Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology

Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology

An Advanced Ultra Super Critical Technology R&D Project has been approved by Government at a cost of Rs.1500 Crore involving BHEL, NTPC and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) for enhanced efficiency of thermal generation. This was stated by Sh. Piyush Goyal, Minister of state for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

The Minister further stated that the objective of the scheme is to achieve higher efficiency, reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and reduce coal consumption for coal based power plants. The R&D work for the programme has commenced under the overall supervision of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India for certain pre-project R&D activities, the Minister added.


Development of Railway Infrastructure with State Cooperation

Seeking cooperation from State Government to develop railway infrastructure like Stations, Road Under Bridges, Road Over Bridges, laying of additional lines etc. is a continuous and ongoing process. This is coordinated by various levels of Ministry of Railways and as well as State Governments. Such assistance is normally in the form of land acquisition, law and order, encroachments removal, temporary closure of roads, shifting of utilities etc. State Government’s response, in general, has been positive and cooperative towards railway works.

Ministry of Railways has approached all State Governments to form Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) jointly with Ministry of Railways for speedier execution of ongoing and new projects. The proposed SPV’s role would be to undertake project development, resource mobilization and monitoring of mutually identified rail infrastructure projects. Exact form of SPV companies, equity participation of State Government & Ministry of Railways, implementation agency, concession agreement etc. has not been finalized. Estimation of funds likely to be raised cannot be made at this stage.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


‘Go India’ Smart Card for Train Tickets

‘Go-India’ smart card scheme has been launched on pilot basis on two sectors i.e. New Delhi-Mumbai and New Delhi-Howrah. At present, the Go-India smart card enables passengers to pay for reserved and unreserved tickets. The smart card can be used at nominated Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS)/Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and at Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) on these two sectors for issuing tickets. The salient features of the Go-India smart card are as under:
·         Initially, the card can be get issued by paying minimum Rs.70/- where passenger will get Rs.20/- balance. After that, card can be recharged for Rs.20/- or in multiple of Rs.50/- upto Rs. 5000/-.
·         Maximum limit on Go-India smart card is Rs.10,000/-.
·         Go-India smart card has life time validity. In case of no usage in six months from the date of last transaction, smart card will be temporarily deactivated which can be activated again by paying Rs.50/- as activation fee.
            The scheme is intended to reduce the transaction time at the booking counters for the convenience of passengers as it facilitates cashless transaction.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


Provision of Safe Drinking Water at Stations

It is Railway’s endeavour to provide potable drinking water at all stations including in rural areas. Instructions exist for periodical check on quality of water and corrective action to be taken, if any deficiency is found. Reverse Osmosis (RO) process involves substantial rejection of water depending upon its quality and will require uninterrupted power supply. In view of above, provision of RO drinking water units has been planned at identified major stations on experimental basis based on passenger volume and techno-economic viability. There is no proposal, at present, to use solar power for RO plants.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


Use of Non-Conventional Energy Sources in Railways

It is proposed to blend 5 per cent Bio-diesel to diesel to be used on diesel locomotives only on Indian Railways. 2 MW of Solar Power plant at a cost of Rs. 15.7 crore has been installed at Rail Coach Factory, Rae Bareli. The sanctioned work for non-conventional energy on Indian Railways includes 10.5 Mega Watt (MW) with Railway funding & 157.5 MW in Joint Venture (JV) for wind power and 7.8 MWp solar plants under Railway funding. No special fund allotment for Bio-diesel is contemplated since it is part of fuel cost for which provision is already available in the budget. Likely fund provision for wind power and solar plant works is about Rs. 40 crore in the year 2015-16.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


New Line Projects on Indian Railways

With the objective of extending Railway line connectivity across the country, Railways have taken up 154 new line projects for construction of 17129 Km of New Lines at a total cost of Rs.163448 crore for laying additional New line/extend the length of railway line connectivity in various States. As on 1st April 2014, 3229 Km new lines have been constructed and total expenditure against these 154 projects is Rs. 42330 crore. For the current financial year 2014-15, a budgetary outlay of Rs.7624 Crore has been provided for New Line projects & for 2015-16, an outlay of Rs. 8850 Crore has been proposed in the Railway Budget.

