21.13% growth in passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-July, 2015

21.13% growth in passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-July, 2015 compared to the corresponding period of previous year 

The passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-July, 2015 were 455.78 lakhs as against 376.28 lakhs during the corresponding period of  previous year thereby registering a growth of 21.13 %.  Total number of 67.45 lakh domestic passengers were carried by scheduled domestic airlines in the month of July, 2015.



Commerce Minister Takes Stock of Issues Concerning Pharmaceutical Exports 

Minister for Commerce and Industry Ms Nirmala Sitharaman convened a meeting with senior officers from Ministry of Health, DCGI, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Commerce and Pharmexcil to take stock of the various issues and challenges that exports of Indian Pharma industry are confronted with. Shri Lanka Srinivas, Sr. Advisor, Pharmexcil gave a detailed presentation on the same. Various issues relating to Indian Pharma exports including domestic and international barriers / constraints were discussed. 

Looking at the complexity of issues, need for convergence among policies and Programme of different departments was felt. Since the scientific breakthroughs in chemistry, biology, microbiology, physics and biotechnology impact development of this sector directly or indirectly, it was considered important to have a platform where all these developments are shared between academia, industry and scientific community for the larger benefit of the society. A sector like Pharma which is deeply rooted in science and is truly global in nature, a "Think Tank" consisting of senior pharma professionals, CEOs, Government officials, scientists, researchers and pharmacists can provide an ideal forum to identify bottle necks and resolve various issues for overcoming challenges and promoting hassle free exports. Indian medicines have served the humanity across all continents of the world and their contribution in fighting HIV and various other diseases in various developing countries has been particularly notable. By putting its act together, the Indian Pharma sector can help the global community in its fight against various life threatening diseases. Minister directed senior officials to speed up the work on various proposals and realize full potential of the sector and assured them of government’s help in every possible manner in resolving various issues faced by the industry. 


Telecom Service Providers Told to Improve Quality of Service 

Department OF Telecom has told telecom service providers to improve quality of service and for this purpose focus should be on improving capital expenditure and optimize resource utilization. At a meeting held under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Telecom with CEOs of Telecom Service Providers various issues related to call drops were discussed. 

A presentation was made by the industry claiming to have made investment of Rs.1,34,000crores out of which Rs.24,000 crores was for capital equipment with a CAPEX to revenue ratio of 73% against global coverage of 12-18%. DoT mentioned that Rs.1,10,000crores was towards the spectrum acquired through auction and can’t be counted towards investment for reinforcement of infrastructure by way of installing towers and base stations. If this expenditure on spectrum is taken out, it is only about 13%. It was stressed that the operators need to augment the infrastructure by way of additional towers and base stations in order to address the issue of call drops and Quality of Service 

The operators also pointed out that there is a technological shift in the usage spectrum whereby now more data is being used as compared to the voice and there is a shift from 2G to 3G/LTE services. They also mentioned that call drop is a worldwide phenomenon whenever such transformation takes place. It was mentioned by DoT that when such transformation is taking place, it is expected that the telecom companies should take necessary steps in advance to meet the challenge. They must optimally allocate the resources for various services in all the frequency bands i.e. 800 MHz/900 MHz/1800 MHz/2100 MHz/2300 MHz so that customers do not suffer. Thus, the contention of change in traffic pattern and technology migration as a major reason for call drops is not tenable. 

