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- Unauthorized constructions posing threat to aircraft: MIL Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Mar 1, 2018, 03:14 IST
Nagpur: Unauthorized constructions have cropped up around the airport, especially in the runway approach funnel, posing a threat to aircraft. Taking serious cognisance, Aerodrome Environment Management Committee (AEMC) has convened a meeting to chalk out measures to tackle the problems. A few days ago, an Air India flight with 180 passengers was hit by a bird while landing at the airport.
AEMC, under divisional commissioner Anup Kumar, will meet on March 5. The committee will discuss nine proposals, including problems from unauthorized constructions. “Airports Authority of India (AAI) has conducted obstruction limitation survey of airport. Also, the same survey was conducted by private agency appointed by Mihan India Limited (MIL), airport’s operator. It was reported that some buildings are infringing on the approach funnel of runway-14 and transitional surface of the airport. Also, new constructions have emerged close to the airport boundary wall. Owners of some houses have constructed walls and parking along airport boundary wall, which is a threat to airport security. MIL has informed about all these unauthorized constructions to NMC and NIT for appropriate action,” MIL said in one of the proposals.
MIL has also sought help of NMC and state government to lodge complaint with police department against persons slaughtering and dumping animal waste and other garbage within 10km from aerodrome reference point. “Aircraft Rule-1937 prohibits slaughtering and flaying of animals, depositing of rubbish and other polluted or obnoxious matter, which attract vultures or other birds, and animals, within 10km from aerodrome reference point. There is a provision of imprisonment up to three years or fine of Rs10 lakh and both. To ensure effective implementation of the provisions, civil aviation department sent a letter dated March 22, 2017, directing municipal bodies and state government to lodge complaints with police,” MIL said.
MIL also stressed the need for stringent action against owners of cattle straying in front and on access roads to airport terminal building. “NMC served notices to owners of cattle but there is no improvement. NMC inspection is required twice a week during morning and evening hours. NMC has also not registered FIR against owners of cattle with Sonegaon police station,” MIL said.
Municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal, NIT chairman Deepak Mhaisekar and officials of MIL and AAI etc are expected to attend the meeting.
- Civic body not depositing PF contribution since Apr ’17 Proshun Chakraborty| tnn | Mar 1, 2018, 05:17 IST
Nagpur: The BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation, which is developing RSS headquarters at Reshimbagh with taxpayers’ money, has failed to deposit its employees’ provident fund (PF) contributions since April 2017.
“The PF dues have mounted to Rs 41.25 crore,” confirmed an official from the civic body’s accounts and finance department.
According to a general administration department official, apart from daily wagers numbering 4,000, the civic body has around 8,300 permanent staffers.
The civic administration has been paying PF contribution of daily wagers. Though the NMC is deducting PF contribution from the salaries of its staff, which comes to around Rs3.75 crore per month, the same is not being deposited with the provident fund office.
Sources claimed that already finding it difficult to meet expenses, the accounts department has diverted the PF contribution amount to other works. Sources said this may invite action against the NMC under PF Act.
Officials from the government provident fund office assured to look into the matter. Mayor Nanda Jichkar was not available for comments.
NMC employees union leader Jammu Anand termed this act of the civic body as a breach of trust of its employees. Criminal action should be initiated against administration, he said, adding that the administration should deposit the amount which it had deducted from its employees’ monthly salary with interest.
Meanwhile, despite NMC’s precarious financial health, the standing committee led by its outgoing chairman Sandip Jadhav on Wednesday gave nod to seven different development works worth Rs 59.73 crore.
The proposals included Rs40.50 lakh for daily maintenance, deployment of security guards at Suresh Bhat auditorium for three months. The panel also gave nod to concretization of eight tar roads under Phase-III at a cost of Rs 54.96 crore.
Jadhav also cleared additional payment of Rs5.53 lakh to a private firm engaged in network connectivity of e-governance system.
The panel also gave its green signal to slum department’s proposal for maintenance of pay and use toilet at Jaripatka hawkers’ zone.
