Category Archives: Volume 18

BHEL bags Rs 10,000 Crore contract from Bangladesh


Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has bagged its largest-ever export order which is valued at Rs. 10,000 crore. This order is for setting up a thermal power project in Bangladesh. The Indian company was able to win this contract in spite of very hard and competitive bidding. The order has been secured from Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited (BIFPCL) which is a 50:50 joint venture between NTPC and Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). BHEL is India’s largest power equipment manufacturer. The company has arranged debt financing for the project from Exim bank for which loan agreement between Exim bank and BIFPCL was signed in March 2017.

BHEL’s scope of work in the project includes design, engineering, manufacture, supply, construction, erection, testing and commissioning of the 1320 MW thermal sets with ultra-supercritical parameters on turnkey basis. It will also set up a jetty and a river-water intake system. The main equipment to be used by the project will be manufactured at BHEL’s Trichy, Haridwar, Hyderabad, Ranipet, Bhopal, Bangalore and Jhansi plants. The responsibility for the construction and installation activities at site will lie upon the company’s power sector construction division. BHEL has done some projects in Bangladesh earlier as well which include 100 MW Baghabari Gas Turbine Power Project and 2×120 MW Siddhirganj in Bangladesh. It has also set up 220 KV Baghabari & Ishurdi substations.

Bangladesh hopes speedier implementation of India-Aided Projects

Mr. AbulMaal A. Muhith
Bangladesh’s Finance Minister Mr. AbulMaal A. Muhith

Bangladesh is hopeful that the Indiaassisted developmental projects in the country will be implemented quickly. “The hope has risen after the Indian Government announced a fresh US $4.5 billion aid package”, stated Mr. AbulMaal A. Muhith who is the Finance Minister of Bangladesh.

IFM Arun Jaitley
Indian Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley

The announcement for this line of concessional credit was announced by India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi during Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Ms. Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in April 2017. India previously promised financial aid of US $1.5 billion and adding this new amount it takes the total to US $6 billion. Mr. Muhit said that the implementation of projects under the previous assistance package took longer than expected but he hopes that this time these projects will be implemented quickly.

The bilateral aid package and projects associated with it were discussed in a bilateral meeting with visiting Indian Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley. This meeting was led by Mr. Muhith and various important issues and topics were discussed in detail. Mr. Muhit said that Bangladesh getting a US $6 billion credit line from India is quite a remarkable event. He further stated that even though the financial aid from China is much more and amounts to US $ 22 billion but Indian projects are time oriented and implemented quickly while there is no such timeline for Chinese aid. He also expressed his happiness at seeing that Indian private sector investment is now flowing into Bangladesh.

Widening Works Disconnect Tangsibji Mini Hydel

Widening Works

Tangsibji mini hydel was disconnected on May 30, 2017. This plant lit around 43 houses in Tangsibji village in Trongsa in the 80s. The boulders that were dug out during the East-West highway widening works blocked the water at the intake point in the middle of December 2016. Mr. Karma Leki, Bhutan Power Corporation’s (BPC) Division Manager in Trongsa said that he has written to the Department of Roads (DoR) to have the blockade and damages cleared at the earliest as the boulders are huge and cannot be cleared by men.

This hydel power plant being closed does not have much impact on the life of the people in the village. However, Mr. Leki feels that it remaining functional is important as it was a gift to them from Japan and holds sentimental value. The energy that the plant generates is synchronized with the eastern grid. Mr. Phub Dorji, BPC’s assistant technician stated that this plant has never broken down before,unlike many other mini hydels in the country. He further said that the engine is in good condition and can resume generation once the block is cleared. This mini Hydel is one of 10 in Bhutan and it generates 37.5 KVA.

Mr. Taugay Choidup, Chief Engineer of DoR in Trongsa, stated that he was unaware that a mini hydel is located below the highway. He further stated that what they were informed is that there is an irrigation channel below and the contractor has left the cutting incomplete at a stretch near Zalamchu fearing disruption to paddy cultivation. The cutting is planned to resume after the village completes paddy cultivation.The mini hydel is located a little above the Tangsibji village and is about 10 minutes walk from the village road.

Kingdom of Bhutan remains India’s biggest Foreign-Aid Recipient

Kingdom of Bhutan

The Kingdom of Bhutan has always had good relations with India. For the last 17 years it has also remained the biggest beneficiary of Indian foreign aid by both amount and share. Bhutan has remained India’s unfailing priority because of its strategic location, its dependence on India and its hydropower potential. Besides Bhutan, India provides aid to various other countries not only from this region but from other parts of the world as well. Other countries that India has been providing financial aid to include Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives and some African countries among others. However, the aid given to other countries by India has fluctuated over the years while in case of Bhutan it has always been constant.

