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- 15 days on, sewage continues to flow into Ujjwal Nagar wells, houses Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Feb 22, 2018, 11:12 IST Ujjwal Nagar at Somalwada have been facing a problem of sewage water entering wells and houses
NAGPUR: The residents of Ujjwal Nagar at Somalwada have been facing a problem of sewage water entering wells and houses for the last 15 days. This happened after sewage trunk line was ruptured during works by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Mahametro). Despite the serious situation, Mahametro has reportedly continued construction of Metro Rail station, but not repaired the sewage line.
TOI had, on February 11, highlighted the problems being faced by Ujjwal Nagar residents and lack of action against Mahametro by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). Only after TOI’s report had the NMC Laxmi Nagar Zone slapped a notice and penalty of Rs50,000 on Mahametro for damaging the sewage water trunk line. Since then, NMC has been waiting for Mahametro to repair the line.
A resident, Vijay Jamgad, told TOI NMC and Mahametro have started to pass the buck to each other and left residents to suffer. “Sewage water is regularly gushing into our houses since February 6. Only after complaints, staffers of Mahametro come and pump out sewage water from the houses. But nothing is being done to repair the line and stop flow of sewage into houses. Sewage water has entered all wells in the locality. No one from the two agencies is looking to solve this problem,” he said.
Another resident, Sanjay Sakharkar, said sewage water is flowing everywhere in the residential area and accumulating in the pits dug for Metro Rail station, resulting in it becoming a health hazard. “Entire area is filled with foul smell. Mosquito menace is adding to the problems. Sewage water is even entering the sumps made for drinking water,” he said.
Jamgade and Sakharkar said proper coordination between NMC and Mahametro officials can resolve the issue. “Mahametro also damaged drinking water pipeline. Quantum of water gushing into houses and wells increases when private operator Orange City Water Private Limited (OCW) starts water supply. Health department of NMC is also passing the buck to public works department. OCW is neglecting the issue right from the first day. All these departments should come together and repair the service lines,” they said.
Mahametro officials said repair works will commence from Thursday. “Plan has been chalked out with OCW. First drinking water pipeline will be repaired from Thursday. Then the work on sewage line will be taken up. All necessary items for repair works have been taken to the site. Mahametro is taking all efforts to solve the problems,” he said.
Sonegaon police are also refusing to take action against Mahametro despite a complaint lodged by residents on February 9.
- Home department gives Rs 101 crore for Safe & Smart City project
Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Feb 22, 2018, 10:51 IST
NAGPUR: In a big boost to Rs 520 crore Nagpur Safe and Smart City project, the home department has released Rs101.05 crore to the directorate of information technology (DIT). Thus, home department has released funds of Rs111.05 crore from its share of Rs173.89 crore as of now.
The home department issued a notification on Wednesday to release funds to DIT under the project. Of total Rs520 crore project, the Nagpur Municipal Corporations special purpose vehicle Smart Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL) was supposed to contribute Rs103 crore and already released to DIT. The home department on behalf of city police was supposed to release funds of Rs173.89 crore in instalments in five years between 2016-17 and 2022-23. But the home department released Rs110.05 crore till date after an addition of latest funds on the request of DIT.
The DIT is executing the project through L&T Limited. The project is related to Smart City solutions and to benefit NMC and city police. Therefore, the NMC and city police had to contribute. Remaining amount will come from DIT that will be given by the state government.
Under the project, the DIT is installing 3,841 CCTVs at 700 locations, optical fibre cable of 1,200km, 10 mobile surveillance vehicles (MVS), 10 drones, 100 Smart Kiosks with 327 services, smart solutions in 239 city buses, public announcement systems at 50 locations, WiFi access points at 790 locations, Smart Strip on WHC road between Khamla square and Japanese garden square etc. Around 80% works stand completed as on date.
- Despite protests, NMC GB converts playground into residential area
Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Feb 21, 2018, 14:07 IST
NAGPUR: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) general body on Tuesday approved the town planning departments proposal to convert reservation of playground measuring 13,874.80 sq ft to residential at Friends Colony, Borgaon. The proposal was approved despite some corporators opposing it, citing prohibition on conversion of playground to other purposes by the high court.
Now, NMC will send the general bodys decision to the state government, which will take the final decision.
