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Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

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Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

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  • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

    Not left with a level-playing field: Priyadarshini Colony residents, kids

    tnn | Apr 21, 2019, 05:31 IST

    Nagpur: Though summer holidays have commenced for children, the Priyadarshini Colony ground isn’t bustling with activity. The children can’t play here without any injury scare as the place has been covered with paver blocks. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) carried out the work going against the norms to turn the playground into a parking lot.

    On Friday evening, TOI visited the spot and spoke to some of the residents. According to retired agricultural officer Kusumtai Patil, paver blocks will prevent water percolation, leading to depletion in groundwater level of the area. “The residents may face water problems in future because of this,” he said.

    Senior citizen Vasudev Janardhan Khare is against parking of cars on the playground, which he says has been going on for the last few months. “Though each society has ample parking space, residents are parking their cars here. This is unacceptable. Covering the only park in this area with paver blocks is a matter of concern for the kids,” he said.

    Satishkumar Bagadiya, a businessman, too voiced concern over safety of children. According to him, there are gaps between the blocks, due to which children might get injured while playing on them. “It is risky for them to run around on this surface. Also, the concretization work will affect the groundwater level. I do not support this decision,” he said.

    Ratnaprabha Chandekar, a retired officer, said though it was mostly used for car parking, the park was in a better condition earlier due to the mud. “But now, due to concretization, children get injured while playing on the surface,” she said.

    The kids too are dejected. For Abhijay Kanojiya, a 14-year-old who had fractured his arm while playing in the park, it’s no longer a good place for him. “This is not a good initiative. Children and walkers tend to stumble due to the gaps between the paver blocks. I broke my arm while playing here,” he said.

    Maahi Agarwal, 12, sees both the good and bad sides of the development. “Earlier, there were many stones which would hurt us while playing, which is not the case now. But sometimes our ankle gets stuck in the gaps between the paver blocks, so we have to be very careful while running.”

    Ansh Chandekar, 10, liked the earlier version of the ground. “It was easy to run. We would not get injured even after falling, but now we start bleeding whenever we fall because of the hard cement surface.” The new ground, however, will have amenities like allotted spaces for cricket, basketball and badminton, he said.

    For seven-year-old Saanvi Chandekar, there is no fear of falling now as she feels the ground has been levelled. “I like this park, it is very huge. Also, new swings have been installed. I still liked the ground we had before, as it was fun to play on the mud,” she said.

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    • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

      Building plan sanction period: Maharashtra says 60 days, architect want 45 days

      The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), local chapter, in its detailed submission on unified DCR has suggested that the government reduce the period to 45 days.Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | April 20, 2019, 11:00 IST

      NAGPUR: The state government has proposed to increase the period of building plan sanction from existing 30 days to 60 days in unified development control regulations (DCR). The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA), local chapter, in its detailed submission on unified DCR has suggested that the government reduce the period to 45 days.

      Citing the central government’s Ease of Doing Business Assessment-2017, the government issued a notification in July 2017 making it mandatory for the planning authorities to sanction or refuse applications seeking building plans within a period of 30 days. The period was 60 days before the notification. The building plan was supposed to be deemed sanctioned in case of no reply or no decision is given by the planning authorities.

      In a notification related to unified DCR, the period is kept at 60 days. For deemed sanction, the applicant has to submit a letter with the planning authority stating that the building plan became a deemed sanction. Then the planning authority has to communicate its remarks and issue commencement certificate with one copy of the approved building plan within 15 days.

      Similarly, the time period for occupancy certificate is proposed to be increased to 21 days as against existing norm of eight days. There is an option of deemed sanction also in related to occupancy certificate.

      The IIA headed by Paramjit Singh Ahuja has suggested to the government to include provision of relaxation and discretionary powers to municipal commissioner in corporations, metropolitan commissioner in metropolitan regional plans and chairman in the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). In unified DCR, there is no mention about relaxation and discretionary powers to these authorities.

      In existing DCRs, all these authorities are having powers of relaxation and discretion. Architects and builders often seek relaxations for side, rear margins, FSI, balconies, distance between buildings etc.

      Among other top suggestions of IIA, one is to allow housing scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and tourism activities in agriculture zone. These are permissible under existing norms. The other suggestion is to increase area for rooms in banquet and function halls.

      In unified DCR, halls can come up in area of 0.4 hectare or more and will get FSI of 0.2. 30% of the total area can be utilized for rooms and 40% for parking.

