One of the fastest growing Tier III cities in India -Future IT and Aviation city - Companies like Boeing, Satyam computers, HCL, Dell, Hexaware, DLF, Ascendas etc. has already finalized their projects. Adjacent to IT SEZ(Wardha Road – NH7) is Proposed International Cargo HUB(MIHAN – Multimodal International Hub Airport at Nagpur, ( ), which is first and only such kind of project in the country being developed in Nagpur by a joint venture between Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) and the Airport Authority of India (AAI). Second Capital and third big city in Maharashtra. Nearby is the new VCA cricket stadium.
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  • ‘True aim of vastu shastra is to bring happiness’ TNN | Updated: May 21, 2018, 05:50 IST
    NAGPUR: Citizens from all walks of life attended a session where Vastu expert Vimal Jhajharia shared the basics of Vastu Shastra, the ancient Hindu tradition of architecture, at Chitnavis Centre, on Saturday. Radhika De and Yogita Chaudhari from Chitnavis Centre organized the talk under their programme ‘Parampara’.

    Jhajharia, during the session, explained the root of the word ‘vastu’, ‘vas’ meaning to live and ‘tu’ being the lord and his energy. He believed that Vastu Shastra was all about combining the right kinds of energy through the direction of its flow and this energy in turn affects our daily lives. He believed that modification and destruction in the homes/workplaces was not necessary to undo all problems. But, simple solutions like using colourology to balance the energy disequilibrium can be really useful.

    Jhajharia’s said his father too studied Vastu and his interest was only piqued through him. He then went on to learn from the Himalayan Yogi Swami Murghananda Saraswati who also taught him how to use the Shankha or conch to purify the energy of a space.

    Through his funny anecdotes and an interactive session, the audience was engaged throughout. He explained the importance of the four directions in Vastu and of the five elements (Panchatatva) sky, air, fire, water and Earth in making up our world. He believed the ultimate goal of Vastu is to bring happiness and personal growth. Vastu according to him contains a sea of knowledge that has more realms of meaning waiting to be discovered.

    Speaking to TOI Jhajharia said, “I have travelled six continents to deliver my talks and have been on several radio shows too, it is very heartening to see that this science is being met with so much acceptance all over the world.”

    The audience in an open session then asked Jhajharia questions related to their homes and he provided possible solutions to them.

  • Widened NH takes its toll: Sloth bear, spotted deer killed Mazhar Ali| TNN | Updated: May 21, 2018, 05:58 IST Bear dead in accidents on Chandrapur-Brahmapuri road

    CHANDRAPUR: Speeding vehicles knocked dead a sloth bear and spotted deer in separate accidents on Chandrapur-Brahmapuri road under Chichpalli and Saoliranges on Sunday morning. This road has been recently declared as national highway and its widening and strengthening work is underway through forest patches without undertaking any mitigation measures.

    A sub-adult female sloth bear was knocked dead by an unidentified vehicle under compartment No. 356 in Mahadwadi beat during the early hours of Sunday. The bear had sustained injuries on its head and had died after walking a few feet aside the road. Special Tiger Protection Force personnel found the carcass while patrolling and informed the local officers, who in turn shifted the body to Chandrapurtransit treatment centre for postmortem.

    In yet another incident on the same road ahead, an unidentified speeding vehicle knocked dead a spotted deer on Mul-Sindewahi stretch passing through forest compartment No. 317 of Saoli range. Officials claimed that the male deer had collapsed around 20 feet away after being hit by the vehicle head-on. This is third such hit-and-run case on the same road in Saoli range in four months. Earlier this month, a leopard was killed under a speeding vehicle in Lohara forest.

    The speed of vehicles on the road has increased after the National Highway Authority of India started road widening work a few months ago. Despite objection and protest by wildlife activists to avoid road widening and cutting of trees in the eco-sensitive zone of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, the road widening work has continued unabated. State wildlife board member Bandu Dhotre emphasized the need for taking up mitigation measures while widening and strengthening of the road. “Speed of vehicles on newly widened road has increased, taking its toll on the wildlife,” he said.

