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- NMC to end LED light firm’s tender TNN | May 16, 2018, 03:45 IST
Nagpur: NMC’s electricity department has submitted a proposal for full and final settlement of one of the LED street light contractors to the standing committee meeting convened on May 19. Actually, the NMC had planned to replace all of the city’s approximately 1.26 lakh sodium vapour street lights with brighter and energy-efficient LED ones.
The civic body had, in May 2014, appointed JK Solutions to replace 26,712 street lights with LED ones in 18 months. The operator managed to replace less than 1,000 street lights since then. Besides, nearly 25,200 street lights on arterial roads and another 37,800 in residential areas remain out of order. Subsequently, the department had served a show cause notice to the firm why the contract should not be scrapped.
In return, the firm had served a notice demanding over Rs17 crore from NMC including its dues of over Rs8.30 crore. Later, the NMC had moved a proposal to terminate JK Solutions’ contract. After several meetings and deliberations, the firm had agreed for full and final settlement. The NMC will pay it Rs10.15 crore.
However, scrapping the contract will not hamper the ongoing replacement work as the NMC had decentralized the work to replacement of existing lights by entrusting the job to another eight firms.
Four more proposals will come up for standing panel’s nod and they include hiring 10 tippers for ongoing rivers cleanliness drive, Rs200 life insurance scheme ‘Janshree’ for students of NMC schools, construction of compound wall for Bhandewadi dumping yard and procuring of two freezer boxes for bodies.
- Revised plan brings Gondkhairi logistics park closer to reality Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | May 16, 2018, 03:44 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (NMRDA) plan to develop the first-of-its-kind logistics park between Amravati Road and Outer Ring Road at Gondkhairi and Pendhri is set to become a reality. The project has been divided into four parts, and hassle-free area has been identified for the two parts to be executed in the first phase.
With revision in the project, famous resorts like Chokhar Dhani, open garden restaurants like Environment Highway, Sky Garden, Rajdhani etc are safe for some time, since their location is not part of the first phase.
The project was proposed five years ago, with preparations in full swing for draft of development plan (DP) of Metro Region. Earlier, the project was planned over 20 sq km area, covering entire land parcel of Gondkhairi village in Kalmeshwar tehsil and Pendhri village in Hingna tehsil. The same provisions were made in the metro region’s DP.
However, the project was set to witness strong opposition as prime agriculture land of two villages, and private projects like resorts, open garden restaurants, hotels etc were required to be acquired.
NMRDA official told TOI the project has been divided into four parts, of which part-II and III will be taken up first. “These two parts are situated on the other side of Outer Ring Road, towards Amravati. Part-II will be 3.7 sq km and part-III 4.06 sq km for a total of 7.76 sq km. Land parcels coming in these two parts are owned by very few persons. Also, there are no major constructions in these two parts,” he said.
An official from NMRDA town planning department said no objections were received to the notification published declaring the boundary of two parts of the project. “Draft of town planning scheme to decide what will come where has been prepared. Detailed project report to come up with estimated cost of the project and works is under preparation. Project execution can begin once draft of TPS is approved by the state government,” he said.
The official added the fate of remaining two parts will be decided after completion of first two parts. Till then, the owners of the structures and agriculture land can relax. The chances of the remaining two parts being dropped also cannot be ruled out.
The project is one of the five improvement schemes proposed by NMRDA in the Metro Region. It is likely to be the second to be implemented after Sumthana-Jamtha improvement scheme meant for residential projects.
- MahaMetro to get full possession of Krazy Kastle from June 1 Ashish Roy| TNN | May 16, 2018, 02:57 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has decided to terminate the contract of Krazy Castle amusement park concessionaire Haldiram Foods on May 31. The land will be handed over to MahaMetro on June 1. The decision was taken at a board meeting of NIT held on Tuesday.
MahaMetro had already started work on Krazy Castle as Haldiram has not raised any objection. The concessionaire had already itself dismantled a ride for allowing Metro contractor to dig the foundation of a viaduct pillar.
Ashwin Mudgal, acting chairman of NIT, told TOI, “NIT is doing financial and legal vetting of the Haldiram’s contract. It will submit the report to divisional commissioner Anup Kumar. The three-member committee headed by Kumar will decide the compensation amount.”