After mayor Nanda Jichkar put up the proposal for discussion in the general body, Congress corporators Tanaji Wanve, also leader of opposition, and Praful Gudadhe registered their objection to the proposal. Playground reservation cannot be converted into residential at any cost. Even HC had prohibited conversion of reservation on playground lands, they said.
Another Congress corporator Manoj Sangole demanded shifting of reservation of park from one area to another in mouza Nari, to allow construction of a hospital. Proposal is to develop a hospital but project is falling short of land. There is an open space reserved for park adjacent to the proposed site. There is another open space situated in other area. Reservation should be shifted from this particular land to other, he demanded.
BJP corporator Jagdish Gwalbanshi demanded that the house should approve the Friends Colony playground proposal. Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) had wrongly imposed reservation of playground on the land.
NMC assistant commissioner PB Gawande also said the playground reservation was imposed on the land by mistake in the revised city development plan of 2001.
Gudadhe said he would withdraw his objection in case reservation was imposed on the land by technical mistake.
Jichkar announced approval to the proposal. Ruling party leader Sandip Joshi said proposal was approved as officials cited reservation was imposed on the land by mistake.
However, documents in TOIs possession raise questions on the claim that reservation was not imposed by mistake. TOI had, on March 3, highlighted NMC town planning department had sanctioned building plan, that too for commercial purpose, on the land despite the reservation being playground on March 31, 1984. On April 24, 2015, minister of state for urban development Ranjit Patil had directed an inquiry into the sanction given to commercial building on land reserved for playground.
Friends Sahakari Gruh Nirman Sanstha had got sanctioned the layout in 1,21,856.60 sq m area. Residential use was approved in 70,000 sq m, roads on 30,585 sq m, and open space on 21,280.60 sq m, on December 7, 1981. Open spaces were marked at six different locations in the layout. One of the open spaces with reservation of playground was this particular land.
The society had objected to this, saying the land reserved for open spaces was more than the provisions of the Act. However, no decision has ever been taken on the societys demand. Then, the society went on to get sanction for a building plan for commercial purpose, and sold the land to Tekchand Waswani on December 2, 1989, who constructed commercial structures there.
- ‘Coaching classes to be sealed if parking not provided’ Vaibhav Ganjapure and Mohnish Nelarwar| TNN | Updated: Feb 22, 2018, 10:59 IST
NAGPUR: In a warning to several coaching classesoperating without proper parking areas, the district administration has suggested to seal their premises, if they failed to make amendments within a month. It also suggested to repair all defunct traffic signals and designate parking/no-parking boards at all city areas. Furthermore, it called on for suspending licenses of 3,874 drivers for driving under inebriated conditions.
All these decisions were taken during a meeting conducted under divisional commissioner Anoop Kumar on February 12 for decongesting the city roads and resolve parking problems. It was convened as per the directives from the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court while hearing a suo motu PIL (No. 5/2016) where it had taken cognisance of a fatal accident involving a 15 year-old boy, who dashed off against a middle-aged woman and suffered serious head injuries.
A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Swapna Joshi then directed the authorities to implement all suggestions as far as possible to improve the situation.
The government submitted minutes of the meeting in the HC on Wednesday where it was informed that 12 out of a 66 coaching classes, have arranged for parking spaces, while the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) issued notices to the remaining 61.
The traffic department stated that about 27,783 cases of drunken driving were recorded, while 52 of them booked as repeat offenders. Of these, licenses of 3,874 offenders would be suspended.
In order to curb the stray animal menace, the NMC proposed 44.06 acres of land for an animal shelter in Wathoda as part of the Nandgram Project. The report prepared for the project indicates that the shelter will be able to house 4,680 animals.
DCP (traffic) Chaitanya S suggested that a secondary bus depot in the outskirts of the city is not necessary as the land allotted for the Morbhavan bus stand can be utilized better. He added that Morbhavan can be used for MSRTC buses plying from the city to Chandrapur, Wardha, Yavatmal, Nanded, Amravati, Akola, Morshi and Warud i.e. to west and north. While the secondary bust stop will serve buses to Bhandara, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Bramhapuri, Vadsa.
The NMC and MSRTC operate 600 and 800 buses respectively many of which have to be parked along the road near Sitabuldi and Ganeshpeth. In order to alleviate congestion on public roads, the NMC has suggested to acquire 27,000 square meters of land from Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV) near Morbhavan to utilize it to park NMC buses.