      The IIA has not mentioned anything on the government’s proposal to reduce FSI of commercial from existing 2.5 to 1.25. It has pointed about lack of mention of FSI in congested areas in Nagpur in unified DCR.

      The IIA did not directly comment on whether there was need for unified DCR or not. It said, “The DCR is a part and parcel of development plan (DP). Therefore, DCR should be modified along with other components of DP such as land use planning, development report etc. Municipal corporations and metropolitan areas should have scope to customize unified DCR based upon and to suit the unique needs of the area as per climate, topography, heritage, old settlements, carrying capacity etc,” IIA said.

      The IIA also suggested to prepare graphic interpretation of unified DCR to avoid interpretations. The association assured its support in preparing graphic interpretation.

      In unified DCR, all sections are in text format and lack sketches and graphics.

      The last date for submission of suggestions and objections was April 8. The state government will conduct hearings of those who have made submissions before finalising the rules.


      * Hospital should be permitted in amenity space

      * Swimming pools should also be permitted on ground floor and should not be covered

      * Building and control lines should be made separately for city and metropolitan areas

      * Service roads along national/state highways should be of 12/9 meters

      * Make provision to consult deputy director of town planning in case of any confusions

      * Residential and commercial uses should be segregated vertically or horizontally

      * Amalgamation of two or more EWS units should be allowed

      * Special regulations framed for improvement schemes in Metro Region should be included

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      • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

        NMC to take cops’ help to snap Wadi water supply

        Proshun Chakraborty | tnn | Updated: Apr 25, 2019, 5:49 IST
        Nagpur: Following non-cooperation by Wadi Municipal Council in stopping illegal drawing of water from the civic body’s network, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has decided to take the help of city police to disconnect water connection.

        TOI has highlighted how city suburbs are facing water crisis due to drying up of Vena dam and residents in Wadi Municipal Council area allegedly resorting to ‘stealing’ water from the NMC pipeline affecting water supply to Sai Nagar in city limits.

        NMC’s water works department official said the residents of Wadi area were allegedly withdrawing water from the NMC pipeline since April 6 and even after bringing this to the notice of the municipal council and repeated reminders, chief executive officer Rajesh Bhagat has not taken any efforts to resolve the issue. “Finally, we have decided to seek police help for disconnecting illegal connections,” the official said.

        To a query, the officer said that even if the NMC disconnects the illegal connections, there is possibility that Wadi residents might reconnect to the pipeline, so police help will be sought.

        The official also pointed out that Wadi residents have damaged pipelines in the municipal council limits and Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran should also take cognizance of it.

        Despite repeated attempts, CEO Rajesh Bhagat was not available for comments.

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        • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

          Around 1.74 lakh families in Nagpur are tenants

          According to the property tax revaluation drive undertaken by the civic body in the last two years, occupancy by tenants was pegged at 24.7%Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | May 01, 2019, 11:00 IST

          NAGPUR: Around 1.74 lakh families are residing or doing business from rented properties across the city, states a survey conducted by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC).

          According to the property tax revaluation drive undertaken by the civic body in the last two years, occupancy by tenants was pegged at 24.7%.

          Probably for the first time in the city’s history, the survey collected some interesting facts and figures. There are 7,06,271 individual buildings, flats and shops across the city. Of the total properties, occupancy by owners is 5,32,040 and the remaining 1,74,231 are used by tenants.

          Ashi Nagar zone (North Nagpur) has the highest number of properties (1,30,288) followed by Lakadganj zone in East Nagpur (1,14,031), Nehru Nagar zone in South Nagpur (1,05,719), Hanuman Nagar zone in South, South-West Nagpur (82,469), Mangalwari zone in West, North Nagpur (76,455), Laxmi Nagar zone in South-West Nagpur (71,629), Satranjipura in East, Central Nagpur (38,095), Dharampeth zone in West Nagpur (34,906), Gandhibagh zone in Central Nagpur (29,251) and Dhantoli zone in West, South-West Nagpur (23,428).

          The highest number of properties occupied by tenants is in Nehru Nagar zone (32,840) and the lowest is in Dhantoli zone (4,668). Ashi Nagar zone (31,358) is second highest followed by Lakadganj zone (25,323), Mangalwari zone (23,344), Laxmi Nagar zone (16,747), Hanuman Nagar zone (14,735), Dharampeth zone (8,865), Satranjipura zone (8,464) and Gandhibagh zone (7,887).

