Capital gains

Published : Apr 07, 2006 00:00 IST

AT THE UNDERGROUND Kashmere Gate station of the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation. - R.V. MOORTHY

AT THE UNDERGROUND Kashmere Gate station of the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation. - R.V. MOORTHY

On the transformation of Delhi in view of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

WITH the 2006 Commonwealth Games at Melbourne drawing to a close on March 26, all eyes will now be on Delhi - the venue of the 2010 Games. Having won a closely contested bid against Hamilton, Canada, to host the Games, Delhi now has the responsibility to provide world-class facilities. Delhi was awarded the bid in view of the sporting enthusiasm that the event would impart to the Indian youth.

As was the case in the 1982 Asiad Games in Delhi, an international event such as this can prompt far-reaching urban reforms. The massive infrastructure creation exercise initiated for Asiad benefited South Delhi. The Delhi government is hoping to replicate the exercise for East Delhi, where a games village will come up on the east bank of the Yamuna.

As per the bid documents submitted by the Delhi government and the evaluation report by the Commonwealth Games Committee, Delhi wishes to use the Games to "cement the direction of the National Sports Policy... , achieve major additions to sports infrastructure, attain economic growth and development, improve city infrastructure, boost tourism to India and develop a pool of trained officials for major events and sport".

The games village will come up on 40 hectares of land at an estimated cost of Rs.185.6 crores and house about 8,500 persons. It will be well connected by the Mass Rapid Transit System and Electrical Multiple Unit trains, the document states. The Games shall also require the construction of two new games venues.

In order to make the event truly successful, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit has initiated an ambitious programme of urban renewal and transformation that includes the implementation and densification of Delhi Metro rail corridors, the construction of 74 flyovers across the city to improve traffic flows, the provision of a high-capacity bus service and the forging of lucrative public-private partnerships.

Government and private agencies such as North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL), the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Delhi Tourism, the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC), the Delhi Co-operative Housing Finance Corporation (DCHFC) and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation have pitched in to provide the necessary infrastructure.

The NDPL, a joint venture of Tata Power Company and the Delhi government, serves north and north-west Delhi. NDPL, the distribution arm of Tata Power, started its operations on July 1, 2002, following the unbundling of the Delhi Vidyut Board. With a registered consumer base of around nine lakhs and a peak load of around 1,100 MW, the company's operations span across an area of 510 sq km.

Since privatisation, the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses in NDPL areas have shown a record decline to 32 per cent from 52 per cent. On the power supply front too, NDPL areas have shown remarkable improvement. While NDPL meets 27 per cent of Delhi's energy requirement, its areas have witnessed less than 2 per cent energy loss owing to breakdowns during 2004-05.

The company has earned the distinction of being the only power utility in the country that has initiated an innovative marketing strategy. Consumer care has been NDPL's major focus area. It has set up a call centre that operates round the clock all through the year to receive and redress complaints. Fully networked customer care centres have also been opened. The number of locations for bill payment has been increased from 20 in July 2002 to 1,200. Consumers now have more than a dozen bill payment avenues, as a result of which, the average waiting time has reduced four-fold.

In order to provide information about planned power shutdowns, the company has launched a unique service called Sanchar. Six vans have been deployed to make announcements about the date and duration of shutdowns.

The company is the first distribution utility in India to have introduced the concept of `gifting electricity'. The gift electricity scheme called `Urja' allows people to gift electricity through coupons to those living in NDPL areas.

Another unique scheme, Privilege Consumer, rewards consumers who pay their electricity bills regularly and on time in the form of discount offers from reputed brands and outlets.

In order to get feedback and understand the concerns of its consumers, NDPL has created `brand ambassadors' who act as a link between the consumers and the company by giving impartial feedback to the company.

As a socially responsible company, NDPL is planning to appoint energy conservation ambassadors from among school children. A club was launched in 2004 with the objective of training them to spread the message of conservation among students and also in the community. In all 15,000 schoolchildren from 25 schools are being covered under this initiative.

The company has embarked on a plan to implement high-tech automated systems for its distribution network. Systems such as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping and OTS are the cornerstone of the company's distribution automation project. These systems will facilitate remote operation, monitoring of assets and quick evaluation of faults. Other features of the automation plan include distribution management, energy management and automatic meter reading (AMR). AMR has been introduced for all customers above the 10 kW load.

The company uses an SMS-based fault management system. All linemen and junior engineers have been provided mobile phones and on receipt of a complaint, the call centre would alert the lineman/junior engineer concerned about the location of the fault. An SMS is sent to the call centre after the fault is attended to. If the complaint is not redressed within two hours, it is taken to the next level in the official hierarchy.

By using synergies of technology, law enforcement and consumer education, NDPL has launched technological and human intervention programmes to check power theft. The company has introduced a high voltage distribution system and LT Arial Bunch Conductors to bring down losses owing to theft from 80 per cent to 10 per cent in some of the worst-affected areas.

NDPL is the first power utility to introduce the concept of pre-paid meters. It has launched a pilot project and is organising road shows to make people aware of the new system. This works on a pattern similar to cellular recharge cards. Once the specified load of electricity has been consumed, the consumer would be required to recharge the card.