- Nagpur civic body fails to recover Rs 224 crore property tax dues On January 6, TOI had reported that the department had prepared a proposal to confiscate and auction movable properties as it enjoys powers under rule 42 of Maharashtra Municipal Corporations ActProshun Chakraborty | TNN | March 01, 2018, 16:00 IST
NAGPUR: At a time when the cash-strapped Nagpur Municipal Corporation is ‘forced’ to raise Rs 100 crore loan to meet its expenses, the property tax department is sitting on a proposal to confiscate and auction movable properties like television sets, refrigerators and other assets of around 1.92 lakh defaulters with less than Rs 25,000 dues. The outstanding tax amount due from such defaulters comes to around Rs 74.86 crore.
On January 6, TOI had reported that the department had prepared a proposal to confiscate and auction movable properties as it enjoys powers under rule 42 of Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act.
As per the proposal, if property owners fail to pay tax, the NMC will first inform the local police station before confiscating their household items proportionate with the tax dues.
The NMC has identified the property owners after it issued notices to tax defaulters several times asking to clear the arrears. The department has set a deadline of March 31 and if the defaulters fail to clear their dues, the NMC will confiscate the assets from their homes or commercial establishments, the proposal has stated.
For those whose outstanding tax dues exceed Rs 25,000, the civic body has already started auctioning their properties. According to statistics, there are around 7,906 defaulters who have individual outstanding property tax of above Rs 25,000 and the total outstanding from such citizens comes to around Rs 148.93 crore.
Of the 5.37 lakh properties, the city has about 2,00,521 properties towards which payment of tax is pending from one to several years.
The failure to crack down on them has proved costly for the NMC which complains of lack of funds for the city’s development, standing committee chairman Sandip Jadhav said. If executed meticulously, an estimated Rs 223.79 crore could fill up its coffers, eliminating the need to avail loan.
Leader of opposition Tanaji Wanve ridiculed the NMC for its inability to take action against tax defaulters. According to him, the decision to confiscate movable properties of defaulters is justifiable. He further blamed this to the ruling BJP for its inability to improve revenue of the civic body.
Jadhav admitted that due to ignorant attitude of the civic administration, the property tax collection was not satisfactory. Citing an example, he pointed out that NMC owes around Rs 60 crore from property owners whose dues are below Rs 5,000. He, however, expressed confidence that the revenue from the tax will improve in the last month of this fiscal.
- Nagpur: ED attaches Abhijeet Group chairman's property worth Rs 3.26 crore The company was originally promoted by Manoj Jayaswal and Lokmat Group chairman Vijay Darda. Even as both have exited the venture now, the coal block has remained with the Jayaswal familyShishir Arya | TNN | March 01, 2018, 12:30 IST
NAGPUR: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached a property worth Rs3.26 crore belonging to Abhijeet Group chairman Manoj Jayaswal and his son Abhishek in the coal block allocation scam of UPAregime. The attachment is in a case against JLD Yavatmal Energy Limited, which allegedly got a coal block in Chhattisgarh through fraudulent means.
The company was originally promoted by Manoj Jayaswal and Lokmat Group chairman Vijay Darda. Even as both have exited the venture now, the coal block has remained with the Jayaswal family. After a CBI inquiry, the ED too has initiated a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against the company.
The attached property includes a plot and unfinished building having total area of 1,673 square meters at Dhantoli in the city. The property named Growth Infinity is among the personal assets of the Jayaswals. The ED could not find any assets in the company’s name as such.
The amount of Rs3.26 crore is being considered as ‘proceeds of crime’ by the ED. No assets were acquired by the company, so nothing could be attached. In this case, the entire Rs3.26 crore capital infused in JLD Yavatmal Energy was treated as proceeds of crime, against which the property at Dhantoli has been attached.
“ED investigations revealed that Abhijeet Group of companies controlled by Manoj Jayaswal and Abhishek had transferred a huge amount of money to Ms Growth Infinite, a partnership firm owned by the family members. The money with the firm was used to buy the Dhantoli property,” said an ED press release.
Jayaswal, during his term as a director of JLD Yavatmal Energy, had misrepresented facts with an objective to bag the Fatehpur East coal block in Chhattisgarh. It was wrongly claimed that the company was jointly promoted by Lokmat Group and IDFC Limited. It was put up that the company has net worth of Rs2,544 crore, which wasn’t the case. Jayaswal also claimed that it has proposed to set up a 1,200 mega watt power plant using the coal mined from the block. “But for this deception, the company could not have pre-qualified for the recommendation of ministry of power,” said the ED release.
