Thursday, December 31, 2009

DVC in Distress

The Growth Programme

1. Capacity Addition:

Following the Ministry of Power,Govt of India VISION of ‘POWER FOR ALL BY 2012, DVC has been entrusted with massive capacity addition programme of 6250 MW in the XIth five year plan which includes 2500 MW to be supplied  for Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in 2010. This apart, existing vintage units of DVC completing their design life required bringing in new units to survive in the regulatory environment and to cater to the exponential demand rising in the Damodar Valley serving the most remote and needy districts in Jharkhand and West Bengal. In this course, the DVC has started construction of three Mega Greenfield Projects (3200 MW) at (i) Andal (1000 MW),West Bengal (ii)Raghunathpur (1200 MW),West Bengal and (iii) Koderma (1000 MW), Jharkhand. Besides, three extension Projects (2000 MW) at (i) Mejia(1000 MW),West Bengal, (ii) Chandrapura (500 MW), Jharkhand and (iii) Bokaro (500 MW), Jharkhand are also being constructed. 1550 MW capacity is also being added by DVC through JV route of which 1050 MW is under construction in Maithon, Jharkhand with Tata Power Ltd and 500 MW is under consideration in Bokaro, Jharkhand. Matching Transmission System Construction in parity with this has also been taken up for evacuation of power. The projects are in full swing of construction to meet the most tight commissioning schedule.

2. Investment & Financing :

Such a massive capacity addition programme involves investment of around Rs 30000 Crs which is being financed partially through  internal accruals of DVC and mostly by borrowings. The borrowings of more than 18000 Crs as required have mostly been arranged through PFC,REC and Banks. Participating Member Govts (Central Govt, West Bengal Govt, earlier Bihar and now Jharkhand Govt) of DVC have stopped paying capital contribution to DVC since the year 1968-69. Even after that DVC has added capacity through the decades with internal accruals arising out of profit and market borrowings and has grown to the extent of around 3000 MW  Power Generating Utility. DVC has over the years become a robust self financing Organisation with expert professional skill, growing without any budgetary support unlike other PSUs and has got a net worth of Rs 16806 Crs.DVC has now taken off for augmenting its generating capacity from 2500 MW to 10000 MW with commensurate power evacuation system based on it’s strength of internal accruals and lenders confidence.

3. Execution:

DVC employees irrespective of officers and staff , with limited human resource took up the challenge to achieve this feat within a tight  schedule. EPC contracts for different packages had to be awarded in very short period to maintain the schedule. This was possible due to tireless work by all the honest and dedicated DVC employees. While awarding contracts, recommendation of consultants and NIT were strictly adhered & EPC contracts have been awarded in most transparent manner. In all cases, the contracts have been awarded as per the final decisions taken by DVC Board where observer from Central Govt and Independent observers from organizations like NTPC/CEA were also present. BHEL is executing projects at Mejia, Andal, Koderma and Bokaro while RIL is executing at Raghunathpur.

4. Management:

DVC is managed by a Board called ‘Corporation’ comprising a Chairman appointed by the Central Govt, a member from Govt of West Bengal (usually, Energy Secretary), and a member from Govt of Jharkhand (usually, Energy Secretary). Invitee observer members are also present in the Board from NTPC, CEA and ministry of Power, Govt of India. The post of Chairman, DVC remained vacant since 1st Dec,2008 after superannuation of the earlier Chairman on 30th Nov,2008. It goes without saying that at such a crucial juncture, DVC required continued and regular management team so that these fast track  projects are not delayed. However the same did not happen. There was no full time  Chairman. Sri Subrata Biswas, Secretary (The CEO), DVC looked after the projects besides day to day administration and Finance. It was after long 10 months painful waiting that DVC got a full time regular Chairman when Sri Subrata Biswas IAS, B.Tech (IIT, Kharagpur), MBA (IIM,Kolkata) was appointed on 14th Oct,2009 after obtaining approval of the concerned authorities. Consent of Owner Govt i.e. Govt of West Bengal and Govt of Jharkhand was also obtained priorhand. Sri Biswas was already holding the charge of Secretary, DVC. However, meanwhile Sri Umesh Kumar, FCA has joined as Financial Adviser of DVC. The management team of DVC is now comprised of seasoned leaders with honest and dedicated approach  having immense power of motivation amongst its employees. But the management team is still not complete as we require a full time Secretary also at the earliest.

                                                                The Hurdles

1. Coal Shortage and related issues:

DVC has been suffering in recent times due to shortage of coal  which is the crisis of other utilities also. Moreover, DVC regularly suffers with a problem of coal theft from the train rakes reaching DVC projects. DVC management  having full cooperation from the employees deals the issue strongly with active support of Indian Railways as RPF has now been arranged by the Rail Authorities. DVC is also importing coal to combat the coal crisis. Coal India is trying their best to supply coal for our power houses. However, now we require adequate coal to run the units in full load.

2. Vilification Exercise:

It has been observed for quite some time that various vilification exercises are being carried out against Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) as well as its executives and management with ulterior motive of destabilising DVC by tarnishing it’s image. These concocted vilifications are not only creating constraints against ongoing construction work of DVC but also affecting employee morale. The  Govt, and the public at large are being misled through incomplete information. Some vested interest group does not want that DVC shall grow and contribute immensely to the economic growth of the eastern India and they are vilifying this organization and its employees who are trying their heart and soul and working day and night to complete the mission taken by DVC for augmenting its generating capacity from 2500 MW to 10000 MW. Their sole objective is to destabilise and destroy DVC as well as to retard the growth of eastern India. They also aim at diverting financial institutions from investing in DVC by tarnishing its image. They are attempting dislocation of DVC by making it weak  so that they can break DVC in parts. DVC’s growth must be  at clash with their interest. Such dark faces need to be identified through proper enquiry.  

3. The impending sufferings

Such effort to destabilise DVC through vilification may cause sufferings for 11000 employees and 14000 pensioners in this crucial phase when it has committed huge capital expenditure worth more than Rs 30000 Crs  with borrowing of more than Rs 18000 crs for the capacity addition programme.

                                                     The Voice Within

  1.   Protest & Appeal:

DVC Officers Forum joining hands with DVC Employees and their Unions alongwith DVC Pensioners Federation irrespective of caste, creed, colour carrying the voice of 11000 employees, 14000 pensioners and their families strongly condemn such vilification exercise to deprive DVC of a stable management and make it a playing ground for groups who ultimately want to break DVC in parts.

We also appeal before all the Participating Member Govts i.e. Central Govt, West Bengal Govt and  Jharkhand Govt to set up enquiry into this deliberate and motivated vilification exercise to unveil the dark faces and take appropriate actions for playing with the fate of 11000 employees, 14000 pensioners and their families involving 300000 people at large.  

We also pledge our best effort to ensure timely commissioning of the construction projects  with due support of Govts, Agencies carrying out the construction work and the Management. We also want to place that we will stall every effort to destabilize DVC  by any forces in whatsoever manner and never allow to break DVC in parts . We also appeal to the DVC Management to continue in not bowing down to any unjustified demands of any interest groups.   

2. The Road Ahead :

DVC is an unique Organisation having different  character from all other PSUs set up in India. DVC has been entrusted with discharging the State Functions also. DVC Officers Forum, DVC Employees and their Unions alongwith DVC Pensioners Federation are confident that given the due support of Govts, Agencies, Media and the public at large alongwith a regular, stable and competent management as now,this pioneer organization which brought the country’s first multipurpose River Valley Project,  running into its 63rd year of journey, will be the leading power major of India, within a few years. 

Indian Railways’ Vision 2020 & White Paper presented:unprecedented thrust on safety issues 
Year-end Review- 2009

Indian Railways’ Vision 2020 & White Paper presented unprecedented thrust on safety issues
















The year 2009 has been significant for the Railways in achieving goals and targets with regard to the following:


The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during 1st April – 30th November 2009 were Rs. 55586.69 crore compared to Rs. 51117.55 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 8.74 per cent. The total goods earnings have gone up from Rs. 34394.97 crore during 1st April – 30th November 2008 to Rs. 37337.46 crore during 1st April – 30th November 2009, an increase of 8.56 per cent. The total passenger revenue earnings during first eight months of the financial year 2009-10 were Rs. 15597.44 crore compared to Rs. 14440.92 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 8.01 per cent. Indian Railways have carried 574.38 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during April-November 2009. The freight carried shows an increase of 7.44 per cent over the same period last year. The parcel earnings from April to September 2009 has been Rs. 613.08 crore, registering a growth of 18 per cent as compared to the earnings of last year. The revenue generation through disposal of scrap from January 2009 to November 2009 was Rs. 2512 crore.