Another organisation that has been doing its bit for Delhi's urban transformation is the Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC).

The corporation has been leading the integrated industrial development of Delhi, giving ample space, scope, infrastructure and facilities to small-scale industries. It has evolved itself, and has been instrumental in carrying out developmental projects. It has set new parameters in its areas of concern. Accredited with the prestigious ISO 9001: 2000 certification, the corporation has over the years explored fresh avenues of revenue generation.

With the focus shifting from traditional manufacture to environment-friendly, technology-savvy industries, the corporation is expanding its ambit.

Recognising the importance of hallmarking in the sale of gold jewellery, the DSIDC plans to set up an assaying centre. It also plans to set up a gems and jewellery institute, a fashion/apparel park, computerised weigh bridges to be run on a build-own-and-operate basis at the main entry points in Delhi, and the construction of a water body at the Bawana industrial estate.

With a view to capitalising on the growing market for diamonds and precious stone-studded jewellery, it is proposed to create a centre of excellence to take up design, research, manufacture and export of these items from Delhi. This centre will provide infrastructure and an in-house training institute for skill upgradation. The proposed fashion park will provide facilities for designing, product development, fabrication, training, manufacturing, testing, sale outlets and display centres.

The state-of-the-art weigh bridges will enable quick and easy calculation of taxes and of penalty for carrying excess weight. These points would also have outposts of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the Police and Tourism Department and food courts that would serve inter-State travellers better.

Inspired by the Jurang Bird Park in Singapore, the DSIDC has set up a 15-acre water body in the Bawana industrial area in north-west Delhi. Besides making Bawana an environment-friendly industrial area, this landscaped water body would enable recycling of industrial waste water.

The DSIDC has a chain of exclusive retail outlets in Delhi selling Indian-made foreign liquor. These outlets have been revamped with trendy interiors and ample corridor space. They give the customers the convenience of self-service. Five such unique "boutique vends" have been proposed. The DSIDC also proposes to revamp the sale and service of liquor in collaboration with an `Integrated Service Provider'. Liquor outlets of the corporation have become a major revenue earner.

In order to reduce congestion, the government has decided to shift industries from the State's non-conforming (non-industrial) areas and the task has been given to the DSIDC. One of the areas of relocation is Bawana, spread over 1,900 acres (760 hectares), where the provision of basic facilities has been completed in right earnest. These include construction of road, sewer lines, water pipes and storm-water drains. Divided into five zones, the Bawana industrial area, the largest industrial relocation scheme in Asia, is expected to benefit a workforce of 250,000. It will also have seven solid waste collection centres. Solid waste will be transported to sanitary landfill sites.

In Narela, 900 plots have been developed and allotted under the relocation scheme and 600 more plots are under development. The Narela industrial project will have all the basic facilities, including Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CEPTs), storage godowns of the Central Warehousing Corporation, a guest house, the National Dairy Development Board's bottling plant, banks, Industrial Training Institutes and facility centres. Narela will have roads covering 33.68 km, storm-water drains over 63.11 km and sewer lines over 26.25 km. About 378 factories have been allotted space in the Jhilmil area (in East Delhi) as part of the relocation plan. Another 450 acres (172 ha) has been acquired by the DSIDC at Bhorgarh in West Delhi for industrial estate phase-II and for relocation of industries.

The new industrial estates that are being developed are located in far-flung areas. The shifting of factories poses quite a few problems for the workers. One of the problems is commuting to the new location, which is sought to be addressed by constructing houses for the workers in Bawana under the Rajiv Gandhi Housing Project. Spread over 23.55 acres (9.42 ha) the project will have 3,164 dwelling units to be constructed at a cost of Rs.38.65 crores.

To minimise the level of industrial pollution in Delhi, the DSIDC has set up seven CETPs. Work on three more CETPs is under way. The corporation has been entrusted with the task of constructing the first hazardous waste disposal plant in Delhi.

The DSIDC runs `Bharati', an emporium to promote handicrafts made by small-scale, cottage and tiny industries. This emporium attracts both domestic and foreign visitors. The DSIDC also exports artefacts.

In order to safeguard the interests of people in search of employment opportunities abroad, the DSIDC runs an Overseas Manpower Bureau, which sends professionals and skilled workers to West Asia. It receives enquiries from reputed foreign firms.

The corporation has also been involved in several development projects. It has constructed 944 industrial sheds spread over eight well laid-out complexes and 4,000 worksheds for unemployed graduates belonging to the economically weaker sections. In 1978, the DSIDC was designated a Land Development Agency for the development of land at Narela. In the first phase, 1,800 plots were developed and allotted in Narela with facilities - such as shopping complexes, parking lots, CEPTs and green spaces. Similarly, the DSIDC has constructed a computer complex at Okhla, a packaging complex at Kirti Nagar and an engineering complex at Mangolpuri. Under a self-financing scheme, the corporation has allotted 444 sheds to entrepreneurs.

The Construction Division of the corporation is fully equipped with the latest infrastructure and manpower to execute different types of construction assignments. During the past two years, projects worth more than Rs.2,000 crores were executed, and it is the mainstay of the corporation's turnover.

Under the Mini-Master Plan Scheme, planned and integrated development of rural areas in the Kanjhawala Block of Delhi was prepared. Construction of 27 multi-purpose community centres has been completed. The other projects include upgradation of various Delhi Transport Corporation depots, the Udyog Sadan Building at Patparganj, the Labour Welfare Centre at Hari Nagar, the cultural centre for the Sahitya Kala Parishad at Janakpuri, cultural centres at Lakshmi Nagar and Shahdara and a World Bank-funded polytechnic at Rohini and a High Tech Vocational Training Centre with Italian collaboration.

In order to provide self-employment opportunities to the weaker sections, the DSIDC has developed 54 community work centres under which 4,000 work spaces have been allotted to people of resettlement colonies.

The DSIDC provides marketing assistance to small-scale and cottage industries and technical consultancy to entrepreneurs. Through its laboratories at Okhla and Wazirpur it undertakes quality control checks. It has also undertaken software development in a major way. The DSIDC is involved in sand mining.

The corporation has initiated the upgradation of basic civic infrastructure in the industrial estates. It is promoting research in the field of biotechnology by setting up a centre on the Delhi University South Campus. It plans to develop a 15-acre ecological park and a 200-acre `Knowledge Park'.

In order to fulfil the need for cultural facilities in East Delhi, the Poorva Sanskritik Kendra is now getting ready. Modelled on the India Habitat Centre on Lodhi Road, the Laxmi Nagar Cultural Centre has been visualised by a professional team of the DSIDC and is seen as a happening place for cultural activities.

Given that the 2010 Games will be held on the banks of the Yamuna, the state of the river and supply of water will be subjected to close scrutiny. However, the Delhi Jal Board is proving to be more than equal to the task. At present, the total installed capacity of the water treatment plants (WTPs) and ground sources is 650 million gallons a day (MGD). By optimisation, about 675 MGD of water is produced. However, owing to constraints of raw water, the Nangloi WTP is treating only 25 MGD.

In view of this underutilisation, the DJB has embarked on an ambitious supply augmentation project. The work on a 140 MGD WTP at Sonia Vihar, the laying of transmission mains for the Trans-Yamuna and South Delhi areas besides conveyance of raw water from Murad Nagar to the Sonia Vihar WTP and the work on laying of a conduit of 3,250 mm size have been completed. A trial run of the plant has been done with 80 cusecs of raw water released by the Uttar Pradesh government against the requirement of 300 cusecs. The plant is ready for commissioning on availability of raw water.

The DJB has approved the construction of a parallel line channel from Munak to Haiderpur. This is being executed by the Haryana Irrigation Department on behalf of the DJB at an estimated cost of Rs.315 crores and will be completed by June 2006. This work would help save 80 MGD of raw water. Based on this quantity of water the WTPs at Dwarka and Okhla would be constructed.

In view of the scarcity of raw water sources, the DJB proposes to recycle waste water from the existing WTPs, which will be about 46 MGD. The work on capacity addition at the Haiderpur and Bhagirathi WTPs are in progress. By the end of 2006, the DJB will be able to recycle the waste water of the Haiderpur, Wazirabad and Bhagirathi WTPs.

A special thrust has been given to improving the existing distribution system by replacing/cleaning of the old and encrusted network. During 2004-05, 165 km of water lines were replaced. During 2006-07, 205 km of old lines will be replaced.

The DJB has taken up rain water harvesting in its own building and has provided RWH structures in its 190 installations, covering an area of about 9.16 lakh sq. m. These structures will re-charge ground-water aquifers by harvesting 5.10 lakh cubic metres of rainwater annually.

For effective management of water tankers deployed by the DJB, a comprehensive scheme for connecting them with control rooms through the global positioning system is being implemented. The pilot project in south and south-west areas on 24 water tankers has been implemented with control rooms set up at Najafgarh, Vasant Kunj and Varunalaya.

Owing to inequitable supply of water, areas such as the northern zone receive far more water than the southern zone. This has resulted in poor customer satisfaction.

The principal objective of the pilot project is to improve the water supply and sewerage services and demonstrate that it is possible to provide excellent water distribution service even with the current level of water production.

Presently, a strategic consultative group comprising members from water utilities of Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai has been constituted to review the overall approach to the reform strategy.

All the 17 sewage treatment plants (STPs) have been completed. In East Delhi, the DJB plans to augment the capacity of the STP by 45 MGD at Kondli and by 25 MGD at Yamuna Vihar. Prequalification of firms for the Kondli Plant have been done and their technical proposals are being evaluated. For the Yamuna Vihar STP, prequalification of firms for the execution of project has been received and finalised for the civil component.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest, along with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, has ensured that the Yamuna Action Plan Phase-II is implemented in Delhi and other riparian States. Five major projects costing Rs.387.17 crores (renovation of the Keshopur Plant; construction of a new STP at Okhla and three projects involving rehabilitation and laying of new trunk sewers) have been identified.

With the speedy execution of the various projects, the Delhi government and its associated departments are determined to ensure that the 2010 Commonwealth Games are a grand success.

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