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- NMC gets Rs 18crore for revival of Sonegaon lake Ashish Roy| TNN | Updated: May 1, 2018, 14:30 IST
NAGPUR: The state urban development has sanctioned Rs 18.25 crore for rejuvenation and beautification of Sonegaon lake. Nagpur Municipal Corporation(NMC), which had submitted a detailed project report (DPR) to the government, will execute the project.
Besides rejuvenation, the project includes developing a children’s park and food court on the bank of the lake, a pathway around the lake and planting trees.
NMC junior engineer Sandip Lokhande said that recharge shafts (sort of borewells) would be dug inside the bed of the lake to charge it with groundwater. “This solution was given to us by Chetan Gajbhiye, retired deputy director of Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA). He is an expert in the field of water conservation and rejuvenation of water bodies and is famous for Chetan bandharas,” he said.
NMC will also desilt the lake as part of the rejuvenation process. “We have already obtained success by doing this last year. It is April end but the lake still has water. Earlier, it used to go dry in January or February,” said Lokhande.
A children’s park would be developed on the north side of the lake. It would come up near Pragati Society. A pathway for walkers would be constructed all around the lake.
The existing boundary wall of the lake would be repaired to stop seepage. “The wall would also be constructed in the remaining part of the lake boundary. This will help in conserving the lake and prevent water from overflowing into the adjoining area during heavy rains. It will be constructed of black stone,” said the JE.
As part of beautification, a large number of trees would be planted around the lake. Landscaping and installation of electric lights on the banks are also on the anvil.
Sandip Joshi, NMC ruling party leader, said that the lake would become a tourist spot. “It will be a big draw for not only the people living nearby. People from other parts of the city would also visit it,” he said. Joshi was instrumental in desilting the lake with public participation last year. It has yielded rich dividends.
Funds were sanctioned for the lake in principle in July 2017. The project got final clearance in April. NMC had earlier sanctioned Rs 3.25 crore for rejuvenation of the lake.
- Nagpur most polluted city in Maha, 17th in country, says WHO Manka Behl| TNN | May 3, 2018, 03:45 IST
Nagpur: Air quality in at least six cities of the state is almost as four-to-eight times worse than the standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Its air pollution database reveals that after Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra is on the verge of becoming one of the country’s most polluted states.
Out of the 32 cities of India which were highlighted in the WHO’s data for the year 2016 released on Wednesday, six are from Maharashtra. Nagpur, which as per WHO is the most polluted city of the state, is ranked 24th globally and 17th out of 32 in the country.
Nagpur is closely followed by Chandrapur which is the 62nd most-polluted city in the world and 17th in the country. Next in line is Mumbai which is ranked 63rd and 18th, globally and nationally, respectively.
After the state’s capital are Pune, Navi Mumbai and Solapur. The WHO’s database is based on the annual average of particulate matter 10 and 2.5. All the six cities of the state recorded PM levels which were dangerously more than the permissible limit set by WHO.
The organization’s permissible levels for PM2.5 in the air (annual) is 10 micrograms per cubic metre (mpcm). However, they were worst found in Nagpur with 84 mpcm — over eight times more than WHO’s permissible limit. Mumbai and Chandrapur both recorded PM2.5 levels at 64 mpcm — more than six times of the permissible limit.
PM2.5 are particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in size and, when inhaled, they can enter deep into the lungs and bloodstream casing serious health ailments.
WHO’s permissible limit (annual) for PM10, which are particulate matters with diameter of 10 micrometers and less, is 20 mpcm. All six cities are far from meeting this standard too. With 109 mpcm, Chandrapur’s PM10 levels were over five times more than the safe limit.
Earlier, the ‘Airpocalypse’ report released by environmental group Greenpeace India in January, had given a wake-up call to Maharashtra “before it becomes another Delhi”. According to the report, 67 lakh children (below 5 years) are living in polluted districts across the state. Moreover, none of the 24 monitored cities of the state are complying to PM10 annual prescribed standards.
Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner at Greenpeace India, said that Maharashtra is the second most polluted state in India after Uttar Pradesh. “The problem is not just limited to Delhi or other Northern cities. Air pollution in Maharashtra is only increasing,” he said.
He also pointed out that Patna, Muzzafarpur and Gaya, which are among the highly polluted cities as per WHO, do not find a place in the National Clean Air Programme.
Meanwhile, the Union environment ministry issued a release on Wednesday evening stating that measures are being taken to curb air pollution. “Action plans for 61 cities have already been received and concerned states have been requested to steer implementation of action plans in these cities,” it said.