Indian Railways’ Vision 2020 document presented in the Parliament by the Railway Minister aims at massive addition to its route network, segregation of passenger and freight services into separate double-line corridors, raising the speeds of passenger trains from the current 130 kmph to 160-200 kmph on some routes, zero accidents and equipment failures. The vision 2020 also envisages the implementation of atleast four high-speed rail projects to provide bullet train services at 250-350 kmph.

A White Paper indicating the Railway’s present organizational, operational and financial status based on its performance in the last five years was also presented in the Parliament. White Paper will help understand the health of the Indian Railways better so that plans for corrective and constructive action for the future can be drawn.


Unprecedented thrust on safety related issues was given during the year, particularly to enhance Safety at Level Crossings, Interlocking and Manning, provision of Limited Height Subways, Normal Height Subways, Road Under Bridges (RUBs), Road Over Bridges (ROBs), Expenditure on Road Safety Works, Catch Sidings etc, Safety aspects of Signals and their back-up power supply, Enquiry of Fire related Accidents, Monitoring of working of Loco Pilots, etc. As on March 31, 2009, there are total 1337 ROBs/RUBs works at various stage of planning and execution. During 2009-10, 40 ROB/RUB have been completed till November 2009 under various schemes. Indian Railways maintained 34,220 level crossings out of which 17244 had gatekeepers and 16,976 crossings were unmanned. In 2008-09, about 259 unmanned level crossings were provided with gatekeepers. And during 2009-10, total 132 unmanned gates have been provided with gatekeepers till November 2009. Comprehensive Disaster Management Plan of Indian Railways has been prepared with the approval of the Board and has been sent to National Disaster Management Authority. Railways are one of the few Ministries who have prepared their Disaster Management Plan as per the provisions of Disaster Management Act, 2005. In the current calendar year 2009, during January to 14th December, 2009, 154 consequential train accidents took place as against 159 during the corresponding period of the previous year.


Progress has been made in the implementation of Western and Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) projects in the current year. Japanese ODA assistance for Western DFC project was sanctioned for the first loan of Rs. 130 crore for engagement of Engineering Services Consultancy services for phase-1 (Rewari-Vadodara section). Request for Proposal (RFP) for engaging Engineering Services Consultancy for Phase-I of Western DFC has also been issued by DFCCIL in October, 2009. For the remaining portion of Western DFC i.e. Phase-II, (Mumbai to Vadodra and Revari to Dadri) preparatory survey has been commenced by JICA consultants in November 2009. In case of Eastern Dedicated Freigh Corridor, Asian Development Bank (ADB) sanctioned a Project Preparation Grant of 1.5 million US Dollars for Khurja-Ludhiana section and ADB appointed consultants started feasibility studies in the section in July 2009 and final report is expected by February 2010. For the proposed World Bank funded Khurja-Mughalsarai section of Eastern DFC, important achievements include appointment of General Consultant for Khurja-Kanpur section by DFCCIL.


As a follow up to the announcement made by the Minister of Railways Kumari Mamata Banerjee in her Railway Budget 2009-10 speech, for the convenience of accredited media persons, the Ministry of Railways has decided to replace the existing system of Coupon Books for accredited press correspondents by more convenient Photo Identity Card based system for availing concessional train fare. Photo identification card will be issued by Railways to accredited press correspondents instead of coupons books. Accredited press correspondent will be eligible for 50 per cent concession in the basic fares all classes of Mail/Express trains & all other charges are to be collected in full; and 50 per cent in the all inclusive fares of all classes of Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan Shatabdi trains. This concession will not be admissible in Garib Rath trains. The new system of concession based on Photo Identity card and the increased concession on Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan Shatabdi trains will be effective from 15th October 2009.


The first ever ‘Yuva Trains’ which are targeted mainly for the unemployed youths of the country has been introduced between Howrah-Delhi on 30th December 2009. These ‘Yuva’ trains are being introduced to ensure that the youth of low income groups can travel at low rates between major cities. The ‘Yuva Train’ fares will be applicable to unemployed persons also between the age group of 15 to 45 years. Initially, 60 per cent of the total number of coaches will be earmarked for ‘Yuva’ category. The remaining will be earmarked for general passengers (non-Yuva). If successful, these ‘Yuva trains’ will be extended to other areas of the country. The total chargeable fare for Yuva passengers inclusive of all other charges like Reservation Fee, Superfast Train Charge and Development Charge would not exceed Rs.299/- up to a distance of 1500 kms and Rs. 399/- for distance beyond 1500 up to 2500 kms.


As announced in the Railway Budget 2009-10, the Ministry of Railways introduced ‘Only Ladies’ Matrabhumi EMU train services in Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata suburban on the pattern of Mumbai suburban as working women face considerable difficulties in traveling for work. These services will run for the convenience of women passengers during office hours.


With a view to attract high value and transit sensitive non-bulk parcel traffic, Indian Railways introduced faster parcel services/premium parcel express trains named “Tejshree Parcel Sewa” between Delhi-Howrah-Delhi, Delhi-Ahmedabad/Vapi-Howrah as a pilot project. This is envisaged as a time-tabled service from dedicated terminals with guaranteed transit time.


With a view to increase Railways market share of automobile traffic and to facilitate aggregation and distribution centres for automobile traffic, a scheme is under finalization for development of automobile hubs near rail heads through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The Railways Minister laid the foundation stone for one such auto hub at Shalimar in West Bengal in November 2009.

A policy is under finalization to facilitate rapid development of a network of freight terminals with private investment to provide efficient and cost effective logistics services to end users including door to door services. Freight terminals can be green field facilities developed by private parties on private land or brown field facilities i.e. existing private sidings/container terminals on private a land which can be permitted to be converted to private freight terminals under the provisions of the proposed policy.


With a view to encourage creation of facilities of setting up cold storage and temperature controlled perishable cargo centres through Public Private Partnership mode, a Task Force of representatives from the concerned ministries, Container corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR), Central Warehousing Corporation Ltd. (CWC) and cold chain operators, has been constituted to draw up a road map for implementation of the project and identify few locations for pilot project for development of perishable cargo centres. The Pilot Project will be implemented through PSUs engaged in logistics. Foundation stone for the first pilot project under the Kisan Vision Project has been laid by the Minister of Railways at Singur in November 2009.


Ministry of Railways has decided that 17 more railway stations may be added to the existing list of 358 Adarsh Stations. With this, the number of stations selected as ‘Adarsh Stations’ goes upto 375. Railways will develop Adarsh Stations with basic facilities such as drinking water, adequate toilets, catering services, waiting rooms and dormitories especially for lady passengers, better signage and other basic facilities are universally available. Necessary work has already been commenced at various stations.


Multi-functional Complexes are being developed at 50 railway stations of serving places of pilgrimage, industry and tourist interest in different parts of the country this year. Multi-functional Complexes in station premises to provide rail users facilities like shopping, food stalls and restaurants, book stalls, PCO/STD/ISD/Fax booths, medicine & variety stores, budget hotels, underground parking etc. Responsibility for development of these facilities will be entrusted to IRCON and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) and Zonal Railways. The foundation stone for such first ever Multi-functional complex was laid by the Minister of Railways, Kumari Mamata Banerjee, at Siliguri in October 2009.


Instruction has been issued to Zonal Railways and Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in May 2009 for improvement in quality of food in mobile catering units over Indian Railways. Janata meals priced at Rs. 10/- have been revamped on Indian Railways, to meet the catering requirement of common passengers. On an average 1.1 lakh Janata meals are sold every day on Indian Railways through refreshment rooms, food plazas and other catering stalls, etc. To meet the catering requirement of common people, Railways have plans to open Janahaar cafeteria exclusively to sell economy meals and Janta Meals at reasonable rates. Six Janahaar Cafeteria have been commissioned at Howrah, Bangalore, Secunderabad, Chennai, Lucknow and Gorakhpur railway station and five more will be set up shortly at Sealdah, Patna, Kharagpur, New Jalpaiguri and Mysore. Catering services of the similar level of Rajdhani/Shatabdi Express are being provided in newly introduced ‘Duronto’ Trains. All sleeper class passengers of Duronto Trains are also being provided meals on-board. In addition,


In order to increase efficiency and enhance safety in train operations, Electrical/Electronic Interlocking system in replacement of over-aged mechanical/multi cabin signaling system, has been provided at 339 stations during year 2009 (January to November). To improve reliability and visibility of signals, out dated filament type signals have been replaced with long life, highly durable LED signals at 853 stations. A total number of 578 stations have been provided with Data Logger for predictive maintenance and intensive supervision of Signalling system. Auto Block Signalling to increase line capacity has been provided on 209 Route kms. On Board Train Protection System (TPWS) has been commissioned on Chennai Central- Gummidipundi suburban section (50 RKMs) of Southern Railway as a pilot project. This system prevents ‘Signal Passing At Danger’ cases and enforces implementations of speed restriction. Second pilot project of Train Protection Warning System on main line (Delhi-Agra section of Northern/North Central Railway) is under way. Automatic clearance of Block Section has been provided at 448 sections through use of axle counters. This will reduce dependence on human element & enhance safety. A total A total of 439 numbers of level crossing gates have been interlocked with signals to enhance safety. Track Circuiting for enhancing safety by reducing human dependence, has been provided at 1387 locations in various station sections.