Allocation of funds to New Line Projects is made on year to year basis, depending upon overall availability of funds, relative priority, status of land acquisition & other clearances, stages of projects etc. Because of large shelf of ongoing projects, limited availability of funds for New Line projects & factors such as land acquisition/forest clearances/law & order beyond the control of Railways no time lines can be fixed for completion of these projects.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


Redevelopment of Railway Stations to International Standards

It has been decided to redevelop identified railway stations of metro cities and important junctions to international standards with modern facilities and passenger amenities by leveraging commercial development of land and airspace in and around the station.

Assessment of passenger traffic and categorization of stations on Indian Railways is being done in terms of earnings from sale of tickets which is undertaken every five years. Stations on Indian Railways have been accordingly categorised into ‘A-I’, ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ categories based on which norms for provision of passenger amenities to be provided at stations have been stipulated.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


Development of Multi Functional Complexes on Railways

A total number of 197 stations are identified for development of Multi Functional Complexes (MFCs). Out of these, 74 MFCs have been assigned to IRCON International Limited, Rail India Technical & Economic Services Limited, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited & Zonal Railways, who develop MFCs with their funds. For remaining 123 MFCs assigned to Rail Land Development Authority, the developers are appointed through competitive bidding process, for developing MFCs with their own funds.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.


Suresh Prabhu Launches Passenger Friendly ‘Customer Complaint Web Portal and Mobile App’

Passengers can also Lodge their Complaints Through ‘Sms’

The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu launched a ‘Customer Complaint Web Portal and Mobile Application’ (android/windows based mobile App), at a function here today. Speaking on the occasion the Railway Minister said that this ‘Customer Complaint-cum-Suggestion’ portal and mobile App which can be freely downloaded, will be very useful as one can track the status of the complaints which he or she registered on this portal with the help of mobile App. He said that Railways welcome suggestions from the people to further improve the passenger services and valuable suggestions on this newly launched portal can be incorporated in all possible ways, if found suitable. He appreciated the efforts made by Railway officials and thanked them for implementing this new customer friendly initiative in a very short time, just three days after the announcement of the same in the Railway Budget 2015-16.
            The passengers who want to complain or make any suggestions may download the mobile App from the URL www.coms.indianrailways.gov.in. The passengers can also file their complaints and suggestions on the web page www.coms.indianrailways.gov.in .   The passengers can also SMS their complaints on mobile number +91-9717630982.
Also present on the occasion were, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A.K.Mital, Board Members and other senior officials of the Indian Railways.

The Complaint Management System (COMS) portal consists of the following applications:-
·              A mobile app based complaints and suggestions application (currently on the android platform).
·              A web based complaints and suggestions application on URL www.coms.indianrailways.gov.in.
·              A SMS based complaints and suggestions application on the number +91-9717630982.
·              A link to Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) will also be provided.

Mobile Apps

·               Indian Railways are launching  the first  mobile phone App  for registering passenger complaints

·               The first  Mobile App is on the Android platform
·               The Mobile application has been implemented using Android 2.3.3 (and above) platform and would be made available for  Windows Phone 8.1 (and above).
·               The Mobile App uses the latest technology namely  HTML5,  JavaScript, CSS3.1
·               The Mobile App can be downloaded from Google Play Store.
·               A fast and user friendly structured interface has been provided to register complaints on mobile phones.
·               Complaints will be provided with a unique complaint ID number.
·               Complainants can use the unique ID number to track progress of complaints.
·               The complaint will be auto assigned to the concerned railway functionary for redressal.

·               Validations for station name, train number and PNR number have been built into the application for user convenience.
·               The complaints will be stored in the database
·               Detailed MIS reports with various zone wise, division wise, type wise, filters will enable effective monitoring at the administrative end.
·               The Mobile App is linked to the Complaint Management portal of Indian Railways, where complaints can be registered through Web (www.coms.indianrailways.gov.in)  and SMS (+91-9717630982).

     Web based Complaint Management Application:

·               Passengers can also register complaints through the Web. The complainants will be assigned unique ID number with which they can track the progress of   complaints.

·               The complaint will be auto assigned to the concerned railway functionary for redressal.