JLD Yavatmal Energy was also supposed to disclose if any other coal blocks were allotted to the company previously. The company had been allotted four other blocks from 1999 to 2005, but the facts were concealed.
Sources said despite the claims of setting up a power plant, no steps were taken to either start the power plant or mine the coal. Soon after CBI filed the case, the coal block was also taken back following a Supreme Court order in the case. This left no assets in the company’s hands, due to which the property of the former directors had to be attached.
- After much await, forest dpt to build a protection wall for Seminary Hills Manka Behl| TNN | Mar 2, 2018, 03:44 IST Japanees garden compound wall construction work on Sunday February 25th 2018
Nagpur: The forest department has approved the long-standing demand of environmentalists for a retaining wall to protect the Seminary Hills reserve forest. The department is hopeful that the wall will help in controlling trespassing, forest fires and soil erosion.
TOI was the first to report how the forest was left in complete shambles since years due to lack of protection. The Nagpur forest division had built an iron fencing around the forest but it would serve no purpose. Intruders would regularly litter the area through the breaches in the fencing.
According to forest officials, a wall of length around 650 meters will be constructed in the initial phase. The state public works department (PWD) has been awarded the work. “We have started by constructing the wall from Lourde Mata Grotto till Japanese Garden Square and a part of Katol Road,” said Nagpur deputy conservator of forest (DyCF) G Mallikarjuna. In the initial phase, a budget of Rs70 lakhs have been approved. “Another proposal of Rs1 crore for development work is being prepared. Besides, separate plans are being made to prevent soil erosion,” he added.
To ensure that citizens can enjoy the view of forest, the wall will have mesh fencing on top. “The height of the wall will vary depending on the topography,” said officials.
In summers last year, forest fires had engulfed a major portion of the forest, leading to destruction of natural habitats of various species. Officials said that the wall is expected to control trespassing in the area. “Encroachers would often leave cigarette or bidi butts in the forest. Though are patrolling teams are constantly monitoring in the area, the wall will restrict entry of such anti-social elements,” they added.
The department has also built a watchtower to keep an eye on forest fires and plans on building more in the coming months. “We are collecting the leaf litter and other waste regularly to prevent fire,” said officials. The department has also put up boards displaying information regarding rules and regulations to create awareness among the public.
TOI had also highlighted that the forest was under serious threat from soil erosion. To control this, the department is using dried-up or leftover bamboo. “We are filling the holes and depressions with leaf litter and bamboo which easily catch fire. This will not only avoid fire outbreaks but will also prevent flowing away of soil with water,” said the official.
Experts however feel that more measures need to be taken. “Stone bunding is the best way to avoid soil erosion. Also, more number of trees should be planted,” said green activist Shrikant Deshpande.
- Come clear on encroachment removal in Bezonbagh: HC Vaibhav Ganjapure| tnn | Mar 2, 2018, 03:55 IST
Nagpur: Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court directed the divisional commissioner to come clear on removal of encroachments from Bezonbagh or face the contempt action.
A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Arun Upadhye asked him to reply on an affidavit before March 7.
The court’s stringent directives came while hearing a contempt plea by Madhukar Patil through counsel Firdos Mirza alleging commissioner’s inaction for not handing over open plots in Bezonbagh to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) despite court’s clear orders in a related petition (WP No 1515/2008) filed by Atmaram Ukey against Maharashtra government.
On December 19, 2008, the HC clearly directed commissioner to hand over available open space to the corporation after removal of encroachment, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case before January 31, 2009. It also directed him to conduct a survey on encroachments and submit a report along with recommendations to the additional chief secretary of State Revenue and Forest Department.
A year later on December 9, 2009, the court even censured the commissioner over his inaction while tersely observing that the time sought by him “was just an excuse to delay implementation of its directives”. On November 28, 2011, Ukey filed an application seeking directives to handover open plots which are not used as dwelling houses to the NMC commissioner.
