Adani Leads $2.1 Billion Project for Mumbai Airport - Business Guardian
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Infrastructure Development

Adani Leads $2.1 Billion Project for Mumbai Airport

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That will ramp up to 90 million by 2032 if there’s enough demand, according to Arun Bansal, the chief executive officer of Adani Airport.

About 22 miles southeast of Mumbai’s badly congested airport that opened 82 years back, workers in hard hats are high up on scaffolds building an alternative. Others are flattening a nearby hill to finish the first of two runways so that India’s financial capital can finally have a second airport.

In many ways, the Adani Group-helmed $2.1 billion project in the satellite city of Navi Mumbai is a microcosm of the massive infrastructure overhaul underway in India as its Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to outrun China.

For Gautam Adani, it’s a test of whether he can put India on the global aviation map. The airport, with a lotus shaped design mimicking India’s national flower as well as the election symbol for Modi’s party, should start operations in March next year with capacity for 20 million passengers a year. That will ramp up to 90 million by 2032 if there’s enough demand, according to Arun Bansal, the chief executive officer of Adani Airport Holdings Ltd., India’s largest private sector airport operator that also runs the existing Mumbai airport.

Navi Mumbai airport will be a “perfect” candidate to become an international transit hub on par with some of the world’s busiest aerodromes like Dubai, London, Frankfurt and Singapore, Bansal said in an interview. “Geographically, India is in a very advantageous situation,” he said. “There’s hardly any country where you can’t fly within 12 hours.”

A wave of plane deals and airport buildouts can aid that ambition. Air India Ltd., IndiGo and upstart Akasa have ordered more than 1,100 aircraft, combined. The world’s most-populous nation is also plowing $12 billion into building more than 72 new airports by 2025. Navi Mumbai airport is one of two landmark infrastructure projects in the city that will test the mettle of Adani, the mining-to-media conglomerate that survived a withering short-seller attack last year.

The other is the redevelopment of the Dharavi slum in the heart of Mumbai, which served as a backdrop for acclaimed movie, Slumdog Millionaire. It’s one of the world’s largest and densest slum clusters where families of six often live in 100-square tenements and 80 may share a toilet. Global Logistics Projects like these are crucial to Modi’s vision of India becoming a developed nation by 2047.

But it’s not going to be easy. Similar to how Adani is trying to get a larger slice of the global logistics market— the group started a first-of-its-kind transhipment port in October at India’s southernmost tip to beckon world’s biggest container ships — Navi Mumbai airport is attempting a redux of that in air passenger traffic.

However, it’s up against stiff competition from the likes of Singapore’s Changi Airport or London’s Heathrow, which ferried almost 59 million and 79 million passengers last year respectively. What’s more, London has six major airports, while New York City has three, signalling how far Mumbai has to go to catch up.

The new facility will also need to have ample flights slotted in and ensure people and checked-in bags move fast enough in case of short layovers, according to Mabel Kwan, managing director at Alton Aviation Consultancy. There have to be on-ground amenities for fliers with longer layovers, too. Emirates, Qatar Airways QCSC and Singapore Airlines Ltd., which all have strong presence in India, will likely request slots at Navi Mumbai airport, she said.

Adani Airport is in discussions with the “majority” of international airlines on how to expedite passenger flow, Bansal said, adding he expects 30% of the facility’s traffic to come from international flights and 70% from domestic. He didn’t specify if any airlines have committed to flying from the new facility.

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Economic

Gujarat and Karnataka lead clean energy transition: IEEFA Report

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The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and Ember’s report, “Indian States’ Electricity Transition” (SET), underscores Karnataka and Gujarat’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. The report emphasizes that these states have demonstrated robust performance in various aspects, successfully integrating renewable energy sources into their power sectors and making significant progress in decarbonization efforts.

The report evaluates the clean electricity transition preparedness at the subnational level. In 2024, the report adds five more states, totaling 21 states and representing about 95% of India’s annual power demand in the past seven financial years (FY) 2018 to 2024 (up to November). This year, the assessment parameters have been updated to better align with states’ electricity transition progress, incorporating stakeholder feedback and data availability. According to the re – port, progress in states like Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh needs to improve, similar to last year’s findings. While these states are in the early stages of their transition, they now need to focus on increasing renewable energy deployment, enhancing short term market participation and strengthening their distribution companies.

The report was released when temperatures in India started to soar, leading to the Ministry of Power preparing for a projected peak power demand of 260 gigawatts. Harsh summers also offer the chance to utilise more clean energy like solar power. Although, this requires the preparedness of states to transition to clean sources of electricity. “Cyclical weather conditions coupled with faster economic activity is pushing India’s peak electricity demand higher every year.

