Infrastructure Projects Current Affairs - 2019

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Centre sets up Task Force for drawing up National Infrastructure Pipeline

Central government constituted a task force for drawing up a roadmap for ‘National Infrastructure Pipeline’ (NIP) of Rs.100 lakh crore from financial year 2019-20 to 2024-25. The Task Force is headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty would cover greenfield and brownfield projects costing above `Rs.100 crore each.

About Task Force

Objective:

To identify technically feasible and economically viable infrastructure projects that can be initiated during current fiscal year.

Task force would draw up a list of infrastructure projects that can be set rolling in 2019-20 as it looks at steps to tide over the economic slowdown.

Focus Areas of Task Force

Task Force will work on listing projects that can be included in pipeline for each of remaining 5 years. It would draw up a list of infrastructure projects and look for financially and technically viable projects that can be started in 2019-20.

It will also estimate annual infrastructure investment costs and guide ministries in identifying appropriate sources of financing as well as monitor projects to ensure minimisation of cost and time overrun. Although each ministry would be responsible for monitoring their respective projects in terms of cost and deadlines but the task force will suggest measures to monitor projects so that cost and time overrun is minimised.

Panel would also enable marketing of projects in pipeline through National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and India Investment Grid, among others.

It will submit its report by 31 October for fiscal year 2019-20 and on indicative pipeline for fiscal years 2021-25 by 31 December 2019.

Challenges:

To achieve gross domestic product (GDP) of $5 trillion by 2024-25, India needs to spend about $1.4 trillion (Rs.100 lakh crore) over these years on infrastructure. In past decade (FY 2008-17), India invested about $1.1 trillion on infrastructure.

To step-up annual infrastructure investment so that lack of infrastructure does not become a binding constraint Indian economy’s growth.

Project Sampark: Defence Minister inaugurates Ujh and Basantar Bridges in J&K

Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh inaugurated 1 km long Ujh bridge in Kathua district and 617.40 m long Basantar bridge in Samba district of Jammu & Kashmir. Both of these bridges have been constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under 69 RCC/13 BRTF of Project Sampark.

Key Highlights

Ujh bridge (1 Km long): is longest bridge constructed by BRO and was completed within scheduled time. It also holds distinction for being bridge where technology of Pre Cast Segmental br with 60 m spans was used. It has been constructed at a cost of nearly Rs.50 crore. It is located on Parole-Korepannu-Rajpura road over UjhNallah.

Basantar bridge: It has been constructed at a total cost of about Rs.41.7 crore. It is located on Rajpura–Madwal–Pangadur–Phulpur road over BasantarNallah.

These bridges will usher in vast improvement in connectivity of roads and bridges in border areas as they will provide smooth connectivity and are also vital for Indian Army for deployment on border areas.

These bridges will also be a big relief for local people of border villages of Kathua and Samba sector as road connectivity to these areas used to get disrupted during Monsoon.

About Project Sampark

It was raised by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in 1975 with its Headquarters at Jammu.

Geography: It has an area of responsibility from Pir Panjal Range (in north) to Pathankot (in south) and from Poonch (in west) to Dalhousie (in east), covering about 2200 km of road network.

BRO has been rendering its services via construction and maintenance of roads and bridges in border areas thereby fulfilling strategic needs of Defence Forces.