India infrastructure

It’s official. Jaiprakash Associates, the Indian energy and infrastructure conglomerate, has sold off two hydroelectric plants in northern India.

The last time one of the group’s subsidiaries did something similar, its shares rallied on hopes that the move would bring down the group’s debts. But this time the stock has tanked because of signs the plants may have been sold too cheaply. Continue reading »

Forget the domestic market – look overseas. That seems to be the message from Larsen and Toubro (L&T), India’s largest infrastructure company by sales.

And the slowdown in the domestic economy is not only pushing business abroad but also putting pressure on L&T, as management cut its target for the current fiscal year. Continue reading »

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh flew over an infamous site as his aeroplane came in to land in Mumbai on Friday: a sea of tightly packed slums that runs right up to the airport’s fence, signalling arrival at India’s teeming financial capital.

Yet as he arrived to inaugurate the city’s gleaming new international terminal, Mr Singh hoped to clean up another stain on its reputation: the airport itself, and its dismal record of chronic delays and crumbling facilities.

 Continue reading »

For four months every year, from June to September, it rains in Mumbai. The downpours don’t come as a surprise. It’s called the monsoon.

And yet every year, just as predictably, potholes are battered into our poorly maintained roads, costing lives as well as money. Continue reading »

Roads in Brazil (top) and India. A fair comparison?

Rankings from the World Economic Forum show Brazil as lagging far behind the Brics countries on almost every aspect of infrastructure – the subject of a beyondbrics Chart of the Week. Er … excuse me? I beg to differ.

Brazil’s infrastructure is poor, even dismal in some cases, but this is more relative to its own needs and its income level as a country with a per capita income level among the Brics second only to Russia. At least in my experience, it is not bad in absolute terms when compared with many other developing countries, particularly those in the poorer parts of Asia, such as India. Continue reading »

Indian markets are buzzing with gossip about Larsen & Toubro (L&T), the Indian conglomerate, over two possible deals.

Although nothing is confirmed, analysts are expecting some deal activity to materialise – and the share price is getting a bumpy ride. Continue reading »

In India, there are just nine hospital beds for every 10,000 people; 626m people are forced to defecate in the open for want of sanitary facilities; and local investors are looking abroad to escape unpredictable regulation and unreliable infrastructure at home.

And yet, when religion and revelry are at stake, this same country can pull it together and host the 55-day Maha Kumbh Mela festival, where 9m pilgrims are provided with all the shelter and services they need. Continue reading »

India’s established metropolises are saturated with investment activity. Now, tier-two and tier-three cities are emerging as investment destinations and a new report from Cushman and Wakefield explains how much money is going into what – and where. Continue reading »

Anyone who has driven through the smog-choked streets of New Delhi, or the bumper-to-bumper honking cacophony that passes for driving in much of Mumbai and Bangalore from anywhere between 9am to 9pm knows that India could use both cleaner and quieter cars.

On Wednesday, the government seemed to acknowledge that fact, approving a $4.1bn plan that aims to put 6m green vehicles on India’s streets by 2020. There’s just one problem: power. Continue reading »

The news that India’s prime minister may use his Independence Day speech on August 15 to announce a program to provide free mobile phones to millions of Indians has a good ring to it (pun intended).

A grand gesture – and no doubt helpful to the Congress Party-led government’s image. As the Times of India put it, “its calling card for the 2014 [national] polls”. But beyondbrics asks: has the Indian government got its priorities a little out of whack? Continue reading »

As electricity supplies go back online, advocates of energy reform in India are hoping that this week’s power outages will provide an opening to press for far-reaching changes. However, the desire for reform will as ever come up against the politically possible. Continue reading »

More than 10 states in north and east India faced power outages as the main electricity grids serving the regions collapsed again on Tuesday, leaving nearly half the country without power for a second day.

On Monday, the country’s worst black-out in a decade left more than 300m people without electricity and brought trains, offices and hospitals to a standstill. The region’s biggest power plants were online again by the middle of the day. But the effort was short-lived as an overload of capacity dragged down the eastern and north-eastern power grids in addition to the northern grid that was the first to be crippledContinue reading »

Large swathes of northern India faced prolonged power cuts on Monday after the main electricity grid that distributes power in the region failed.

In India’s worst black-out for a decade, the collapsed grid – which caters to nearly a third of the country’s 1.2bn population – left millions without power overnight and brought interstate railways to a halt. The failure heightened concerns of the impact of a poor monsoon and cast doubt on the country’s ability to tackle its ongoing power and infrastructure troubles. Continue reading »

Gloom threatens to engulf the Indian economy on a number of fronts – stagnating industrial production, slumping auto salesslowing growth. But, more than any other sector, infrastructure would be the first to show signs if the country were truly slowing down — and if cement is anything to go by, that is exactly what is happening. Continue reading »

After missing four deadlines, India’s outsourcing and IT hub, Bangalore, finally inaugurated South India’s first metro on Thursday amid great fanfare.

But whether the state-of-the-art urban railway system will do anything to alleviate the city’s infamous traffic problems still remains to be seen. Equally as important is the question of India should marshal its limited resources now that it is finally beginning to invest more and more in its failing infrastructure.   Continue reading »