It was also advised that the private buses coming via Chhindwara Road will stop at the transport plaza near Pili Nadi. An appeal will also be made to acquire land on Amravati and Wardha highways to build transport plazas for private buses. A fee will be charged by the NMC to private transport companies for use of these plazas.
A special squad comprising of two police officials and a local corporator will continue to make rounds in schools, colleges and coaching classes to check for erring students.
The commissioner instructed authorities to strictly follow HC’s guidelines of ensuring students commuting to colleges, schools and coaching classes follow traffic rules.
- Morna river to get Neeri’s patented waste water treatment technology Manka Behl| TNN | Updated: Feb 22, 2018, 10:48 IST Representative image
NAGPUR: Taking the ‘Clean Morna River’ campaign a step further, the Akola district administration plans to use National Environmental Engineering Research Institute’s (Neeri) patented technology of phytorid wastewater treatment to protect the heritage river and develop it on the lines of Sabarmati riverfront project. The technology uses specific plants to absorb nutrients directly from waste water.
The river cleaning campaign, initiated by Akola district collector Astik Kumar Pandey on January 13, has reached halfway, with more than 50% of the river being free of waste and weed, informed sub-divisional officer Sanjay Khadse, who is also the project’s nodal officer.
As reported by TOI earlier, many major and minor drains meet the river at different points. As a pilot experiment, to ensure that only clean water enters Morna, the administration will be setting up phytorid wastewater treatment plant at one of the major drains. “To make sure that sewage water does not pollute the river again, we are seeking Neeri’s technical expertise. As an experiment, the plant will be first installed at a major drain, where raw waste water will be treated,” said Suresh Hunge of Akola Municipal Corporation.
Neeri has reportedly set up over 100 such plants all over the country. Developed by Neeri director Rakesh Kumar, the first plant (35,000 litres per day) was set up at the Kalina campus of Mumbai University in 2006. Ritesh Vijay, principal scientist at Centre for Strategic Urban Management, and director’s technical cell, recently visited Akola to inspect the site. “This technology involves a constructed wetland exclusively designed for treatment of municipal, urban, agricultural and industrial wastewater. The organic solution is removed by bacteria and the nutrients are absorbed by specific plants,” he said.
According to Neeri, the plant uses porous media such as crushed bricks, gravel and stones for filtration. “To avoid choking, we do not use soil. The quality of treated water is excellent, it meets the prescribed and amended norms of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB),” added Vijay.
Though the detailed project report (DPR) of Morna river is under preparation, the administration will shell out around Rs25 lakh for implementing this technology. “This includes the patent, plant and construction cost,” officials said.
The administration wants to develop Morna on the lines of Sabarmati riverfront, said Vinayak Koundanay, adviser to Akola Municipal Corporation. “We have carried out a topographic survey and are brainstorming on various development aspects,” he said.
ADVANTAGES OF PHYTORID WASTEWATER TREATMENT
- Negligible operation and maintenance expense
- Minimum electricity and mechanical requirement
- Smaller footprint
- Facilitates recycle and reuse of water
- No foul odour
- Today, city does not have drinking water quota from July to October Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Feb 26, 2018, 08:17 IST
NAGPUR: In a major worry, the drinking water allocated to city from Totladoh reservoir for the year (November 1, 2017, to October 30, 2018) is likely to be exhausted by May end, raising a big question mark on water for remaining five months, from June to October. This realization has triggered alarm bells in Nagpur Municipal Corporation(NMC), with office bearers and officials now approaching the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) to get higher water allocation.
MWRRA has called for final hearing in the petition filed by former Shiv Sena MLAfrom Ramtek Ashish Jaiswal on March 15. Jaiswal is against giving any additional water to industry or drinking purpose, other than the quantum framed by MWRRA in September 2017.
As per MWRRA regulations, the city stands to get even less water than that allocated by the water resources department (WRD). The city had reservation of 190 million meter cube (MMC) from Totladoh and 58 MMC from Kanhan before the new regulations were framed. Reservation of 112 MMC was permanent while 78 MMC was on temporary basis. NMC was utilizing entire quantum, and even drawing more in some years. Around 70% of areas in the city are supplied water from Totladoh, and remaining from Kanhan.