  • People block roads for hours at various places in Yavatmal over water crisis TNN | Updated: May 21, 2018, 05:35 IST
    The agitators sat on the road with empty pots and shouted slogans against the government and district administration

    YAVATMAL: Despite efforts by the district administration, the drinking water crisis in Yavatmalcity flared up on Sunday. People came out on the streets in the scorching sun, and blocked roads at several places, bringing traffic to a grinding halt for over four hours. An employee of Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran was allegedly beaten up by some protesters.

    Residents of Old Wadgaon area staged a road blockade on the road leading to Arni, while residents of village Bhosa blocked the National Highway between Bori and Tulzapur.

    The agitators, men, women and children of all ages, had only one demand, ‘We want water’. The agitators sat on the road with empty pots and shouted slogans against the government and district administration.

    Deputy chairman of state legislative council Manikrao Thakre rushed to the site and tried to pacify the angry mob. He said that he was keeping a close watch over the situation, and tried thrice to get more details from the administration, but the response was not satisfactory.

    When one of the employees of Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP), the water supplying agency, appeared on the scene and made some loose statements, the mob thrashed him. The police have registered criminal offences against over 150 agitators under various sections of IPC and Mumbai Police Act.

    A municipal council member, Dinesh Goharkar, alleged that chief officer Anil Adhagale is ignoring their demand to increase tankers in all wards.

    “With 60-70 localities in each prabhag, it is difficult to deliver water to all areas by a single tanker,” he said, adding even municipal council employees were now supplying water.

    “MJP has spent lakhs to lay a pipeline between MIDC filtration plant and Darda Nagar storage tank. But the entire exercise has been rendered futile, Goharkar said, due to a fault in the pipeline.

    The council has acquired 12 tanks with capacity of 24,000 litres from Shirdi Temple Trust, but they too are inadequate to cater to the water needs of the people.

  • All plots should get extra FSI in Metro corridor: Builders Ashish Roy| TNN | Updated: May 21, 2018, 06:10 IST

    NAGPUR: City builders are not satisfied with the amended transit oriented development (TOD) policy of state urban development ministry (UD) for Nagpur Metro Rail corridor and have sought further relaxation.

    The Nagpur unit of Credai has submitted a memorandum to UD in this regard. The ministry had earlier amended the TOD policy on request of builders.

    TOD policy is vital for the success of Nagpur Metro. If more people live along Metrocorridor, the ridership of the mass transit system will be higher. In addition, MahaMetro will earn 50% premium on extra floor to space index (FSI).

    Earlier, UD had permitted open balconies in marginal spaces on request of builders. The balconies will be allowed in buildings leaving minimum three metres distance from the plot boundaries.

    Anil Nair, city president of Credai, said that at present extra FSI was not permissible on plots on roads having width less than 9 metre. “We want the government to sanction a FSI of 1.5 on narrow roads and on plots of any size. Many roads in the Metro Rail corridor area are narrow and residents should not be deprived of benefit of the policy,” he added.

    As per the present policy lift wells with machine rooms, refuge areas, voids, service floor, entrance lobbies and lobbies of the building in will not be counted in FSI. The builders want that all passages on all floors should also be free of FSI.

    “The TOD policy only mentions the side margins. There is no mention of the front margin. We have, therefore, suggested that the front margin should be fixed on the basis of road width and building height. It should be 6 metres for road width of 9 metres and building height of 24 metres, 9 metres for road width of 12 metres and building height of up to 50 metres, 12 metre margin for road width of 18 metre and building height of between 50 metre and 70 metre and 12 metre for road width of 18 metre and building height of above 70 metre respectively,” said Nair.

    “In cases when ever relaxation in height is required, it can be given by paying relaxation charges as precedence. The height of the building should be fully regulated by front road of higher width in case of double frontage or corner plots,” he added.

    Nair further said that if 3 metres strip was left for public parking or pedestrian pathway requirement of visitor parking should be down away with.

