete.
For most of the 26 stretches of the road, the deadline for completion is December 31, 2014, while the target for four stretches comprising 91 km the target is March 2015. For one stretch of the East-West Highway, the 28-km Lumding-Maibang one in Dima Hasao district, the target date for completion is June 2015.
The 210-km Lumding Silchar broad-gauge track was 91 per cent complete by August 2014. Since October 2014, the Railways has been working on it 24X7.
Modi’s Smart City
By: Avinash Nair
Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, or GIFT City Began in: 2011 | Deadline: 1st phase ongoing, 2nd phase launch this year | Cost: Rs. 81,000 crore
The project will be showcased as “India’s first smart city” at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit scheduled to be held in January 2015. Conceived by then CM Narendra Modi in 2007, the 800-acre GIFT City project is located on the banks of the Sabarmati in Gandhinagar and started off as a state government initiative to develop a state-of-the-art global financial hub.
The first phase has seen construction of two high rises. Work is ongoing and land development rights to the tune of 12 million sq ft have been sold.
Dipesh Shah, vice-president (Business Development), says the the project “got a tremendous response” after Modi became PM. In the second phase, to be unveiled this year, 15-20 high-rise towers are planned.