The new MWRRA regulations give the city only 140.87 MMC from Totladoh and Kanhan. Additional 12.50 MMC is accounted for by evaporation losses. Thus, allocation from Totladoh comes down to 95.37 MMC as against requirement of 190 MMC. However, the WRD had allocated 114.5 MMC to NMC in view of MWRRA’s criteria of allocating 15% of total reservoir storage for drinking purpose.
As per NMC data, 51 MMC raw drinking water has been consumed from Totladoh by now, and 63.50 MMC remains. But NMC has failed to reduce consumption from Totladoh allocation, which comes to 15.83 MMC per month. During summer, between March and June, NMC needs to feed Kanhan river with 18 MMC water from Totladoh. Also, 47.49 MMC will be required over next three months in areas covered under Totladoh’s allocation. Thus, there would be no water allocation left by May end.
The MWRRA regulations now also say NMC will have to pay a high price for additional quantum of 19.13 MMC from Totladoh.
A top NMC official told TOI everything depends upon MWRRA’s decision. “Irrigation of rabbi crop has come to an end. Today, Totladoh has 220 MMC water. First, NMC will request MWRRA for restoration of old allocation of 190 MMC. If this request is not accepted, NMC will ask for water up to October 30, since there are no alternate sources for supplying water to 70% areas of the city,” he said.
The official added NMC will also present in detail initiatives being taken to conserve water and also reuse. “NMC is treating 210 MLD sewage water and is likely to increase the quantum to 410 MLD soon, and supplying treated sewage for power stations. All these efforts are a concrete background for getting old allocation,” he said.
- Decks cleared for Metro Rail works between Variety sq and Munje sq Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | Feb 25, 2018, 17:46 IST
Nagpur: The Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Mahametro) has claimed disputes with traders resolved and works at Munje square will commence from next month.
Mahametro in a press release issued here said works at Munje square is likely to begin from first week of March. “Decision to commence the works was taken in the meeting held between the officials of Mahametro and traders operating from Munje Square on Saturday afternoon. The traders’ association also assured full support to the project,” the company said.
The meeting was part of Mahametro’s effort to clear misgivings, if any, among the traders. Decision has been taken to maintain a proper gap of eight metres between barricades, after every two piers. Also, five metre distance will be kept between barricades and road on both sides to ensure smooth flow of traffic. The total stretch of road between Variety Square and Munje Square where the construction works are to be undertaken is 185 meters and seven piers will be constructed. The works will be completed on the stretch by october.
After meeting, the Mahametro officials along with traders visited the spot for first hand information of the proposed work. Mahametro’s chief project manager Mahadev Sway, joint chief project manager MR Patil, deputy chief project manager Prey Parashar and others were present.
- NHAI four-laning stalls at Gorewada wall Vijay Pinjarkar| tnn | Feb 27, 2018, 03:18 IST
Nagpur: The Gorewada zoo wall on Katol Road, constructed at a cost of Rs27 crore, has become an eyesore for the National Highways Authority India (NHAI), which plans to widen the road to four-lane.
The NHAI has proposed to convert the 100-km stretch between Nagpur-Warud into a four-lane. However, as NHAI has no right of way (ROW) in the 4.8-km stretch between Katol Road toll naka and Fetri, it complained that the wall is not straight and hence is vulnerable to mishaps.
The issue was raised by Union highways minister Nitin Gadkari himself in a meeting with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis last month, based on which forest ministry issued letter to Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) mentioning Gadkari’s concerns.
However, senior FDCM officials said the 9-metre road is a highway but that is also not sure whether it belongs to NHAI. The ROW on both sides of the road is a reserve forest land and for road widening a proposal will have to be moved under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of land which comes to over 10 hectares.
“There is hardly any scope to expand the road by taking additional forest land as work of chief minister’s zoo project is in progress and compound wall is in place on forest land only,” FDCM officials said.
On the ownership of said road, NHAI officials say a joint survey will be done and the land record department will tell to whom the road belongs. “We don’t want to create a dispute with FDCM but plan to widen the road within existing ROW,” they said.
However, nature-lover Aniruddha Bhagat demanded that NHAI should construct flyover in the entire 4.8km stretch to avoid conflict with wildlife and forest.
Environmental activist Shrikant Deshpande said NHAI’s move to widen the road close to the compound wall will prove to be dangerous for tourists where there are entry gates to the forest area on both sides of the road.
In another development, Gadkari is also said to have complained to Fadnavis about forest department not expediting proposals to divert forest land under the FCA for four-laning going on in the state.