          As far as occupancy by owners is concerned, Ashi Nagar zone (98,930) is leading while Dhantoli zone (18,760) is at the bottom. Lakadganj zone (88,708) is the second highest followed by Nehru Nagar zone (72,879), Hanuman Nagar zone (67,734), Laxmi Nagar zone (54,882), Mangalwari zone (53,111), Satranjipura zone (29,631), Dharampeth zone (26,041) and Gandhibagh zone (21,364).

          Compared to the other zones, Dhantoli has the lowest figures in terms of properties occupied by owners and tenants.

          There is a drastic difference between the number of residential and commercial properties. While 14.67% of the properties (1,03,661) are in commercial use, the remaining 6,02,610 properties (85.33%) are residential.

          Residential properties are the highest in number in Ashi Nagar zone (1,16,912), while commercial properties are topping the charts in Nehru Nagar zone (13,760). The lowest number of commercial properties are in Dharampeth zone (4,864) and residential in Dhantoli (15,942).

          Gandhibagh is the only zone where there is not much of a difference between the number of residential and commercial properties. The zone is small in size and comprises famous markets like Mahal, Gandhibagh, Central Avenue, Mominpura and some parts of Itwari. The number of residential properties over here are 18,045 and commercial 11,206.


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          • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

            Nagpur: Green activist confirms illegal sand mining in Vena lake

            Green activist Seema Sahu had visited the dam on May 8 and seen labourers loading sand on three tractors. She visited the site on May 10 too and found that sand had been excavated from a large number of spots.Ashish Roy | TNN | May 11, 2019, 16:00 IST

            NAGPUR: While water resources department (WRD) may not have found anybody excavating sand from bed of Vena dam, off Amravati Road, environmentalists say evidence is there for all to see. Green activist Seema Sahu had visited the dam on May 8 and seen labourers loading sand on three tractors. She visited the site on May 10 too and found that sand had been excavated from a large number of spots.

            A citizen Sunil Degwekar alleged officials were hand in gloves with the sand mafia. “Their vigilance action will continue for two or three days and then it will be back to square one,” he wrote on Facebook.

            WRD section engineer Rajiv Wasu, however, claimed his staffer had visited the dam and found no one digging the bed for sand. “Our staffer went to Vena on Thursday and Friday but did not witness any illegal activity,” he told TOI.

            Countering Wasu, Sahu said activity must have stopped after it was highlighted by TOI. “What was the department doing all these days? If no illegal activity was going on where has all the sand gone,” she asked.

            WRD had permitted the local tehsildar to allow villagers to take away silt from the dried up reservoir. Removal of silt has dual benefit. The water body’s capacity increases and farmers get fertile soil for their fields. However, many people are taking away sand after removing the silt.

            Sand is in heavy demand in the construction sector and fetches a good price. Illegal sand mining is rampant in the district and elsewhere. Recently, sand smugglers had tried to run over revenue officials when they were checking a truck.

            Environmentalist Shrikant Deshpande said that while removing silt increased the storage capacity of the water body, taking away sand reduced its water holding capacity. “Sand should not be excavated under any circumstances. Officials should immediately take action to stop illegal sand mining,” he told TOI.


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            • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

              PWD thinks out of box to save 2,000 trees on Amt-Warud Rd

              Vijay Pinjarkar | tnn | Updated: May 14, 2019, 5:55 IST

              Nagpur: The public works department (PWD), which generally has a dubious distinction of mindlessly felling large numbers of trees for road widening, has set an example by saving 2,000 trees on Nandgaonpeth-Morshi-Warud-Pandhurna state highway no. 10.

              Road widening of SH-10 at a cost of Rs 500 crore started last year. The road is being expanded from existing 7 metres to 10 metres with 1.5 metre shoulders on both sides. The existing tar road had huge canopy of neem, mango, pipal and tamarind trees.

              The PWD (NH division) had initially decided to fell trees on both sides of the road with central alignment. “As per the preliminary estimates, over 6,000 trees were to be felled on the 95km stretch till Pandhurna on Madhya Pradesh border,” said Raosaheb Zalte, executive engineer.

              However, when green activist Shrikant Deshpande working to save trees and who had earlier filed a PIL in the high court on the issue learnt about it, he met Zalte on several occasions to convince that many 100-year-old trees on the Nandgaon-Pandhurna stretch can be saved if alignments are made site-specific instead of centre alignment.

              “The road is one of the last few remaining stretches in Vidarbha where one can find such huge neem trees. Even best plantations cannot compensate felling of such trees,” said Deshpande.

