What ails Public Private Partnerships in Highways in India?

Absolute Infra Blog

Despite the tangible steps being taken by the government to bring the best out of PPP in roads sector, constraints still persists. Some of them are discussed as below:

Slow award of project

If we look at the target vs. achievement figures of National Highways development on a year on year basis, we will observe there has been a significant drop in the award of project. It point to greater malaise existing in the sector in form of lack of capacity, poor project development and lack of societal stakeholder’s involvement.

Delay in execution of Projects

Even progress on the projects that has been already awarded has not been significant. The delays are attributed to land acquisition issues, poor project management by developers and the authorities. From governance perspective stakeholders’ consideration and consultation is necessary to make a project success, in most of the cases land owners not willing to participate…

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Indian Highways – What Slowed It Down?

Absolute Infra Blog

The financial year 2012-13 was anything but disappointment on road development in India. There was a tall target to build and at least award projects to the tune of more than 24 km per day through public private partnership and direct EPC contracts which comes to around 9500 km of nation highways in the year. Ministry and NHAI were able to award a meager 1300 km, only a fraction of that on public private partnership. The situation doesn’t look better so far for the seven months till October in 2013-14.

There exist issues that restrain the growth of public private partnerships in general and as listed in my post What ails Public Private Partnerships in Highways in India? As on date, when it comes to award of new projects on PPP, highly leveraged balance sheet, cautious banks when it comes to infra lending and traffic and its growth lower than expectation…

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TAMP Guidelines for Determination of Tariff, 2013

My Post on Absolute Infra Blog

Absolute Infra Blog

A new Tariff Guidelines for setting tariff for port services was announced by Ministry of Shipping (MoS) on 31st July 2013. It is aimed to level playing field in Ports Sector by providing flexibility to major ports and private terminal operators at major ports to set market linked tariffs.

The guidelines will be applicable to any Major ports and any other PPP arrangement after 31st July 2013 for a period of 05 years unless revoked or modified earlier. Projects governed by the 2005 Guidelines and the 2008 Guidelines remains unaffected.


The port trust proposes the reference tariff for each service or category of service along with the performance standards to TAMP. The reference tariff remains the maximum fixed tariff at the concerned major port trust provided with escalation of 60% of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) per annum. In no tariff has been fixed for a commodity in the…

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Capacity utilization & up gradation of Port Infrastructure

My post on Absolute Infra Blog.

Absolute Infra Blog

Recent developments at Gateway and other terminals at JNPT will have cost implication for shippers and it has left them seeking for alternate hub for export cargoes. The port of JNPT as a whole is congested and running beyond its capacity. The sordid state of affairs is reflected in increased waiting time for berth, time at berth and overall turnaround time. The service parameters create financial implication for both liners and shippers; as a result it is obvious to look for alternate solution.


But, where will they go?

The adjoining terminals are faring no better, and faces the same problem of congestion, increasing turnaround time. NSCIT, JNPCT are already running to capacity and have no space and berthing available to accommodate any surge in volume.

The combined capacity of JNPT container terminals is around 4.1 million TEUs per annum and their utilization rates exceeds cent per cent. Past data reveals…

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Indian Port Infrastructure: Opportunities & Challenges

Indian Port Infrastructure: Opportunities & Challenges.

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Journey to India’s far east – Silchar #02

 It took us around two and a half hours to reach Shillong where we stopped for lunch. The rumors which we considered news was good, there are fair chances that the road will be motor able by the evening. We were elated.  It was a bright day but by the time we crossed the Badapani on the way it was raining. Maybe it was monsoon, maybe it was Meghalaya, the abode clouds, maybe it was a pre-staged act so that the memories we take away is Meghalaya is wet. 
We finished our truly mainland lunch to which only local addition was pickles made of bamboo shoot. By the time we returned to our vehicle, the driver refused to take us any further. He said he can’t go, he won’t go. He will arrange for another vehicle. Better if it is from Jaintia Hills, so that it can take us straight. To which he was bombarded with set of questions.
Is it how you treat visitors in your state?
Now I know why tourist fear coming to this part.
But he was calm and in an accent directly taken of rock songs he played so far he replied, 
“I belong to a different hill tribe. The place you guys are going is different. We don’t run business in their area they don’t run in ours. Besides you don’t want to be in any danger because of our tribe rivalry.”
We had no more arguments to make and no time to waste.
Do it fast, whatever you want to do.
We don’t want to lose time because of it.
After fifteen minutes and a couple of phone calls made by driver from phone booth on opposite side of road, a vehicle came. Our luggage was shifted to it and again we started – for journey through hills of Meghalaya.
I have seen enough of natural greens. The mighty hills of Kanchanjungha Biosphere Reserve covered with dense forests. I grew up with hills like a dark green canvas laid for a painter and at times in solitude and profound pondering I used to think what should I paint on it. Sometime the same green would haunt me as monochrome. It was one of intimidating if it was not the snow covered peaks on the horizon.