At some places, the duration to clear such proposals is even more than a year. Based on the complaint, the forest ministry, in a letter to all chief conservators of forests (CCFs), has asked to review the proposal and if any delay is found, they have been asked to take action against the staff.
- Citizens to be fined if NMC finds mosquito breeding sites Proshun Chakraborty| tnn | Feb 27, 2018, 03:14 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will levy fines if it finds stagnant water in your surroundings and mosquitoes breeding there. The proposal to impose between Rs100 and Rs500 fine will be tabled before the standing committee meeting on Tuesday.
With a view to control larva breeding, NMC’s malaria and filaria department has prepared a by-law to penalize repeat offenders.
As per the by-law, if repeat breeding is found on domestic premises, NMC will impose a fine of Rs 100 and Rs 500 per container on residential, commercial, official and education premises. If they still fail to curb breeding grounds, another Rs20 (residential), Rs100 (for commercial) and Rs200 (for hospitals, educational institutions, government offices) will be imposed per day on repeat offenders, the by-law proposes.
The department has stated that as per the proposed rule, the fine would correspond to the number of areas in which breeding is found. For instance, if breeding is found at three places, the owner of the property will have to pay separate fines for all the spots.
Besides this, NMC has also proposed to levy complete cost of removal of breeding sites on the owner of the property.
Along with the proposal, the NMC will table 59 other proposals together worth over Rs202 crore. The major amount will be spent on phase-III of cement road works.
As per proposals submitted by the executive engineer (public works department), the third phase of cement concretization of Nagpur city roads will cover 28 roads and cost over Rs 156.86 crore. The water works department has submitted a proposal of Rs 3.76 crore to complete remaining pipe-laying works under Pench-IV project.
The tax department has also submitted a proposal to auction goods seized when octroi was in force. The cost of the seized goods as calculated by the department is Rs50.24 lakh, while valuer appointed by the department has advised it to sell the goods at 30% discount.
- NMC finds pvt co’s cables in sewage line, to take action Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | Feb 27, 2018, 03:12 IST
Nagpur: Yet another blatant violation has come to fore in laying of cables for Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited. The company’s optical fibre cables have been found laid in sewage line at Mahal, in violation of all norms. Former mayor and corporator Pravin Datke has demanded immediate action against the company, and also against Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) officials, who supervised the work.
NMC Gandhibagh zone found the optical fibre cables laid in sewage lines while trying to trace choked points in some residential areas in Mahal on Monday.
Former corporator Sudhir Raut told TOI there were complaints from some residential areas at Zenda Chowk about sewage water flowing back into houses for last 5-6 days. “NMC employees from health department started to check all chambers on the sewage line. It came to fore that Reliance Jio had broken into the sewage line and laid optical fibre cables in it. Laying anything inside sewage lines is banned. The laying of cables led to the sewage line being damaged, and caused the choking. I brought the matter to the notice of Datke for proper action,” he said.
On a complaint by Datke, NMC Gandhibagh Zone has asked the hotmix department to initiate action against Reliance Jio. “We have asked for penalty and damages from the company,” an official said.
Datke said action will also be taken against officials of hotmix department, who did not check while the optical fibre cables were being laid. “It is the responsibility of NMC officials to monitor and take appropriate action while laying of optical fibre cables.”
A Reliance Jio spokesperson said cables will be removed immediately from the sewage lines. “Cables went into sewage lines by mistake. We utilized Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) technology to lay cables in Mahal, to prevent inconvenience to citizens, and also avoid trenching the areas. It was due to this technology that sewage line could not be traced,” he said.
The latest incident has also exposed the inquiry conducted by hotmix department two years ago. Reliance Jio had laid cables stretching around 500km and also erected 260 towers across the city in 2015 and 2016. NMC had received large number of complaints against the company for laying cables against the norms in various parts of the city.
In January 2016, the then mayor Datke had directed officials to inspect and ensure there are no cables in service lines, including sewage lines. The department had claimed to have completed the inquiry and also taken action against the company in 2016.
Activist Shehbaz Siddiqui alleged that NMC and police department were always hand in glove with Reliance Jio. “Two-year-old girl Pinky Solanki died in an unmarked, unguarded pit of Reliance Jio in 2015. NMC and police took action in the case only after a PIL filed by me in the high court. NMC has no control over laying of optical fibre cables in the city,” he said.