              “It looked to be a complicated task to change central alignment, which is mostly neither acceptable to project proponents nor concessionaire. But, it is good that Zalte took my representations seriously and agreed to change alignments where necessary to save trees,” he said.

              “It was a tightrope walk to change alignments from the existing centre line. There were allegations from various sections that PWD is shifting the road, but without any land acquisition, we played in the right of way of 24-30 metres,” Zalte told TOI.

              Zalte said, “To save trees, the right of way was restricted to 18 metres. We did re-numbering of trees and posted two employees to ensure that the contractor doesn’t fell trees that were earlier marked for felling but could be saved after realignment.”

              “This seems to be the first model where 2,000 trees could be saved by changing alignment. We are also implementing similar model on Akola-Washim-Hingoli-Nanded road (NH-161), where many trees have been brought within the dividers without disturbing road length,” he said.

              Deshpande said that these 2,000 trees will contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and will also support birds.

              “As of now, we have not calculated the ecological value of the saved trees and plan to do it once the project is completed. The PWD also plans to plant trees along the same road to compensate the felled ones,” Zalte says.

              “This is an out of box idea which has now turned out to be a model and should be implemented on other roads too in the state. Without affecting widening, if 2,000 trees could be saved, imagine the number of trees when at least 10,000km of roads are being developed in the state,” Deshpande added.

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              • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                Nagpur civic body levying residential property tax on coaching class for 18 years

                Though a notice was issued to the coaching class three years ago for using residential flats, the civic body is levying residential property tax and has neglected penal property tax.Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | May 27, 2019, 14:00 IST

                NAGPUR: In what can be termed as nothing less than an irregularity, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is levying property tax as per residential rate instead of commercial rate on a coaching class for the last 18 years.

                The institute is situated right in front of the NMC Laxmi Nagar zone office. Though a notice was issued to the coaching class three years ago for using residential flats, the civic body is levying residential property tax and has neglected penal property tax.

                TOI on Sunday had reported that the NMC was not taking any action against the coaching class which is operating from two residential flats at Nirmal Akash Apartments at Shraddhanand Peth Extension, Laxmi Nagar, despite regular complaints from flat owners.

                A private institution had started the coaching class on the ground floor sanctioned for office, commercial shops and two flats on the first floor sanctioned for residential purpose in 2001. A few months ago, another institution took over the premises and is running the coaching class.

                As per norms, the NMC is supposed to levy property tax on the coaching class as per commercial rate which is much more than the residential rate. Also, it is mandatory for the civic body to recover two times more property tax if a notice has been issued for unauthorized construction or usage.

                As per information obtained from the NMC, property tax for the two flats from where the coaching class is operating is as per residential rate since 2001. Following complaints from flat owners, including Vijay Kumar Shinde, the zone office had issued notice to the coaching class on December 21, 2016. However, the property tax remained under residential category.

                During the revaluation drive for all properties started in 2017, the NMC’s private agency also took pictures in which the board of the coaching class on the ground and first floor is clearly seen.

                Shinde told TOI that NMC neglected his demand to levy property tax on the coaching class as per commercial rate in December last year and January this year.

                He further said the NMC is now saying it cannot recover property tax as per commercial rate from 2001. “In its reply to my complaint NMC said norms do not allow recovering property tax as per commercial with retrospective effect. In this case, NMC should recover the loss from the officials concerned,” he said.

                NMC assistant commissioner (property tax) Milind Meshram said he would issue directives for revaluation and take appropriate steps. “Zone office is responsible for levying tax and also for recovering two times more property tax after issuing notice for unauthorized construction or usage,” he said.

                Assistant commissioner of Laxmi Nagar Zone Suvarna Dakhane said necessary action will be taken. “I was not aware of notice issued to the coaching class in 2016. I issued a notice to the coaching class immediately after receiving latest complaint,” she said.


                A HUGE LOSS FOR NMC

                *NMC should levy commercial property tax on coaching class

                *A coaching class is running from two residential flats of Nirmal Akash Apartments in front of NMC Laxmi Nagar zone office since 2001

                *Property tax is being levied as per residential category since 2001

                *Flat owners lodged complaints about unauthorized usage in 2016

                *NMC issued notice to coaching class in 2016 but did not revise tax

                *NMC supposed to levy two times more tax after the notice, but neglected it

                *Despite revaluation drive in 2017, tax category was not changed

                *NMC saying it cannot recover the loss and can apply commercial rate only from now

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                • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                  NMC to charge for groundwater too

                  Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Updated: Jun 5, 2019, 13:19 IST Representative Image

                  NAGPUR: In a bid to curb wastage of water and earn revenue too, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) proposes to charge citizens for using groundwater, on the lines of tap water.