During their presentation, service providers requested to declare the telecom services and the infrastructure as essential services expedite spectrum harmonization, adopt uniform rules for towers and Row across the country, permit installation of sites on government land/ building and cantonment areas apart from additional spectrum being made available for mobile services. It was informed that operators are already aware of the fact that Hon’ble Minister has addressed Chief Ministers and Minister of Urban development to allow installation of towers on Government lands and buildings. Subsequently, consequent to the meeting of Secretary(T) with Secretary, Urban Development, it has been decided in principle to allow installation of mobile towers in government building subject to technical feasibility and the operators should provide in-building solution for better coverage. Some State Governments have already finalised policy for towers in their State. The projected acute shortage of towers due to non-cooperation of State Government and local bodies can’t be accepted as a reason for the call drops in last 4-6 months as this problem has assumed severe proportion during this period. There is an immediate requirement of rigorous optimization exercise to be taken up by all service providers. The operators assured that they will take necessary action for optimization of network and will do it on regular basis which will improve the performance of worst affected cells to some extent even without addition of new equipment 

With regard to the request for harmonization of frequencies with Defence, it was assured that Wireless Adviser is already in discussions with the operators on this issue and substantial progress has been achieved in this direction. Close cooperation of Telecom Service Providers is also required in this exercise. It was pointed out that one operator has indicated during such exercise that they will take approximately six month time for harmonization of frequencies with Defence which is likely to be conducted during the five-phase operations. This kind of time frame is unacceptable and it is necessary to expedite the process by one and all. With reference to change of frequencies consequent to expiry of licences in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkota, it was pointed out that operators were aware of the frequency spots which were being allotted to them and they should have taken all necessary steps to replace repeaters/base stations, etc. wherever required. The operators were also advised that they may carry out this exercise in advance for various other circles where licensees are going to expire later this year. 

After detailed deliberations on the subject, Secretary, Telecom emphasized that Government is already extending all possible support on the issue of dispelling of unfounded fears from EMF radiation and other issues raised by TSPs. He further asked the TSPs to take various actions on priority basis for improving QoS which inter-alia includes deployment of additional sites to ensure optimum coverage, use of geo-spatial tool for micro-analyzing time-spatial performance, real time network optimization and load balancing, deployment of separate Network quality enhancement team, installation of low power small cells to address coverage holes, use of in-building solutions for indoor coverage apart from commensurate investment in Network up-gradation for ensuring QoS etc.


Remarkable Progress in Talks with Nepal for the Construction of Sapt Kosi High Dam 

All the Flood Relief Proposals of Bihar Government Approved- Uma Bharti 

Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Sushri Uma Bharti has said that Government of India has held fruitfull talks with government of Nepal to find ways of reducing the severity of flood in the State to a major extent. Accordingly, there has been remarkable progress in the construction of SaptKosi high dam.She said,I am sure that once the construction is over, Bihar will get a reprieve from drought as well as the flurry of floods in future.

Talking tomedia persons here in New Delhi the Minister said that still in some areas flood relief majors are urgently needed for the protection from flood. For this all the proposals sent by Bihar Government under which nearly 7 Lakh hectare area will be given protection benefiting nearly 132 Lakh population of the State have been approved.

She said taking notice of the religious sentiments of the people of Bihar and their sentiments attached with river Ganga necessary measures have already been initiated for the revival of the river.

 The Minister said keeping in view the plight of population in the State for the forced  consumptions of  arsenic contaminated water, the Central Ground Water Board has constructed 28 deep bore wells in Biharto provide arsenic free water and have handed over them to the State health engineering department. This steps has received overwhelming accolade and support from the people there as there are now saved from the hazardous effects of arsenic 

Sushri Uma Bharti further said her Ministry accords highest priority to the interest of Bihar Government and settles differences emerging during the inter-State meetings. Efforts are on for the supply of pure drinking water to Bihar State from the Rihand dam. Also steps are on for the timely construction of upper Mahananda projects. These are all inter-States projects and mutual consent is a must for their completion. This will also help the State to a great extent. The Minister further said that for the all-round development of the State, our national Water Development Authority is working steadfastly and a major scheme for Kosi-Mechi and Burhee-Gandak Ganga link project has been chalked out for the implementation.These projects will benefit farmers of Bihar residing in nearly 3.30 Lakh square hectare area. Project on Burhee-Gandak will reduce 492 cusec flood.

Status of irrigation projects in Bihar

At present there are two ongoing Major/Medium Irrigation Projects under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) in the State of Bihar.