- Nagpur: Armors Township builder gets extension to pay Rs 10 lakh to HC This is the second time the builder has asked for an extension to pay the expenses of the panel constituted to suggest solutions to prevent fatal accidents due to high-tension (HT) linesVaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | May 03, 2018, 12:00 IST
NAGPUR: After Armors Township builder Anand Khobragade expressed inability to pay Rs10 lakh for expenditure towards the special panel citing “extreme financial crunch”, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday granted him time till May 30 to complete the formalities. This is the second time the builder has asked for an extension to pay the expenses of the panel constituted to suggest solutions to prevent fatal accidents due to high-tension (HT) lines. He was earlier granted time till April 30.
Khobragade filed an application in this regard during the hearing of a suo motu PIL based on TOI reports on the deaths of 11-year-old twins Priyansh and Piyush Dhar, and five-year old Umesh Pande, due to electrocution from HT wires in June last year. The case was listed before a division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Arun Upadhye, which had appointed Shreerang Bhandarkar as amicus curiae.
On February 21, the HC had directed the builder to deposit Rs10 lakh towards compensation to both deceased children’s families. The judges, however, made it clear that this deposit would not affect his rights and contentions. “If such deposit is made, we grant him leave to move for regularization or release of attachment of his properties,” they had clarified. In his application, Khobragade informed that he had deposited Rs 5 lakh each for the bereaved families through postdated cheques on March 20 and 30, which were encashed. However, he couldn’t deposit Rs 10 lakh for the special committee due to financial constraints. He, however, submitted a postdated cheque of Rs 10 lakh in the name of HC registrar, assuring that he would be able to make finances available by May 30. Earlier too he had made an appeal to de-freeze his properties and bank accounts, stating that he was facing financial crunch.
Along with Khobragade, NMC, NIT, MSEDCL, and Spanco were also told to deposit Rs10 lakh each with the HC’s registry, as an interim measure, along with the compensation amount.
In the last hearing, the HC relaxed stringent restrictions imposed on MSEDCL and Spanco from issuing power connections to residents lacking occupancy or completion certificates. The court also accepted pursis filed by the amicus curiae, who requested the court to ease the stringent conditions, which were causing several problems to common citizens.
Earlier, the state government informed that it had granted a bungalow in Ravi Bhavan to the court-appointed panel to resolve the issues pertaining to HT lines. It would be available till June 15. Before adjourning the plea, the judges directed NMC, NIT, MSEDCL, and Spanco to depute their assistant engineers to assist the panel members.
- Metro link to be up to Dattawadi; Wadi bypassed Ashish Roy| TNN | May 5, 2018, 03:18 IST
Nagpur: MahaMetro’s consultant for Nagpur Metro phase II Rites has suggested that Dattawadi and not Wadi should be connected with Metro network.
Initially, Rites had suggested Wadi area be connected with Vasudeo Nagar station on Sitabuldi-Hingna stretch. However, this involved acquiring land belonging to Ordnance Factory Ambajhari (OFAJ). The factory officials were extremely reluctant to part with their land. They suggested the Metro viaduct should pass through their colony.
“The road inside the OFAJ Colony is not very wide and constructing a viaduct would have been difficult. Rites therefore decided to drop the Wadi option. The viaduct for connecting Dattawadi with Vasudeo Nagar will be constructed over Inner Ring Road. We will be able to provide connectivity to people working in the commercial establishments on this road. Moreover, Rites has found out that Dattawadi’s commuter population is more than Wadi,” MahaMetro managing director Brijesh Dixit told the media on Saturday.
On the detailed project report (DPR) for Phase-II, Dixit said, “It is complete and will be submitted to us within a few days. We will then submit it to state government. The state after approving it will send it to the Centre.”
On Metro service to nearby towns, he said, “The Ministry of Railways has agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with us. We will seek funding for buying coaches after MoU is signed. We will ask Railways to run the trains for us. They will have three coaches, which will be air-conditioned and of international standards. The trains will run at a speed of 120 kilometres per hour. Nagpur will get connectivity with Bhandara Road, Wardha, Ramtek and Katol.”
On Lokmanya Nagar (Hingna) to Subhash Nagar stretch, Dixit said it would be complete in the second half of the year. “The Sitabuldi-Mihan stretch will be ready in another six to eight months. We will then begin commercial operations,” he added.
The MD said that Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) had asked MahaMetro to prepare DPR of Thane Metro. “It will be ready in another five or six months. The length of network is 30 km,” he added.
- Rlys apprehensive of Metro plans for trains on its tracks tnn | May 5, 2018, 03:02 IST
Nagpur: Central Railway officials are apprehensive about the Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) plan to use existing railway tracks to run Metro trains up to short distances, like Wardha, Ramtek, Kalmeshwar, Katol and Bhandara.