Haldiram has demanded Rs162 crore from NIT. Its lease runs up to 2022 and hence it has sought compensation for loss of business for four years.
At present, it is not clear who will bear the burden of compensation decided by the Kumar committee. NIT wants MahaMetro to pay the sum while Metro officials want the state government to foot the bill.
Reacting to the development, Kamal Agrawal of Haldiram Foods said, “I will not comment on this issue until I come to know what are the exact terms and conditions of our contract termination.”
In September 2017, MahaMetro had sought only half of the 6.4 acre Krazy Castle land. However, Haldiram objected to the proposal stating the park would lose its charm if its size was reduced by half. It demanded that MahaMetro realign its viaduct to prevent acquisition of the land. If this was not possible then the entire land should be acquired and Haldiram should be paid a compensation for loss of business.
MahaMetro rejected the demand to realign the viaduct. It pointed out that the alignment of corridor had been finalized through a gazette notification of central government. It would take another notification to get it changed, which was very difficult. Metro officials then prepared a plan to shift the park rides in a way that they got their land and Krazy Castle also remained functional. However, Haldiram owners rejected the proposal.
In January this year, MahaMetro decided to seek the entire land from NIT. Gadkari held a meeting on this issue on February 27 and asked NIT to fulfil MahaMetro’s demand.
- Garbage dumping yard has dumped all waste disposal rules Manka Behl| tnn | Updated: May 15, 2018, 15:15 IST
From 1999 to 2016, the solid waste generation of Nagpur increased 2.5 times, states a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). In the second capital of the state which is the highest generator of solid waste in the country, the heaps of garbage kept increasing but the rules to manage them remained only on papers.
Whether related to quality of air, groundwater, maintaining scientific landfill site or treating waste — many major rules are not being implemented at Bhandewadi dumping ground by the concerned agencies.
On May 11, TOI reported on the groundwater contamination in the area. Following complaints of various health problems among residents, TOI took samples from a few borewells and got them tested at an environment ministry-accredited lab. The results revealed that the groundwater, which is being consumed by thousands of residents, is highly unsafe for drinking.
To avoid such contamination of groundwater, the environment ministry had formulated stringent norms. According to the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, which were laid down by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), the municipal solid waste should be dumped only at the sanitary landfill site.
“Waste for land filling shall be compacted in thin layers using heavy compactors to achieve high density of the waste. Non-permeable lining system at the base and walls of waste disposal area is a must. For sites receiving mixed waste or waste having contamination of hazardous materials, a liner of composite barrier of 1.5mm thick high density polyethylene (HDPE) geo-membrane or geo-synthetic liners will be used,” the rules state.
Such measures can be taken at landfill sites. Bhandewadi’s landfill site ran out of its capacity many years back and since then over 100 crore kilograms of garbage has been illegally dumped at the large portions of land surrounding the landfill site.
“Landfill sites are specially designed with landfill liners so that leachate from solid waste is restricted and doesn't reach the groundwater. Whereas, at Bhandewadi, the waste is being dumped on any available ground and thus leachate is percolating down and polluting the groundwater,” says Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of NGO Green Vigil.
The rules further state that usage of groundwater in and around landfill sites for any purpose including drinking and irrigation will be considered only after ensuring its quality. Desirable limits for all the parameters have also been mentioned. However in the test reports, some parameters exceeded the desired limit.
While the rules clearly state that leachate generated from the solid waste will not be released into open environment, a recent visit to Taj Nagar (Bidgaon) revealed that leachate from the dumping site was flowing through the residential area and was hardly a few meters away from a well.
Other rules relating to bio-medical waste, hazardous waste and e-waste management are also not being implemented at the site. To control air pollution, the rules state that a landfill gas control system including gas collection system should be installed at landfill site to minimize odour and prevent off-site migration of gases.
“Ambient air quality at the landfill site and at the vicinity shall be regularly monitored,” they say. However according to the residents, no mitigation measures were taken. “Since over five years, we are inhaling toxic air which has a foul odour,” they say.