- Government told to give 4 times relief to Vena dam PAPs TNN | Updated: Feb 28, 2018, 07:30 IST
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has directed the state government to provide four times compensation to the project affected persons (PAPs) of Vena dam whose land was acquired for its canal way back in 1996.
A division bench of justices Vasanti Naik and Arun Upadhye also asked it to grant that amount with 8% interest since the land was acquired. The judges further told the petitioners to make a representation to land acquisition and sub-divisional officers in Mouda division for seeking compensation.
Counsel SP Kshirsagar, appearing for the petitioners, relied on the judgment in a similar matter passed by the HC’s Aurangabad bench which allowed the enhanced compensation to petitioners by a multiplier of ‘2’. Counsel VG Palshikar, who appeared for the department, stated that facts in cases of both sets of petitioners before the Aurangabad and Nagpur benches were almost identical.
- Take our land, plead Gosikhurd-hit villagers Shishir Arya| TNN | Updated: Feb 28, 2018, 08:50 IST Representative image
NAGPUR: Over 800 villagersliving within the range of Gosikhurd dam are demanding that even their land should be acquired for the project. Not displaced, but the project has left them stranded for years, they claim.
Located in Nagpur and Bhandara districts, there are villages where only the hamlets have been acquired, but not the farms. The new settlements are far away from their farmland.
Khapri, over 50 kms from Nagpur, is flanked by land acquired for the dam as well as a tiger project. The village itself has not been acquired as it was not needed for Gosikhurd project, said the residents. Those from Salebhati a village, resettled at a new site, said there has been no water supply since the day they shifted. The locals have to buy water from those having borewells in the vicinity.
Kujba in Kuhi tehsil is surrounded by the river from three sides when it floods. Yet, the villagers are forced to stay put as the land has not been acquired for the dam project, though nearby area around has been taken over, complained the locals.
Each group had a different story to say, with a single demand that their land should be taken over even if it was not needed for the Gosikhurd project.
Led by independent MLA from Achalpur Bachhu Kadu, more than 500 of the villagers had come down to Nagpur for a meeting with the district’s guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule. As much as 800 hectares of land has been demanded to be acquired in different villages.
After the meeting, Bawankule announced that he has formed a committee, headed by divisional commissioner Anup Kumar. It would evaluate a proposal to acquire the land for a solar power project. However, the compensation may not be in lines with the new Land Acquisition Act, which pays five times of the current rates of an area. This is because solar power has to be priced at Rs3 a unit. So the cost of acquisition as well has to be fixed considering the cap on price of electricity generated from the project. Another meeting will be held with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at a later date, he said.
Kadu said the basic demand is to treat even these villagers as project-affected persons (PAPs) under Gosikhurd. They may not have been displaced but certainly their lives have been disrupted by the project. If the rate of compensation derived for the solar project does not meet their expectations, the agitation would continue,” said Kadu.
- What has govt done to develop Lonar lake, asks HC Vaibhav Ganjapure| tnn | Feb 28, 2018, 05:35 IST
Nagpur: Flaying the Maharashtra government for its failure to develop Lonar lake, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Tuesday tersely asked what steps it had taken to promote the world heritage site and attract tourists.
Expressing anguish over government’s apathy in preserving the historic lake, a division bench comprising justices Vasanti Naik and Swapna Joshi directed it to reply within two weeks.
The court’s censure came while hearing a PIL by lawyer Kirti Nipankar along with Govind Khekale and Sudhakar Bugdane from Buldhana, through counsel Anand Parchure, claiming the Lonar lake was slowly degrading because of pollution and silting.
Earlier, the HC’s specially constituted panel — Lonar Reservoir Damage Control and Conservation Committee — under Buldhana collector, submitted minutes of meeting held on February 6. Parchure then pointed out that it had failed to submit compliance of earlier meetings.
The judges directed the panel to regularly conduct meetings every two months, and submit compliance reports of earlier meetings, and development works being completed.
As per minutes, one of the main threats to ecology was dumping of sewage into the reservoir from a nullah, but the civic body informed that it will counter the problem by reinforcing the metal mesh at its mouth and tender has been issued in this regard. It would also ensure that nearby residents don’t damage the metal frame once reinforced.
The Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) conducted lake’s survey and found the number of borewells has increased. But since no one from the GSDA was present in the meeting, the collector had asked the agency to reply at the earliest, the minutes stated.
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation’s (MTDC) regional office in Amravati informed that the fund for tourism development was revised from Rs93 crore to Rs91.29 crore. A compound wall and an information kiosk would be constructed on the land offered to MTDC. The forest department would repair the chain link fencing near the protected areas.
The additional forest officer (AFO) has assured that complaints will be filed against persons who damage the fence. He proposed to clear area near the lake of babool trees. About 25,885 trees of this variety are spread over 33 hectares and under the proposed five-year management plan, the trees will be removed and replaced with naturally growing shrubs which would cost Rs45.74 lakh.
As per the panel’s minutes, about 314 dwellings of slum dwellers living in close vicinity were completed and were unoccupied since three years. It further informed that most of the work of toilet blocks has been completed and would be available for use in 15 days, while toilets for tourists are proposed to be built under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- File affidavit on Pandhrabodi lake rejuvenation, High Court to Nagpur Municipal TNN | Updated: Feb 28, 2018, 09:44 IST
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Tuesday directed Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to file an affidavit on its claims of completing 99% works for rejuvenation of Pandhrabodi Lake.
A division bench comprising justices Vasanti Naik and Swapna Joshi asked the civic body to complete formalities within two weeks. Earlier, NMC informed that 99% rejuvenation works are completed and they were waiting for the rains.
The court was hearing a PIL by Bajiprabhu Nagar Nagrik Mandal, through counsel Anand Pachure, contending that dumping of garbage inside the lake and encroachment on its catchment area had led to it drying up.
The court had taken serious cognisance of continuing impasse on revival of the lake, and directed petitioners and respondents to visit the site together to explore the possibility of constructing drain or trench for flow of rainwater from Ram Nagar hilltop. Accordingly, petitioners along with Parchure, respondents Heritage Conservation Society, and State Slum Rehabilitation Development Authority (SRDA), apart from NMC and NIT officials had visited the area and discussed the modalities.
Later, the corporation submitted an affidavit that revival of Pandhrabodi Lake is on the cards, stating many development works are underway in the catchment area to store rainwater.
- Bacteria can be used for strengthening cement: VNIT team Snehlata Shrivastav| TNN | Mar 1, 2018, 02:22 IST
Nagpur: In a path-breaking finding, researchers at the Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) have found an innovative way to use microbes (bacteria) to strengthen cement. This will also minimize the amount of cement used in construction activities and reduce the overall costs.
The researchers claim that these bacteria can replace the commercial admixtures that are used to increase the strength of cement or mortar.
The research team from environmental laboratory in the civil engineering department of VNIT has been working under the guidance of former director of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) and former environment chair of VNIT, Tapan Chakrabarti, for nearly three years. Chakrabarti told TOI that during experiments it was found that microbially-induced calcium carbonate precipitation could increase the compressive strength of cement by 23.49% for 28 days of curing period. It also reduced water absorption capacity of cement by 15.40% by filling the micro cracks through bio-cementation.
The principal investigator of the project Madhuwanti Latkar, associate professor, said, “Most important aspect of the process is that use of water during casting and curing is replaced by the microbial solution. The two types of ureolytic bacteria used in the project are bacillus cereus and enterobacter cloacae. The experiment also used lentil seed powder as protein source and sugar as carbon source and meat extract in the nutrient medium.” The researchers plan to replace meat extract by yeast to further reduce the cost.
Latkar said durability tests also yielded very good results and ranged between the standard figures. She clarified that the bacteria are used only in the first five/six days of the curing as they die after that. “Otherwise also, these bacteria are non-pathogenic and extracted from rohizopheric soil. We didn’t use pure cultures of bacteria. We used soil along with microbial solution,” she added.
Chakrabarti said the whole process was environment-friendly and minimized the carbon footprint. “In fact, it is a very green technology,” he said.
A PhD scholar involved in the project, Anuja Charpe, said though the technology is green but transferring the technology or selling it will not be easy. “It is difficult to convince people for using environment-friendly technology. People prefer easily available technology rather than green one,” she said.
Snigdha Bhutange, a PhD student who joined the project just a few months back, says she would be comparing all admixtures available in markets with bio-cementation process to make it more acceptable and accessible.
The researchers have earned two patents during the work and the project is expected to continue for another two years or more.