“We have our own capacity constraints owing to several mail, express and freight trains operating in these sections. Finally, the Railway Board will have to take a call on the issue,” said new divisional railway manager Somesh Kumar, Central Railway.
Kumar was talking to mediamen on Friday. Similar apprehensions had also been expressed by SECR DRM Shobhana Bandopadhyaya while talking to newsmen on Thursday.
NMRCL plans to run air-conditioned trains of three coaches each at 120 kmph between short distance stations to reduce the travelling time.
Kumar, who took over as DRM recently, said the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation Limited (IRSDCL) is in process of preparing a master plan for Nagpur station. “Railway Board had invited entries through competition. It will see which design fits Nagpur station. Our advice would also be taken,” said Kumar.
On the third and fourth line between Nagpur-Wardha, Kumar said work on at least 12 bridges is in progress. “Land acquisition was an issue, and we expect these lines to be completed by 2022,” he said.
Speaking about the Railway Board selecting Chandrapur and Ballarshah as most beautiful stations across India, and awarding Rs10 lakh prize, the DRM said, “Nagpur being the gateway to tiger capital, we plan to beautify it on similar lines, sending a message of forest and tiger conservation.”
Kumar said safety and improving amenities for passengers will be top on priority. On catering facilities for passengers, senior divisional commercial manager (SrDCM) KK Mishra said, “We will increase number of food stalls at various platforms. Three new stalls will come up at home platform, and one each on platform 4 and 5.”
Mishra said a proposal has also been sent to the Railway Board to regularize train between Ajni and Karmali (Goa). “It is operating as a weekly special train. Owing to 85% occupancy, we have proposed to regularize it,” said Mishra.
- Going green is the new trend: Now roti, kapda aur makan are all eco-friendly Barkha Mathur| TNN | May 6, 2018, 03:59 IST
Nagpur: Words like eco-friendly, sustainable, organic and bio-degradable may have sounded like some scientific mumbo-jumbo a few decades back. But, today, they show your concern about the planet and its future occupants. From the food that you consume, to cars that you drive, homes you live in and the products that you use every day, what defines you is how green are you with them.
And seizing the go-green initiatives in a big way are those in their early 20s up to mid-40s, who are driving the dissemination and growth of eco-friendly concepts. Most are also putting their money where their mouth is and are going beyond spouting and spewing these terms to actually putting them to practice.
Taking a leap towards eco-chic products is 32-year-old interior designer Ajay Kamble who is retailing them from his store. “I decided that talking about it was not enough it was time for some action,” says Kamble who outsources some of the products, is the distributor for organic items and manufacturers some like cloth bags.
“With green products trending so much, it is easier to find environmentally friendly items. With growing demand and increase in supply the prices too have come down considerably now,” says Kamble who sells grains, fruits and vegetables, cosmetics, toiletries including sanitary napkins and disposable plates made from areca leaves along with bamboo tooth brush, combs and soap dishes.
“It is the new-age parents who are more concerned about what their children consume. They form the biggest chunk of our customer list,” says Kamble, adding that with more farmers willing to take the PGS certification which authenticates that a product is organically grown, the supply of farm produce will increase bringing down the prices further.
And when Waqar Naqui, a physiotherapist who returned to the city from Canada a couple of years back, wanted to create a co-working space for artists he decided to make it green too. 44 kms from Nagpur, on a 4,000 soft land he created three cottages and a conference room which have been built on the concept of earth bag construction.
“Under this method, fly ash soil is mixed with 5% cement and packed in sacks. These are used as bricks. They are plastered with fly ash and mud and painted with white cement. These are safe during natural disasters and reduce the temperature by up to 12 degrees,” he says.
“We have also implemented the concept of eco coolers made with empty plastic bottles which are tightly packed together, based on Venturi effect. This wind turbine reduces moisture and humidity in the structure,” informs Waqar about the place.
The 1000sqft cottages have been furnished with embedded furniture again made with earth bag technology and is illuminated by LED lights. At Rs600 per sq ft, the cost of construction of the structure is half of RCC and brick structures.
Waqar calls it art-itecture and says that he learnt about the technology from Internet, DIY videos and by discussing it on various forums on the net. He will also be promoting this place for agro tourism for which he has purchased a 20,000sqft farm for organic and hydroponics (waterless farming).
Its not just the living spaces and food which is going organic. Now even clothes made from 100% natural fibres are being preferred especially by the younger generation. “Chemicals used in dyes and artificial yarns can cause allergies and are harmful to skin,” says Sujata Kaswa who is making clothes out of bamboo yarn.