On May 6, 2016, the HC again directed the commissioner to hand over possession of plots as mentioned in 2011 order. He instead filed an application for modification of that order which was rejected by the court on June 24. Aggrieved by Kumar’ delaying tactics, Patil knocked judiciary's doors demanding directives to him to implement court’s orders.
- NMC firm on changing Sonegaon lake reservation Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Mar 6, 2018, 09:23 IST
NAGPUR: Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) remains firm on its decision to change reservation of Sonegaon lake from water body to a project— Beautification and Rejuvenation of Sonegaon Tank— so it could issue transfer of development rights (TDR) to owners for acquiring the lake. Municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal informed the civic body’s stance to the state’s urban development department (UDD) during the hearing on the subject held on Monday.
Following high court orders, principal secretary of UDD Nitin Karir held the hearing at Mantralaya, Mumbai. Mudgal told TOI the decision on giving TDR or cash compensation would be taken up later. “NMC started the process of changing reservation under Section 37 of MRTP Act and that will continue. HC had directed the NMC not to take any final decision before its order. So, HC will take final decision,” he said.
Petitioners Prashant Pawar and TH Naidu had objected to NMC’s decision to change reservation of the lake and proposal to issue TDR instead of cash compensation during hearing on their PIL. HC had then directed the UDD to hear all parties and submit its report before May 2.
Naidu and advocate A Kesari were present in the hearing. “We registered our objections. NMC should do property tax assessment of the lake that has been pending since 1971. Compensation should be decided for period between 1971 and 1999. Public money began to be spent on the lake from 1999. Amount of property tax should be deducted from compensation and rest should be paid to the owners,” he said.
Dr Ashish Bhiwapurkar also gave his representation in the hearing. Ashish is son of Dr Rekharani Bhiwapurkar, one of the two owners of the lake. Other owner Dr Sudha Sutaria had passed away.
- Nagpur Metro to initially run at only 25 kmph Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Mar 6, 2018, 08:48 IST
NAGPUR: The speed of Nagpur Metro rail on at grade (priority section) section of 5.05km between Khapri station and Airport South station on North-South corridor has been restricted to 25 kilometre per hour (kmph) for lack of requisite signalling systems. Average speed of Metro Rails in the nation is 80 kmph. This makes Nagpur Metro slowest among all.
Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MahaMetro) has planned commercial run on the at grade on North-South corridor in the first phase.
Ministry of Railway’s Research Designs and Standards Organization (RDSO) and Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) had inspected the stretch and also six rolling stock/cars obtained by MahaMetro from L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited (LTMRHL) on rental basis for trail and commercial run.
As per documents obtained under RTI Act by activist TH Naidu, RDSO issued provisional speed certificate on December 1 last year in which Metro Rail’s speed for at grade section was restricted at 25 kmph. Based on its inspection on January 16, CMRS issued a detailed note of 20 pages in which it also restricted Metro Rail’s speed at 25 kmph. “Trains will be operated in safety cut out switch (SCS) mode. Communications based train control (CBTC) and automatic train protection (ATP) have been not planned for commissioning of priority section. Also, signalling automatic train control (ATC) system is unavailable. Therefore, no other mode of operation — ATP, automatic train operation (ATO) and auto turn back (ATB)— will be functional,” report said.
CMRS also directed MahaMetro to ensure opening of cars’ doors on correct side manually through train operator. “In SCS cut out mode, the train shall be operated by train operator in accordance with line side signals and on radio verbal instructions from the traffic controller.”
LTMRHL’s six cars — two sets with three in each — are designed for a speed of 90 kmph. RDSO and CMRS had issued certification of 80 kmph for these cars in Hyderabad Metro Rail. But here the cars would run at 25 kmph.
MahaMetro official told TOI all types of signalling and control systems will be installed on at grade and remaining parts of two corridors before total commercial operation of Metro Rail. “We consider it as a trial run. Therefore, 25 kmph is sufficient. We are hopeful of getting full certification after completing the project,” he said.
Naidu said MahaMetro seems in hurry to give political mileage to some persons. “Almost all Metro Rails have started commercial operation for benefit of public. Who and how many will benefit on stretch between Khapri and Airport South station? Metro Rail on at grade stretch will end up only as a joyride, so why is MahaMetro in a hurry that too without requisite Metro Rail standard signalling and control systems?” he said.