While the central government is taking steps to integrate more renewable energy into the grid, states, too, need to be prepared to do so. Gauging subnational progress now requires constant monitoring of several parameters at the state level. A purely national overview can often overshadow subtle intricacies at the state level, which may stymie the country’s electricity transition,” said the report’s contributing author, Vibhuti Garg, Director – South Asia, IEEFA.

The report finds that while the national-level progress towards the electricity transition is progressing well, it is far more uneven at the state level. “Some states have developed progressive steps, such as boosting decentralised renewable energy deployment, promoting solar pumps for agricultural needs, and enhancing storage solutions to ensure more renewable energy in their electricity systems. But, the transition to clean electricity is still in its infancy in many states.

These states should look to accelerate the efforts to access the benefits of a transition to clean electricity and to ensure that they are not left too far behind the better performing states,” said the report’s contributing author, Aditya Lolla, Asia Programme Director, Ember. One of the major findings from the report was that several states are exhibiting preparedness to embrace electricity transition.

They perform well in the Readiness and Performance of the Power Ecosystem and Market Enablers dimensions but need to improve in the Decarbonisation dimension. “Delhi’s power system is well-prepared for decarbonisation, while Odisha has robust market enablers to support decarbonisation in the power sector.

However, their actual decarbonisation progress so far does not match their strengths in these aspects, highlighting the importance of performing well in both dimensions to effectively achieve decarbonisation goals,” said co-author Neshwin Rodrigues, Electricity Policy Analyst, Ember.

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Infrastructure Development

Modi 3.0 Unveils Ambitious Railway Investment Plan of Rs 10-12 Lakh Crore

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The plan introduces a revamped ticket refund scheme ensuring refunds within 24 hours, streamlining the process and improving customer satisfaction.

In a significant move aimed at enhancing passenger convenience and modernizing the Indian Railways, officials have unveiled a comprehensive 100- day plan following the 2024 elections. This ambitious plan encompasses a range of passenger-friendly measures and infrastructural developments. One of the key highlights of the plan is the introduction of a revamped ticket refund scheme, which guarantees refunds within 24 hours, replacing the existing process that could take up to one week.

This initiative aims to streamline the refund process and enhance customer satisfaction. Additionally, Indian Railways is set to launch a comprehensive ‘super App’, consolidating various railway-related services into a single platform. From booking and cancelling tickets to live tracking of trains and ordering food onboard, the super App is poised to revolutionize the passenger experience. Moreover, the government has announced the implementation of the “PM Rail Yatri Bima Yojana,” an insurance scheme designed to provide coverage to all rail passengers, ensuring their safety and well-being during their journey.

In line with efforts to modernize the railway infrastructure, an investment ranging from Rs 10 to 12 lakh crore over the next five years has been earmarked. This substantial investment aims to transform Indian Railways into a modern, world-class transportation system equipped with stateof-the-art facilities. The introduction of Vande Bharat trains across India marks another significant development, with plans to categorize them into three types based on route lengths: Vande metro, Vande chair car, and Vande Sleeper, catering to different travel distances. Furthermore, the government envisions the creation of three economic corridors spanning over 40,000 kilometers, with an investment exceeding Rs 10 lakh crore.

These corridors are expected to boost economic growth and connectivity across the country. In a bid to enhance passenger experience, over 1,300 railway stations are slated for modernization through private participation, offering world-class amenities such as shopping malls and airport-like waiting lounges. Expanding metro networks in urban cities and introducing more high-frequency trains, like the partially launched RAPID rail between Delhi and Meerut, are also part of the ambitious plan. The propose

st the formation of the new government. These initiatives underscore the government’s commitment to revolutionizing India’s railway sector and fostering economic growth and connectivity nationwide. This initiative represents a significant stride towards enhancing passenger convenience and aligning railway services with modern expectations.

By slashing the refund processing time from up to one week to a mere 24 hours, the plan demonstrates a commitment to efficiency and customer-centricity. Streamlining the refund process not only reduces inconvenience for travellers but also fosters trust and confidence in the railway system. With such proactive measures, the Indian Railways is poised to redefine standards of service excellence, setting a precedent for other sectors to emulate in the journey towards progress and innovation.

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Infrastructure Development

UP Govt likely to lay foundation stone of film city project after LS polls

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As per the real estate consultancy firm CBRE, the development of the first phase of International Film City in Noida is expected to generate direct and indirect employment for 10,000 people.