“People are getting attracted to bamboo fibre as it is extremely soft, totally organic and also because bamboo as a plant gives back good things to environment and requires less water to grow. Wearing it creates a feeling of good health and the satisfaction that the wearer is also contributing positively to the environment,” she says.
“Taking steps that protect our environment will help the coming generations too,” says engineering student Saiket Banerjee. “I feel growing organic food, reducing carbon footprint, adopting methods that cause less stress to the environment is the way to go especially for the younger generation,” adds Banerjee who cycles to his college.
- ‘Metro project progress faster than similar works in Germany’ Shishir Arya| TNN | May 6, 2018, 03:56 IST
Nagpur: Officials from Germany’s KfW development bank, which is funding the Metro rail project, said its progress has been faster than some of the similar works carried out in their country.
On its viability, members of the team said no public transport project can be viable on itself and the gap will have to be plugged by the government.
The team, which included officials from Germany’s ministry of economic cooperation, was on a visit to the project on Saturday. They also took a ride on the Metro from South Airport station till Khapri. KfW will be funding the project to the tune of 500 million Euros. The funds will be released as reimbursement, on the basis of the work completed.
So far, 137 million Euros have been provided for the project. KFW has the maximum share in funding the project.
“Delays are normal in projects of such size. But in this case, the delays are less than that even in the projects being implemented at Germany,” said Yasmin Tawfik, regional manager (south Asia) of KfW.
To a query on the commercial viability of the project, Peter Rooney, KfW’s senior civil engineer (urban development and mobility), said even in Germany, the costs have to be plugged by the state. The proportion varies from project to project.
On the high dependence on non-ticket revenue, an official said it is needed so that the tariff is kept affordable. The tickets cannot be priced above a certain level, due to which the dependence has to be on other sources of revenue.
Dr Wolfram Klein, head of South Asia division in the ministry for economic cooperation at Germany, said given the population of Nagpur, a project like Metro is certainly be needed. “There are cities smaller than Nagpur in Germany where there are light rails or other mass transport systems. Initially, the distances covered are less which are eventually increased,” added Rooney.
MahaMetro is also pitching with KfW to get funds for the Thane rail project and extension of Nagpur metro. Klein said a decision will be taken considering the viability and other aspects once the offer comes up.
Klein said the German government is also keen to fund other projects on urban development in the country. “We don’t want to be known just as a Metro financing agency. The government is keen to fund other projects, including those like creating space for pedestrians and cyclists, or other green solutions. An arrangement is being worked out for funding electric buses in Tamil Nadu. Germany has a budget of 1 billion Euros for funding projects in India,” he said.
For Nagpur Metro, he said even the feeder systems connecting Metro stations need to be developed.
- NMC may lose grants as waste segregation not fully in place
Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | May 6, 2018, 03:55 IST
Nagpur: With the Nagpur Municipal Corporation able to achieve only 20-25% segregation of dry and wet waste, it is set to lose the special grants from the state government which had set a deadline of 75% by June 30. Against the 1,200 metric tonnes (MT) that is generated every day, the civic body manages to segregate only 240-290 MT up to April this year. Waste generation was a condition for the civic bodies to continue receiving priority and incentive grants.
The urban development (UD) department issued a government resolution (GR) on April 27 asking urban civic bodies to segregate all solid waste at source. It cited its last years GR to implement 100% segregation of waste at source from May 1.
The UDD had made it compulsory for garbage segregation and set a new deadline of May 31 for rural bodies and June end for urban local bodies. All were asked to achieve at least 75% of the solid waste management target by then. It was also made mandatory for all local bodies to set up composting units for disposing off wet garbage.
The state government is giving developmental grants for various projects and special grants for innovative schemes. It has started giving incentive grants recently for the local bodies which are performing well under certain parameters. Most local bodies are, however, ignoring the problem of solid waste management.
The segregation of waste is a flagship programme of both central and state governments under the Swachh Bharat Mission as they intend to keep the country clean by the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi which falls in 2019.
The GR states that 100% garbage must be segregated at source itself. Wet and dry wastes should also be transported separately to the dumping yard and compost prepared from wet waste.
The NMCs has focused its drive in a few residential localities and slums in Laxmi Nagar, Dharampeth and Mangalwari zones. It has not even been able to achieve 50% of waste segregation.
A senior sanitation officer admitted that NMC was going slow on waste segregation and claimed the process to improve the target is on. Already, the private firm engaged in collecting and transporting garbage to dumping yard has converted its vehicles by providing two separate chambers for dry and wet waste," he said, adding the NMC has also started placing two separate bins in commercial areas.