Most importantly, the rules stress that only the non-usable, non-recyclable, non-biodegradable, non-combustible and non-reactive inert waste should go to the sanitary landfill site. However the garbage dumped at Bhandewadi has all types of waste.
“If the agencies which were awarded the job of treating waste had done it scientifically, Bhandewadi would have hardly 40% of the present quantity of waste. Segregation of waste should have been implemented long back. As the waste is lying without any treatment, the incidents of fires are increasing leading to huge air pollution and threat to human lives,” added Chatterjee.
Breaches at Bhandewadi
- Municipal solid waste should be dumped only at the sanitary landfill site
- Only segregated and non-recyclable waste should go to the landfill
- Ambient air quality at the landfill site and at the vicinity should be regularly monitored
- Usage of groundwater in and around landfill sites for any purpose should be considered only after ensuring its quality - To avoid groundwater contamination, landfill site should have good quality liners
- Provisions for management of leachates including its collection and treatment should be made
- Special GB to discuss water problems on May 19
NAGPUR: Mayor Nanda Jichkar has called for a special general body meeting of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to discuss problems of contaminated drinking water supply and water crisis. It will be held at the Town Hall in Mahal on May 19.
The BJP-led ruling party in the civic body had failed to keep its promise of holding the meeting on May 2 after announcing it on April 20 at the last general body meeting. Corporators from all political parties had vociferously raised the issue.
With Jichkar issuing the agenda for the special meeting, it appears that the regular general body meeting will not be held on May 20. In the next meeting standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja will probably present the NMC’s budget for 2018-19 which is already delayed by one and a half months.
Opposition leader Tanaji Wanve met Jichkar on Tuesday and issued a notice for demonstration to be held on May 17 over water problems. “Corporators, citizens and party activists will be present at the agitation,” he said.
- Illegal constructions razed to clear way for Pardi flyover TNN | Updated: May 16, 2018, 11:43 IST The illegal structures were a major obstruction to the construction of the flyover
NAGPUR: The work of flyover on Pardi Road will gain momentum after National Highways Authority of India(NHAI), along with Nagpur Improvement Trust, and Nagpur Municipal Corporation removed encroachments on Tuesday.
The illegal structures were a major obstruction to the construction of the flyover, and needed to be demolished. In the process, the houses of Ganesh Mankar and 11 other individuals were razed. The houses belonged to Anand Kalash, Sushilabai Gerodia, Dillip Lalwani, Rashmi Chavre and others. To ensure peaceful anti-encroachment drive, 80 police personnel were deployed during the daylong drive.
Similarly, NMC’s enforcement squad removed illegal constructions in Dighori Squareunder Nehru Nagar zone. A similar action was carried out in Mahal area. Two truckloads of construction material dumped on footpaths were confiscated. These drives were conducted by assistant municipal commissioner Ashok Patil and enforcement inspector Sanjay Kamble.
- Follow rules or face legal action, cement road contractors warned Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | May 17, 2018, 03:50 IST
Nagpur: At a time when the BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation is ignoring the trouble caused to citizens due to slow pace of cement road works, the Nagpur traffic police have warned five contractors carrying out cement concretization of roads of taking legal actions for violating safety norms.
The contractors who got the legal action notice from deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Chaitanya S included Abhi Engineering Corporation Limited, Unity Infraprojects, JPE-SRK Infra and Constructions, RPS Infraprojects Pvt Ltd and Ashwini Developers and Contractors.
Confirming this, a senior police official told TOI that at most sites, they come across many safety violations and hence the notices of taking legal action were served to the contractors. “Until the contractors ensure safety of motorists, no new permission will be issued to carry out the work,” he clarified.
Presently, the work is on at 45 different roads including seven routes of two flyover sites and 38 cement road sites in the city and most of them witness heavy traffic, the officer said, adding most cement concretization of road works are being executed at a snail’s pace.
TOI visited many under construction sites on Wednesday and found brazen violation at most sites. Many heavy machines, such as piling machine, trucks and cranes, working inside barricades at Metro Rail and flyover sites with traffic flowing on either sides have made it an accident-prone area, motorists said.