·               Detailed MIS reports with various zone wise, division wise, type wise, filters will enable effective monitoring at the administrative end.

·               This Customer Complaint Portal will also be available in Hindi and other regional languages.

SMS based Complaint Management Application:-
·               Complaint or suggestion can be sent as free flow text as SMS to   the number 9717630982. Complaints will be also be assigned a unique complaint ID number which can be used for tracking.


Committee Set up to Formulate Safety Standards for Car Manufactures

In order to formulate safety standards for car manufacturers to make safe car, a committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Joint Secretary (Transport) with the following terms of reference:

(i)                  The testing requirement/test protocols and rating system for the Programme keeping in view of the international experience and the national conditions.
(ii)                Mechanism and methodology for selection of vehicles for assessment.
(iii)               Permanent administrative set up required for implementation and monitoring of the programme.
(iv)              Assessment of fund requirement for the implementation of the programme and mechanism therefore.
(v)                Identification and accreditation of test facilities for conducting the required tests.
(vi)              To recommend time schedules for :
(1) Launch of BNVAP; and
(2) Implementation of BNVAP in consultation with the automobile industry on:  (a) voluntary basis; (b) mandatory basis.

             Provisions regarding construction, equipment and maintenance of motor vehicles are contained in chapter VII of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MV Act) and chapter V of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (CMVRs). Rule 126 of CMVRs requires every manufacturer of motor vehicles other than trailers and semi-trailers to submit the prototype of the vehicle to be manufactured by him for test by any of the agencies specified therein for granting a certificate as to the compliance of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MV Act) and CMVRs. Rule 126A of CMVRs requires the test agencies, referred to in rule 126, to also conduct tests on vehicles drawn from the production line of the manufacturer to verify whether these vehicles conform to the provisions of rules made under section 110 of the MV Act.

            This information was given by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways,  Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


Government Fast on Execution of Road Projects

Proactive governance and faster approvals have resulted in unprecedented pick up in execution of road projects. Against the target of 6300 km for construction under various schemes of the Ministry during the current year, 3038 km have been constructed till 31st January, 2015. Out of 17 projects awarded by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) during 2013-14, work has been started in case of 15 projects which is about 88% of the total projects awarded and in case of some of the projects progress is already 40 to 50 %.

During the year 2012-13, out of 11 projects awarded by NHAI for one project LOA has been cancelled and during the year 2011-12 out of 48 projects awarded, 26 projects were terminated/LOA cancelled.

This information was given by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


Government Determined to Check Road Accidents

            Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has taken a number of steps to prevent road accidents as per details mentioned under:

(i) The Government has approved a National Road Safety Policy.  This Policy outlines various policy measures such as promoting awareness, establishing road safety information data base, encouraging safer road infrastructure including application of intelligent transport, enforcement of safety laws etc.
(ii) The Ministry has requested all States/UTs for setting up of State Road Safety Council and District Road Safety Committees, if not already done, and to hold their meetings regularly so that the right message to curb the menace of road accidents reaches  all concerned and due priority is given to road safety.
(iii) It is ensured that road safety remains the integral part of road design at planning stage.
(iv) Various steps are being taken to enhance road safety such as road furniture, road markings/road signs, introduction of Highway Traffic Management System using Intelligent Transport System, enhancement of discipline among contractors during construction, road safety audit on selected stretches, have been undertaken by National Highways Authority of India.
(v) Refresher training to Heavy Motor Vehicle drivers in the unorganized sector being implemented by the Ministry since 1997-98 under plan activities.

(vi) Setting up of Driving Training School in the States by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

(vii) Publicity campaign on road safety awareness both through the audio-visual and print media by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

(viii) Tightening of safety standards of vehicles like Seat Belts, Power-steering, rear view Mirror etc.

(ix) Providing cranes and ambulances to various State Governments/NGOs under National Highway Accident Relief Service Scheme. National Highways Authority of India also provides ambulances at a distance of 50 Km. on each of its completed stretches of National Highways under its Operation & Maintenance contracts.

(x) Widening and improvements of National Highways from 2 lanes to 4 lanes and 4 lanes to  6 lanes  etc.