The trouble for NMC has increased manifold as its private operator Hanjer Biotech had stopped its waste treatment plant at Bhandewadi.
- Over 30 sand ghats auctioned in Maharashtra's Akola district violating MoEF norm The 34 sand ghats out of the total 45 were e-auctioned for a royalty of Rs4.85 crore in March without the DSR, which is an important initial step before permitting sand mining and granting environment clearanceVijay Pinjarkar | TNN | May 05, 2018, 18:00 IST
NAGPUR: The Akola districtcollectorate’s decision to auction 34 sand ghats without a mandatory district survey report (DSR) has come in for a sharp criticism from local wildlife lovers and environmentalists.
The 34 sand ghats out of the total 45 were e-auctioned for a royalty of Rs4.85 crore in March without the DSR, which is an important initial step before permitting sand mining and granting environment clearance.
According to Akot-based Manish Jeswani, an environment & wildlife lawyer, Supreme Court in 2012 had made it mandatory to seek environment clearance even for leases below 5 hectare and emphasized on systematic and environmentally sound mining activities.
Based on this order, the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) amended environment impact assessment (EIA) notification in 2016 and created District Environment Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) for granting clearances to sand ghats below 5 hectare. Jeswani says this amended notification makes it mandatory for DEIAA to prepare DSR before granting clearance. Even MoEFCC’s ‘Sustainable Sand Mining Guidelines 2016’ requires each district to prepare a DSR.
DSR contains data of sand extracted in last three years and royalty paid thereon. “It gives clarity to sand mining procedure and also postulates threat to environment and rivers due to sand mining. DSR helps to identify river streams, bed and availability of sand,” said Jeswani.
On the contrary, district collector Astik Kumar Pandey said, “There is complete transparency in auction and all procedures and high court orders were followed. We even have district mining plan in place, and state government has also supported the entire process.”
“Akot is the biggest illegal sand mining pocket. Vested interests there want the legal process to be scrapped so that illegal activities can be restarted,” Pandey said.
District mining officer Atul Dod too echoed the same version of collector but could not give any explanation on DSR. He admitted that DSR is not ready. “I’m studying the complaint submitted by Jeswani,” Dod said. He promised to reply to the queries, but did not respond later.
Jeswani says officials are misleading. DSR is to be prepared every five years by DEIAA with the help of Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), irrigation and forest departments among others.
“The DSR draft is required to be kept in public domain in the collectorate inviting comments in 21 days. After considering comments, DSR is to be published on the district’s website. No environment clearance can be granted without DSR,” says wildlife enthusiast Vijay Chauhan.
Jeswani says, in Akola as no DSR has been prepared since 2016, there is no data on pollution caused in rivers and the amount of sand extracted in last three years. Sand mining is being permitted in violation of MoEFCC guidelines. Interestingly, the environment clearance has been uploaded on the website but in the column of DSR, report of GSDA is attached. “Environment clearance is granted mechanically in violation of norms,” says Chauhan.
Jeswani said he is filing a petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Pune. “Sand is a minor mineral and riverbed mining and extraction is necessary for developmental activities but at the same time ecosystem of rivers and environment has to be maintained,” he said.
- NMC to clean 3 city rivers over 45 days Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | May 7, 2018, 03:11 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will clean the city’s three rivers — Nag, Pili and Pora — over the next 45 days during its 5th edition of Rivers Cleaning Drive from Monday. Mass awareness will also be created in this annual pre-monsoon drive since 2013.
Mayor Nanda Jichkar along with a slew of legislators, NMC office bearers and officials will kick-start the drive in city’s iconic Nag river at 8am behind KDK College, followed by 8.30am at Pora river at Sonegaon, and 9am at Pili river near Automotive Square.
NMC will create awareness through NGOs, social organizations etc for conservation of water bodies. Also, update along with pictures of the drive will be posted on social media and also on NMC website.
Over 15 poclains and other machines along with sanitary workers will be engaged to remove silt from the rivers, dispose it, channelize banks, and correct the riverbed slope.
Some 12 government and private organizations have extended financial and machinery support for the drive. NMC will give certificates to all those support and participate in the drive.
NMC has already started cleaning nullahs in various parts of the city. Standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja has urged citizens to participate in the drive in large numbers.
- Water quality in Bhandewadi as bad as industrial waste Manka Behl| TNN | Updated: May 11, 2018, 05:55 IST
In the last one year, Shubham Wasnik got hospitalized twice. “My stomach always hurts,” says the 26-year-old.
Recurring diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and jaundice have tormented Shubham through his youthful years and his doctor feels that “the problem lies in the water that he drinks”.
