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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

YSR's dream: hi speed rail corridor

The Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy will seek Viability Gap Funding from the Prime Minister and the Central team for the Inter-City High Speed Rail Corridor between Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad via Dornkal connecting Vijayawada, Chennai and Bangalore. This will be connected to the already proposed high speed rail corridor of Mumbai-Delhi. This will integrate emerging cities in Deccan and Southern parts of India into one large metro grid to enhance social, leisure, tourism, infrastructure, and business connectivity.

This will use the potential high-speed passenger traffic as a productivity fillip for new niche markets on the corridors and nodes and will de-congest intra-city and encourage inter-city business opportunities. The State Government will plead that the project must be taken up by the Indian Railways on a PPP/SPV Model with direct Viability Gap Funding (VGF) from the Centre. This high speed rail corridor will facilitate the common people to go to any of these cities in the morning and come back in the evening.

The Chief Minister will seek a total assistance of about Rs. 8800 crore for the revenue, energy, urban development, industries, road transport, panchayat raj and railway sectors. He will also seek Rs.1550 crore for Bhu Bharathi since it is the endeavour to provide a firm and conclusive title deed to each one of these 3.47 crore premise owners. It involves resurvey operations using space technology for aerial photography, Geographical Information System (GIS) and Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) imposed upon digitised cadastral maps. The concept is proven and is being successfully implemented as a pilot project in Nizamabad.

The Chief Minister will also raise the gas supply issue and explain that the existing gas based power projects (1276 MW) are operating only at 50% due to non supply of gas and the new gas based power projects (1500 mw) completely lying idle.

GAIL have not honoured the commitment to supply adequate gas. As a result, GoAP have to bear additional financial burden of around Rs.4000 crore to procure expensive power. Production sharing contract under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) has a provision to opt for Profit Petroleum in kind. This option is to be exercised for supply in kin from K-G Basin to these stranded assets.

Government of India will be requested to ensure supply of Profit Petroleum in kind to gas based power projects in A.P. As far as Pricing Policy is concerned, the State Government will explain that in the absence of a competitive Market in a Monopoly Situation, "Market Price Discovery" is not possible. Production Sharing Contract under NELP provides for pricing methodology to be referred to an independent Regulatory Authority. The Chief Minister have already addressed GoI on the need to establish a Regulatory Authority in the current market context. Expert Committee of Planning Commission has also endorsed the same.

The State Government will request GoI to set up an independent Market Regulator to scrutinize apex and for methodology for pricing of Natural Gas. Tariff Commission has recommended lower tariffs to be charged by GAIL to implement these recommendations.

Tariff Commission have recommended lower tariffs for gas to be charged by GAIL. Tariff Commission also directed excess charges of Rs.606 crores recovered between 1997 and 2006 are to be returned. PMO referred the matter to the Planning Commission. They have confirmed Tariff Commission recommendations.

A.P. Government's sponsored company to develop pipeline infrastructure on 'common-carrier' basis. The State Government will request the GoI to accord approval for Krishna-Godavari Gas Network Limited (KGGNL), a Public Private Partnership, to lay gas pipelines in the State.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural GAs (MoPNG) is insisting on a binding gas supply contract. Risk in laying pipeline is to be entirely borne by Krishna-Godavari Gas Network Limited (KGGNL). Any further delay in laying of gas pipeline will hamper gas requirements of all regions of state. The GoAP will also seek to allocate a part of the Centre's profit gas from KG basin to AP for Krishna-Godavari Gas Network Limited (KGGNL), a common carrier.

The Chief Minister will also seek Central assistance for Hyderabad Outer Ring Road Project, Hyderabad Metro Rail Project (MRTS), development of Hyderabad Outer Ring Road (ORR) Project, bypassing NH 7&9 through Hyderabad city.

The Chief Minister will also seek central assistance for the refinery project by ONGC at Kakinada and a Petrochemical investment region (PCPIR) in Visakhapatnam.

The Chief Minister will also explain that there is a necessity for urgent upgradation of 17 important State roads into National Highways. Upgradation proposals covering a length of 4950 kms were already submitted to the MOSRT&H. He will also seek assistance for major bridge over Rayapatnam, Nizamabad-Jagadalpur of NH-16, another major bridge across river Godavari and re-alignment of NH-202 from Eturnagaram to A.P.State Border. He will seek central funds for construction of roads in the extremist-affected areas and construction of rural roads under PMGSY.

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