  • State’s 10-year plan to channelize biodiversity mgmt committees ready Vijay Pinjarkar| tnn | May 22, 2018, 06:05 IST Nagpur: Even as the Maharashtra State BiodiversityBoard (MSBB) leads in the country after Madhya Pradesh in constituting biodiversity management committees (BMCs), these committees are yet to be operational. To channelize these BMCs, a 10-year state biodiversity plan is ready and will be approved in June first week.

    On Tuesday, International Day for Biological Diversity 2018 will be celebrated to mark the 25th anniversary of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at the national and global levels.

    As per the National Biodiversity Authority’s (NBA) official figures, till July 2017, MP had 23,406 BMCs while Maharashtra has 20,505 BMCs. These include 20,409 at the gram panchayat level, 41 in panchayat samitis, 43 in municipal councils & corporations and 12 in zilla parishads. The MSBB has a target to constitute 28,279 BMCs.

    However, despite the Biological Diversity Act (2002) giving comprehensive mandate to conserve, manage, and share benefits of resources in a fair and equitable manner with villagers, respective institutions are doing little to implement the Act. Staff crunch at MSBB is said to be one of the reasons for slow progress. Only 20 personnel are working with MSBB, most of them on contract basis and outsourced.

    A Ashraf, PCCF and member-secretary of MSBB, said that BMCs are operational arms of BDA. “To create awareness among the villagers about the rules, we have chalked out a major programme by organizing 210 ground-level training workshops in 13 districts this year. We have roped in NGOs Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Prabhodini for the job,” said Ashraf.

    Even as 20,505 BMCs have been set up in the state, only two gram panchayats — Sili and Surewada in Bhandara district — have prepared Peoples Biodiversity Registers (PBRs). PBRs are key documents of biological diversity including preservation of habitats, conservation of land races, folk varieties and cultivars, domesticated stocks and breeds of animals and microorganisms and chronicling of knowledge relating to biological diversity.

    “When it will come to sharing monetary benefit by selling resources, the PBR inputs will be of big help. The BMCs will decide about it on basis of PBRs only,” said Ashraf.

    MSBB chairman Vilas Bardekar said Maharashtra is far ahead when compared to other states on implementation of the Act. “We have the highest number of BMCs. Over 70 PBRs are in final stages. In June first week, the biodiversity board will meet to finalize 10-year action plan from 2018-28,” said Bardekar.

    “Our PBRs are taking time as these are being prepared with the involvement of villagers. In some states, PBRs ran into problem as locals were not involved. In Solapur, NGO Unnati is planning to submit 100 PBRs prepared by BMCs,” he said.

    The chairman said three sites — Ganeshkhind garden in Pune which has Alphonso mango trees of Peshwa era, Landhorkhori in Jalgaon and Fossils Park in Sironcha — will be notified as biodiversity heritage sites. Board approval is pending for notification with the government.

    When asked about conflict of interests between National Biodiversity Act (NBA) and Forest Rights Act (FRA), Joint Forest Management Committees (JMFCs) and Eco-development Committees (EDCs), Ashraf said, “We expect the Biodiversity Act to be the umbrella Act as it is not specific to wildlife or just extraction of limited forest produce, but conservation of entire biodiversity.”

  • Vedas prove existence of Saraswati river, says scholar tnn | May 22, 2018, 05:20 IST
    The event was organized by Sanskrut Bhasha Pracharini Sabha

    Nagpur: Almost 15 years ago, a groundbreaking discovery by an Indian Space Research Organization satellite proved that the deserted area of Rajasthan had once cradled Saraswati river before it dried up, said poet and playwright Pranav Patwari, the translator of the research paper in Sanskrit.

    Patwari made the revelation while speaking on ‘Importance of Saraswati river’ at an event organized by Sanskrut Bhasha Pracharini Sabha on Saturday. The scholar has written and translated many plays and poems, including Kalidasa’s ‘Meghdoot’, in Sanskrit.

    Talking about the origin and course of the river, he said, “The geographical origin could be tracked down to the Saraswat glacier near Har Ki Dun in the Himalayas, from where it travelled through four states to finally meet the Arabian Sea from Rann of Kutch. Eventually, due to the shifts in our tectonic plates, it got detached from the glacier and dried up. The various soil and stone samples from in and around Kutch region have proved this.”