During Financial Year 2009-10, about 2500 Route km of Optic Fibre Cable OFC cable laid upto November 2009 by RailTel Corporation of Indian Limited. A total of around 37,000 Route Kms of OFC has so far been laid on Indian Railway system alongside railway track for improving communications. Works for laying 9,000 Kms of OFC further are under progress. Mobile Train Radio Communication system for communication among Train Driver, Guard, Station Master, Control Office and field maintenance staff during run of the train has been commissioned at about 700 Route Kms on Howrah –Dhanbad, Guwahati-New Bongaigaon and Mathura-Jhansi sections. Works are under progress for another 2700 Kms. Walkie-Talkie VHF communication between Guard, Driver & Stations has been provided.


The foundation stone was laid by the Minister of Railways for setting up of two factories for manufacturing electric and diesel engine components and also inaugurated the Project for Distribution of ‘Carbon Credit’ saving CFLs at Dankuni in West Bengal in December 2009. The factories will manufacture components and sub-assemblies for Electric locomotives for the Chittaranjan Production Units and the Diesel Locomotive Works. Other new production units to be set up by Indian Railways are; Rail Coach Factory at Rae Bareilly, Coach factory at Kanchrapara, Diesel Locomotive Factory at Marhowra, Electric Locomotive Factory at Madhepura and Rail Wheel Factory at Chhapra.


As announced by the Minister of Railways, Kumari Mamata Banerjee, while presenting Railway Budget 2009-10 in the Parliament, the Ministry of Railways introduced a new scheme of uniformly priced Monthly Season Tickets (MSTs) at Rs. 25/- inclusive of all surcharges which will be issued upto a distance of 100 Kilometers to persons working in unorganised sector with monthly income not exceeding Rs. 1500/-. This new scheme is called “Izzat”. These ‘Izzat’ MSTs are being issued for journeys with effect from 01.08.2009.


An Expert Committee under the chairmanship of Dr Amit Mitra, Secretary General, FICCI for developing business models and innovative funding techniques through Public Private Partnership (PPP) instruments has been constituted. The committee has held several meetings and made recommendations which are at various stages of implementation. A five member Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri Sam Pitroda, on the usage of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the Railways has been constituted,


Indian Railways added one more feather to its cap when it launched its new class of passenger carrying ‘Duronto’ trains in September 2009. So far seven ‘Duronto’ trains have already been introduced on various major sectors in the country. ‘Duronto’ is a non-stop superfast passenger carrying train in the history of the Railways and heralds a new era of rail travel in the country ensuring better speed, comfort and security for passengers Outer colour scheme design of ‘Duronto’ coaches is distinct. The fare of ‘Duronto’ trains includes the cost of meals.

In addition, 35 new passenger carrying trains were introduced, one Yuva train was introduced, 17 trains were extended and frequency of 8 trains was increased.


With a view to facilitate better availability of basic commodities like water and fodder to drought affected areas in the country, Ministry of Railways has decided as a special case to permit the transportation of drinking water and fodder by rail, free of charge, to the notified drought affected districts of twelve states at “no cost” to the affected States. These States are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. These instructions have come into force with effect from 01.12.2009 and remain valid upto 31.01.2010.


The Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the newly constructed 18 km long rail line between Anantnag and Quazigund, the last stretch of the railway line in the Kashmir Valley in October 2009. Earlier in October 2008 and February 2009, the railway lines from Anantnag to Mazhom (66 km) and Mazhom to Baramulla (35 km) were inaugurated by the Prime Minister. The entire 119 km long rail line from Baramulla to Quazigund in the valley has now become operational covering important stations like Sopore, Hamre, Pattan, Mazhom, Budgam, Srinagar, Pampore, Kakapora, Awantipura, Panjgam, Bijbiara, Anantnag and Sadura in both the directions.


Sikkim will have the first ever rail connectivity with the laying of foundation stone of the new broad gauge railway line between Sikkim’s small township of Rangpo and West Bengal’s border town of Sivok. This 52.7 km long new broad guauge Rangpo-Sivok line will be constructed at a cost of Rs. 1339.48 crore and has been declared as a ‘National Project’ for which 25 per cent of the fund would be provided by Ministry of Railways through their gross budgetary support and balance 75 per cent as an additionality by Ministry of Finance. The survey for further extension of this line from Rangpo upto Sikkim’s capital Gangtok (69 km) has also been completed recently and survey report is under examination in the Ministry of Railways.


Railways have taken several measures to strengthen security activities. An amount of approximately Rs. 344 crore has been sanctioned for implementation of Integrated Security System to strengthen surveillance mechanism at 195 sensitive stations of the country. Besides this, Rs.67 crore have already been distributed amongst the Zonal Railways for procurement of modern security gadgets. 12 Commando Companies of RPSF have been raised for special duties. The Minister has also announced raising of one ‘Mahila Commando Company’. RPF will also set up its own commando training centre at Canning in West Bengal. Thirty two RPF personnel have been awarded this year for their commendable acts. For the first time President Police Medal for gallantry has been awarded to RPF for showing exemplary bravely during terrorist attack on 26/11/2008 at CST, Mumbai.


The Indian Railways as part of its high-tech operations has introduced Mobile Bridge Inspection Units (MBIU) for inspection and maintenance of railway bridges to ensure more safety. Cranes provided in these Mobile Bridge Inspection Units have been imported from Germany. Carrier vehicles and power units for these MBIU have been provided by Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Railways. Approximate cost of each MBIU is about eight crore. Two MBIU have recently been introduced on Indian Railways, one in Northern Railway and the other in Central Railway.


The Ministry of Railways has achieved another milestone when three of its Zonal Railways bagged four of the National Energy Conservation Awards in 2009. In Railway sector, Western Railway headquartered at Mumbai (Maharashtra) bagged the first prize, North Eastern Railway headquartered at Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) got the second prize and West Central Railway headquartered at Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) received the Certificate of Merit. In Office Building sector, West Central Railway again bagged the first prize for its General Manager Office Building.


Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), a public sector undertaking of the Ministry of Railways, has launched a centralised Toll Free telephone No. 1800-111-139 for the convenience of railway users to suggest/grievances relating to catering services on Indian Railways. The facility is available 24x7 on this number and railway passengers can register their complaints/suggestions regarding food and catering services. Wherever possible, action is taken on real time basis for redressal of their grievances.

“139 – Rail Sampark”, the authorized enquiry for Indian Railway has recently introduced the facility of Railway enquiry through SMS which is a premium service. The users can obtain information regarding PNR status, fare, seat availability and arrival/departure by sending SMS in the specified syntax to 139.


As announced by the Minister of Railways, Kumari Mamata Banerjee in the Railway Budget 2009-10, the Ministry of Railways has decided to extend the facility of free Monthly Season Tickets (MSTs) in 2nd class in the trains to students attending Madrasa, High Madrasa and Senior Madrasa for commuting daily between the stations serving their place of residence and Madrasa. It has also decided that 60 per cent concession in the fares of Metro Rail Kolkata will be granted to both boy and girl students studying in schools/Madrasas/recognized vocational institutions upto classes academically equivalent to class XII. In addition, the Ministry of Railways has decided that amateur artists (theatrical, concert, musical, dancing and magician troups & students-artists of the National School of Drama, New Delhi when traveling alone or in group) who are presently eligible for 50 per cent concession in First Class and 75 per cent concession in Second and Sleeper Classes basic Mail/Express fares will now also be entitled to 50 per cent concession in AC Chair Car, AC 3-tier and AC 2-tier classes in Mail/Express trains and 50 per cent concession will also be granted in the all inclusive fares of Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan Shatabdi trains in AC Chair, AC 3-tier and AC 2-tier classes. It has also decided to enhance the concession for Police Personnel of 60 years and above who have received President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service from 30 per cent to 50 percent for men and 60 per cent for women in the basic fares of Mail/Express trains of all classes and in the all-inclusive fares of Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Jan Shatabdi trains.