Though MahaMetro has taken all precautionary measures, but cement road contractors are not following terms and conditions of the NOC. According to the city police guidelines, a contractor carrying out the work must take necessary precautions for the safety of traffic during construction by providing, erecting and maintaining traffic by constructing strong vertical posts, GI sheets barricading, fencing, signboards, blinkers, flasher boards, rotaries, directive signboards, red flags etc.
One of the major conditions is round-the-clock deployment of traffic wardens at sites. But TOI found this norm was being brazenly violated. Even outside the office of police commissioner not a single traffic warden was found on the stretch between Ladies Club Square and Japanese Garden Square.
As one side of the road is closed for work, motorists are using one lane for both sides traffic. No barricading has been done to bifurcate the traffic.
TOI also found traffic jams were common near construction sites and often motorists too violate rules in inner Ring Road. If not wardens, the traffic police must ensure discipline, mainly in such risk-prone areas, was the general opinion of the motorists.
According to DCP, most contractors have failed to appoint traffic wardens to guide motorists or put up warning signage like diversion boards.
Ahead of 2017 civic polls, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation has launched road works at various locations in the city. Most works are being executed at a snail’s pace, disrupting traffic and posing a threat to motorists, said some traffic cops. So, the traffic police department has decided to take action against private firms which are not carrying out the works as per set guidelines. The office has also clarified that the traffic police branch would not give any new permission unless work on the existing roads is complete.
- Telangkhedi temple, Chhota Tajbagh to be beautified Ashish Roy| tnn | May 17, 2018, 05:53 IST
Nagpur: Union ministry of tourism has sanctioned Rs 54 crore for the beautification and development of seven shrines in Nagpur and Wardha districts including Telangkhedi Hanuman Temple and Chhota TajbaghDargah. The project, a part of Swadesh Darshan scheme, will be executed by Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA).
A source in NMRDA said that other shrines to be beautified include Waki Dargah, Adasa Ganesh Temple, Dhapewada Vitthal Rukmini Temple, Paradsinga Anusuya Mata Temple and Baba Farid Baithak at Girad (taluka Samudrapur, district Wardha).
“Prasad, nirmalya, etc are sold to devotees in Telangkhedi Temple in open or from tin sheds. We will construct shops for the vendors. A dining shed will also be constructed. Amenities including public toilet and parking will be provided. We will do landscaping, build pathways and install signage and electric lights. An overhead water tank of 75,000 litre capacity and a ground storage tank of same capacity will be built. Solid waste management will also be done. Total cost of the project is Rs 3.30 crore,” said the officer.
According to the official the cost of Chhota Tajbagh beautification project is Rs 5.50 crore. “A multipurpose hall, shops, kitchen-cum-food court, toilets and a gazebo will be constructed. Pathways will be constructed, signage and electric lights will be installed. We will also do landscaping. An overhead water tank and groundwater tank, each of 1 lakh litre capacity will be build. Here too funds have been sanctioned for solid waste management,” he said.
Similar facilities will be provided at the five other shrines. A sewage treatment plant (STP) will be constructed at Dhapewada. An approach road will be built for the temple.
As per the government resolution (GR) issued by the tourism ministry, the project will have to be completed by NMRDA in 36 months. Any cost escalation due to delay will have to borne by the agency. Principal secretary (tourism), Government of Maharashtra, will be the nodal officer.
The state government will have to set up a monitoring committee headed by the principal secretary with a member from the union ministry of tourism and NMRDA to monitor the physical and financial progress of the project. A report will have to be submitted to the ministry on monthly basis.
- NU, NMRDA on collision course over auditorium Ashish Roy and Vaibhav Ganjapure| tnn | May 17, 2018, 05:52 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur University (NU) and Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) are on a clash course over Vasantrao Naik auditorium. While the university wants its seating capacity to be minimum 2,000 for its convocation ceremonies, NMRDA has finalized plans for an auditorium with 1,500 seats.
A source in the NMRDA told TOI that tenders for construction of the auditorium would be floated soon. “The state government has already sanctioned Rs 20 crore for the project. Our architect has recently submitted detailed estimate of civil work costing Rs15 crore. The estimate for other works will be available soon. We will then go for the tender process,” he said.
