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Friday, April 23, 2010

India's railway plan: Loud Thunder, little rain again

Last time, I wrote about India's insufficient action to fulfil its ambitious plan for adding power generation capacity. The same story is happening in India's railway system without any exception.

BTW, new data released by India government shows that India added only 9585 mw of new power capacity in 2009-2010 fisical year (india's fisical year ends in March), against the overall target of 14,507 MW.

The achievement during 2008-09 was 31 per cent (3,454 MW against a target of 11,061 MW) and 57 per cent in 2007-08 (9,263 MW against a target of 16,335 MW).(Source)

You cannot imagine that a country of 1.1 billion population could only build 513 km of new railways in 2 years, but its leaders are still shamelessly talking about improving infrastructure quickly and bragging that India is catching up with China.

For a convenient comparison, China built more than 30,000km of new railways in the 30 years before the reform. That means China built more than 1,000 km of new line each year 30 years ago.

In 2009 alone, China constructed new railroad lines of 5,461km, 4,063km of new double lines. Total of 5,557 km of new lines were put into operation, including 2,319 km of new high-speed lines. 8,849 km railways were electrified in 2009 alone. (Source)

The following reports came from here.

Indian Railways could achieve only 28 per cent of the total 11th Five-Year Plan (2007-12) targets in the first two years.

"Performance of the Railways, in the first two years of the plan period, was much below the proportionate targets as it could achieve only 28 per cent of total plan size," according to the latest report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

It was planned to add 2,000 kms of new lines, convert 10,000 km of metre/narrow gauge into broad gauge, double the 6,000 km of single track and electrify 3,500 km of routes during the 11th Plan.

However, in the first two years of the plan period, 513 km (25.65 per cent) of new lines, 2,612 km (26.12 per cent) of gauge conversion, 789 kms (13.15 per cent) of doubling and 1,299 km (37.11 per cent) of electrification was completed.

The report revealed that out of 144 ongoing railway projects, six projects have been delayed by over 10 years.

The anticipated cost of completion of these projects has been revised to Rs 13,055.47 crore (Rs 130.55 billion) from original cost of 3,463.60 crore (Rs 34.63 billion).

The 11th Plan size of Rs 2,33,289 crore (Rs 2,332.89 billion) envisages financing of Rs 63,635 crore (Rs 636.35 billion) through general budgetary support, Rs 90,000 crore (Rs 900 billion) through internal resources and Rs 79,654 crore (Rs 796.54 billion) through extra budgetary resources.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Human rights? 1140 people were killed by Indian railway in 15 months in Chennai ONLY

The list of people run over by trains in Chennai had crossed 1140 in the last 15 months.

According to official data, more than 275 people were killed on Chennai Beach-Mount section, the highest in EMU sector, followed by 204 accidents between Pazhavanthangal and Maraimalai Nagar, falling under Tambaram Railway Police Station during the period of January 2009 and March 2010.


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Superpower? 300m Indians go hungry everyday! Worse than Zimbabwe

According to the Global Hunger Index, India ranks 65th out of 88 countries, with a hunger rate of 23.9.

India, which was largely unaffected by the recent global economic slowdown, however, appears to have made little progress in tackling hunger and malnutrition. The situation remains 'alarming' in the country on this front.

Countries like Uganda (38th); Mauritania (40th); Zimbabwe (58th) and many others have a better record than India on this front. Even war-torn nations have managed to combat the scourge of hunger quite well, while India -- even though it boasts of being the second fastest growing economy in the world -- languishes far behind and millions in the country go hungry.

21 per cent of the Indian population was undernourished (between 2003 and 2005), 43.5per cent Indian children under the age of five were underweight (between 2002 and 2007) and the under five-years age infant mortality rate in 2007 was 7.2 per cent.

In September 2009, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh projected a food stock of 50 million tonne. Yet, close to 300 million Indians go without food every day!

According to the World Bank, 46 per cent of Indian children below the age of five are underweight, and the World Food Program says that close to 30 per cent of the world's hungry live in India.

According to the 2008 Global Hunger Index, which is calculated by the International Food Policy Research Institute, India has close to 350 million people who are food insecure -- in other words, who are not sure where their next meal will come from.

To put that into context, that is the same as the entire populations of Germany, France and the United Kingdom all going hungry.


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