E- Procurement System (EPS) is aimed at attaining total transparency in public procurement system of Indian Railways. The E-Procurement Application for Indian Railways ( has been successfully rolled out by CRIS for 13 Zonal Railways/Production Units. Till now Railways have uploaded over 44192 e-tenders and about 39485 e-tenders have been opened as on December 14, 2009.


Through indigenous efforts, the Horse Power of EMD diesel locos has been increased from 4000 to 4500 which will permit them to haul heavier loads at higher speeds. It is planned to further upgrade the EMD locos to 5000+ Horse Power. Manufacture of latest technology EMD locomotives has been stepped up to 150 locos in 2009-10. Trials have also been completed and one power car of DMU has been converted to run on dual fuel mode using CNG and further proliferation is in progress. Design for Toilet facilities in DMUs has been finalized by the RDSO. ICF will turn out all the DEMU rakes during the current year with toilets. Railways has placed orders for procurement of bio-diesel. Successful laboratory tests have been carried out by using 10% blend of bio-diesel on Trains. Introduction of these alternative fuels are environment –friendly and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Bullet proof cabs have been provided for the first time on diesel locomotives working in Lumding – Badarpur section to thwart the threat to running staff in sensitive areas.


To promote the export of Diesel Locomotives and securing a niche in the International market, a most modern, new type 3000 HP, Cape Gauge diesel locomotive manufactured by Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), Varanasi, a production unit of Indian Railways, has been dispatched to Mozambique. This is the first ever 3000 HP locomotive built in DLW for cape gauge.


The Ministry of Railways took several steps to revamp Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs). It has been decided to hold the examination for a particular post on the same date simultaneously by all RRBs It has now been decided that the exam of all RRBs throughout the country. The question paper of RRB exam will be printed in addition to Hindi, Urdu and English, in local languages listed in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution of India, falling within the jurisdiction of that RRB. For this purpose first official language(s) of the State(s) in which all the divisions/Units of that RRB are located, is taken as the local language(s). It has also been decided to waive the examination fees for women, minorities and economically backward sections of society, having annual family income of less than Rs. 50,000/-. Special recruitment drives and special promotion drives were carried out for wiping out backlog vacancies of SCs and STs.


Ministry of Railways has decided to open Medical and Nursing Colleges on Railway land with existing Railway Hospital under PPP which will have seats for wards of railway employees. To start with, five places have been identified i.e. Kanchrapara, Kharagpur, Kolkata, Chennai & Guwahati. This will also help to meet shortage of Doctors & Nurses. To augment the medical services, introduction of Senior Residency and DNB programmes (Post Graduate Teaching) have been introduced in Railway hospitals. For procuring quality drug for our railway beneficiaries a new “Drug Procurement Policy” have been introduced. Tele medicine has been started in 18 centres and many more are in process. Hospital Information Management System is being started in Jagjivan Ram Hospital, Western Railway, Mumbai as a pilot project and will be extended to all the hospitals of Indian Railways. To provide medical facilities to retired railway employees membership for Retired Employees Liberalized Health Scheme-97 has been reopened till 31.03.2010 for those retired employees who could not join this scheme earlier.


Keeping in consonance with its commitment towards promotion of tourism, the Indian Railways in association with Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) has launched one more luxury tourist train, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, on a tourist circuit covering major destinations of Rajasthan besides Agra and Delhi. This is the fourth train in the series and second in association with RTDC, Two more such trains, one in association with IRCTC, called ‘Maharaja Express’ and one with Government of Punjab are in the pipeline.


The Phase-III of the 'Science Express' which was inaugurated in October 2009 at Gandhinagar will travel to 55 locations, mostly not covered earlier, covering about 18,000 kms in seven months of its journey throughout the country. It is covering the entire length and breadth of the country. The second phase of Red Ribbon Express (RRE), which is a 10-coach exhibition train for creating awareness about HIV/AIDS in the far flung areas, was flagged off on the World AIDS Day.


In the field of sports Indian Railway sportspersons have created many landmarks during 2009. Shri Ramesh Kumar of Northern Railway has won Bronze medal in the Senior World Wrestling Championship held in Denmark in September 2009. Any Indian Wrestler won medal in this championship after a long gap of 42 years. Shri R.R. Laxman, Chess player working in ICF, Chennai has become India’s latest Grandmaster while playing in the 4th Kolkata Open Grandmaster Chess Tournament held in Kolkata from 31st August 2009 to 10th September 2009. He is the first chess player who has achieved this distinction in Indian Railways. In the World Powerlifting Championship held in Gurgaon from 2nd to 7th November 2009, Shri P. Suresh (Western Railway) and Shri Rana Shyam Singh (South Eastern Railway) have won Silver and Bronze Medals, respectively. Besides, Shri Sushil Kumar, Wrestler has been awarded with “Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna”, the highest individual sports award of the country. Moreover, Shri Jaidev Bisht, Boxing Coach has been honoured with prestigious “Dronacharya Award” and Shri Mangal Singh Champia, Archer & Ms. Surinder Kaur, Women Hockey player have also been honoured with “Arjuna Awards”. In addition, the Government of India have awarded the first “Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar”, in the category – Employment of Sportspersons and Sports Welfare Measures, to Railway Sports Promotion Board.


For the financial year 2008-09, Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 75 days wages has been paid to all non-gazetted Railway employees. About 13.05 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees have benefited by this scheme. The PLB paid for the year 2008-09 is the highest bonus payment ever made by the Railways reflecting the splendid performance of Railways during the year.

Ministry of Tourism

Major initiatives and achivements in the year 2009

Year End Review

1. Statistics of Growth in the current year:

The foreign tourist arrivals (FTA) to India up to the month of November 2009 decreased by 6.3% over the arrivals for the same period in 2008. The cumulative arrival figures for the period January to November 2009 reached 4.54 million. The downward growth is due to global economic slowdown, terrorist activities, H1N1 influenza pandemic, etc. The important source countries were US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.

The number of domestic tourist visits increased from 527 million in 2007 to 563 million in 2008.

The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEE) from the tourism sector were Rs. 47918.00 crores during the period January-November 2009, an increase of 5.0% over the corresponding period in 2008.

2. Infrastructure Development:

Infrastructure development holds the key to India’s sustained growth in the tourism sector. Therefore, the Ministry of Tourism has been making efforts to develop quality tourism infrastructure at tourist destinations and circuits. The Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned 94 projects for an amount of Rs.394.85 crores for infrastructure augmentation including rural tourism projects in the year 2009-10 (up to November 09).

The Ministry has launched a scheme for development of nationally and internationally important destinations and circuits through Mega Projects. To date 29 mega projects have already been identified and of these 21 projects have been sanctioned. In the current year, the Ministry has sanctioned mega projects in Madhya Pradesh at Chitrakooot, as Spiritual and Wellness Destination for an amount of Rs.2401.98 lakhs. The mega projects are a judicious mix of culture, heritage, spiritual and ecotourism in order to give tourists a holistic perspective.

Ministry of Tourism is also taking initiatives with other Central Govt. Ministries, such as Railways, Civil Aviation, Road Transport & Highways, Food Processing and Urban Development and also the concerned State Governments to achieve convergence and synergy with their programmes so that the impact of investment on these destinations is maximized.

Other initiatives:

In the workshop on World Class Tourism Infrastructure organized in the Ministry of Tourism on August 19, 2009 it was decided that the Ministry will meet the expenditure on the architect’s fee upto 2% of the project cost which could be included in the cost estimates.

Ministry of Tourism has issued the guidelines for facilitating construction of heliport as a component of destination development project in hilly / remote areas.

The Ministry of Tourism has decided to consider proposals for grant of financial assistance upto Rs.5.00 crore for construction of one convention centre at any well-connected and accessible tourist destination in each State/UT for promotion of MICE Tourism.

The Caravan tourism policy announced by the Ministry of Tourism is aimed to promote and facilitate and incentivise development of

i. Caravan Parks in the public sector, private sector and PPP mode

ii. Caravans in the public sector, private sector and PPP mode

Caravan Tourism can effectively meet the growing demand of accommodation while ensuring adherence to quality, standards and safety norms.

To take up the various issues related to development and promotion of tourism in the country, Regional Conferences for North and Central States and Eastern and North Eastern States have already been held. The conference for South and Western Region is likely to be held shortly.

3. Sustainable Tourism:

The true potential of tourism lies in adopting responsible and sustainable practices on both the demand and supply sides of the tourism chain, enabling an effective response to climate change. This is closely interlinked with inclusive growth through sustainable community participation.