Metro Rail Speeds | Speed of 40-80kmph was allowed when Metro Rail began commercial operation in Mumbai. Speed of Delhi Metro is 50-80 kmph. Speed of other Metro Rails like Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad etc are 40-80kmph
Automatic Operation | Delhi Metro Rail is probably the one to operate Metro Rail without any operator. Metro Rail in other cities are operated automatically but in supervision and monitoring of train operators. Metro rails start, run and stop automatically despite operator sitting in the cars. MahaMetro permitted to operate cars manually due to lack of automatic signalling and control systems
CMRS’ Train Control System For City | Train can attain 19 kmph speed in motoring mode, beyond which traction cut-off takes place and train is allowed to move in coasting mode. After traction cut-off, when the train speed falls below 17 kmph, traction supply to train resumes. In case the speed continues to increase up to 23 kmph due to its momentum, full service brake starts being applied to prevent maximum speed of 25 kmph. When the train speed falls below 21 kmph, braking will be cut-off. In case of trains moves over 25 kmph, emergency brake is applied to bring the train at a standstill, thereby ensuring safety
- No threat to Ambazari dam due to Metro: NMC tnn | Mar 6, 2018, 05:42 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Monday informed that there is no threat to the 146 year-old dam on Ambazari lake due to ongoing work of Metro rail carried out by Maha Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL).
NMC filed an affidavit in this regard after which hearing on the PIL was adjourned by a new division bench comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Murlidhar Giratkar.
The affidavit was in response to a PIL by Mohammad Shahid Sharif contending that MMRCL disregarded rules while constructing the station perilously close to the dam, which is posing threats to its structure. He pointed out that no construction can take place within 200m of a dam, as per rules.
“The state should consult expert agencies before undertaking such projects which wasn’t done. NMC overlooked the report of the special agencies while granting permission for Metro work,” he said.
On Thursday, MMRCL executive director JK Nandanwar, through its counsel Kaustubh Devgade, filed an affidavit stating that there was no threat to the dam, as station is coming up on the elevated platform. MMRCL is taking every care for not causing any damage to the lake or dam,” he said.
- Zero revenue for MahaMetro against expected Rs5,000 crore from extra FSI Ashish Roy| TNN | Updated: Mar 6, 2018, 09:12 IST
NAGPUR: Premium on extra floor to space index (FSI) was estimated to generate Rs5,000 crore for MahaMetro and enable it to pay off foreign loans. However, the FSI hike in an area up to 500 metres of Metro corridor has failed to bring in a single penny for the agency even after eight months.
The state urban development ministry, headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had taken two years in increasing the FSI in Metro corridor area under transit oriented development (TOD) policy. The ministry is equally apathetic about amending the policy. Builders’ organizations have termed the policy impractical and demanded certain changes. Fadnavis had assured to bring in some changes, but nothing has been done so far.
The response to TOD policy has been poor and even those property owners who sought extra FSI are yet to get the nod. Pramod Gawande, assistant director of town planning (ADTP) of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), said that his office had received only four to five proposals under TOD policy. “However, there were some issues in all the proposals regarding the plot size or road width. We sent the proposals to urban development ministry for guidance, but are yet to receive any response so far,” he told TOI. A senior official of Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) said that no proposal for extra FSI had been received by the Trust.
Realizing that TOD policy had several flaws, Credai’s Nagpur unit had submitted several memorandums to urban development ministry seeking amendments. The Mantralaya officials have been issuing hollow assurances so far.
A Credai office-bearer said there were very few big plots in the Metro corridor area and if existing TOD norms were followed, extra FSI could not be consumed. “The officials should have taken the average plot size into account before fixing the norms,” he added.
According to him, the side margin for plots below 1,000 square metres area was too much. “We suggested that principal development control rules (DCR) be made applicable to such cases. The officials refused but they are evolving a workable formula,” he added.
The front margin for plots on wide roads is too much and Credai wants it to be capped at 12 metres. The builders want to enclose the balconies but the ministry is not ready and is finding an alternate solution. The builders say that if enclosure was not possible then extra FSI should be given to them in lieu of balconies. Another demand is that basement side ramps be accommodated in side margins.