The hills of Meghalaya appeared different. It was too bright of green, but was majestic. We saw farmers working in their terraced fields, kids running down the roads, hamlets with smoke coming out of individual houses and ground dripping wet with rain. It was a different world altogether… We stopped by a road side stall where a pretty lady was selling plums and bamboo shoots, cucumber…we bought plums.. They were good like the one my friends used to bring in school fresh from his orchard.
Unlike in the urban India and on highways in the mainland, the billboards were absent on the lone winding highway. The only signs were of Project Dantak of Border Roads Organization. As we progressed in the afternoon, the panorama of beautiful green hills fit for the landscaped golf course turned ugly. What we were seeing now was mutilation and exploitation of nature-of monstrous propensity. If it was not the Sardar uncle on the front seat of cab, an Indian Forest Services Officer, we would never know these mines were illegal…for these shallow mines they had cleared vegetation the hills are bare with patches of greens left. But, who will ruin such a beautiful adobe for a couple foot thick layer coal. It is madness, Crude madness…
 It was touching in the sense that you felt sorry for the level of degradation human greed can take us. At the same time, we were thankful that such a thing is not there in Sikkim. Sikkim is still beautiful. Cutting trees is still considered as a last resort… Leave alone mass clearing of forests. The coal mines gave way to limestone quarries. And then, the cement plant in Jaintia Hills… Believe me that is one odd place I have ever seen a cement plant in life like a blemish on a beautiful face.

Amidst all these thoughts the driver hinted that we are nearing the landslide spot, may be another 10 kms. A couple more kilometers, we can see trucks parked on highway side, first sparingly, then in groups wherever they could find enough place and then it started as a chain of trucks… All loaded with goods, grains, vegetables, and domestic gas cylinders, woods and the things I didn’t know behind those dark tarpaulins… The driver said it’s been like that for more than 10 days now. The stench of rotting vegetables, fruits was unbearable as we passed such trucks. There were drivers cooking by the road side, a few were having their meal, bit late for lunch time. The driver stopped by what appeared to be a lone grocery store…he asked us if we are carrying rain coats.
We said no.
Buy a few meters of polyethylene sheets each, you will need it to keep you and your luggage dry. It has been raining so we went by his wise words. It was not a permanent grocery store but a temporary one erected to cater to the stranded people.
(Yet to reach Silchar … dont kill me, it was a long & arduous journey… more to come in next post)
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Early Morning Post

It doesn’t happen usually that you wake up at late hours of night and wonder what you were doing up in life lately. Now, 6 am is too late at night in this western part of the country, had it been Sikkim it would have been a fruitful thing to do, considering I would have waited for sunrise, watching sunrise at least once a year, if not necessary is a good thing one should do.

As I check the time, I realize the futility of my effort to switch on the lights. The power is gone. It happens here too. Now having lived in two power surplus state and eternally blacked out Bihar, I am sure this is not a thing to crib about, however, one can generalize that there is nothing called a perfect state. Or in terms of Yin Yang symbol, there is a part of Bihar in every Gujrat and a part of Gujrat in every Bihar. Go figure out which part and where I am talking about.

I felt an urge to write and more particularly a bid adieu to my colleagues at recent job considering my next plans, a short crisp one. But no its not going to happen with me, as I gather thoughts, I am sure with a little bit of infused sarcasm it will run into pages.

What was the last blog post?


See, isn’t that a perfect question to ask yourself?

Whatever, you were traveling somewhere in the far east…

I got it….another 1000 words or so in drafts and I am yet to arrive at the destination… I can’t figure out whats going on.

Wait, don’t you think you need more practice on writing.

You mean what I have been doing is not writing.

Its writing, but it is more of story telling, or like practicing detailing to unnecessary proposition. It is like writing a 1000 page point less novel.


Beside being a miser on details, you should show more by your words rather then telling the same thing in words, as followed by many writers.

I know, that is Hemingway and his Iceberg Theory.



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