    He referred to scriptures as ancient as Rugveda in which the river has been mentioned. “The various life stages of Saraswati have been described in our four Vedas. Rugveda talks about its origin, while Yajurveda gives an account of her transition from a mischievous child into a beautiful young woman. Saamveda describes her role as a mother and Atharvaveda mentions her as a deity who grants salvation. This goes a long way in proving the existence of the river,” he said.

    Patwari also said that the “researchers believe that the river derived its name from an iceberg, but our ancient scriptures proves it’s the other way round. In our Vedas, it is mentioned that the waters of Saraswati that froze leading to the formation of glaciers and icebergs or ‘sarovar’ as we know them in Hindi.”

    On the occasion, Patwari was presented with Pradnya Barati Puruskar, the first centenarian award given by the academy to encourage young Sanskrit scholars.

  • Scientist explains role of honeybees in biodiversity tnn | May 22, 2018, 05:18 IST
    A seminar on beekeeping was conducted on Sunday

    Nagpur: Without pollination, in which honeybees play an important role, no plant can bear fully grown fruit. People need to understand the role of honeybees in maintaining the biodiversity, said SK Raina, retired chief scientist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Nairobi, Kenya, here on Sunday.

    Raina was delivering a talk on ‘Awareness of honeybee based value chain development in Vidarbha’ at national seminar on beekeeping on the occasion of World Honeybee Day.

    The programme was organized by Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Centre for Sericulture and Biological Pest Management Research, Science College Pauni and Tai Gowalkar Science College, Ramtek, at Academic Staff College.

    Sharing his experiences from Kenya, he said honey and its related products like pollen, wax and propolis should be sold directly by beekeepers without involving any middlemen so that they can enjoy profits of their own produce.

    Raina also spoke about the need to protect bees from harmful pesticides and various diseases. “Pesticides should be evaluated before use so that honeybees are unharmed and beekeepers should take proper care of the aviary. We need to understand the connection of honeybees with the ecosystem and work towards maintaining it,” said Raina while addressing students, farmers and beekeepers at the seminar.

    VK Biradkar, professor of entomology at Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, informed the attendants about the different types of bees and how to manage their colonies and their production.

    Raina also said that soon with the help of grant given by FAO, a training centre will be opened where he will train the students and farmers regarding beekeeping and other farming skills.

    Beekeepers Harshal Sontakke, Purushottam Gedam and Vikas Kshirsagar were honoured by KVIC on the occasion.

    (Reporting by Syed Aquib Ali)

  • One more sloth bear run over on Chandrapur-Mul Road Mazhar Ali and Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | May 22, 2018, 03:52 IST

    Chandrapur: A vehicle speeding on the newly-widened Chandrapur-Mul stretch of the National Highway claimed yet another sloth bear on Sunday night. This is the sixth road hit in this month on this stretch of road, which passes through buffer and eco-sensitive zone of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.

    The news of the deaths has also reportedly reached the state government. PWD sources said a meeting was held 3-4 days ago in Mumbai to discuss the issue. “The PWD chief engineer is expected to visit these widened, and proposed to be expanded, road patches soon to see what can be done,” they said.

    PWD executive engineer Vivek Mishra, who is implementing the widening works, said forest officials have identified animal crossings and handed over the list. “We have asked the deputy engineer to examine these spots, and prepare a proposal to install rumble strips or some other measures,” said Mishra.

    The TOI had reported on April 23 how the road widening by PWD in and around Tadoba was posing a danger to wildlife, including by fragmenting the corridors from Tadoba to Navegaon, Karhandla and Kawal. A day later, Roadkills, a Citizen Science Initiative to collect data on mortality of wild animals on roads, had released data showing that at least 161 roadkills were recorded in 28 days on Chandrapur-Mul Road. This was also reported in the TOI.

    Until this situation is addressed, animals will continue to be in harms way. Sources said that the fresh carcass of a sloth bear hit by a speeding vehicle was discovered on Monday morning near Valni village in Chichpalli range. The adult female bear had died on the spot.