The foundation stone for Uttar Pradesh’s government ambitious International Film City project is likely to be laid soon after the Lok Sabha elections, according to sources. According to sources, the foundation stone of the project will probably be laid by late June 2024 after the general elections. The nationwide Lok Sabha elections are set to begin on 19 April and will continue till 1 June. The results of the election will be announced on 4 June, 2024. In a Cabinet meeting held last month in March, the UP government gave approval for the film city project.

Later that month, the government also issued the award letter for the concessionaire of the project. Baywatch Projects LLP, helmed by Bollywood filmmaker Boney Kapoor, heads a consortium with Noida’s Bhutani Infra to develop the Film City project near Noida International Airport along the Yamuna Expressway. The first phase of the project will be built on 230 acres of land. “The foundation stone of the project was to be laid by UP CM Yogi Adityanath in March 2024 before the model code of conduct, but it could not happen. So the state government is now likely to lay the foundation stone for the project in June 2024, soon after the Lok Sabha elections. Officials of the state government in Lucknow as well as of YEIDA (Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority) have also been asked to start preparations in this connection,” sources told the media.

He said that the work on the ground is likely to start soon after the foundation stone laying. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s ambitious International Film City will be developed in Sector 21 along the Yamuna Expressway near Noida International Airport. Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) is helming the project and it has also allotted land to the consortium in sector 21 where construction work will be started.

USE OF SOLAR ENERGY

Sources also the use of solar energy is being considered for electricity. According to the master plan of the film city, all the studios in the film city will run on solar systems that will be installed on the rooftops of studios, sources said. They said that in a recent presentation, the company also informed officials that the International Film City will be developed by dividing it into seven zones in Sector-21 near Noida Airport and it is also likely to have a signature tower in the film city.

The financial bids for the film city project were opened on January 30, 2024 at the YEIDA office where Boney Kapoor’s Bayview Projects LLP in association with Bhutani Infra had emerged as the highest bidder for the project. Out of 230 acres of land, 155 acres will be dedicated for industrial use and the remaining 75 acres for commercial use.

The industrial aspect of the project will comprise the development of film studios, a film institute, post-production facilities, and other film related developments, while the commercial part will include activities such as hospitality projects and amusement parks, among others.

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Healthcare

India’s Healthcare Sector Shines on World Health Day with 12.59% Growth in 2024-2025

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The theme for World Health Day 2024 is ‘My health, my right.’ According to the World Health Organisation, this theme aims to promote the right of everyone, everywhere to have access to health services, education and information.

India’s healthcare realm is experiencing a profound shift, propelled by substantial investments in infrastructure development. The Union Health Ministry’s allocation of Rs 90,658.63 crore in the interim budget for 2024–2025 marks a notable 12.59 per cent increase, emphasizing the government’s prioritization of healthcare expenditure. As the globe observes World Health Day, India commemorates significant milestones in its healthcare sector, with a strategic focus on infrastructure enhancement, equitable access to quality care, and the implementation of transformative initiatives.

Since 2016, the Indian healthcare industry has been on a soaring trajectory, boasting a remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 22 per cent. The hospital market in India, valued at USD 98.98 billion in 2023, is poised to sustain its upward momentum, with projections foreseeing a CAGR of 8.0 percent from 2024 to 2032. By 2032, the market is anticipated to reach a staggering value of USD 193.59 billion. Beyond the burgeoning hospital market, various segments within the Indian healthcare industry are experiencing rapid expansion.

The telemedicine market, for instance, is anticipated to soar to USD 5.4 billion by 2025, exhibiting an impressive CAGR of 31 percent. Similarly, the adoption of AI applications in healthcare is projected to surge at an annual rate of 45 percent by 2024, indicating a notable shift towards technology-driven healthcare solutions. Furthermore, the health-tech sector is primed for substantial growth, with hiring anticipated to escalate by 15- 20 percent in 2024. With pioneering investments and visionary policies, India is reaffirming its commitment to ensuring health and wellness for all its citizens.

On February 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated five new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) facilities across the nation, including Rajkot (Gujarat), Bathinda (Punjab), Raebareli (Uttar Pradesh), Kalyani (West Bengal), and Mangalagiri (Andhra Pradesh). Additionally, he unveiled a total of 202 healthcare infrastructure projects worth over Rs 11,700 crores across 23 states and union territories, encompassing medical colleges, specialty units, and research facilities.

Transforming healthcare accessibility, PM Modi’s flagship scheme, Ayushman Bharat, stands as a testament to India’s commitment to providing accessible and affordable healthcare to all citizens. Launched in 2018, Ayushman Bharat comprises four pillars aimed at revolutionizing the healthcare landscape. PM-JAY, the world’s largest government-funded health insurance plan, extends coverage to nearly 55 crore individuals from vulnerable families, offering an assured health cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year.