Over the last nine years, Afghanistan has made it to the second spot and has been preferred over Nepal and Bangladesh which have been the traditional recipients. Indian aid to Sri Lanka has seen a lot of fluctuations; it fell 69% year-onyear in the financial year 2016-17, and rose 118% and 166% in 2012- 13 and 2009-10 respectively. In the pre-2007-08 period, Nepal was the second-largest recipient in all years except three, when Bangladesh held that position. Before the financial year 2007-08, the foreign ministry did not even report aid for Afghanistan individually. However, in eight of last 10 years, Afghanistan has held the second spot by share. Bhutan’s share has fallen by 10.45 percentage points in the last 17 years as other countries have been eating into its share but yet it has consistently held the first spot.

India’s newest IRIS Species found in Manipur

Manipur IRIS

The popular flower of Manipur, fondly known as Kombirei by the locals of Manipur has been accorded with the ‘new species’ status-Iris Laevigata Fisch. Until now it had been mistakenly named as Iris Bakeri wall. Presently, it is declining from its native habitat.Manipur IRIS Species

The recent course of its name recognition and attention stemmed from its pictures being sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens in London where it was categorized as the critically endangered species.

Species like Iris Wattii, Iris Singuinea and Iris Kumaon also inhabit the state of Manipur. However, kombirei germinates from the wetlands of Lamphelpat and Yaralpat outskirting the town of Imphal.

This mauve-blue flower has a flowering period of about 15 days in April every year and annually, it also forms an integral part of the rich tradition of Manipur’s New Year celebration as well.

PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates India’s Longest Bridge in Assam

PM Narendra Modi

Commemorating the late Assamese music maestro Mr. Bhupen Hazarika while completing 3 years as the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi instituted India’s longest bridge connecting Dhola in Arunachal Pradesh from Sadiya in Assam. This infrastructural splendor is a jewel shining bright, remarking the pride of Seven Sister states.

The bridge would ensure quicker road connectivity and accessibility, mitigating the travel time by 4 long hours. Its three lane construction spans through a length of 9.15km over and above the grandeur of Brahamaputra’s tributary river-Lohit. This is a great step assuring productivity in fuel usage, cost efficiency and the possible hydropower projects paving way to economic remunerative gains.

Dr. Bhupen Hazarika
Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Assam, India

This architectural marvel’s strategic importance was a well – planned and prudent endeavor which commenced in 2011 with the vision to aid the military with facilitate passage to the border areas of China, more smoothly and seamlessly. The structure’s strength to endure heavy military tanks and machinery would serve as a huge asset in the coming times.

Mr. Modi’s interest in uplifting and ameliorating the economic and India’s P.M. Mr. Narendra Modi Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, Assam, India social status of the ‘Seven Rainbow States’ and its citizens can be gauged through his determination to lead this project to its culmination. His efforts involved in integrating the north eastern states to mainstream India deserve appreciation.

Since years, the north eastern states have suffered alienation and non-inclusive treatment from the locals and the officials alike; inviting notions of disunity and disengagement .However, with the inauguration of India’s longest bridge; 30% longer than Mumbai’s Bandra -Worli sea link, Mr. Modi has embarked upon the path of unity in diversity, more aggressively than ever , with the trumpeting of economic and infrastructural resuscitation of the north eastern states which would act as the microcosm to India’s mighty potential to enhance its economic development and GDP growth.

NGT in conflict with Meghalaya Govt. Over Coal Mining

NGT Conflict

Rampant commercial mining with least adherence to healthy environmental impact has led National Green Tribunal (NGT) to probe into the matter and take strict actions, leading to time bound ban on coal mining activities in the state of Meghalaya.

This intervention by NGT is a result of reckless and unchecked transportation of coal extracts taking place on a massive scale, surpassing the limits imposed by the authorities. In its quest to ensure clean and sustainable environment to the citizens of the country, specifically the wellbeing of the laborers and the inhabitants residing around the coal activities laden areas, NGT has promulgated orders to the state to frame a mining policy that substantially caters to the protection of the environment.

However, the government of Meghalaya has challenged the ban on the grounds of Constitutional guidelines wherein the 6th schedule gives Meghalaya the choice to seek exemption from central laws due to its tribal status.