According to the source, the metro region agency plans to complete the auditorium by June 2020. “However, this deadline can be met only if the university hands over the land to us soon,” he said.
NU registrar Puran Meshram is upset with the NMRDA officials. “They have finalized the plan without informing us. We are providing seven acre land near Ambazari lake and are ready to contribute financially to the project for increasing its seating capacity. We will lodge a protest with the NMRDA and may discuss the issue in our Management Council meeting. We need a bigger auditorium for university functions,” said the registrar.
The NMRDA official said that the auditorium would have three levels — lower ground, upper ground and balcony — each with seating capacity of 500. “The front stage will be 6.7 metre by 15 metre while the back one will be 5.3 metre by 24.6 metre. We will construct three make-up rooms for artists. There will be a VIP lounge where ministers and other important persons can wait until the function starts. A pantry will be built for catering to them,” he added. The auditorium will have parking space for 200 cars and 200 two-wheelers.
The auditorium will be air-cooled and not air-conditioned. “The government may later sanction more money for making it fully air-conditioned. Similarly, there is no canteen inside the auditorium. More funds will be needed for constructing one outside the hall,” said the official.
The seating capacity is not the only point of contention. The university and state government both want the ownership of the auditorium.
The hall sanctioned way back in 2011 could not be constructed due to unavailability of land. The government had earlier planned it near Raj Bhavan. However, local residents approached the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court over loss of open space. Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV) was approached for land behind Mor Bhavan but the executive council of the university turned down the proposal.
- Solve water problems in Sudampuri, Bhande Plot areas: Mayor tnn | May 17, 2018, 05:37 IST
Nagpur: City mayor Nanda Jichkar and municipal commissioner Virendra Singh on Wednesday ordered the concerned officials to work on increasing the water pressure in Sudampuri, Bhande Plot areas of Prabhag number 27, and to provide regular water supply by carrying out necessary measures within three days.
There were repeated complaints about lack of water supply for several days in some parts of Sudampuri area. People also said the pressure was low and supply through tankers irregular. On the request of leader of opposition and Congress corporator Tanaji Wanve and ruling party corporator Divya Dhurde, Jichkar and Singh visited the area to review the situation. Residents spoke about their problems to the mayor and commissioner.
Wanve also pointed out about the water problem in NIT Complex, Ayurvedic Colony, Bhande Plot and other areas. Residents of NIT complex have submitted a memorandum to the mayor and commissioner.
Other than the residents, the water supply committee chairman Vijay (Pintu) Jhalke, zone chairperson Rita Muley, chairman of Sataranjipura Zone, Yashishree Nandanwar, additional commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare, executive engineer (water supply) Sanjay Gaikwad, assistant commissioner of Nehru Nagar zone Rajesh Karade, former corporator Tarabai Nakhate, OCW’s Rajesh Kalra were present.
- MSEDCL to buy cheapest solar power
NAGPUR: Efforts of energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule to go for renewable energy are paying dividends with two private companies agreeing to supply MSEDCL the cheapest solar power in the country. Four other companies will supply solar power at a rate 1 paise per unit higher than the minimum rate.
MSEDCL had floated tenders for purchasing 1,020 MW solar power from private producers. Two companies JLTM Energy and Mahoba Solar agreed to supply 20 MW and 200 MW, respectively, at the rate of Rs 2.71 per unit. Four companies Renew Solar Power (250 MW), Acme Solar Holdings (250 MW), Tata Power Renewable Energy (150 MW) and Ajure Power India (150 MW) have quoted Rs 2.72 per unit.
The discom’s average power purchase cost approved by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) for 2017-18 is Rs 4.01 per unit. About 10-12 years ago, the cost of solar power was as high as Rs 18 per unit and MSEDCL was reluctant to buy it. Now it is cheaper than coal-fired thermal power.
A source in MSEDCL told TOI that after the Union new and renewable energy ministry issued a clarification regarding changes in taxes, MSEDCL conducted the bidding on Telecommunications Consultant India Limited (TCIL) website on May 14. Eight companies bid for the tender agreeing to supply total 1,450 MW. Bids of six companies were selected.
“The rates received by us are the lowest among state and private discoms. Such cheap power will definitely bring down our power tariff,” said the source.