This ‘sustainable’ tourism route has been adopted by the Ministry of Tourism in the innovative Rural Tourism Project, by strengthening the disadvantaged but skilled rural artisan communities through support to capacity building and vernacular infrastructure, while laying emphasis on the role of women. 29 sites of the projects out of 36 sites are completed and being marketed. A project website was also upgraded showcasing these sites. 15 rural tourism sites have been selected as rural eco- holiday sites for “Visit India 2009.”

4. Overseas Marketing and Promotion:

The Ministry has consistently been working on a two-pronged strategy for marketing of Incredible India brand. The strategy includes visible branding in the outdoor media such as advertising at airports, on trams, taxis and buses and through the print, online and electronic media, as well as through participation in Travel Marts and Road Shows. For promotion of Indian Cuisine, which is an integral component of the Indian Tourism product, support has been extended to Indian Food Festivals organized in various countries. The India tourism office in New York has supported Indian Food Festivals organized in Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay in S. America.

Work orders have been issued for launch of print media campaigns in America, APAC and Europe regions. Advertising Campaigns have also been undertaken by the India tourism offices overseas in their respective regions. Promotional activities have also been stepped up in the overseas markets with added focus on emerging markets, for generating greater awareness about India as a tourist destination and increasing India’s share in international tourist arrivals and receipts.

2. There has been an increased focus on potential and emerging markets in East/ South East Asia, and East European countries. Road Shows, in collaboration with the Indian Association of Tour Operators, have been organized in Japan and South Korea to promote the Visit India 2009 Scheme. India tourism, Frankfurt supported & participated in Road Shows organized in the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia in June 2009.

3. A series of promotional initiatives were taken to minimize the negative impact of the global economic slowdown and terrorist attack in Mumbai, which had an adverse effect on tourism in the country. Some of them are as under:

i. An Incredible India Evening was organized in Beijing in April 2009. More than 600 persons representing a cross section of the Chinese media, travel trade, members of the diplomatic corps, and prominent members of the Indian community attended the function. A five day “Incredible India” Food Festival was also arranged to coincide with the India Evening.

ii. The India tourism office in New York participated in a “Caribbean Conclave” organized in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago in June 2009.

iii. The India tourism Offices in New York, Frankfurt, Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo have participated in major travel fairs and exhibitions in South America, CIS, East European countries, East Asia and South East Asia, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, S. Korea, etc.

iv. Major promotional events were organised in Moscow and St. Petersburg in September 2009.

5. (I) Visit India 2009:

The initiatives taken to minimize the negative impact of the global economic slowdown included a “Visit India 2009” scheme launched in collaboration with all stakeholders including airlines, hotels, tour operators, State Governments for incentivising travel to India, organizing Road Shows in important tourist generating markets overseas, arranging familiarisation tours to India for international travel trade and media representatives to keep them updated on safety / security conditions in the country and media campaigns in the print, electronic, online and outdoor media.

(II) Other Promotional Activities:

The Ministry of Tourism, through the India tourism office in London undertook an advertising campaign in the print and outdoor media in London to coincide with the Queens Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games 2010, which was flagged off from the Buckingham Palace on 29th October 2009.

The campaign included advertisements on hoardings, billboards, LED Screens, bus shelters, etc. at Heathrow airport and at prominent locations in London city as well as in leading dailies including The Times London, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Evening Standard. Outdoor advertising was also undertaken on taxis in New York, Miami, Chicago, London, Edinburgh, Milan, Rome, Tokyo, on buses / cable cars in San Francisco, Seoul, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago, Toronto, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bahrain, Muscat, and on hoardings / billboards in Tokyo, Milan, New York, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Dubai, Nice Airport, Cannes, Singapore, etc.

Other promotional initiatives undertaken during the year include “Incredible India” Events organized in Russia in September, 2009 as part of the celebrations of the “Year of India in Russia” and a major India promotion event “India Calling” organized in association with the National Geographic Society at Hollywood Bowl and California Plaza in Los Angeles in September 2009.

Joint Promotions have been organized by India tourism offices overseas in collaboration with Tour Operators / Airlines and Wholesalers, in Rome, Dubai, Sharjah, West Palm Beach & Naples in Florida, Madrid & Barcelona in Spain, Brugge in Belgium, Basel, Bern & Zurich in Switzerland and Singapore.

The Ministry of Tourism organized a series of Road Shows in collaboration with the Indian Association of Tour Operators, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India and the PATA India Chapter to project India as a tourist destination, in the aftermath of the global economic slowdown.
India tourism offices overseas have participated in approximately 104 Travel Fairs and Exhibitions in important tourist generating markets the world over as well as in emerging and potential markets to showcase and promote the tourism products of the country. These include the major international Travel Fairs such as the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, PATA Travel Mart in Hangzhou, China, ITB – Asia in Singapore Top Resa in Paris, and World Travel Market (WTM) in London.

III. Ministry continued to provide Hospitality to Journalists/ tour operators/ Travel agents/ TV teams/ Photographers etc. from overseas markets. Till now Ministry has offered hospitality to 700 guests (approx.).

IV. Efforts of the Ministry to counter the effect of global economic meltdown on tourism sector:

The Ministry of Tourism has taken several steps to counter the downward trend of inbound tourism and to promote tourism to the country. These include liberalizing the Marketing Development Assistance Scheme for service providers promoting India, organizing Road Shows in important tourist generating markets overseas, arranging familiarisation tours to India for international travel trade and media representatives to keep them updated on safety / security conditions in the country, media campaigns in the print, electronic, online and outdoor media and a “Visit India 2009” scheme, in collaboration with all stakeholders including airlines, hotels, tour operators, State Governments for incentivising travel to India. Recently Government of India has decided to introduce Visa-on-Arrival scheme for tourists from five countries viz. Singapore, Finland, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Japan on a pilot basis for a period of one year.

6. Social Awareness Campaign:

Ministry continued its efforts to reinforce its brand through Incredible India campaigns. Through, Social Awareness Campaigns attempt was made to sensitize the stakeholders and masses about the importance of tourism and protection of heritage sites. Through generic campaign in the first half of the current financial year, awareness about various destinations/ sub-tourism products was generated. In the 2nd half of the financial year, Ministry continued its efforts of creating social awareness through focused campaigns.

7. Hotel Infrastructure:

The requirement of hotel accommodation in the country is estimated at 240 thousand rooms against availability of around 90 thousand rooms. It is estimated that there will be a requirement of additional 30,000 hotel rooms in Delhi. The Ministry of Tourism is therefore actively involved in monitoring the creation of additional accommodation for the games. Following initiatives have been taken for augmentation of accommodation infrastructure:

1. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has de-linked credit for hotel projects from commercial real estate, thereby enabling hotel projects to avail credit at relaxed norms and reduced interest rates. In addition, the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) norms have been relaxed by Ministry of Finance to solve the problem of liquidity being faced by the hotel industry due to economic slow down.

The XIX Commonwealth Games are scheduled to be held in Delhi during 3rd to 14th October 2010. It is expected that around 100 thousand persons would be visiting during the Games.

The following initiatives have been taken by the Ministry to use this opportunity and showcase India as a unique and hospitable tourism destination:

i. A Task Force constituted for this purpose monitors the additional new hotel accommodation coming up in the Delhi NCR by holding regular meetings with all concerned land owning authorities, concerned Ministries / Departments. It has been decided that flats of DDA located at Vasant Kunj and Jasola will be upgraded / furnished and operated by ITDC for the Games as alternate accommodation of three star standards. It is also proposed to utilize the services of rooms available from the licensed guest houses and Bed & Breakfast units for the Games.

India Tourism Development Corporation:

(ii). Hotel Ashok, Samrat and Janpath under the ITDC have been declared as the Official Hotels for the Games. While The Ashok & Samrat would be the Games Family Hotels, Janpath would be for Press and Media. These hotels have undergone a major renovation work to prepare them for the event.

(iii). Manpower & Volunteer Development

Providing more than 3000 volunteers, trained in hospitality sector, for the games under the “Earn While You Learn” scheme.

Training more than 3000 taxi/coach and auto rickshaw drivers with an objective of making them more tourists friendly.

Training of owners and service staff of the approved guests house in Delhi so that there is a quality improvement in the services being provided.

8. Quality Human Resource Development:

It is estimated that to cater to the growing need of the hospitality sector, over 203 thousand trained manpower would be required annually. Therefore, it has been the endeavour of the Ministry of Tourism to put in place a system of training and professional education with necessary infrastructural support, capable of generating manpower to meet the needs of the tourism and hospitality industry, both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Keeping in view the acute shortage of trained manpower MOT has decided to support additional Institutes of Hotel Management (IHM) in States. New Food Crafts Institutes (FCI) are also being set up. MOT has also been providing financial assistance for modernization and capacity enhancement of IHMs and FCIs. A Scheme of Capacity Building for Service Providers is being implemented to impart hospitality training to those employed in this sector.

