The #MakeInIndia week at Mumbai has been quite an eventful one. A lot has been learned here, and I have understood a lot about various things.
Barring an unfortunate incident involving a fire at the Maharashtra Night cultural program at Girgaum Chowpatty, the event has been a largely successful one.
Among the various exhibits and tidbits I managed to gather over the last two days while covering the event, here are some:
Amitabh Kant, Secretary of Industrial Policy and Promotion stressed on the need to not only Manufacture in India, but also Invent, Innovate and Design in India.
Scania and Volvo had got their new buses.
The Scania was the same bus that had been given to the Nagpur Mahanagar Parivahan Limited. It is India’s first bio-fuel bus, and it’s components are mostly sourced from India itself.
The Volvo was a Hybrid B7RLE/8400 model that NMMT had ordered. Of course, this does mean that BEST’s AC services are going to take a hit, but that is a different story altogether.
Ministers and industrialists spoke about road connectivity, rail connectivity, and inland water transport. While the former two were with regard to connecting ports, the latter was to decongest ports and roads. Now, if one can equate Passenger and Cargo traffic, you could come to the conclusion that a set-up for Freight should ideally work for a Set-up for Passengers as well, with minor modifications. This needs to be explored big time. The ship-building industry has a vast potential in India, and this needs to be explored big time by major cities, especially Mumbai, Surat, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mangalore. Connecting Ports to Hinterland with Rail, Road, and Inland Waterways will be a big boon for people living in the vicinity. It will encourage healthy competition [not the BEST vs NMMT kind, which is toxic] among different modes, and boost trade and productivity.
Amitabh Kant stressed on the need to manufacture more in India. While Services may form bulk of our economy, manufacturing is a must for it to be sustainable. This works in case of transport too. Buses need to be manufactured, trains need to be manufactured. With FDI is the rail sector, especially, high-speed rail, things are certainly set to change. He also mentioned that “Good quality Frugal Eningeering and Smartness must be combined to develop an Indian ability to manufacture”, which is true. One cannot directly apply global standards to India. India has different constraints, as well as requirements, and this must be taken care of.
Overall, I was part of several brilliant sessions, with various ministers, as well as Industrialists being part of there. I also, saw a lot of the exhibitions in vicinity.
Now, for other things:
The fire that broke out at the Stage during the Maharashtra Night cultural programme at Girgaum Chowpatti was a rather unfortunate one. It was a stray firework and of course, the event company must be penalised. It was an unfortunate event and the ever-awesome Mumbai Fire Brigade rushed to the spot in no time and had the fire under control with no casualties. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself stayed back till the end of the rescue operation to ensure that all had been led to safety. What peeves me off is that while not only did political parties try and gain political mileage out of this, but certain people went to the extent of calling it “Fake In India”, mocking the entire event, and making fun of a calamity, by way of which, they insulted the work done by the Firemen, as well as the Organisers of the entire event [not just the Cultural Programme].
The Auto Strike
Auto-Walas chose the wrong week to strike. Auto drivers across the city decided to strike on Monday 15th February in a protest against cab aggregators and illegal buses in the city as well as raised fares for issuing auto permits. However, BEST saved the day. BEST ran close to 90 extra services, ferrying 12 million people more on that day than the previous, and earning ₹5.2crore, which is ₹73lakh more than normal on that single day. However, BEST should have been running extra services to BKC, both Double-Deckers as well as special AC buses on that day, keeping the Make In India program in mind. Along with this, AC services should have been running on an hourly basis in and around BKC for the week. The strike didn’t impact NMMT or TMT much however, as it was within Mumbai city limits.
The Scania Citybus that NMPL recieved in 2014 was present. The bus runs on an Ethanol based blend and is both eco-friendly as well as fuel efficient. The bus went to Nagpur because the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari hails from Nagpur. One hopes that with MSRTC inducting Scanias into its fleet, BEST too would get this.
The new Volvo Hybrid bus that has been launched on the 8400 platform was on display. NMMT has purchased 5 of these buses that run on Diesel-CNG and this is definitely going to take a toll on BEST.
Force Motors had on display, a minivan. This minivan seemed very comfortable, and reasonable luxurious. Personally, I believe it can be used as a Feeder service to the Metro.
Bajaj’s Quadricycle, the Qute was also present there. The Qute can actually be used as an alternative for auto-rickshaws, or maybe be the Kaali-Peeli vs Cool Cab type.
And, the bonus:
The mammoth 205-ton dumper that Bharat Earth Movers Limited [BEML] built for mining purposes was also there.
Other observations and quotes:
- In the food court, Falafels was using a Balaji Ticketing machine that Trimax uses for BEST and MSRTC.
- Sadhguruji of the Isha Yoga Foundation was present, and made a few inspiring statements:
- True design unlocks better thinking, better insights, better products & better humans.
- Design should be used for promoting & leveraging towards sustainable growth for one and all.
- Amitabh Kant of the Niti Aayog, too had a lot of motivating statements:
- Design is important in manufacturing & improving products. India will be providing solutions. to 6-7 billion people in the world with design.
- Challenge is to make urbanization sustainable. Compact cities, connectivity, sanitation, safety depends on design & innovation.
- India must be ready for smart, frugal innovation.
Overall, #MakeInIndia week was brilliant. It was a brilliant experience, and one that would last a lifetime.
Here is a Robot that was programmed to pick up objects:
For those interested:
I’m a freelance Digital Media Marketing consultant. I was hired to cover the #MakeInIndia week on Social Media, and prior to this, I was part of CII’s Partnership Summit in Visakhapatnam in January 2016. Should you want to engage with me and my associates, please drop in a line at bestpedia[at]gmail[dot]com.
If you are sharing this post on Twitter, please do consider Retweeting the tweet below; it was RT’ed by Amitabh Kant himself.
— Srikanth (@rsrikanth05) February 21, 2016
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