In Saibaba Nagar, which is barely 100 meters away from the dumping area of municipal solid waste, every family has an ailing member. In a country where approximately 63 million Indians are living without access to clean water according to a report by international body WaterAid, this place has a few thousands who are drinking water tainted by the peril of incautious waste management. According to experts, the groundwater is getting contaminated due to leachate — the liquid containing innumerable organic and inorganic compounds generated from solid waste — which percolates through the soil and reaches the groundwater.
The day TOI went to collect water samples from the area, a three-year-old boy suffering from jaundice had been discharged from a hospital. “Jaundice, typhoid, stomach, skin and eye problems are very common here. Every few months, a resident is hospitalized. While some of us have either started buying water through tankers throughout the year or installed RO, a majority of the residents cannot afford it,” say residents, adding that the water from borewells and wells has a foul smell and sometimes is yellowish-brownish in colour too.
The samples were given to test at a private city laboratory recognized by the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) and accredited by the Quality Council of India. The results clearly stated that the water should not be consumed as some parameters exceeded the permissible limits laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The results were analysed by some experts.
The total dissolved solids (TDS), which refer to any minerals, salts, metals, cations or anions dissolved in water, was found to be 2,400 milligrams per litre (mg/l) in the water sample. As per the BIS drinking water specification IS 10500:2012, the acceptable limit for TDS is 500 mg/l. Its permissible limit, in absence of an alternate source of drinking water, is 2000 mg/l.
Normally in a packaged drinking water bottle, the TDS value is generally around 150 mg/l, says Vidhan Bhartia, founder member of Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association, Nagpur. “Any value above 1500 mg/l is harmful,” he says.
Similarly, the total hardness of water (in terms of calcium carbonate), was found to be 1392.56 mg/l — more than six times the acceptable limit of 200 mg/l and more than double the permissible limit of 600 mg/l.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), usage of groundwater in and around landfill sites for any purpose, including drinking and irrigation, should be considered only after ensuring its quality. The board has set a limit of 500 mg/l for dissolved solids and 300 mg/l for total hardness (as calcium carbonate).
“The leachate from solid waste may contain high TDS, heavy metals and elements like calcium, magnesium and others. It gets mixed with the groundwater which people draw from wells and borewells for consumption and leads to various ailments,” said environment researcher U Bahadule.
Calcium, the safe limit for which is 75-200 mg/l in drinking water, was more than four times the upper limit. Magnesium, whose acceptable limit is 30 mg/l, was found to be 133.42 mg/l in the sample.
Though the World Health Organisation stated that there was no convincing evidence that water hardness causes adverse health effects in humans, some literatures differ. One study states that domestic hard water usage can be correlated with increased eczema in children while another suggests that increased intake of magnesium salts may cause a change in bowel habits and result in diarrhoea.
“Calcium can interact with iron, zinc and other minerals in the intestine thereby reducing absorption. In renal compromised patients, hypermagnesemia can occur with symptoms varying from lethargy, fatigue to abnormal heart rhythm,” says Dr RS Kulkarni, an expert in preventive and social medicine.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Secondary Regulations advises a maximum contamination level of 500mg/litre for TDS. “When TDS levels exceed 1000mg/L, it is generally considered unfit for human consumption. A high level of TDS is an indicator of potential concerns, and warrants further investigation,” it states.
A study done to assess impact of leachate on groundwater pollution states that high concentrations of TDS and other parameters in groundwater near landfill deteriorates its quality for drinking. “Even though the concentrations of few contaminants do not exceed drinking water standards, the groundwater quality represents a significant threat to public health,” it states.
Alok Sinha, head of civil engineering department and associate professor of environmental science and engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Dhanbad, says that the high values of calcium, magnesium, which has increased the hardness of water, can be due to leachate pollution. “It can lead to gastrointestinal problems. However, to know the exact impact on human health, controlled sampling in an area of about five kilometres around the dumping site should be done,” he adds.
Another study observes that leachate from solid waste slowly percolates through soil and pollutes the groundwater resource. “Therefore, there is a need to have an effective management programme of the existing open dumping site to control the environmental pollution,” it adds.
Some literatures on characteristics of typical domestic waste water show that the TDS may range from 500-850 mg/l, points out Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of NGO Green Vigil. “If a water has a TDS of 2,400 mg/l, it is definitely not potable. It is as polluted as industrial waste water,” he says.
Agrees hydrogeologist Vishal Doifode: “The TDS value which has been found in the water samples is almost equivalent to the waste water of a textile industry.” He adds that high TDS can also constitute other harmful elements which were not tested. “It can contain high amount of iodine, bromine, sulphur due to dumping of bio-medical waste, high arsenic due to dumping of firecrackers, pesticides and anything else which is elemental,” he says.