                  A system to measure the groundwater usage is being prepared and the rates to apply will be finalized soon.

                  NMC executive engineer Shweta Banerjee, in a press conference held on Tuesday, said new bylaws will be framed to make groundwater payable. “NMC is already levying water benefit component in property tax for those who are using groundwater and not tap water. The civic body is planning to fix slabs on the lines of tap water tariff and install meter to measure groundwater use,” she said.

                  If implemented, this will be for the first time the citizens will be paying for groundwater. Many commercial establishments, builders, industries and few residences, especially those situated on the city’s outskirts, utilize groundwater through wells or borewells.

                  Chairman of water works consultative committee Vijay Zelke said target is to take action on all illegal water connections within a year. “There are around 30,000 illegal water connections. Drive has been started to either disconnect or regularize illegal water connections. As of now, 812 illegal water connections have been regularized, while 118 disconnected. We have also relaxed norms to give new water connection. Now, anyone can get connection by submitting an affidavit, copy of aadhaar and power bill,” he said.

                  Stressing on the need to curb use of tap water for non-potable use, Zelke said the NMC has launched Save Water Helpline (8888822700). “We urge the people to take pictures and send them on this number’s WhatsApp whenever they notice any wastage or misuse of tap water. Complaints of tap water being used for washing vehicles, construction activities, flushing sewage lines, neglecting overflow from tanks, use in bars etc will be entertained,” he said.

                  Banerjee said first warning will be given to those found wasting or misusing tap water followed by disconnection, penalty and FIR. “There are no legal provisions for levying penalty and FIR at present. We are planning to link nuisance detection squad with the drive to enable penalty and FIR. We will also frame bylaws in this regard soon,” she said.
                  Banerjee also revealed that action was taken against three builders who were using tap water in building construction. “We have no provisions to take action for using tap water in coolers, gardening etc but request the citizens to avoid the same. Water from well or borewell should be used for such purposes. The civic body also plans to supply treated sewage for construction activities, including cement road works,” she said.

                  Admitting the need to reduce water supply due to scarcity, Zelke said a decision in this regard will be taken in 3-4 days.

                  Banerjee said sewage/effluent water treatment plant has been made mandatory for 54 bulk water consumers who use over 1 lakh litres per day, including 52 government agencies and two private entities. “Reuse of water by these consumers will help conserve potable water,” she said.

                  Zelke said the situation on raw water front is worsening hence there need is to construct barrage on Kanhan-Kolar rivers. “Estimated cost of the barrage is around Rs500 crore and we will require funds from the government. We are also planning to take up work to lay pipeline from Pench reservoir to Kanhan water treatment plant (WTP) to curb huge loss of water,” he said.

                  Banerjee said the number of water tankers has increased to 342 in non-network areas and 150 in network areas.

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                  • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                    Cash-strapped Nagpur civic body 'forgets' to levy property tax

                    The panel report was tabled before management council on Monday, where it was cleared by the members and powers were entrusted with the vice chancellor SP Kane to act on its recommendations.TNN | June 07, 2019, 14:00 IST The ITAT ruling added that just because the taxman has a "hindsight" view doesn't mean that the projections were inaccurate. NAGPUR: A year after Nagpur University constituted a panel to probe a series of allegations against Sunil Mishra, its members led by retired district and additional session judge TG Bansod indicted him for cheating two universities.

                    The panel recommended lodging of a police complaint against the former chairman of NU’s Board of Mass Communication at Sitabuldi police station under Section 420 of IPC for falsifying a degree and diploma each from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (DBAMU) in Aurangabad and NU, without the migration certificate.

                    The panel, which also has Keshav Mendhe as the member and Pradeep Masram as secretary, further called on for a disciplinary action under Section 127 of ‘Maharashtra Public University act, 2016’ against Mishra, where his result could be cancelled.

                    The panel report was tabled before management council on Monday, where it was cleared by the members and powers were entrusted with the vice chancellor SP Kane to act on its recommendations. Kane did not respond to TOI’s calls, but registrar Vinayak Deshpande confirmed that it was cleared by council without discussions. Mishra also didn’t take TOI’s call, but texted that he was in Chennai.

                    Mishra himself has exposed many irregularities in NU with the help of RTI and was main person behind highlighting the issue of colleges running without teachers and infrastructure which led to the closure of many. He had also brought to fore how NU awarded bogus degrees as colleges never had 100% attendance of 180 days for the students, which is mandatory.