The source said that MSEDCL had put a cap of Rs 3 per unit. “Suppliers wanted a higher cap of Rs 4 per unit but we stood firm. Now our stand has been vindicated,” he added.
MSEDCL plans to purchase another 1,000 MW through distributed generation. “MSEDCL has identified 218 talukas where solar plants can be set up. The range of capacity in each taluka is between 2 MW and 10 MW and the maximum capacity in a district should not exceed 50 MW,” said the source.
Bawankule had earlier announced that all farm pumps would run on solar power by 2025. This would bring down cross subsidy in power tariff and also rates for all category of consumers including industrial and commercial.
- With treatment project delayed, garbage piles up at dumping yard
NAGPUR: There seems to be no immediate ray of light for thousands of people suffering due to unscientific dumping of waste in Bhandewadi.
There is no clarity on when the Rs207-crore waste-to-energy project of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will start. As recently reported by TOI, the much-delayed project will be delayed further as the civic agency is waiting for state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to perform the bhoomipuja.
Once the work begins, it will take around two years to complete the plant. Considering that the city generates around 1,200 metric tonne of garbage daily, in another two years as much as 8.76 lakh metric tonne of garbage will pile up over the existing 18 lakh metric tonne of waste (as per a study by a German organization) which is lying at Bhandewadi.
NMC claims that 200 metric tonne of daily waste is being treated by Hanjer Biotech. Even if this is to be believed, more than 7 lakh metric tonne of waste will get dumped at the site.
Moreover, the waste-to-energy plant, the generation capacity of which is 11.5 megawatt, will process only 600 tonne of waste every day. As per civic officials, the remaining waste will be treated depending on its type. For example, biodegradable waste will be sent for composting while construction and debris waste will be reused.
Experts say that though a good initiative, the waste-to-energy plant is not a solution for tackling existing heaps of garbage. “The plant’s capacity is already less when compared to daily generation of city’s waste,” pointed out an official from state pollution control board.
For getting rid of the existing solid waste, NMC plans to implement the technology of bio-mining in which the waste is loosened by harrowing and sprayed with composting bio cultures. However, experts have been raising doubts over the efficacy of this technology. A study conducted by Geman experts last year also stated that the technology faces challenges because of incidences of huge fire and odour issues.
Last year, over 200 windrows (rows of heaps of solid waste) created for bio-composting were destroyed due to repeated fires. According to officials, 1 windrow holds 400 metric tonne of municipal solid waste. Going by the calculations, a sizeable part of the 80,000 metric tonne of garbage was likely to be burned, leading to severe air pollution.
“It is difficult to say if bio-mining will work at Bhandewadi as the waste is unsegregated and frequently is on fire. Besides, bio-mining is a long procedure,” said Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of NGO Green Vigil. He added that the best possible solutions are either to seal waste in a scientific landfill or capping it.
With no clarity, residents fear they will have to suffer more. “The water we drink is contaminated, the air we breathe is toxic. People are already falling sick and many are suffering from respiratory problems. We don’t know what will happen in another few years,” they said.
FOREVER CATCHING UP
Daily waste generation | 1,200 MT
Minimum time for waste-to-energy plant to start | 2 years
Fresh waste that will pile up in 2 years | Over 7 lakh MT
Existing waste not cleared | Over 18 lakh MT
Capacity of waste-to-energy plant | 600 MT every day
- Nagpur best in ‘innovation & best practices'
NAGPUR: While Nagpur has not made it to the top three clean cities, it has succeeded in getting the first position in India’s Best City in ‘Innovation & Best Practices’ category of Swachh Bharat Sarvekshan 2018.
The results of the survey, which aims to estimate levels of cleanliness across 4,203 cities in the country, were announced by minister of state for housing Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday. Indore emerged as the cleanest city, followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh in the government’s cleanliness survey.
In Swachh Sarvekshan-2017, Nagpur had ranked poorly at 137 place out of 434 cities. The then municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal had taken much interest to improve city’s rankings in the survey.
Apart from introducing GPS-enabled wrist watches for sanitary workers, the NMC had constructed over 1,000 public toilets. The move had also helped the civic body to make Nagpur city open defecation free. The Swachh Bharat Survey was conducted in February this year.