The water samples were taken from two borewells in the area. In the results, heavy metals and some parameters were found within permissible limit. Groundwater experts say only a bigger sample size will reveal the pollutants and its quantity. “There are many other parameters for which the water should be tested by an expert agency to know the severity of contamination,” they say.
- Civic body appoints 2 more project consultants TNN | May 11, 2018, 05:55 IST
NAGPUR: It seems that the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has no able engineers or officials to monitor development works.
On Thursday, the standing committee gave nod to appoint two project management consultants for different works.
The first firm, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), will be appointed to oversee quality of cement road works being carried out under Phase. The second project management consultant will be appointed to monitor works of two private agencies entrusted with assessment of properties. It will also assist the property tax department to settle tax disputes along with updating tax data, said standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja.
He said the panel gave nod to city engineer’s proposal to appoint CRRI to audit cement roads. According to him, the agency will work along with GeoTech, a Pune-based agency, to audit the quality of works. He said the second agency has been appointed following a demand from city-based NGO Jan Manch over poor quality of cement road works.
He claimed that as per his knowledge, there was no complaint about poor quality of cement road works being executed in the city. Though Kukreja admitted that cement roads are being laid at a slow pace, he said no contractors have been fined. He blamed the slow work due to ongoing Metro Rail works and lack of permission from the traffic police.
The panel also gave nod to entrust Zigma Global Environ Solutions Pvt Ltd for biomining of 10 lakh tonnes garbage. The project is likely to put an end to frequent fire incidents at the garbage dumping site.
As per the proposal, NMC will pay Rs1,051 per tonne to the private company. It will amount to a whopping Rs101.50 crore. It is also proposed to produce refuse derived fuel (RDF) from the garbage. If successful, the cost will reduce by Rs250 per tonne saving about Rs25 crore.
Nod to other proposals
Issue work order to private company for displaying advertisement on 550 banners installed on footpaths
Appoint a private company for fish farming in Gandhisagar Lake for 3 years
Procurement of tar worth Rs3 crore for asphalting roads
Parking charges of Rs5 for bicycle, Rs10 for two-wheelers and Rs20 for cars at Suresh Bhat Hall
3-month extension to 47 engineers on contract basis engaged in monitoring ongoing cement road works
- Residents to protest construction inside Gandhibagh garden TNN | May 12, 2018, 03:08 IST
Nagpur: Residents and activists are set to start a series of campaign to protect the Gandhibagh garden from commercialization.
Central Nagpur residents have also formed a steering committee — Gandhibagh Bagicha Bachav Sangarsh Samiti — to oppose the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) move to spare the area for Sokta citizen facilitation centre cum shopping complex inside Gandhibagh Garden.
According to residents, the new project requires 68,358 sq ft area but existing area of the bhavan is only 10,000 sq ft. “If the commercial complex comes up, the existing space of Gandhibagh garden, which is spread over 5.5 acre land, will shrink by 1.6 acre,” said residents.
According to the residents, NMC had received the notification issued by the state’s urban development department (UDD) for the project in 2017. The 68,358 sq ft (6,353 sq m) area is already notified for the project.
The government had notified 10,000 sq ft for the construction of Sokta Bhavan on South-West corner of Gandhibagh garden in November 2003. The bhavan housed a library and NMC’s Gandhibagh Zone office till a couple of years ago. The bhavan is lying abandoned since both were shifted to other locations.
Since, then NMC had planned to construct a multi-storey citizen facilitation centre cum shopping complex after demolishing the existing structure of Sokta Bhavan. Residents of the locality also opposed the move of the NMC that had allegedly changed the user of the place from community to commercial.
The UDD has notified the entire area required for the project as citizen facilitation centre cum shopping complex, covering existing structure of bhavan and vacant land on South-West and North side corners of the bhavan.
According to residents, as the city’s fire and emergency services refused to issue no-objection certificates, a special NOC from the directorate of fire services in Mumbai has been obtained for the project.
However, a senior official from the NMC’s garden department ruled out of losing any park’s space for the commercial purpose. He said no proposal has come forth for procurement of the garden’s area.
Actually it is the only open space in the central Nagpur and so we plan to organize protests and create awareness regarding the issue, said residents.
The campaign will include distribution of pamphlets, signature campaign, Swachhata Abhiyan inside the garden, formation of human chain etc.
“Our forefathers when they planned the area, first planned the garden and then the buildings. As many as 10,000 people visit the garden daily to play sports, walk and do yoga etc,” said former corporator Raman Paigwar, who is also member of the Sangarsh Samiti. “Since open spaces are shrinking in the city, we are opposing the NMC’s move,” he said.