As a part of 100 days agenda of the Government, Ministry has taken following initiatives to provide skilled manpower in hospitality sector:

i. Skill training of youth in Hospitality sector (Hunar Se Rojgar Tak): The Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs) have initiated a six to eight week fast track skill training programme for youth under twenty five years of age in food production and food and beverage services. About 5000 youths will be trained in the year.

ii. Skill Certification: The service providers, who are working in the hospitality sector, would undertake a five day orientation programme followed by test that would be based on practical and viva voce. Thereafter, the participants would be provided a skill certificate, which will enhance their employability in the market. About 5000 existing service providers would be certified in the year.

9. International Cooperation:

1. In the 18th Session of the General Assembly of UN WTO held from October 05th -8th 2009 in Astana, Kazakhstan, India was re-elected to the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization for another four years term. India is a member of the Executive Council of UN WTO continuously for the last 19 years.

2. In the first Joint Working Group Meeting on Tourism between India and Indonesia in Yogyakarta, Indonesia held during 27th-28th August 2009, it was agreed to carry forward the cooperation.

3. A Joint Action Plan on Tourism Cooperation was signed between India and Singapore on 4.08.2009 in New Delhi in the presence of the visiting senior Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Education, Republic of Singapore and the Minister of Tourism Govt. of India.

4. A Joint Action Programme for the period 2009-10 for the implementation of the agreement between India and Russian Federation on Cooperation in Tourism was signed during the visit of the Russian President to India in December 2008.

10. New Initiatives:

i. Cruise Tourism:

Cruise Tourism is a relatively new but an emerging sector with a high potential for growth. With the approval of the Cruise Tourism Policy, the huge potential of this tourism product has been opened up. Together with the Port Trust Authorities and the State Governments, the Ministry is now focusing on infrastructure development as well as motivating cruise operators to use Indian ports in their itinerary.

ii. Adventure Tourism:

Adventure tourism has immense potential for growth. For experiencing the different types of adventure tourism right like rock climbing, river rafting, para gliding, mountaineering and under water diving, the Ministry has been sanctioning projects in various States.

iii. Wellness Tourism:

India, as the world knows, is a Wellness destination. The potential of wellness systems, developed through centuries of wisdom of this ancient civilization would be fully tapped. This is being done by positioning India as a centre of Ayurveda, Yoga, Siddha, Naturopathy, etc. together with the spiritual philosophy that was integral to the Indian way of life. The Ministry of Tourism has highlighted wellness in a big way through publicity and promotional activities.

11. International Recognition:

The Incredible India film shown globally in the potential tourist generating markets has won a number of prestigious international awards:-

- March 2009

- 2. Preis Das Goldene Stadttor. Int, Touristik Filmwettbewerb ITB Berlin 2009

- June 2009

- International Tourfilm festival Plock, 2009, Plock/Poland

- FIMAC- International Festival of Corporates AV Media

- July 2009

- Document.Art - The International Festival of Documentary Films, 2009, Campulung Muscel/Romania

- September 2009

Art&Tur - International Tourism Film Festival, 2009, Barcelos/ Portugal

- October 2009

- Tourfilm Karlovy Vary, 2009, Karlovy Vary/Czech Republic

- The latest being the Grand Prix Award - organized by Comite International Des Festivals Du film Touristique (CIFFT) in which the Hon’ble Minister for Tourism has received the award in Vienna on 13th November 2009.
Major Achievements and Highlights of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, during the year 2009

Year End Review


1. Follow up on National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy (NUHHP), 2007:

1.1 The Policy along with tabulated statement indicating the various actionable points under the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy: 2007 have been widely circulated among the various Central Ministries, State Governments, UT Administrations, business chambers, associations of real estate developers and other stake holders.

1.2 The Policy seeks that the Central Government will encourage and support the States to prepare a State Urban Housing and Habitat Policy and also a State Urban Housing & Habitat Action Plan. This may include passing of specific Acts by the States/UTs (with legislature) for achieving the housing policy objectives through legal & regulatory reforms, fiscal concessions, financial sector reforms and innovations in the area of resource mobilization for housing and related infrastructure development at the State/UT level.

1.3 In follow-up of this and its own objectives of tackling the housing shortage, the Ministry has taken the initiative to organise a Conference of all State Ministers of Housing, Local Self Government and Urban Development on the 20th January, 2009 with a view to seeking the cooperation of the States.

1.4 It was highlighted to the participating States/UTs that housing construction presently provides housing for the EWS through JNNURM and State Government schemes; and for the HIG though builders. There is actually a dearth of housing for the LIG and MIG in what may be called affordable housing. Between the JNNURM effort and state sector schemes in some states, it is estimated that about two million houses may be constructed for the economically weaker sections of the populace by the end of the 11th Plan. Given the housing shortage in the country, much greater effort and a much larger programme for housing construction is required.

1.5 The States were convinced of the double benefit the social housing programme carries. It significantly improves the quality of life of the slum dwellers and the poor; and side-by-side provides an impetus to the economy by its tremendous multiplier effect.

1.6 The State Governments were requested to supplement the efforts of Union Government in creation of additional housing stock by increasing supply of serviced land and new houses by direct intervention through State Housing Boards, Development Authorities, Cooperative Sector etc. and also providing one time incentive in the form of relaxation of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) /Floor Space Index (FSI) norms through appropriate spatial (regulatory) incentives.

2. Sub-Mission Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)

2.1.1 In order to address infrastructure shortage and basic amenities needs of the urban poor living is slums in the urban areas, the Government launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with effect from 3rd December, 2005. The Mission comprises two Sub-Missions – Urban Infrastructure and Governance (UIG) and Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP). These Sub-Missions are for select 65 cities (2 cities namely Porbandar and Tirupati have been added recently). For cities/towns other than these 65 identified cities, two schemes, namely, Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) and Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT) have also been launched on 3rd December 2005.

2.1.2 Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation is the nodal Ministry for Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP), whereas the Ministry of Urban Development is the nodal Ministry for the Sub-Mission Urban Infrastructure & Governance and UIDSSMT.

2.2 Highlights of the Mission (BSUP & IHSDP) – Summary of Progress and Technical Support:

2.2.1 Under BSUP & IHSDP More than 1.4 million houses sanctioned (14,59,272). 1304 projects with outlay of more than Rs 33, 860 crores approved with the Central share of Rs. 18,499 crores committed (102% of 7-year allocation for 2005-12). ACA of Rs 7213 crores released. All States and 63 Mission Cities covered under BSUP. All State and UTs except small states of Goa, Sikkim, and Lakshadweep covered under IHSDP so far. About 1.74 lakh houses completed and 4.36 lakh houses in progress.

2.2.2 Financial support for setting up of Programme Management Units (PMUs) in 23 States/UTs has been approved. States to monitor BSUP, IHSDP & other urban poverty alleviation schemes. Detailed guidelines have been issued.

2.2.3 Financial Support for setting up of 101 Project Implementation Units (PIUs) has also been approved at the Cities/ULBs levels to monitor BSUP, IHSDP & other urban poverty alleviation schemes. Detailed guidelines have been issued.

2.2.4 A framework for Third Party Inspection and Monitoring established and agencies for -Third Party Inspection and Monitoring empanelled by Mission Directorate. TPIMs for 9 States namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh & West Bengal have been approved. Other States are also coming forward. Detailed guidelines have been issued.

2.3 Progress on 3 Pro-Poor Key Reforms

· Internal earmarking within local body budgets for Basic Services to the Urban Poor

48cities have undertaken implementation of this reform

· Earmarking of at least 20-25% of developed land in all housing projects (both public and private agencies) for EWS/LIG category

17 States (43 Cities) have issued the policy directives to reserve developed land in public and/or private housing projects

· Implementation of 7- Point Charter: Provision of 7 Basic Entitlements/Services

o This reform is to be implemented in a staggered manner over the Mission Period in convergence with the programmes of other Ministries as this is also an outcome of the Mission.

2.4 Some Recent Initiatives:

(i) Planning Commission has enhanced the allocation by Rs. 5043 crore for BSUP (Rs. 2682 crore) and IHSDP (Rs. 2361 crore) and Ceiling Cost of a dwelling unit provided under the IHSDP was revised with the approval of the Cabinet from Rs. 80,000/ to Rs. 1,00,000 w.e.f. 01-04-2008.

