Railways forms company to handle green power biz

The Indian Railways has formed a new entity — Renewable Energy Management Company — to handle its renewable energy portfolio.

The Railways has an installed capacity of 5 MW of solar and 10.5 MW of wind power. Plans are afoot to install another 8 MW of solar power, according to Anil Kumar Saxena, Additional Director-General, Indian Railways.

Given its size and presence across the country, the Railways has been asked by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to evaluate the potential of solar power generation, sources said. This, according to the Ministry, will help save on power consumption and help it get the electricity at stable rates over the next 25 years.

Rising bill

The Indian Railways spent Rs 24,130 crore on fuel in FY12. This includes over Rs 3 crore for coal, Rs 10,628 crore for diesel (2.71 million Kilo litres) and about Rs 13,500 crore on power bills for locos, suburban locals and other needs.

Locos and EMU services alone consume 12,762 million units. The Railways still burn 1,000 tonnes of coal a year to run steam locomotives on some sections in the Southern and the Northeast Frontier Railway.

Estimates indicate that there is potential to harness 193 MW of solar power alone through rooftop application on rail land and buildings.

The Ministry also wants the Railways to participate in the bidding of 750 MW grid-connected projects under the National Solar Mission, slated to come up shortly.

The sources said tenders for installation of solar units at 200 stations and 21 office-buildings are in progress. The Railways will also float bids for setting up solar units at 1,000 level-crossings. It will identify about 10 locations to install off-grid solar thermal systems for use in cooking and laundry.

A detailed project report for this will be sought from consultants in a couple of months. Going forward, workshops, manufacturing facilities and training centres may also be equipped with solar and solar thermal plants.

Last week, the Rail Land Development Authority said it had tied up with global property consultant Knight Frank India to monetise vacant railway land at 53 locations across the South and West. This again would enhance the rooftop coverage of solar panels for the Railways.

Knight Frank will solicit ‘expression of interest’ from developers, retailers and hoteliers and manage the bidding process.

The rail authority has over 120 sites across the country, which it intends to lease out through competitive bidding.

The plan is to develop multi-functional complexes to provide amenities to commuters, including budget hotels at stations, while generating additional revenue for the Railways in the process.


Parsvnath pays Rs 501cr instalment to RLDA for Delhi rail land

Realty firm Parsvnath Developers today said it has paid Rs 500.86 crore instalment to the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) against the 38 acres of rail land that it had bought for Rs 1,651 crore.

Parsvnath had bought this land, located at Sarai Rohilla- Kishanganj in the national capital, from RLDA in 2010 through an auction.

“The company has so far made payments of three instalments together with interest aggregating to Rs 1,161.46 crore,” Parsvnath Group Chairman Pradeep Jain said in a statement.

In May this year, a development agreement was executed between RLDA and Parsvnath Rail Land Project, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) incorporated for implementing this project.

The company will develop luxury apartments, commercial/ shopping areas, railway housing, railway service building & common facilities, Hospital/School and other amenities.

Parsvnath has appointed Callison LLC of USA as architect for the project in co-ordination with architect Sikka & Associates.

The company will develop this project in partnership with private equity firm Red Fort Capital.


Rail authority to form JV for Mumbai plot

Bangalore: The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) is likely to form a joint venture (JV) for its plot of land near the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), a business district in Mumbai, following a consultation with potential bidders, a top official said.

The estimated reserve price for the land auction is Rs4,000 crore.

RLDA, which had earlier failed to lease the 45,300 sq. m plot for an 80-year period, met 28 developers, including DLF Ltd, Unitech Ltd, Emaar MGF Land Ltd and DB Realty Ltd on Friday.

Most of the developers at the meeting pitched for a JV with a revenue-sharing model between RLDA and the successful bidder, said A.K. Gupta, general manager (projects) at RLDA.

The authority hopes to float the bids soon after it designs the structure of the venture, Gupta said, without specifying a deadline. The auction was originally planned for March.

The attempt to get feedback from potential bidders before the auction comes in the backdrop of last year’s liquidity crunch and a failed land auction at BKC earlier this month by another entity due to steep prices, say property consultants.

“The JV model will work well for developers because they don’t have to put in high capital investment initially and can put in money in phases,” said Param Desai, a research analyst with Angel Broking Ltd. The revenue-sharing system will also allow for the profits to be distributed between the two parties, he said.

RLDA was constituted in 2006 to develop vacant railway land for commercial use.

Gupta said the idea to informally meet the developers was not how most government organizations worked. “We have always followed a unilateral structure for bids, which was one-sided. But now we think it’s important to involve the other side and incorporate their suggestions too,” said Gupta.

RLDA, which is looking to sell land in Kolkata, Chennai, Aurangabad and Jamanagar, is holding similar sessions with potential bidders for those plots as well.

A Mumbai developer, who was present at the Friday meeting with RLDA, said the fact that a part of the land is embroiled in litigation is a bit of a dampener. “If the land title is clear and the joint venture model is reasonable, we will bid for it,” he said on condition of anonymity.

The previous big-ticket land auction was by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority on 3 March, when not a single bid was submitted for a BKC plot priced at Rs3 lakh per sq. m.


Automation of Rail Land Development Authority

After the completion of computerization, RLDA’s next project is to automated Railways land management for which it plans to deploy an ERP system according to it’s Joint General Manager-IT, Ashok Kumar Gupta

Indian Railways (IR) has hectares of vacant land and waste land that is not required for operational purposes in the foreseeable future. Such land would be identified by the zonal railways and the details thereof would be advised to the Railway Board. These plots of land would thereafter be entrusted to the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) by the Railway Board in phases for commercial development. The business processes involved had to be standardized and automated.

RLDA is an autonomous body created under the Ministry of Railways by a Special Act of Parliament. As the organization’s staff is not well-versed in IT it is a Herculean task to create an environment for the implementation of an IT project. To provide good governance and make an IT project successful is the biggest challenge that we faced.

The ERP system for land management will have modules for land management, project management, employee management and financial management with regular and exceptional MIS and real-time alerts to all concerned.

The process of developing a request for proposal (RFP) is already on in order to select the appropriate vendors/system integrators for facilitating the implementation of the ERP system and provide the requisite hardware and network components.

For a smoother flow of information

Computerization kicked of with a government-centric mission i.e. technology within, for facilitating the flow of information within a department and later from one department to another. But now with the introduction of e-governance projects, the transformation has been effected and information is no longer the privilege of a select few but rather it flows from the government to the citizens. This is how e-governance has become helpful to the common man who can now interact with the system directly and have his grievances redressed rather than depend upon the middlemen in the hierarchy who have been fleecing the common man.

About RLDA

Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) is a statutory Authority, under the Ministry of Railways, set-up by an Amendment to the Railways Act, 1989, for development of vacant railway land for commercial use for the purpose of generating revenue by non-tariff measures.

– As told to Vinita Gupta


Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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