- NMC shifts 147 homeless to night shelters Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Mar 7, 2018, 03:37 IST
Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation in association with police department and three NGOs has started to shift homeless people in city to night shelters constructed and operated by the civic body. In the last seven days, 147 homeless were shifted to five night shelters.
NMC’s social welfare department, police’s economic cell and cyber crime branch and NGOs— Sanskruti, Sahara and Sahyadri— launched a week-long special drive between February 28 and March 6. Deputy municipal commissioner Ranjana Lade and DCP Shweta Khedkar also visited various parts of the city during the night drive.
Lade told TOI, target was to shift all 307 homeless to NMC’s night shelters. “Survey revealed there are 307 homeless in the city. Accordingly, NMC had constructed night shelters having 220 beds at five locations. Process to construct more night shelters is going on. We saw the homeless do not come to night shelters on their own. Therefore, special drive was launched in which a team of NMC, police and NGOs made rounds of the city between 10.30pm and 1.30am,” she said.
Lade said NGOs would continue the drive. “We have provided beds, food, clothes, washrooms and other amenities at night shelters. Regular health check up of these people is being conducted. NGOs are doing counselling of these people so they can go out to earn and return to night shelters during night daily on their own. Skills training will be given to the people so they can earn good and start to live in rented houses,” she said.
The state government had issued a circular on July 11, 2011, directing all civic bodies to provide one night shelter per one lakh population. Then, the formula was revised and directives were given to construct night shelters as per population of homeless. Accordingly, 10 night shelters were constructed between 2012 and 2014 but they got no response. Hence, the drive to search and bring the homeless to night shelters was started.
Under the central government’s Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), the night shelters are being operated at Sitabuldi (40 beds), below railway station flyover (30), Dipti Signal (30), Indora (20) and Hansapuri (100).
- Tax defaulters: 491; properties auctioned: 0 Proshun Chakraborty| tnn | Mar 7, 2018, 05:38 IST
Nagpur: The civic body’s Dhantoli zone, under which many medical institutions, tony colonies and houses of prominent citizens fall, is indifferent towards recovering property tax dues.
The zone has identified 491 defaulters and executed warrants for recovery, yet not a single property has been auctioned even as the owners failed to pay attention to reminders.
Overall, the effort of all the 10 zones is not satisfactory. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has identified 1.98 lakh defaulters, who have not paid property tax to the tune of over Rs 266 crore. Against 8,592 tax defaulters who were issued warrants to pay outstanding dues, these zones have attached 3,460 properties. Of these, the zones have carried out auctions of only 209 properties, which is only 2.42%, reveals a data compiled by NMC’s tax department.
“NMC has informed the registrar office about these properties, and asked them not to allow their sale,” said a senior official from the tax department.
Despite amnesty schemes, under which 90% interest and penalty was waived off on outstanding property tax, NMC has not made much headway in recovering dues.
According to the data, Laxmi Nagar zone has executed highest number of warrants — 2,250 — to tax defaulters, but has auctioned only 3 properties.
The performance of Dharampeth zone is no good either. Against execution of 526 warrants, the zone has so far auctioned only 18 properties, while Hanuman Nagar zone has executed 868 warrants and auctioned 55 properties.
Sources wondered how the Dhantoli zone that has already attached six properties could not auction even a single one when the dues are Rs19.05 crore.
The target was set at Rs 564.63 crore, but the 10 zonal commissioners have achieved only 22.85 % (Rs 129.04 crore) from April 2017 to February 3. The property tax department is the key revenue gainer for the NMC and the failure to meet the tax targets would directly impact all development works in the city.
- With no hike in taxes, NMC’s financial struggle to continue Anjaya Anparthi and Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Mar 10, 2018, 03:13 IST
Nagpur: Municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal on Friday presented the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) budget of Rs2,048.53 crore for 2018-19. He also presented the revised budget of Rs1,997.33 crore for the current fiscal (2017-18) — a cut of 12.08% in the Rs2,271.97 crore presented by the standing committee last year.
The civic chief has kept all taxes untouched. It means there will be no additional burden on the common man. But Mudgal has failed to come up with new revenue sources which means the civic body will remain cash strapped.
