Uttarakhand to follow Himachal Pradesh model for hydropower project
To set up new hydropower projects and start the pending ones, the Uttarakhand government has decided to follow in the footsteps of neighbouring Himachal Pradesh (HP) as the state cabinet has approved a new policy on lines of HP’s model.
The new investors will now have to give Rs 1 lakh as development tax, which earlier was Rs 25 lakh. The new policy has also cleared the deck to hand over the pending projects to other companies. Under the project, the river bed material dug up for the project can be used to make the plant and permission has been provided to set up stone crushers.
According to the previous policy, the build, operate and transfer duration was for 40 years, out of which five years were for construction and 35 years for the operation. Now, according to the proposed amendment, the allocation would be for 40 years after the scheduled commercial operation date (SCOD). Owing to the objections raised by the court, several hydropower projects are yet to be started in Uttarakhand.
According to the new policy, Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited will purchase the electricity produced by the project up to 25MW on a tariff fixed by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
The policy defines the provisions for the state to come up with parking on government land, for people developing parking slots on private/government land and for the government using private land to develop parking.
China Becomes First Country in Asia to Launch Hydrogen Powered Train
China’s CRRC Corporation Ltd. Launched a hydrogen urban train, and it is the first in Asia and the second such train in the world. Germany introduced green trains a few months back. The hydrogen trains have a speed of 160 km per hour and the operational range without refueling is 600 km.
The trains launched by Germany have a record of 1175 km range set. The Indian Railway on the other hand is moving fast to induct the ‘World’s Greenest Train’ soon.
India will get its first-ever Indigenous Hydrogen trains by December 2023. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav informed that Indian Railways is working on new environment-friendly trains and the engineers are designing them.
Dirtiest Railway Stations in India list
Indian railway is well-known not just in India but even outside. Some railway stations, in addition to trains, are well-known worldwide. India is home to the second-largest platform in the world. In addition, one of the main train stations in India are the New Delhi Railway Station and Mumbai Central Railway Station. Usually, the question is that which are the cleanest railway stations in India, but here we will see the dirtiest railway stations in India.
In addition to direct observation, QCI assessors gathered comments from 1.2 million passengers to determine which Indian railway stations were the cleanest and dirtiest.
In accordance with revenue creation, the ranking has classified Indian railway stations into a number of categories for the third consecutive year.
There are 75 railway stations in the A1 category that generate more than 75 crore in annual passenger income.
Govt Eyes $17 billion Cut in Food, Fertiliser Subsidies in 2023/24
India aims to cut spending on food and fertiliser subsidies to 3.7 trillion rupees ($44.6 billion) in the fiscal year from April, down 26% from this, to rein in a fiscal deficit that ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Spending on fertiliser subsidies will likely fall to about Rs 1.4 lakh crore. That compares with nearly Rs 2.3 lakh crore this year.
Food and fertiliser subsidies alone account for about one-eighth of India’s total budgetary spending of ₹39.45 trillion this fiscal year, but reducing these subsidies could be politically sensitive given the impending elections.
The government anticipates allocating roughly 2.3 trillion for food subsidies in the upcoming fiscal year as opposed to 2.7 trillion for the year that has just ended on March 31.
The amount spent on fertiliser subsidies will probably decrease to roughly 1.4 trillion in contrasts to 2.3 trillion this year.
17th Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2023 announced
17th Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award: 27 Indians living overseas have been chosen by the Indian government for the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards (PBSA), for outstanding achievements both in India and abroad. The award is the highest honour conferred upon Indians living abroad, including Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) or organisations/institutions established and run by them.
The jury that selected the recipients comprised Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar as its chairman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as its Vice-Chair, among other distinguished dignitaries from different fields. The awards will be conferred upon the recipients by President Droupadi Murmu during the 17th edition of the PBSA, which is scheduled to be held from 8-10 January in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.