The total marks for the contest was 4,000 with 70 marks allotted for innovation. “NMC got full marks under the innovation category,” said a senior health officer (sanitation).
Compared to the previous surveys, this year’s exercise allocated substantial weight to the feedback from citizens based on their daily experience. The civic body has scored full marks under this category too.
Though the civic body is happy as the city clinched the top position in the innovation category, the civic administration and office bearers were expecting the city to be at least in the top 20. According to the officer, the central government is yet to release the full list.
Mayor Nanda Jichkar said the city failed on one ground — no segregation of garbage. “Indore and New Mumbai are doing well when it comes to waste segregation,” she said, adding that next year “Nagpur will score better as the civic body is all set to start bio-mining and waste to energy projects”.
- NH-7, Channaka barrage hem in Tipeshwar tigers
Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | May 18, 2018, 03:13 IST
Nagpur: Even as dispersing tigers from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Pandharkawda stand isolated, with its corridors cut from south-east side to Kawal and Tadoba tiger reserves due to construction of Channaka barrage and NH-7, wildlife mitigation measures are nowhere in sight.
The Rs400 crore Channaka-Korata (Rudha) project on Painganga river, which stands to benefit Telangana, is 3.5km from the boundary of Tipeshwar, and falls in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ). Hence, it has been approved by the Maharashtra government on the condition of implementing mitigation measures.
There are 12 adult tigers and 18 cubs in Pandharkawda, including Tipeshwar. During a site visit on May 15, it was found that work on the barrage is in full swing without any mitigation measures. Superintending engineer MA Hussain claimed that almost 50% of the work has been completed.
“If all goes well, our target is to complete the project by January 2019,” Hussain said. On mitigation measures, he said it would be decided by both the state governments.
Though Telangana government has taken the project on fast-track, as it envisages utilization of over 5 TMC ft water on their side, there is no talk of wildlife mitigation measures.
Officials of one of the three contractors, Vaishnavi Enterprises, said wildlife mitigation was not under the scope of their work. The work on the project started in April 2016 and has been approved by the state wildlife board (SWBL) headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The project was approved with the condition that user agency would deposit 2% of the project cost with Pench tiger conservation foundation (TCF) for habitat development, protection and conservation of wildlife in Tipeshwar. However, no funds have been deposited yet with Pench.
Both the state governments seem to be delaying a decision on mitigation measures. This can be gauged from the fact that the project was approved in 13th SWBL meeting on January 31, 2018, when most of the project work had already started. Moreover, a 9-member expert committee to suggest mitigation steps was constituted on April 11, over 2 months after the project was approved. The committee is yet to visit the site to suggest mitigation steps.
Project chief engineer K Bhagwanth Rao said, “Still lot of work on the project is pending. For three months during rains, work will be stopped. The project is far away from Tipeshwar. Yet, we will take mitigation measures like construction of ramps for wildlife as suggested by the expert panel.”
However, sources said Maharashtra forest officials are perplexed over taking a call when 50% of the works have already been completed. A section of officials have also visited the site.
Member-secretary of the expert committee and Pench field director Ravikiran Govekar said, “I am in touch with the committee members for a suitable date to visit the site, which may be early next month.”
Wildlife conservationist Prafulla Bhamburkar said, “It is great misfortune that NHAI was not forced to take any mitigation measures, despite the fact that four-laning was less than a kilometre away from Tipeshwar boundary. No underpasses have been constructed for wildlife near the sanctuary. Barrage, roads and mines completely isolate the sanctuary, causing man-animal conflict. Since 2012, 24 people have died in tiger attacks in Pandharkawda division alone.”
NTCA officials in city but Mah tiger data not ready
Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | May 18, 2018, 03:51 IST
Nagpur: Despite repeated reminders and deadlines, Maharashtra territorial forest divisions have failed to shape data on All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) 2018.
Barring parks under tiger reserves, where the Phase IV exercise is carried out annually, all the forest circles, including Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM), have failed to submit data on AITE, wildlife wing officials said.
The data has not been submitted despite National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) officials are in the city to review the progress report on compilation of AITE data.