(ii) New scheme of “Affordable Housing in Partnership


The Government has also launched new scheme of Affordable Housing in Partnership with an outlay of Rs. 5,000 crores for construction of one million houses for EWS/LIG/MIG with at least 25% for EWS category. The scheme aims at partnership between various agencies/ Government/ parastatals/ Urban Local Bodies/ developers– for realizing the goal of affordable housing for all.

Detailed Guidelines have been issued in this regard. Ministry proposes to modify the guidelines in consultation with Planning Commission and Department of Expenditure.

3. Formulation of Rajiv Awas Yojana

3.1 Government has announced a new scheme called Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY) for the slum dwellers and the urban poor. This scheme aims at providing support to States that are willing to provide property rights to sum dwellers. The Government’s effort through the implementation of RAY would be to encourage the States to adopt a pace that will create a Slum free India at the earliest. The process of consultation before seeking approval on the parameters of the Scheme is in progress with the circulation of Draft Guidelines of the Scheme to States/UTs/Central Ministries etc. seeking their suggestions/ comments.

4. Interest Subsidy Scheme of Housing For the Urban Poor (ISHUP)

4.1 The Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP) has been launched w.e.f. 26/12/2008 with a view to enable access of urban poor to the long term institutional finance. The guidelines of the scheme were drawn up in February 2009 and circulated.

4.2 The Scheme seeks to provide interest subsidy to Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) beneficiaries on availing loans from the Banks /Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) to enhance affordability of these income segments. Under this scheme, an interest subsidy of 5 percent per annum will be given upfront on loans upto Rs. 1,00,000/- taken from Banks / Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) during 11th Five Year Plan. The Loan repayment Period would be 15-20 years. The Scheme is positively inclined towards EWS households and out of 3.10 lakh dwelling units envisaged under the scheme, 2.70 lakh dwelling units are targeted for EWS housing.

4.3 In order to disseminate the details of Scheme and clarify doubts, this Ministry has held two consultations with Housing Secretaries of States/UTs and representatives of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) on 4th and 22nd May 2009. Banks/HFIs which have to act as the Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) have responded well to the scheme and so far 20 Banks and 8 HFIs have signed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the two Central Nodal Agencies (CNAs), namely National Housing Bank (NHB) & Housing & Urban Development Corporation Ltd. (HUDCO) who are to act as financial intermediaries for release of subsidy to PLIs under the Scheme. This has further been followed up by visits to different states and meetings with the State Secretaries, Municipal Commissioners, Senior level bank officers etc. and during last three months Gujarat, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana and Punjab have been covered. A meeting with the select states and the MOA signing Primary Lending Agencies (PLIs) was held on 14.12.2009.

5. Street Vendors Policy and Model Bill

5.1 Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has recently comprehensively revised the National Policy on Urban Street Vendors (2004), taking into account the views of States/UTs and other stake holders. The revised National Policy on Urban Street Vendors, 2009 aims at fostering a congenial environment for the urban street vendors to carry out their activities without harassment from any quarter and provides mechanism of regulation of such activities to avoid congestion on sidewalks and to ensure free flow of traffic on roads. It aims at ensuring that urban street vendors find due recognition at national, state and local levels for their contribution and is conceived as part of the national initiative for alleviation of poverty in cities and towns. The revised Policy underscores the need for a legislative framework to enable street vendors to pursue an honest living without harassment from any quarter. Accordingly, a Model Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill, 2009 has also been drafted. The revised Policy and Model Bill have already been forwarded by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation to all States/UTs.


6. Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY)

6.1 With a view to ameliorate the living conditions of the urban poor and to reduce urban poverty, the Swarna Jayanti shahari Rojgar Yojana (SJSRY) is being implemented as a Centrally Sopnsored Scheme for the benefit of the urban poor on all India basis, since 1.12.1997.

6.2 The scheme of Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) has been comprehensively revamped with effect from 2009-2010. The following major changes have been effected in the scheme:

(i). For special category States (8 NER States and 3 other hilly States i.e. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), the funding pattern for the Scheme between Centre and the States, has been revised from 75 :25 to 90:10.

(ii). For the beneficiary under the Urban Self Employment Programme (USEP) component of the Scheme, the education limit criteria of “not educated beyond 9th standard” has been removed and now no minimum or maximum educational qualification level has been prescribed for the purpose of eligibility of assistance.

(iii). For the self-employment (individual category), the project cost ceiling has been enhanced to Rs. 2.00 Lakhs from the existing Rs. 50000/- and the subsidy has also been enhanced to 25% of the project cost (subject to a maximum of Rs. 50000/-), from the existing 15% of the project cost (subject to a maximum of Rs. 7500/-).

(iv). For the group enterprises set up by urban poor women, the subsidy has been made as 35% of the project cost or Rs. 300,000/- or Rs. 60,000/- per member of the Group, whichever is less. The minimum number required to form a women group has been reduced from 10 to 5. The revolving fund entitlement per member has also been enhanced from the existing Rs. 1000/- to Rs. 2000/-.

(v). Under the Urban Wage Employment Programme (UWEP) component, which is applicable to the towns having population less than 5 Lakhs as per 1991 census, the 60:40 Material labour ratio for the works under UWEP, flexibility of 10% (either side) is now accorded to the States/UTs.

(vi). The Skill Training of the Urban poor component has been restructured and quality skill training will be provided to the urban poor linking it with certification, imparted preferably on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode, with the involvement of reputed institutions like IITs, NITs, Poly-techniques, ITIs, other reputed agencies etc. The average expenditure ceiling per trainee has been enhanced from the Rs. 2600/- to Rs. 10000/-.

(vii). 3% of the total Scheme allocation will be retained at the Central level for special /innovative projects to be undertaken to implement a time-bound targeting to bring a specific number of BPL families above the poverty line through self-employment or skill development.

6.3 The revised Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) has now following five major components:-

(i) Urban Self Employment Programme (USEP)-Targeting individual urban poor for setting up of micro-enterprises.

(ii) Urban Women Self-help Programme (UWSP)-Targeting urban poor women self-help groups for setting up of group-enterprises and providing them assistance through a revolving fund for thrift & credit activities

(ii) Skill Training for Employment Promotion amongst Urban Poor (STEP-UP)-Targeting urban poor for imparting quality training so as to enhance their employability for self-employment or better salaried employment.

(iv) Urban Wage Employment Programme (UWEP) -Assisting urban poor by utilizing their labour for construction of socially and economically useful public assets, in towns having population less than 5 lakhs.

(v) Urban Community Development Network (UCDN)-Assisting the urban poor in organizing themselves in self- managed community structures so as to gain collective strength to address the issues of poverty facing them and participate in the effective implementation of urban poverty alleviation programmes.


7. Integrated Low Cost Sanitation (ILCS) Scheme

7.1 Integrated Low Cost Sanitation (ILCS) Scheme, a centrally sponsored scheme, envisages conversion of individual dry latrine into pour flush latrine thereby liberating manual scavengers from the age old, obnoxious practice of manually carrying night soil.

7.2 The guidelines of the ILCS Scheme have been suitably revised with the approval of the Cabinet in its meeting held on 17.01.2008 and the revised guidelines have been circulated to all States/UTs and concerned Departments.

7.3 The project cost for converting around 6 lakh dry latrines is Rs. 715.48 crores out of which central subsidy comes to around Rs.545.00 crores during the XIth Plan. The revised ILCS Scheme envisages conversion of all existing dry latrines within a period of three years (2007-2010). With the implementation of the Revised ILCS Scheme, it is expected that the system of manual scavengers will be eradicated from the country.

7.4 There is a budget provision of Rs.60.00 crores for the current financial year under the Scheme.


8. Draft Model Real Estate (Regulation of Development) Act 200_____.

8.1 In order to promote planned and healthy real estate development of colonies and apartments with a view to protecting consumer interest on the one hand and to facilitate smooth and speedy urban construction on the other; Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation drafted a draft Model Real Estate (Regulation of Development) Act 200_____.

8.2 The draft Model Act has been divided in seven Chapters and includes six schedules.

8.3 The draft bill seeks to establish a Regulatory Authority and an Appellate Tribunal to regulate, control and promote planned and healthy development and construction, sale, transfer and management of colonies, residential buildings, apartments and other similar properties, and to host and maintain a website containing all project details, with a view to protecting, on the one hand the public interest in relation to the conduct and integrity of promoters and other persons engaged in the development of such colonies and to facilitating on the other the smooth and speedy construction and maintenance of such colonies, residential buildings, apartments and properties and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

8.4 The bill provides for compulsory registration with the Regulatory Authority for development of land into a Colony of plots or construction of a building or conversion of any existing building or part thereof into apartments, for the purpose of marketing all or some of the apartments, except when the area of land proposed to be developed into a colony does not exceed one thousand square meters or the number of apartments proposed to be constructed does not exceed four.