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Business

APSEZ handled 420 MMT cargo globally, domestic ports +408 MMT in FY24

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Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), has handled 420 MMT cargo in FY24 — an increase of 24 per cent yoy – and this includes international ports, with domestic ports contributing over 408 MMT cargo. The company has also handled its highest ever monthly cargo volumes (including international ports) of over 38 MMT in March 2024. Ten of its ports and terminals handled record cargo volumes — Mundra 180 MMT, Tuna 10 MMT, Hazira 26 MMT, Mormugao 5 MMT, Karaikal 12 MMT, Ennore 13 MMT, Kattupalli 12 MMT, Krishnapatnam 59 MMT, Gangavaram 37 MMT and Dhamra 43 MMT.

During FY24, more than one-fourth of all India cargo volumes was routed through APSEZ ports, a mark of its active role in driving India’s growth trajectory. It also shows that India’s largest port operator comfortably surpassed its cargo volume guidance of 370 MMT – 390 MMT provided at the start of the financial year. According to Karan Adani, Managing Director, APSEZ, while it took 14 years for the company to achieve the first 100 MMT of annual cargo throughput, the second and third 100 MMT throughputs were achieved in 5 years and 3 years and the latest 100 MMT mark has been achieved in less than two years.

“This is a testament to our ongoing commitment and efforts towards enhancing operational efficiencies,” said Adani. A key approach was partnerships with customers which has ensured long-term associations with key stakeholders. Supported by investment in world-class infrastructure that has delivered a high level of operating efficiency and a business model focused on providing an end-to-end solution through last mile connectivity, APSEZ has managed to successfully win customers and improve its market share.

These were achieved despite multiple challenges, such as the global trade disruptions caused by the Red Sea crisis, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and issues at the Panama Canal, and disruption of operations due to cyclone biparjoy and cyclone michaung. This year saw APSEZ achieving various new operational milestones. Its flagship port Mundra became the first in India to handle 16 MMT cargo in a single month (October 2023). Its container terminal CT-3 achieved a milestone of becoming the first in India to handle 3 million TEUs during the year and around 3 lakh TEUs in a single month (November 2023).

It berthed the largest-ever vessel at any Indian port (around 399 m-long and 54 m-wide) and handled the highest number of TEUs (16,569) on a single ship, MV MSC Livorno, surpassing the national best of 16,400 TEUs. It handled over 4,300 vessels, crossing its previous record of 3,938 vessels. In the container segment, the ports at Mundra, Hazira, Kattupalli and Ennore handled record volumes. Around 44 per cent of the containerized seaborne cargo in India moves through APSEZ ports.

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Infrastructure Development

Mumbai’s Bandra-Worli sea link toll rates to increase by 18% from April 1

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Vehicle owners, travelling on Mumbai’s iconic Rajiv Gandhi Bandra Worli Sea Link will have to shell out more money from 1 April.

Officials from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation announced that toll charges on Mumbai’s iconic Rajiv Gandhi Bandra Worli Sea Link will increase by approximately 18% starting April 1. According to an MSRDC spokesperson, the new toll rates for one-way journeys will be Rs 100 for cars and jeeps, Rs 160 for minibuses, tempos, and similar vehicles, and Rs 210 for two-axle trucks. Presently, motorists pay Rs 85 for cars and jeeps, Rs 130 for minibuses, tempos, and light commercial vehicles, and Rs 175 for two-axle trucks and buses.

These rates have been in effect since April 1, 2021. The new toll rates on the sea link, which opened for traffic in 2009, will be applicable between April 1, 2024, and March 31, 2027, he said. Every day, scores of motorists use the sea link, connecting Worli in the Island City and Bandra in the Western suburbs of Mumbai for south and north-bound travel, avoiding traffic snarls in Mahim, Dadar, Prabhadevi and Worli areas. As per the MSRDC official, motorists will get a rebate of 10 per cent and 20 per cent on the purchase of booklets containing 50 and 100 toll coupons in advance, respectively. The rates of return journey pass and daily pass, valid till midnight, for frequent travelers shall be 1.5 times and 2.5 times their respective one-way toll charges, the spokesperson said, adding the cost of monthly passes will be 50 times their respective one-way travel rates.

The authorities have planned to connect the sea link with the under-construction Marine Drive-Worli coastal road at the Southern end and the Bandra-Versova coastal road at the Northern end. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde recently inaugurated the first phase of the coastal road project a 10.5-km stretch between Worli and Marine Drive in south Mumbai. This part is currently toll-free. Once connected with the coastal roads at both ends of the sea link, the traffic on the coastal road is expected to increase.

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