Rajasthan government decides to set up medicity
The Rajasthan government has decided to set up `medicity' to meet the growing demand for qualitative services.

The proposed `medicity' project is expected to provide access to super speciality medicare services to the people of Rajasthan and the entire northern region.

`Medicity will be planned as a modern sophisticated city within the city complete with technology and infrastructure facilities that compare with the best in the world, said an industries department official.

The city will have a post graduate medical institution of high standard and research facilities in selected super speciality areas.

The official said that it would also establish a model hospital city on joint sector basis providing ideal working environment and will offload the excess burden of super speciality care from the state government to enable it to concentrate on preventive medicare and basic health care.

Participation of private enterprise will also be sought for developing the other facilities such as guest house, hotel, recreational club, shopping centre, etc. in the medicity complex or the complex as a whole in phases.

Complete infrastructure related support facilities including land, electricity, water supply, roads, residential accommodation, tele-communication facilities would be arranged by the state government. A separate SPV in the private sector would be created for constructing as well as the management of the medicity. 

IBRD sanctions loan for Rajasthan power

The World bank (IBRD) sanctioned a loan of $ 180 million for Rajasthan to help the state improve the efficiency of its ailing power sector. Faced with increased demand and severe shortfalls in power supply, the state government will further strengthen management and operations of the power sector through the Rajasthan Power Sector Restructuring Project (RPSRP).

The project will reduce system losses currently estimated at around 42 per cent through improvements in transmission and distribution systems to reduce outages, stabilize voltage levels, and improve efficiency. Following consultations that included consumers, political leadership and constituents, the Rajasthan government also enacted new legislation establishing an independent regulatory commission and separating the state power monopoly into five corporate entities. 

These improvements are aimed at helping the state meet its target of extending power to an additional 7,50,000 customers.

Even though 90 per cent villages in Rajasthan are connected to the power grid, more than 60 per cent house-holds do not have electricity in their homes.

RPSRP will provide technical assistance for strengthening management capacity of the transmission company, advance privatization of distribution firms, and promote initiatives in small scale power generation and renewable energy production for remote locations. 

Haryana acquires land for Manesar-II

The Haryana government has started acquiring land for the second phase of the IMT-Manesar (Industrial Model Township) project, where leading domestic and international companies including Honda Motors, Hero Honda, Baxter, Duracell, Maruti Udyog Ltd. and Denso are setting up shops.

Encouraged by the unprecedented response from Delhi entrepreneurs in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling to shift industrial units out of non-conforming (residential) areas, the state government has embarked on the expansion of IMT Manesar and would acquire an additional 100 acre land near the existing 1,749 acre site on National Highway 8 about 45km from Delhi, a senior state government official said.

The park is being developed by Feedback Ventures, private infrastructure development and finance company on behalf of Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC). Manesar is the first industrial township in the country which is being developed by a private company on behalf of a state industrial corporation. 

The state government would also issue notifications to acquire 700 acre of land at Bahadurgarh and 500 acre at Badli in the vicinity of the national capital to accommodate the industrial units being relocated out of Delhi. However, the state government is taking all precautions to keep polluting industries out. 

Tamil Nadu's Nangunery SEZ to create 1.5 lakh jobs

India's first greenfield SEZ (special economic zone) will be developed in three phases of five years each, housing only hi-tech industries and creating more than 1.5 lakh jobs. The mega project, the foundation stone for which was laid on 11.02.2001 would be a self-contained industrial town with its own supply of power, water, transport and telecommunication services.

The total investment in developing the three phases and the industrial units coming up in the zone is likely to be around $ 4.5 billion. On infrastructure development alone, it will attract $ 65 million investment in the first phase, followed by $ 40 million each in the subsequent phases. The economic scenario of this region in Tamil Nadu will undergo a transformation once the SEZ is operational, Chief Minister, Dr. M. Karunanidhi said during the foundation stone laying ceremony.

Infrastructure support for the project is available in the form of a national highway and railway line running near the eastern boundary of the SEZ. Moreover, two ports - Tuticorin and the upcoming Kulachal are located within a 75 km radius. This region of the state will turn into a prosperous region on account of the commerce generated by the SEZ.

The promoters of the project Infac India Group of California and Tamil Nadu's Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (TIDCO) will ensure that the SEZ flourishes and creates jobs for thousands, commerce and industry minister, Shri Murasoli Maran remarked. The facility plans to target hi-tech industries like telecom equipment, electronic components, bio-tech, pharma, consumer durables, information technology products and precision engineering.

The Nangunery SEZ will have a 10 km environmental control zone around it so that the units there remain pollution-free. A 20 km environmental sensitivity zone is also proposed near the zone. 

According to TIDCO Chairman Shri M. Nambiar, the promoters of the project have chosen to go in for premium infrastructure which can be afforded by only hi-tech industries since they are confident that growth in this sector will be high enough to bring adequate business. TIDCO has 1 per cent stake in the joint venture set up to run the SEZ while Infac India Group holds the rest through a Mauritius based investment vehicle. 

TN govt. to set up Rs.100 crore bio-tech park in Chennai

The Tamil Nadu government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cornell University of the USA for setting up of a Rs.100 crore bio-technology park in Chennai.

The proposed initiative, the first phase of which would come up in a year's time encompassing 1,00,000 sq. ft. area, would facilitate research and enable bio-entrepreneurs to commercialise their research findings, validate products and contract `sequence' services.

TIDCO would invest Rs.100 crore to set up the infrastructure, Cornell University would extend technical support and collaboration for the project. The park is expected to attract Rs.1,000 crore investment from around 30 companies from India and abroad.

The park would provide other services like training on a commercial basis and would also facilitate allied industries including food.

The proposed park would include a bio-resource centre with an incubator and a common tenancy area (customised labs) and provide complete technical and other services under one umbrella including technology networking, contract research work, product validation, patent rights documentation and commercialisation. 

The proposed park would help bio-entrepreneurs to commercialise their research and validate their product. Common infrastructure would help firms cut costly, substantially. In addition to wet lab and customised labs, the park would also provide other services like technology networking, contract research work, product validation, patent rights and documentation. 

Lucknow to get IDFC funds for waste management

Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd. (IDFC) has extended its support for energy recovery from Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) project being developed at Lucknow on private basis which is scheduled for commissioning in the middle of 2002.

IDFC's participation in the project, with both debt and equity funds, demonstrates that MSW projects can be structured as a commercially viable proposition by optimally balancing environmental concerns and economic considerations.

The MSW management is no longer a concern for its grave environmental and health implications. MSW can now be harnessed for its energy recovery reuse and recycling potential, all in a manner that can still be a commercially viable proposition, sufficient to attract the interests of private entrepreneurs and financial institutions. 

The project has secured the UP government guarantee for payments by the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd. the power purchaser. The ministry of non-conventional energy sources has also approved the project as a national demonstration project, thereby providing a capital subsidy of Rs.15 crore.

A power purchase agreement has also been entered into with the UPPC and the company proposes to sell its organic fertiliser under a firm offtake agreement with corporate houses that may require the fertiliser. 


The Reserve Bank has clarified that all Rs.500 notes issued by the Reserve Bank from time to time are legal tender and continue to be freely accepted for all transactions. With the issue of the 500 rupee note in the revised colour scheme in November last, the Reserve Bank had invited the public to exchange the old design green 500 rupee notes (with the Ashoka Pillar in the watermark window) for the new design 500 rupee notes. The Reserve Bank has clarified that this is only a facility to enable members of the public to exchange their old design 500 rupee notes. This effort should not be cited by banks as the reason for not accepting these notes.