Mudgal’s budget, which appeared quite realistic, will come into effect from April 1. Standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja will present his budget, probably in May or later, that will supersede Mudgal’s budget.
Normally, the standing committee chairman’s budget is the same as the one presented by the civic chief but includes some new projects and a hike in the revenue and expenditure.
Stressing the need for a financial discipline, Mudgal emphasized on the completion of ongoing and proposed projects, increase in revenue from available sources and reducing high expenditure. He announced a few new projects like the installation of 100 water ATMs, a commercial/hawker complex and parking plaza at Kadbi Chowk, Itwari.
As per Mudgal’s budget, the NMC will earn a revenue of Rs2,048.53 crore in the next 12 months, which is Rs223.44 crore less than that projected by the standing committee last year. In comparison to the current fiscal, it is a hike of just Rs51.20 crore.
“The revenue up to February end was Rs1,355 crore. Another Rs642.33 crore, which includes grants from the state government, is expected in the next 22 days, taking the total to Rs1,997.33 crore,” said Mudgal.
The civic chief added that revenue targets from property tax and other heads could not be met this fiscal. “We need to chalk out a time-bound programme to achieve targets set from available revenue sources in the next fiscal,” said Mudgal.
Despite being a local self governing body, the NMC will continue to depend majorly on the central and state government. 56.61% of the revenue will come from government grants (Rs1,009.72 crore) and loan (Rs150 crore). Also, 53% revenue will be spent on establishment, administrative expenses, repayment of loans, operation and maintenance etc leaving 47% for developmental works and projects.
Mudgal did not budget for revenue from entertainment tax and professional tax stating it will be worked out when the state will approve the proposals. He also did not mention about taking over NIT’s areas as proposed by the state.
The civic chief said the actual works to transform the city into a Smart City will begin from next fiscal. “The Rs520 crore Smart and Safe City project in which CCTVs are being installed is nearing completion. The area-based development project proposed in East Nagpur will start soon with the construction of affordable housing and road works. Provision of funds have been made for projects under AMRUT, Swachh Bharat Mission, Prime Minister Awas Yojana etc,” he said.
Mudgal proposed to give assistance of Rs151 crore to NESL, the special purpose vehicle operating and maintaining water works. Water works will incur a loss of Rs60.53 crore.
Also, he has proposed to give grants of Rs100 crore for the city transport committee for operation and maintenance of buses. It effectively means both the departments will not be earning any revenue.
For the first time, the civic chief has proposed to give cash to the Metro Rail project. “NMC is supposed to contribute 5% (Rs434 crore) in the project. The total amount, excluding Rs73 crore, will be adjusted as against land allotted to Mahametro. Rs35 crore will be disbursed in 2018-19 and the remaining in 2019-20,” said Mudgal.
Mudgal’s budget a has meagre allocation of Rs1.83 crore funds for the welfare and development of women. For sports, the allocation is Rs3.82 crore. Time and again the state government has pointed out that it is too less.
For road safety, Mudgal has proposed to repair dividers, footpaths, signage and implementation of the integrated junction/squares road development project. He also proposed to add 31 women-special buses, 25 bio-gas and 70 electric-run buses in the existing fleet, taking the total number of city buses to 567 from 487. Mudgal also wants to link city buses’ ticketing system to the Metro Rail’s common mobility card.
Mudgal also proposed the implementation of the Rs300 crore cement concrete road project phase-III and completion of Rs324 crore phase-II and Rs123 crore- phase-I.
Mudgal said NMC will modernize health/medical facilities in association with Tata Trust. “Centralized pathology will be developed at Sadar and warehouse at Mahal. 26 urban health centres will be developed of which 8 in phase-I, 10 in phase-II and remaining in phase-III,” he said.
- Metro has acquired 68% private land so far Ashish Roy| tnn | Mar 10, 2018, 03:10 IST
Nagpur: Even though work has started on all four reaches of Nagpur Metro, MahaMetro has acquired about 92% the land it needs so far. The agency spokesperson described the figure as satisfactory and said the acquisition process was going ahead smoothly. The land acquisition for Sitabuldi-Automotive Square stretch is the slowest.