 A pilot project has been launched by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways for three stretches viz.  Gurgaon - Jaipur section of NH-8, Vadodara - Mumbai section of  NH – 8 and Ranchi –Mahulia section of NH-33 under which free cashless treatment upto a limit of Rs. 30,000 will be provided to the road accident victims for the first 48 hours. Under this project, GPS enabled ambulances, connected with a central control room through a toll-free number 1033 are stationed at a distance of 20 km to transport the accident victim to the nearest hospital for treatment within the ‘Golden Hour’.  

            This information was given by Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways,     Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


National Science Day Awards

The Union Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y. Sujana Chowdary has said that the government is considering the idea having mobile science labs for strengthening science education in schools. He said that “Make in India”, which is to be the manufacturing engine for our economy has to be supported by innovations in the field of Science & Technology. He pointed out but, for the Science & Technology there is no growth for human kind and hoped that more research would contribute for reduction in the number of people Below Poverty Level. Shri Chowdary urged the youth to be pro active in taking to science as there is still a huge scope for more work in the field of Science & Technology.

Shri Chowdary was chief guest at the National Science Day function in New Delhi today, gave away awards for outstanding contributions for popularizing Science & Technology among the children, students and general public during the past five years.

The Minister also interacted with the awards winners, who were given a prize money of one lakh rupees, a memento and a citation.

The Union Minister of Science & Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan in his message for the occasion urged upon the domestic industry to take benefit of Research and Development in the country instead of waiting for transferred technology or technical collaboration with other countries

Secretary for the Department of Science & Technology Shri Asuthosh Sharma, Secretary Department of Biotechnology Shri Vijaya Raghavan, Secretary Ministry of Earth Sciences Shri Shailesh Naik also spoken the occasion.


Proposal for 101 More National Waterways

A proposal for declaration of 101 additional waterways as National Waterways is under consideration of the Government. The proposal covers waterways across the country which have potential for year round commercial navigation.

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is conducting feasibility studies on the proposed new waterways for finding out their potential for year round commercial navigation. Thereafter, based on the outcome of the study, further steps would be taken for the development of the proposed National Waterways. The time-frame for developing these waterways as National Waterways can be finalized only after these are declared as National Waterways.

This information was given by Minister of State for Shipping Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


Government to Set up INW TG

The Government is considering a proposal to set up an Integrated National Waterways Transport Grid (INWTG) which covers mainly five National Waterways. The INWTG includes development of the National Waterways with at least 2.5 meter Least Available Depth (LAD), upgrading/ setting up of priority terminals, establishing road connectivity, wherever feasible, rail and port connectivity.

The study undertaken by Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has, at present, identified 31 terminals in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh for construction of terminals on National Waterways. With the establishment of the INWTG, the National Waterways would be connected to National/ State Highways and would become an integral part of the transportation grid in the country.

This information was given by Minister of State for Shipping, Shri Pon Radhakrishnan in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


Meeting of UN-ESCAP working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities Gets Underway

Shri Gehlot Reiterates Government’s Commitment to Implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, inaugurated a two-day Meeting of Second Session of the UN-ESCAP Working Group on the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities, 2013-2022here today.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister stated that hisGovernment is fully committed to the cause of empowerment of Persons with Disabilities(PWDs)and implementation of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitiesas well as the “Incheon Strategy”.

He said that we are presently focussing on enactment of a new comprehensive law to fulfil our international obligations following ratification of the UNCRPD; using technology to deliver low-cost home-based education through e-learning and providing Identity Cards to all Persons with Disabilities so that they can avail Government benefits.

The Minister said that his government is also committed to ensureeasy access of PWDs to public facilities, public buildings and transport; develop income generation models to ensure their economic independence, and provide support to voluntary organizations working in this sector.

He further said that India is eager to provide necessary technical support to UNESCAP in all its efforts and learn from the best practices in this region.“We in this region have adopted the Incheon Strategy to declare our regional cooperation and commitment to build a better future for persons with disabilities”, he said. The slogan of this Strategy is to “Make the Right Real”.

Some of the important goals of Incheon strategy are: Reduction of poverty, Enhancement of accessibility, education and employment, Special focus on children and women, Promotion of social protection and political participation, and Strengthening of international cooperation etc.