If the ban persists, the commercial gains accruing from these unlawful activities would surely get thwarted and arrested. The web of coal mine owners, politicians and the agents benefitting from the rush of money from these coal mines could disarray their settlement and change their dynamics during the time of election.

Meghalaya’s river Kopili has been severely damaged and has exhausted its biological productive strength owing to coal mining. Acidification of its water has hampered its marine life and rendered it unsuitable for human consumption.

Thus, it is imperative to comprehend the urgency that surrounds the issue and be addressed holistically and expediently. Scientific measures and significance of green life needs to be given precedence over illegal, unethical ways of mining and mindless deforestation.

National Green Tribunal operates through this empowering paradigm of clean and green ways, advocating development in a manner more scientific, sustainable and healthy.

BSNL to Connect all Assam GPS through Optical Fiber in 2017-18

BSNL Office

Influx of new digital ventures or giving digital makeover to old and traditional structures, India, subtly yet swiftly is becoming part of a smart culture. The most recent sector to embrace this innovative change is India’s most venerable telecom service provider – BSNL.

With the intent to empower rural connectivity and development, optical fiber has been laid in gram panchayats of Assam by BSNL. Easy accessibility to television, internet and telephone through a single point will enable youth to be academically inclined and become literate in a manner, more direct and digital. Target of one lakh people becoming part of this electronic revolution has been targeted for 2020.

Under the probable plan, about 1500 gram panchayats shall be covered under this scheme; 70 % of the total gram panchayats in the state of Assam. Along with that multiple WiFi hotspots spanning through the optical fiber route have also been installed.

The whole arrangement is tantamount to elevation of rural conditions for education and business. Trickling down technological know-how to the lowest tier in the society is a mark of growth and development.

North East India’s largest IT Hub opens in Tripura

CM Manik Sarkar
Tripura’s Chief Minister Mr. Manik Sarkar

Extolling Tripura’s industriousness in Information and Technology sector and it’s excellence in the endeavor of e-governance, Central government awarded the state with accolades and rewards.

With the potential to generate and boost employment opportunities for its IT schooled individuals, Northeast’s largest IT hub was inaugurated in Tripura by its Chief Minister Mr. Manik Sarkar, along with IT and Education Minister Mr. Tapan Chakraborty and Mr. Omkar Rai, Director General of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI).

The decision was rolled out with the enthusiastic vision to encourage prominent IT companies of India to commence their business; making utmost use of the beneficial services and holistic facilities that sprouted with the establishment of North East India’s sixth and largest IT hub, costing 50 crores.

Motivating and inspiring the new age spirit of entrepreneurship; beckoning start-up companies to the new haven of IT hub can be rendered as a positive and promising initiative, underscoring Government of India’s ideology of ‘Start-up’ culture and ‘Digital India’.

The effectual impact resulting in the export of software technology and furnishing e-governance accessibility to the door step of people is also an important aspect being looked forward to and awaits the test of time.

Tripura booming with English skilled IT educated youth and now supplemented with the upcoming IT hub in the North-East, would surely reap benefits from its close proximity with Bangladesh. Capitalizing on its qualified personnel and infrastructural development, Tripura could prove to be an asset for Bangladesh’s nascent IT industry, thereby driving economic enhancement for itself by doubling Bangladesh’s IT exports by 2017.

Tripura Revises IIPIS to attract investment and employment

Tripura Revises IIPIS

Tripura is transforming itself into an immensely valuable business and trade destination. Brimming with natural landscape and manmade marvels of infrastructures, its economy is exploding with the excitement of new possibilities and fruitful collaborations.

However, it is a matter of utmost importance to harness the transition from a remote, neglected region to becoming North East’s most productive and nationally rewarding state. Employment based subsidies, revamping investment topography, enriching IT and software segments and providing incentives for Agri-businesses are some of the prominent facets driving the state’s economic engine of growth.

With the recent revision in Industrial Investment Promotion and Incentive scheme (IIPIS) 2012, Tripura has accoutered infrastructural and logistic support, along with capital subsidy being raised from 30 to 35% of the fixed capital investment.

With dismissal of bottlenecks and ease in connectivity between India and Bangladesh, the investment windows have been generously flung open to welcome South Asian markets. Hassle-free operations have given Bangladesh the confidence to provide accessibility to its seaport at Chittagong and river port at Ashuganj.

Known for pragmatism and circumspect vision, Chief Minister Mr. Manik Sarkar has fueled the state of Tripura with investment beckoning opportunities, specifically for establishing small and medium scale units. The rich reservoir of natural resources like bamboo, rubber, tea and natural gas make the investment pool even more expansive and wide-ranging.