- Zero Mile damaged, but not because of Metro: Heritage panel Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | May 12, 2018, 03:20 IST
The panel in its report has said that the stone had suffered damage in a couple of places and its colour had faded
Nagpur: The heritage conservation committee has confirmed damage to Zero Milestone landmark in Civil Lines. Taking serious cognizance of the damage, and violations at heritage sites, the committee has decided to appoint a vigilance force to monitor them.
The committee headed by Tapan Chakrabarti, former Neeri director, met on Friday at Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) head office. Committee members architect Ashok Mokha and structural engineer PS Patankar submitted a report on Zero Milestone.
Mokha told TOI the stone had suffered damage in a couple of places and its colour had faded. “The committee received a complaint from union leader Trisharan Sahare, alleging Metro Rail works had caused some damage to the stone. But Metro Rail works did not damage it. The damage seems to be very old and needs repair. It appears to be case of vandalism by anti-social elements. The committee has asked MahaMetro to repair, beautify and maintain the landmark and its surroundings,” he said.
The stone is damaged at two places. There are also cracks on the top. It has also begun to blacken at the top. Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) was supposed to be taking care of the monument but has neglected it for decades.
The committee also approved the sub-panel’s report on not including 40 omitted buildings, precincts and natural features, including Nag and Pili rivers, in heritage list. Now, the committee will submit its decision to the Supreme Court which had directed the committee to study and submit the report while hearing a petition filed by Vidarbha Heritage Society.
The committee refused permission to Amar circus for operating in Kasturchand Park (KP) and approved the revised layout plan to beautify and develop the Grade-I heritage open space. NMC will execute the project.
The committee approved MahaMetro’s heritage walk project proposed behind Zero Mile and asked for a presentation on it in its next meeting. It also took serious cognizance of construction done in the premises of GPO, divisional commissioner office and RBI without its permission and summoned all officials concerned in next meeting.
Taking cognizance of TOI reports and complaint filed by Vivek Singh, the committee constituted a three-member committee for inspecting under construction school building at Centre Point School’s Mothers Pet Kindergarten at Seminary Hills. The school had started construction on land allotted for playground and even before getting building plan sanctioned and fire NOC.
- NMRDA puts on notice 1,328 unauthorized buildings in Metro Region Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | May 12, 2018, 02:00 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) has declared 1,328 buildings in Metro Region as unauthorized. This number is likely to go up manifold as the drive to identify such structures is yet to cover many parts of the Metro Region.
NMRDA has received around 2,000 applications for regularization of buildings and plots following launch of a special scheme by the state government to regularize unauthorized structures and plots. These applications are said to be apart from the 1,328 structures that were declared unauthorized. Majority of the structures are close to the city. All these hint at rampant unauthorized constructions around the city, ignored for years by the district administration, which was the authority before NMRDA was set up.
The NMRDA’s list of 1,328 unauthorized constructions includes 115 industrial structures, 75 educational institutions, 65 multi-storey commercial complexes, 52 restaurants, and 884 residential buildings. All have been issued notice under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act in last five months. These buildings do not have sanctioned building plans or NOC, nor have they complied with norms of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) fire and emergency services department.
Through the notice, NMRDA has directed owners of the structures to get regularized or demolish the unauthorized constructions within one month. Many of the owners have not even replied to the notices.
Taking serious cognisance, NMRDA has sent a letter to the fire department asking it to initiate action against 22 educational institutions and 19 godowns under phase-I.
NMRDA officials told TOI the unauthorized constructions have the best chance to get regularized under the government’s current scheme. “The government had launched the scheme in October last year, where various types of relaxations have been given to unauthorized constructions. NMRDA has extended the deadline to avail the scheme till October 4. Normal rules will be applicable once the scheme lapses,” he said.
The official added residential buildings outside gaothan limits of 719 villages will be penalized after action against big structures, especially industrial and commercial. “Structures that came up in no development zone and reservation lands will not be regularized.”
However, the NMRDA’s action against unauthorized constructions even before commencing development works in Metro Region is likely to invite criticism.
Convener of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan, Prashant Pawar, said NMRDA had planned to implement Metro Region development plan on the basis of money recovered from common man, especially villagers. “NMRDA’s responsibility was to develop infrastructure in Metro Region. Not a single work has been started in Metro Region, but NMRDA did not waste any time in initiating action against the public. Now, citizens will be forced to run pillar to post and pay hefty fines to save their structures. The same happened in Gunthewari Layouts in the city, where Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) did not execute development works but forced people to pay to save their houses,” he said.