Shri Gehlot said that we have chalked out a road map with specific time-frames to implement the Incheon Strategy and achieve these goals.

The Minister expressed the hope that the Working Group would recommend constructive steps towards achieving disability-inclusive development for our region and the deliberations would provide valuable inputs in the international level as well, in the true spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, that is – the entire world is one family.”

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Lov Verma, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities stated that India is focussing on a multi pronged approach involving various Central Ministries to implement the Incheon Strategy to make right real. Various steps taken by the Government included ensuring accessibility, education and employment.

Shri Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Joint Secretary in the Departmentof Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Shri Nagesh Kumar, Director ESCAP Sub-Regional Office, South and South-West Asia, New Delhi and Mr Kang Inchul, Director, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea also spoke on the occasion.

India is hosting this meeting in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asian and Pacific (UNESCAP). About 70 delegates participated, which included representatives from 13 Member States, including China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Samoa, Thailand and 14 Civil Society Organisations in the region.

Later India and China were elected Chair and Vice-Chair of the Working Group, respectively.

The Meeting will conclude tomorrow.


Foreign Tourist Arrivals during the period January-December 2014 grow by 7.1%, as compared to a growth of 5.9% during January-December 2013

The Foreign Tourist Arrivals during the period January-December 2014 were 74.62 lakh with a growth of 7.1%, as compared to the Foreign Tourist Arrivals of 69.68 lakh with a growth of 5.9% during January-December 2013 over the corresponding period of 2012. Foreign Exchange Earnings from tourism in rupee terms during January-December 2014 were Rs.1,20,083 Crore with a growth of 11.5%, as compared to the Foreign Exchange Earnings of Rs.1,07,671 Crore with a growth of 14.0% during January- December 2013 over the corresponding period of 2012.

The Ministry of Tourism has taken various initiatives to boost the growth of tourism in India. These new initiatives of the Ministry of Tourism include Integrated Development of Theme-Based Tourist Circuits – Swadesh Darshan and the National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD). The Ministry has also launched a 24x7 Incredible India Toll Free Helpline for Tourists (Code – 1363/1800-111363).

The Government of India has introduced Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled with Electronic Travel Authorisation to facilitate foreign travellers visiting India. This facility is available to the nationals of 44 countries arriving at 9 airports in India (viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Goa airports).

To create social awareness among the masses regarding their conduct and attitude towards tourists and to sensitize the stakeholders of the tourism industry, the Ministry of Tourism releases the Atithi Devo Bhava – Social Awareness Campaign. People in general are sensitized to preserve and protect the heritage and monuments of the country, including tourist places, for the generations to come. The campaign also strives to bring about a positive change in the outlook of the people. These campaigns are released in select Print, Electronic, Outdoor and Online Media.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma, in a reply to unstarred question in Lok Sabha today.

50 circuits have been identified across India for the development of tourism

The Ministry of Tourism has identified 50 circuits for development of tourism. These circuits/destinations cover major and relevant tourist places and attractions and have a judicious mix of culture, heritage, spiritualism and ecotourism to give tourists a holistic perspective of the country. Port Blair-Neil Havelock-Little Andaman (Andaman and Nicobar), Kashmir Circuit (Jammu and Kashmir), Desert circuit (Rajasthan), Nature Tourism Circuit (West Bengal), Braj-Agra Circuit (Uttar Pradesh), Gangtok (Sikkim) are the circuits identified circuits among others.

The Ministry has formulated a plan scheme SWADESH DARSHAN for integrated development of tourist circuits around specific themes. The five circuits indentified under this scheme are: Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit and North-East Circuit.

The Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to various State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for various tourism projects prioritized every year in consultation with them subject to availability of funds, inter-se priority, liquidation of pending utilization certificates against the funds released earlier and adherence to the scheme guidelines.

In 2012-13, a total of 136 projects were sanctioned to the states and an amount of Rs 929 crores was sanctioned to them for these projects. In 2013-14, the number of projects sanctioned to the states was 261 and an amount of Rs 1801 crores was sanctioned to them. In 2014-15 (till December, 2014) a total of 53 projects were sanctioned to the states and a sum of Rs 333 crores was sanctioned to them for these projects.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma, in a reply to unstarred question in Lok Sabha today.