While most of the land MahaMetro needs already belonged to government, a tiny part was from private owners. It has acquired 68% of private land required so far. Acquisition of private lands started quite late as the agency did not need them in initial stages. It needs to acquire 20,850 square metres private land of which 6,630 sq m remains.
Category wise Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) land is at the bottom of the table. MahaMetro has acquired only 57% Trust land. The percentage is low because the Metro agency has not been able to get possession of 6 acre Krazy Castle land near Ambazari lake. The amusement park owner Haldiram Foods is demanding Rs 162 crore from NIT as compensation. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari recently directed NIT to hand over entire land to MahaMetro and asked the latter to build a commercial complex in which Haldiram is to be given commercial space free of cost as compensation.
MahaMetro has to acquire 33,560 sq m NIT land of which 14,330 sq m remains.
All the land required for Nagpur Metro from Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Mihan India Limited (MIL), Central Railway and South-Eastern Central Railway (SECR) has been acquired. Visvesvarya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) have given in principle approval for handing over their lands but possession is yet to be received.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also agreed to hand over its land but a Durga temple is located on it. MahaMetro will have go in for unpopular step of shifting it.
The largest amount of land required belongs to Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) - 4.34 lakh sq m. Some 94% of this land is in MahaMetro’s possession and about 25,000 sq m remains to be acquired. Next comes state government with 3.37 lakh sq m. About 95% of this land has been acquired.
MahaMetro has paid Rs 61 crore compensation to land owners so far while Rs 1,222 crore remains to be paid. Most of the unpaid amount will be book adjusted as share of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), NIT and state and central governments in the project.
- ‘Civic chief must tap resources to increase revenue’ tnn | Mar 11, 2018, 17:58 IST
Nagpur: The 12.8% cut in the budget presented by former standing committee chairman Sandip Jadhav has evoked sharp reactions across party lines including the ruling BJP.
In his revised budget presentation for 2017-18, municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal on Friday cut the estimates from Rs 2,271.97 crore to Rs 1,997.33 crore. This revision would hit development works in the city, claimed corporators.
According to Congress corporators, exaggeration of NMC’s budget is affecting city’s development. “Now, works to the tune of over Rs 274 crore, proposed during Jadhav’s tenure, will spill over to next chairman’s budget,” said corporator Sandeep Sahare. He pointed out that it had become a bad practice of the NMC standing panel to present impractical budgets. “If one goes through the last seven years budgets, the city has witnessed no development,” he said.
“Many projects, that are not feasible in Nagpur, have been included in the budget. Also, money has been spent on projects that have no relevance for the city,” he said. Sahare added that the city is riddled with choked gutters, damaged street lights, filthy streets and vegetable markets that stink like garbage dumps.
Standing committee member and Congress corporator Manoj Sangole welcomed Mudgal’s budget stating that despite the financial crisis, he has presented a realistic budget for 2018-19. He also stressed upon the need to improve the civic body’s revenue. The civic chief should ensure that his team helps the NMC to fulfil his budget commitments.
Sangole added that more funds must be allotted to zones. “Corporators know about civic problems and they spend the ward funds to solve petty problems. Developmental works can be executed in wards only if zone funds are increased,” he pointed out. Sangole also called upon the municipal commissioner to allocate Rs 10 crore for emergency works.
Standing committee member Sunil Hiranwar (BJP) blamed the civic administration for failing to meet the revenue target set by the panel’s chairman. Hiranwar stated that if the administration had put in efforts, the revenue target of Rs 2,271 crore could have been achieved. “The civic body can generate more than Rs 500 crore alone from properties” said Hiranwar.
He also cited the examples of unassessed properties and called for bringing them under the ambit of property tax to shore up NMC’s revenue.
Another panel member Mangala Khekare (BJP) welcomed the budget, but said that the civic administration needs to improve revenue generation, especially from the property tax department.
Standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja welcomed the revised budget and called for focussing on increasing the civic body’s revenue. According to Kukreja, the town planning department can earn Rs 250 crore, while market department can contribute Rs 40 crore. Kukreja added that he would put in efforts, with tax committee chairman Sandip Jadhav, to boost revenue from tax collection.