                    TOI on April 9 last year, first exposed about the then NU Board of Examination’s (BOE) alleged “illegal” decision of November 13, 2006, to accept Mishra’s bogus mark sheets, despite the fact his case was pending with the special court investigating the “bogus mark sheets and revaluation scam” better known as Kohchade scam that rocked NU in 1998-99.

                    TOI’s news was based on RTI Activist Ankita Shah’s queries to NU about minutes of BOE meeting of November 13, 2006, that accepted Mishra’s proposal for surrendering his mark sheets of LLB Part I (1995), Part 2 (2000) and Part 3 (2000).

                    After TOI’s expose, VC directed then BOEE director Neeraj Khaty to place all the documents related to BOE’s 2006 meeting before him, while attaching TOI’s report.

                    Bansod panel further directed NU to intimate the Maratha University about how Mishra completed his degree in mass communication and journalism from there in 1996, without migration certificate from NU. The members found out that he also completed his PG Diploma in travel and tourism in the same year.

                    The panel checked with NU and DBAMU if Mishra was provided with a migration certification. While no records were found with the former, DBAMU failed to provide any documents despite repeated requests.

                    The panel was set-up to inquire into multiple aspects involving Mishra, including his motive behind returning LLB mark sheets and host of allegations regarding financial misappropriation in scholarships distribution in CIIMC run by him.

                    Last year, NU had lodged a police complaint against Mishra after allegations against him came to fore and also prohibited his entry into any of its premises.

                    Earlier, another probe panel by former district government pleader (DGP) Prashant Sathianathan had also nailed Mishra for the multiple frauds. While strongly recommending to lodge police complaint against him, the ex-DGP too mentioned that he not only defrauded NU, but also the judiciary and further committed the perjury of trial court by submitting bogus documents to NU, originals of which were still in court’s records.

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                    • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                      Nagpur: No property tax on power infrastructure

                      The decision will hit already cash-strapped urban local bodies like Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Chandrapur Municipal Corporation (CMC) that had brought power infrastructure under property tax ambit.Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | June 14, 2019, 15:00 IST

                      NAGPUR: The state cabinet on Tuesday decided to exempt power infrastructure like electricity poles, transformer, substations etc from property tax. The decision will hit already cash-strapped urban local bodies like Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Chandrapur Municipal Corporation (CMC) that had brought power infrastructure under property tax ambit.

                      To exempt electricity poles and infrastructure from property tax, the state cabinet made amendments in Section 128 (a) (2) of Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act- 1949.

                      “Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), its power franchisees and Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (MSECTCL) lay electricity lines, poles, transformers etc for providing power supply in municipal corporation areas. Power generation and distribution are essential services. Power tariff will increase and ultimately it will be recovered from consumers in case of additional tax on electricity system,” stated the state cabinet note.

                      NMC used to levy property tax on electricity poles and infrastructure when Nagpur Electric and Light and Power (NELP) Company, a private entity, used to supply power till 1972. Civic body stopped recovering property tax since MSEB took over power distribution.

                      Power franchisee Spanco took over three of four divisions from MSEDCL in 2011. In 2012-13, the then standing committee chairman in NMC Dayashankar Tiwari proposed to levy property tax on electricity poles and infrastructure of areas coming under Spanco and excluded for MSEDCL’s one division.

                      NMC had estimated a revenue of around Rs 10 crore per annum from property tax. Even the demand was raised with Spanco. But Spanco did not pay. CMC had levied property tax on electricity poles and infrastructure of MSEDCL too. CMC had estimated revenue of around Rs 5 crore per annum. However, MSEDCL got a stay from high court on that.

                      Now, the civic bodies would not be able to levy property tax on power infrastructure. It is not clear what will become of arrears of tax already levied.

                      Civic body had argued that since MSEDCL was charging commercial rates for power to civic bodies, they too could tax MSEDCL like any other company. NMC is paying Rs 110 crore per annum for streetlights and Rs 70 crore per annum for water supply to MSEDCL. These are also essential services and for public. Still, the power tariff for these two categories was more than residential.

                      Tiwari, a BJP corporator, said the government should take a balanced approach and subsidize power for essential services of NMC. Congress corporator Praful Gudadhe said, “MSEDCL is a profit making company. When it does not subsidize power rates for civic services, why should NMC give it exemption?” He added the government should exempt all taxes like GST on all materials procured by the civic bodies too.

                      Power infrastructure has probably become first to get total exemption from property tax.

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