Delhi Development Authority’s role to be Revisited in the Context of Development Needs of Delhi

Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu sets up a Committee to Review Delhi Development Act, 1957

The Ministry of Urban Development has proposed to reassess the role of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in the context of diverse and emerging development needs of Delhi. In this regard, Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has set up a 14-member Committee to revisit and redraft the Delhi Development Act, 1957, under which DDA was set up.

The Committee will assess the adequacy of the provisions of the Delhi Development Act, 1957 and the role of DDA there under and suggest measures to be taken to enable DDA play the role of a facilitator and regulator. DDA is currently playing mostly the role of a ‘developer’. The Committee will hold discussions with all the stakeholders so as to suggest the best possible urban planning and development strategies to enable Delhi emerge as a world class city through enhanced investments. The Committee has been given three months time to submit draft Act and Rules for the consideration of the Government.

The Committee will be headed by Shri Madhukar Gupta, IAS(Retd.) who was a former Vice-Chairman of Delhi. The members include: Shri S.K.Tandon, former Commissioner of Land Acquisition, DDA, Shri Sharda Prasad, former Commissioner of Land Acquisition, DDA, Shri K.P.Laxman Rao, former Member(Finance), DDA and Shri A.K.Jain, former Commissioner of Planning, DDA.

Ex-Officio members of the Committee include: Additional Secretary and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Chief Planner, Town and Country Planning Organisation, Secretary, Delhi Urban Arts Commission, Chairman, NDMC, Municipal Commissioners of three Municipal Corporations of Delhi and Secretary, DDA who will also be the Member Secretary of the Committee.

Chairman of the Committee has been authorized to co-opt two other members as experts from outside the Government to assist the Committee.

Section 2.(d) of Delhi Development Act, 1957 defines ‘development’ as ‘carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land or the making of any material change in any building or land and included development’.

Section 3(2) of the said Act defined DDA as ‘The Authority with the power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable and to contract.’

The objects of Delhi Development Authority as stipulated in Section 6 of the said Act ‘shall be to promote and secure the development of Delhi according to plan and for that purpose the Authority shall have the power to acquire, hold, manage and dispose of land and other property, to carry out building, engineering, mining and other operations, to execute works in connection with supply of water and electricity, disposal of sewage and other services and amenities and generally to do anything necessary or expedient for purposes of such development and for purposes incidental thereto.’


Information to be hoisted mandatorily by IOA & NSFs on their Websites

            The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has asked Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to suo-moto disclose various activities carried out by them on their websites mandatorily. In a letter written to IOA and NSFs, the Ministry has said these instructions have also been made part of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011.

            The letter said, it has been noticed that although some of the NSFs are furnishing the required information to the Ministry, it is not available on the websites of many NSFs and hence is not available to general public and stake holders.

            The letter said, in a recent case of Badminton Association of India vs. Union of India, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has taken a serious view about non furnishing of information under RTI Act by the NSFs. Hence the court has passed an order dated 24th December, 2014 in W.P.(C) No.9318/2014 stating, inter-alia, that this would be an appropriate case where Government of India should examine the manner in which the NSF is functioning.

Therefore, in order to reduce the paper work of NSFs while making the information available to stakeholders regarding the functioning of NSFs and IOA it has been decided that henceforth the information containing 23 points as per the requirement shall be uploaded on the website of IOA and the respective NSFs.

            The letter said, all these information should be made available on the website latest by 1.4.2015. Further, the website must be updated by IOA & NSFs as frequently as possible and at least once in a fortnight.

            The letter says that it was also informed earlier that the NSFs shall post their audited accounts and the Balance Sheet of the previous year by 30th June of the current year. It was brought to the notice of the Ministry that finalisation of audited accounts and balance sheet takes time and it is not possible to post the same on the website by 30th June. In view of this, it has been decided that the annual accounts of the previous financial year should be posted by the IOA & NSFs during the current year as soon as it is finalised but latest by 31st December of the current year.

The letter further says that annual recognition for the year 2015 may be reviewed in case the above instructions are not complied with by 1st April, 2015.

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