Punpun Barrage project

The project is situated in Aurangabad district of Bihar which envisages construction of Head Works and Canal System to cover CCA of 13680 ha.  During 2014-15, proposal for release of Central grant of Rs.9 crore was received and approved by the Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.  Part release of Rs.2.7630 crore has been made during the current financial year. 

Total release till date is Rs.43.8840 crore.

Durgawati Reservoir Project

The Durgawati Reservoir Project is spread in Kaimur and Rohtas districts of Bihar.  This project covers 9190 ha of drought prone area and 23277 ha of non-drought prone area.

During 2014-15, proposal for release of Central grant of Rs.38.75 has been received and approved by the Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.  Part release of Rs.7.59825 crore has been made during the current financial year 2015-16.    Total release till date is Rs.65.09 crore.

Minor Irrigation Project under AIBP

A total no of 221 MI schemes with an estimated cost of Rs.340.6732 has been included for funding under AIBP.  During 2014-15, an amount of Rs.70.8642 crore has been released towards 129 ongoing MI scheme.  The total grant amounting to Rs.195.2168 crore has been released for these MI schemes till date.

Status of Repair, Renovation and Restoration ( RRR )scheme

Government of Bihar have submitted proposal for 39 water bodies in 2012.  CWC Patna requested Government of Bihar to modify the proposal as per the scheme approved by the Government in September 2013.  State Government had submitted the proposal in December 2014 in respect of 35 water bodies costing Rs.76.0315 crore to CWC Patna which are being scrutinised.

Command Area Development and Water Management programme

The main objective of the programme is to enhance utilisation of irrigation potential created and improve agricultural productivity and production on a sustainable basis through integrated and coordinated approach involving multi-disciplinary team.  Under the programme, financial assistance is provided by the Central Government to the state government in the form of grant.

The central assistance released to the State of Bihar during 2014-15 was Rs.38.81527 crore.

Flood Management Programme

Under this Programme, the total amount of release to Chandan Flood Management Scheme was Rs.24.92 crore during 2014-15.

Total fund released during 12th Plan Period under FMP to State of Bihar is Rs.167.96 crore.

Namami Gange

14 projects are sanctioned in Bihar under National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) for an estimated project cost of Rs.2155.63 Crore which includes 13 projects on Sewerage Network and Treatment Plants with a sanctioned cost of Rs.1912.36 crore in Buxar, Begusarai, Munger, Hajipur and Patna.  1 project on River Front Development at Patna with a sanctioned cost of Rs.243.27 crore which will include development of 20 ghats and 6.6 km of promenade along River Ganga is under construction.  Till end of June 2015, Rs.180 crore appx has been released for implementation of these projects.

Another 26 projects on Interception and Diversion and STP with tentative cost of Rs.1968 crore and 4 River Front Development projects with tentative estimated project cost of Rs.200 crore under various stages of DPR preparation.  With these projects all the towns of Bihar will be covered for pollution abatement along River Ganga.


Inter Basin Water Transfer (IBWT) links of following 5 links are concerned with State of Bihar:-

a)      Manas-Sankosh-Tista-Ganga link
b)      Kosi-Mechi link
c)      Kosi-Ghaghara link
d)     Chunar-Sone Barrage link
e)      Sone Dam-Southern Tributaries of Ganga link

Pre-feasibility report of all above five links have been completed.  Preparation of Feasibility report is in progress.

Nine intra-state link proposals were received from Bihar and pre-feasibility report of six links have already been completed and communicated to Government of Bihar.  NWDA completed DPR of two Intra-State link of Burhi Gandak-Noon-Baya-Ganga and Kosi-Mechi link and submitted to Bihar.

Strengthening of Joint Project Office with Nepal for Sapt-Koshi High Dam.


21.13% growth in passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-July, 2015 21.13% growth in passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-July, 2015 Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 8:18 PM Rating: 5

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