Smart cities: Designed for growth

June 25 will be remembered as a red-letter day in the history of urban India as three mission programmes with a huge spend were launched, all backed by India’s dynamic Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Smart Cities, AMRUT and ‘Housing for All’. The depth of these programmes can be gauged from the detailing in the guidelines […]

Radical solution to land acquisition bill impasse

Introduction India has a total land area of 32,87,590 sq km, which is 2.4 per cent of the world’s surface area, making it the seventh largest country in the world. Forty-six per cent of the land is under agriculture and 50 per cent is inhospitable; 2 per cent of the land is urban and 1 […]

Earthquakes compound building penalties

As news of the disaster caused by the 7.9-Richter magnitude earthquake hit news channels, my focus shifted back to the vulnerability of our structures. India has been besieged by earthquakes every few years since 1991—before that, the notable one was in 1975. In recent times, the biggest one was the 9.1-magnitude quake near Sumatra islands […]

Boss, no action on the ground!

While addressing a private gathering recently, Union Minister of Power Piyush Goyal referred to the common disdain and complaint heard in corners of corporate boardrooms about the slow pickup of the economy: “Boss, there is no action on the ground!” He narrated that when the NDA set about seeking a tender for street lighting using […]

Only a kickstarter

With a public spend of Rs 1.25 trillion, the budget spells out a coherent roadmap for growth & fiscal consolidation Having proved without doubt that the Modi government was quite adept at enhancing the administrative and the executive quotient in the country, the union budget was an awaited event which needed to kickstart the economy […]

Don’t buy land for infrastructure, lease it

The Land Acquisition Act has been constantly running into rough political weather every now and then. And if the government caves into the loud opposition demands, many infrastructure projects (including smart cities, rural electrification programmes and industrial corridors, to list a few) will be stuck in limbo. However, the solution lies in turning the idea […]