    Five animals have been hit on the Chandrapur-Mul stretch of highway this month. Three wild animals were killed on Mul-Sindewahi stretch in last few weeks. This stretch of road serves as a critical wildlife corridor. Forest officials, NGO representatives and officials of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had conducted a joint survey on the road to identify vulnerable accident spots for wildlife on May 15.

    Taking cognisance of repeated road kills, DFO Chandrapur forest division Ashok Sonkusre had sent two letters in two days to NHAI. He has reminded them to install rumble strips or speed beakers at one kilometre intervals, and given 25 locations to build underpasses and chain-link fencing as agreed in the earlier meeting.

    Meanwhile, the leopardess injured last Monday by a speeding vehicle on Chandrapur-Mul Road in Lohara forest, and brought to Gorewada Rescue Centre at Nagpur, underwent an operation. Gorewada divisional manager Nandkishore Kale said the female leopard was operated on Sunday for hind leg fractures.

    “The team of expert doctors will take up another operation to treat fractures of front legs in a day or two. Though there were no external injures, its bones suffered serious damage,” he said.


    # Spotted deer killed near Lohara on May 5

    # Spotted deer injured near Lohara on May 13, rescued same day

    # Adult leopard injured near Lohara on May 14, rescued next day

    # Sub-adult bear killed near Keslaghat on May 20

    # Male spotted deer killed near Chetegaon on May 20

    # Adult female bear killed near Valni village on May 21

  • Work on Wardha-Nanded railway line to start soon Ashish Roy| tnn | May 22, 2018, 03:10 IST

    Nagpur: Around 90% of the land required for the Wardha-Yavatmal-Nanded broad gauge railway line has been acquired and now state government will request the railway ministry to start the tender process. The progress of the land acquisition process was reviewed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in his war room on Monday. A source in chief minister’s office (CMO) said that if Railways shows promptness, work on the project could start in eight to nine months.

    The length of the line is 284km and it needs 722 hectares of land. It will pass through six tehsils and 90 villages in Wardha, Yavatmal, Washim, Hingoli and Nanded districts. It was granted a special project status in July 2016. The main problem with the line so far was land acquisition.

    When the line is commissioned it will provide direct connectivity between Nagpur and Marathwada. Today the train journey between Nagpur and Nanded takes over 12 hours and very few travel by train between the two cities.

    The source further said that Wadsa-Gadchiroli railway line was also discussed in the meeting. “There are some issues related to land acquisition. The CM issued necessary directives to Gadchiroli district collector,” he added.

    According to the official the land acquisition for Ahmednagar-Beed-Parli railway line was complete and construction could begin on it by the year end.

    The ambitious Nagpur-Mumbai communication super-expressway, also known as Samruddhi Mahamarg, was discussed in the meeting. District collectors told Fadnavis that except for Nashik and Thane districts, land acquisition in other districts was over 90% complete.

    “The problem with the two districts is the high cost of land. We faced some problems in negotiating with farmers but they have been sorted out,” said the source.

    Commenting on financial closure, the official said that it was not a problem as land was being securitized for bank loans. “We expect financial closure to take place soon,” he added.

    Nagpur and Pune Metro projects were also reviewed by the CM. According to data submitted by the war room, Nagpur Metro work is 60% complete. The deadline for completing it is December 2019. About 15% work of Pune Metro is over. Its deadline is September 2021.

  • Bhandewadi dumping yard staring at a solid messy affair Manka Behl| tnn | May 22, 2018, 03:08 IST

    The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) plan to treat municipal solid waste through biomining is a double-edged sword. Not only will thousands of residents living in and around Bhandewadi continue to suffer for at least another three years, the contractual obligation will also leave the civic body poorer by about Rs100 crore.

    The problem of solid waste management was put up before the standing committee in the last meeting held on May 10. Based on the guidelines of ministry of housing and urban affairs, the NMC drafted a tender and called for an expression of interest (EoI). While four private agencies showed interest, only one purchased the tender — Zigma Global Environ Solutions Pvt Ltd.