8.5 The bill also provides that no promoter shall issue or publish an advertisement or prospectus, offering for sale any plot, building or apartment, or inviting persons who intend to take such plots, buildings or apartments to make advances or deposits without registering with the Regulatory Authority and without first filing a copy of the advertisement or prospectus in the office of the Regulatory Authority.

9. High Level Task Force on “Affordable Housing for All”

9.1 In line with the underlying goal of National Urban Housing & Habitat Policy, 2007 to provide ‘Affordable Housing for All’ and in order to arrive at more scientific definition for affordability, the Ministry set up a Task Force on 15.1.2008 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman – HDFC Ltd. to study and make recommendations as to affordability and the strategy to provide affordable housing in pursuance of the Policy.

9.2 Shri Deepak Parekh, Chairman of the Task Force has presented the report on 29.12.2008. The Task Force has strongly recommended the need for ‘Affordable Housing’ and mentioned that delay in addressing the affordable housing problem would seriously affect India’s economic growth and poverty reduction strategies.

9.3 The Ministry had set up a Committee headed by Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and with other members as Shri Ashok Jha, retired Finance Secretary to Govt. of India, Prof. Amitabh Kundu, School of Social Sciences, JNU; Prof. OP Mathur, Principal Consultant, NIPFP - to examine the recommendations made by the Task Force and take a view in the matter.

9.4 The recommendations found acceptable by the Ministry have been divided into two categories: (i) where action lies within the Ministry’s allocated business; and (ii) those which, in the view of the Ministry, either because of inter-ministerial involvement or wider implication, need to be brought to the notice of Cabinet for information or for approval.

9.5 As part of recommendations accepted by the Ministry it has been decided to set up two Committees for:

a. working out the parameters for estimating the number of households under three categories of ‘affordability’ – Economically Weaker Section (EWS), Low Income Group (LIG) and Lower Middle Income Group (LMIG); and

b. promotion of housing micro finance company which may be permitted to take household savings as deposits.

9.6 Further, a draft cabinet note has been circulated to the concerned Ministries/Departments on the recommendations involving pan-Government issues and comments received are being examined by the Ministry.

10. Sensitisation Through Celebration Of World Habitat Day

10.1 The Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation organized World Habitat Day 2009 on 5th October, 2009. The focus was on “Inclusive Planning” and the shifts, technological innovations and financial instaurations to achieve the same. Kumari Selja, Hon'ble Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation and Minister of Tourism, inaugurated the Event & delivered the World Habitat Day Address on the occasion.


11 Attached Office

11.1 National Buildings Organisation:

11.1.1 The National Buildings Organisation (NBO), an attached Office of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) has been functioning as an apex organization in the country for collection, tabulation and dissemination of statistical information on housing and building construction activities. NBO has been assigned the work relating to development of “Housing Start-up Index(HSUI) - internationally considered to be one of the leading economic indicators,” for measuring the change in the level of activities in housing sector and to identify the growth/ recessionary tendencies in this and related sectors of the economy. It captures the movement of the economy and reflects the phase of the business cycle-boom or recession.

11.1.2 The NBO has implemented a web based online system BRIKS (Building Related Information and Knowledge System) to overcome constrains of data accessibility, data completeness and timeliness of data. The NBO is also designated as the nodal agency for coordination of appraisal, sanction, monitoring and review of projects under Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) component of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

12. Central Public Sector Undertaking

12.1 Hindustan Prefab Limited (HPL):

· HPL (A Govt. of India Enterprise) is functioning under the administrative control of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation since 1955. Its main areas of activities Manufacturing, Construction Projects, Maintenance works and Real Estate works. The company has ISO: 9001:2000 Certification. The company shut down the factory operations in Sept 2004 due to unviable cost of production. The company diversified from a manufacturing company to a service oriented company. Currently the company is offering project management services.

· With the approval of Government of India ‘Conversion of HPL’s outstanding Government of India loan and interest thereon as on 31.03.08 amounting to Rs. 128 crores have been converted into equity, thereby increasing the authorized capital of HPL from the existing Rs. 10 crores to Rs. 138 crores”.
During the year itself, the company has achieved a highest ever turnover of Rs.150.32 Crore showing a growth of 428% and has also recorded an operating profit of Rs.9.38 Crore (PBDIT) and a net profit of Rs.7.75 Crore (PAT) and this has been a landmark achievement after a long gap of 16 years in the history of HPL;

13. Autonomous Bodies

13.1 Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC)

· BMTPC was established in 1990 as an apex level autonomous organisation and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation with the prime objective of bridging gap between the laboratory development and large scale field application of cost effective, environment friendly and energy-efficient innovative building materials and disaster resistant construction technologies.

· The Council has initiated Construction of Demonstration Houses in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh. A Demonstration Community Building in Haryana; Model Informal Markets in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh and establishment of a Technology Demonstration-cum-Production Centre in Haryana has also been initiated. During the year, the last Demonstration Housing Project under VAMBAY at Bilaspur (Chattisgarh) – 100 DUs was also completed.

· It Developed Technology for Floor/Wall Tiles and Pavers from Granite Slurry, Technology for Utilization of Marble Slurry in Self Compacting Concrete; Flattened Bamboo Composites and Laminated Bamboo Lumber Products; Housing System using cellular light weight concrete; Technology for cost effective value added thermal insulation Tiles for ceiling purposes; Building Components from Sponge Iron Waste;

· technology package using confined masonry; Specifications and Code of Practice on MCR tiles, Ferrocement roofing channels and Filler slabs.

13.2 National Cooperative Housing Federation of India:

· NCHF is the apex organization of entire cooperative housing movement in the country . It is engaged in promoting, developing and coordinating the activities of housing cooperatives since its inception in the year 1969. At the grass root level there are now about 92000 primary housing cooperatives with a membership of over 65 lakhs.

· These cooperatives are supported by 26 Apex Cooperative Housing Federations at state level, which are affiliated to NCHF. These federations have raised loans amounting to Rs.10159 crores from funding institutions like LIC, NHB, HUDCO, cooperative banks, etc. and in turn disbursed Rs.10709 crores to their primaries as well as individual members for the construction of 23.84 lakh dwelling units in various parts of the country.

· The LIC has allocated a sum of Rs.125 crore as loans to Apex Cooperative Housing Federations for the year 2009-10 and raised the individual loan limit from Rs.7.00 lakh to Rs.10.00 per member

13.3 Central Government Employees Welfare Housing Organisation (CGEWHO)

· CGEWHO was formed in 1990 by the Govt. of India under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, as a ‘Welfare’ organization, for construction of dwelling units for the Central Government Employees, on “No Profit-No Loss” basis and registered as a Society, in Delhi, under the Societies Registration Act of 1860, on 17th July,1990.

As on date, it has completed 23 projects in 14 different cities comprising 10872 dwelling units.
During the year, Lucknow (Ph-I) Housing Scheme comprising of 130 dwelling units was handed over to the Apartment Owners Association. Pune (Ph-II) with 148 dwelling units was handed over in Feb/Mar’ 09.

Yandicoogina becomes first mine in Australia to produce 50 million tonnes a year


Rio Tinto's Yandicoogina, Australia's largest-producing iron ore mine, has broken the 50 million tonne mark for annual production for the first time.

The milestone, all the more unexpected following the slump in demand for iron ore in early 2009 together with severe flood-damage to rail operations, highlighted the substantial gains achieved through Rio Tinto's integrated network over the year.

The mine passed 50 million tonnes per year of product on 29 December.

Iron Ore chief executive Sam Walsh applauded the milestone as a tribute to efficiency gains made during the year.

"The 50 million tonnes per year mark is a worthy effort, made more notable still given that by April the mine was producing at a rate only sufficient to record 40 million tonnes for the year. To overcome the twin obstacles presented by the GFC impact and the flooding has been a major achievement."  

Yandicoogina is situated in a rich channel iron deposit 95km north-west of Newman, in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Opened in 1998, though originally conceived on a far smaller scale, its first full year of operations produced 10.7 million tonnes. 

Since its most recent expansion through Junction South East in 2007 and 2008, Yandicoogina has been ramping up towards its nameplate annual capacity of 52 million tonnes. Last year it produced 45.6 million tonnes of saleable product.

Yandicoogina ore is marketed separately from Rio Tinto's Pilbara Blend and Robe River products. The pisolite ore is highly sought after by steel mills for its ability to improve the smelting of other ores. It is successfully marketed in Rio Tinto's major Asian destinations, where its sinter-efficient properties enhance its value in use in smelting fines.   

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa.