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Kolkata Metro to become first network in India to have an underwater section: JICA chief at CII East India Summit CII | East India Summit
Image Credit: Kolkata Metro Facebook

Kolkata Metro to become first network in India to have an underwater section: JICA chief at CII East India Summit

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 28 Sep 2021, 10:53 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: JICA Chief Representative Mitsunori Saito on Tuesday mentioned about areas of collaboration with Eastern India highlighting that Kolkata Metro will become the first network in India to have an underwater section while speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)'s first ever East India Summit 2021.

The summit commenced from Sept 28 and will continue till Oct 7. This is aimed at bringing together a wide audience and participants from across the country to focus on infrastructure investment opportunities in the East & North East.

The CII would be targeting the integration of the growth potential of the 5 states comprising Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal and the seven North East states and channelize the strengths of the region towards “Building Eastern India” through integrating the 5 “I”s – Image, Innovation, Infrastructure, Investment and Inclusiveness.

Speaking at the conference, he enumerated the 5 principles of G20 - Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment in terms of openness, transparency, economic efficiency in view of life-cycle cost, and debt sustainability, which is at par with developments in Eastern corridor.

"The Kolkata Metro Project aims at mitigating bottlenecks of the transportation in the city by employing the most advanced technology," stated Saito.

The JICA Representative also emphasized on adoption of variable pumped storage power plants as an advanced technology which can be operated at lower output than the conventional pumped storage systems having wider output power adjustment range between its minimum to maximum output.

Such innovations can boost installed generation capacity in West Bengal to 17,318 MW by 2029 from 16,318 MW in 2018, he added.

Speaking at the session, Takeo Konishi, Country Director, Asian Development Bank, spoke regarding East-Coast Economic Corridor, to  connect Tuticorin in South to Kolkata in East via Chennai and cities in Andhra Pradesh.

The ambitious infrastructure program, which runs along the entire east coast from Kolkata to Kanyakumari, is a multi-modal, regional maritime corridor would be instrumental in playing a vital role in unifying the large domestic market, as well as integrating the economy with the global value chains of southeast and east Asia.

Along with recommendations for state specific infrastructure policy, eminent speakers like PVSLN Murty, Chairman and Managing Director, NEDFI; Arnab Bandyopadhyay, Lead Transport Specialist and Program Leader, World Bank and Rajat Misra, Director General, Infrastructure Investment, Asian Infra Investment Fund, expressed their interest in working in tandem with Governments of North East. Among the success stories in the North East, the World Bank has proved itself as a forerunner in empowering the " 5 Sisters of North East " by assisting them in launching energy transmission infrastructure for the respective states.

The session witnessed a robust discussion on the National Monetization Pipeline, conceptualized by NITI Aayog  in consultation with infrastructure line ministries, based on the mandate for 'Asset Monetisation' under Union Budget 2021-22. Asset monetisation is dedicated to tapping private sector investment for new infrastructure creation.

Industry stalwarts, Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman, CII Infrastructure Council & Infrastructure Sector Specialist; Amit Kapur, Joint Managing Partner, J Sagar Associates;  Arjun Dhawan, CEO & Whole-time Director, Hindustan Construction Company Ltd and Sandeep Kumar, Chairman, Infrastructure & Finance subcommittee, CII Eastern Region & Managing Director, Tata Metaliks Ltd deemed it as a necessity for creating employment opportunities, thereby enabling high economic growth and seamlessly integrating the rural and semi-urban areas for overall public welfare.

"NMP should not be viewed as a Central Initiative, the states have a wider role to play," opined Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman, National Taskforce on Infrastructure - Monitoring & Advocacy & Infrastructure Sector Specialist.

The CII would work towards converting the theoretical concept to practical agenda, through setting up of "Monetization Advisory Taskforce" to identify the assets to be monetized followed by further collaboration with the government in due course of time, thus tailoring policy structures in this aspect at tandem with market demand.