News In Numbers: September 9, 2015
The number of village panchayats in which the government has laid optic fibre cable (OFC) till July 2015 to provide high-speed broadband connectivity under the BharatNet project. The government plans to connect all 250,000 village panchayats under this plan by end-2016. In a March 2015 report, a committee constituted to review the programme (earlier called the ‘National Optical Fibre Network’) estimated the project cost at Rs 72,778 crore. An addition of 100 users per village panchayat would increase the share of Internet subscribers as a percentage of the total population by 1.9%. The committee also estimated that the increased Internet penetration would translate to potential economic benefit of Rs 66,465 crore in 2018-19.
Share of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru in the total bids received for FM radio stations in the ongoing e-auctions. The bid price for a radio station was Rs 169.2 crore in Delhi, Rs 122.8 crore in Mumbai and Rs 109.3 crore in Bengaluru. Leading stations in Delhi and Mumbai currently generate yearly advertising revenue of Rs 35-40 crore each. There were no takers for 38 stations in 13 cities. The government received bids worth Rs 1,156.9 crore for 97 channels in 56 cities. A Ficci-KPMG study has projected the size of the radio industry to be $19.6 billion in 2015 (calendar year) and $22.3 billion in 2016.
The number of hotel deals done so far in 2015 as against two in 2014 and three in 2015, according to real estate consultant JLL India. With hotel valuations falling by over 25%, the consultancy expects five more hotel deals to be sealed by end-2015. The major deals concluded this year include ITC acquiring Park Hyatt Hotel in Goa for Rs 515.4 crore, Radhakishan Damani (promoter of hypermarket chain, D-Mart) acquiring Radisson Blu Resort & Spa (Alibaug) for Rs 135 crore and SAMHI Hotels buying a Vizag-based hotel for Rs 90-95 crore. Ratings agency ICRA expects the Indian hotel industry to grow by 5-6% in 2015-16, with occupancy rates improving by 2-4% and revenue per room by 3-5%.
One of every five deaths of children below the age of 5 years took place in India in 2015, according to data put out by the British medical journal The Lancet. India lost 1.2 million children below the age of 5 years. The under-5 years mortality rate for India has dropped 62% in 15 years and, currently, stands at 48 deaths per 1,000 live births, against the global average of 43. Pneumonia (15%) and diarrhoea (9%) were the main killers. According to Unicef, India is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 4, which aims to reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, unless the related determinants are “urgently addressed”. Only six states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal — are likely to achieve this goal.
The black market cost of a litre of petrol in Manipur currently — about thrice the price in metros. The flow of essential commodities into the state has been hit due to a landslide, which blocked parts of the Imphal-Dimapur highway in August. Further, the weak condition of a bridge on the Imphal-Silchar highway has also hit the movement of supplies. Rationing of fuel is in force, and has led to long queues at petrol outlets. At least 20 people were reportedly killed when a landslide caused by heavy rains buried an entire village in Manipur’s Chandel district last month. Geological Survey of India has estimated that nearly 15% of India’s landmass or 0.49 million sq km area is prone to landslides. There are six states in which most districts fall under high to very high landslide hazard classes, and Manipur is one of them.
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