The lack of seriousness by territorial officials also exposes their indifference in tiger estimation work. On Thursday, progress reports of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were reviewed. On Friday, data from Maharashtra and Odisha will be reviewed, said sources.
Till Thursday evening, information regarding transect line and camera trap layout, number of beats and ranges was submitted by only Navegaon-Nagzira, Tadoba, Melghat, Pench, Bor, Sahyadri, Tipeshwar, Umred-Karhandla, Painganga, and Nagpur division.
Shockingly, despite laying of transect lines and presence of tigers, no information has not been submitted by all parks under the jurisdiction of additional principal chief conservator of forests (APCCF) for wildlife western region.
The Gondia, Bhandara and Wardha divisions where there is tiger presence did not submit any information. In Wardha division, there were 187 transects and data was collected from February 15-20, but no information has been submitted, said sources.
The territorial officials from Chandrapur, Yavatmal, Amravati, Gadchiroli, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Thane, Kolhapur and Dhule Circles have failed to furnish any information.
Among all these circles, status of AITE 2018 in Maharashtra shows that data was not collected in tiger bearing Amravati, Yavatmal and Chandrapur Circles. While in Gadchiroli though data collection was done, it has not been submitted.
The apathy by forest officials has been exposed despite PCCF (wildlife) AK Misra sending repeated reminders and deadlines to respective chief conservators of forests (CCFs). Under such circumstances, no state level report can be complied, admitted senior wildlife officials.
As per the last tiger estimation, there are 200 plus tigers in Maharashtra, but lack of information from territorial areas like Chandrapur, Bramhapuri, Yawal, Wadsa, Amravati and Yavatmal will affect the tiger numbers. Earlier, while talking to TOI, Misra had said the six-day exercise was conducted from January 20-25, in around 6,000 beats in the state including tiger reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks and tiger bearing territorial forest areas. However, as per the position on May 17, 2018, the estimation has been conducted in 2,124 beats in 151 ranges only.
A senior wildlife officials admitted that Maharashtra Forest Guards, Foresters Sanghatana boycott of use of technical gadgets had hit the tiger estimation work. The exercise was again conducted from February 15-20. Those who have not submitted the data are facing software problems, he said. The official admitted that this happened despite training to staff.
- NMC to conduct fresh survey for Old Bhandara Road widening Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | May 18, 2018, 03:17 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation is set to conduct fresh survey of properties to be affected due to widening of 3.28km stretch of Old Bhandara Road from Mayo Hospital to Sunil Hotel T-point. The city survey department will carry out measurement of the properties on the stretch.
The much-delayed project has been revived following assurance from Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari to fund the road widening cost.
A senior official from city survey division number 1 told TOI that the civic body will pay Rs29.46 lakh to the city survey department for the job. The city survey officials would measure area of every property to be affected due to the work.
“The land plan schedule will include identification of road width, survey number and survey plot number of commercial and residential properties along the road,” the official said, adding that as per city survey records, the road stretch passes through 5 to 6 city survey sheets.
After this, the extent of area that needs to be acquired and property analysis will be done and meetings with property owners will be held, said a senior official from NMC’s development plan road department.
Old Bhandara Road connects Central Nagpur to other areas within the city and provides a gateway to the Ring Road. Currently, the road width is 20 feet which is not enough for a hassle-free traffic movement. At some places, encroachments have reduced the road width to just 4 metres while at other places the width is 14-15 metres.
On July 17, 2017, the high court had ordered the NMC to widen the road within three months. The NMC conducted a survey and also initiated land acquisition process to widen the road to 60 feet.
In the land identification process, it was found that around 444 houses will be affected due to road widening. A suggestion was made to provide transfer of development rights (TDR) and extra floor space index (FSI) to the affected property owners but no decision was taken on the same. “Because of the civic body’s laid-back attitude, the HC order was never executed,” the NMC officer said.
As the city survey department is authorized to conduct measurements of properties, the civic body has approached the department, the officer said.
“In the final stage, the NMC will acquire the land needed for road widening by offering TDR, FSI or monetary compensation to the affected property owners,” he said. To a query, the officer admitted this will increase the project’s cost to over Rs1,000 crore.