    After negotiations, the final price was brought down to Rs1,015 per metric tonne, informed a senior NMC official. According to last year’s study by German experts, more than 18 lakh metric tonne of solid waste is lying at Bhandewadi. However as per the civic body, the quantity is around 10 lakh metric tonne. Even if the latter figures are considered, the total cost of bio-mining will cross Rs100 crore.

    The ministry might provide some financial grant for remediation of waste dumpsite but the exact amount is not known yet. “We might get grants around Rs30-35 crore. The amount will be finalized after submitting the development project report (DPR),” the official said. NMC also plans to sell the residue derived fuel generated from the waste to a cement plant in Chandrapur for around Rs250 per metric tonne.

    All such remedial measures are happening at a time when other states are seeking technical support for managing solid waste from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri), which is headquartered at Nagpur. “An institute like Neeri is in Nagpur itself, why can't the chief minister give them the work order and funds rather than playing with people's health,” Swachh Association’s president Anasuya Kale-Chhabrani tweeted. A feasibility study conducted by German experts on the city’s waste management last year had categorically questioned the efficacy of biomining process at Bhandewadi.

    As per the agreement, the agency would be allotted a time of three years to complete the bio-mining process in which the waste is loosened by harrowing and sprayed with composting bio cultures. NMC’s waste-to-energy plant, the work of which has not even started, will take at least two years to get ready.

    Moreover in another two years, more than 7 lakh metric tonne of waste will get dumped at the site (assuming that 200 out of 1200 metric tonne of daily waste is being treated).

    Under such circumstances, there seems to be no immediate relief for residents. While they are breathing toxic air as the unsegregated heaps of waste are frequently on fire, the water they are drinking is contaminated. Recently, TOI had tested some water samples for few borewells and the results revealed that the water was highly unsafe for drinking. The leachate generated from solid waste is polluting the groundwater.

    Suggesting some urgent mitigation measures, director of Neeri Rakesh Kumar said, “NMC should create trench around the site so that the leachate can be channelized in one direction.” He added that the landfill should be covered with soil or construction debris and simultaneously gas extraction pipes should be installed for venting methane.

    The best solution is to segregate the waste, said Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of NGO Green Vigil. “Eight months have passed and NMC is claiming that only 27% of waste is being segregated. This is a sorry figure,” he added.

    He added that after segregating, 600 metric tonne of non-biodegradable waste should go to the plant and around 200 metric tonne of biodegradable waste should either be used for composting or supplementing the calorific value of waste that is going to the plant.

    The group of residents, who had filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against unscientific dumping of waste, demand strict action. Right to Information (RTI) activist Ankita Shah terms it a “contempt of court”. “The NGT’s directives were blatantly violated. Despite giving prosecution powers to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, it did not take any action against NMC,” she added.

  • Preserving biodiversity is our duty: Dangre tnn | May 23, 2018, 03:54 IST
    Justice Bharati Dangre of Bombay High Inaugurated International Bio-diversity Day programme at Vasantrao Deshp... Read More

    Nagpur: Preserving biodiversityis the duty of every citizen as plants and trees have significant features which hold medicinal value, said justice Bharati Dangre of the Bombay high court on Tuesday.

    Speaking at a programme organized by Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board (MSBB) and Maharashtra forest department to mark International Day for Biological Diversity at Vasantrao Deshpande Hall, Civil Lines, Dangre said it is important that knowledge about the medicinal use of plants is passed on to the future generations and awareness is created about conservation of flora and fauna.

    Dangre criticized industrialization at the cost of natural resources. There is a need to strike a balance between development and conservation, she added.

    Divisional commissioner Anoop Kumar, principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) Umesh Agrawal, PCCF A Ashraf, member secretary of MSBB, members of the board Jayant Wadatkar and Aarti Shanvare, were seated on the dais. Members of various NGOs working for the cause of nature also attended the event.

    A national level wildlife photography competition was conducted by green activist Kundan Hate. Photographer Faizan Khan bagged the first prize and was felicitated during the function. Rishabh Meher and Sajid AbuBakr got the second and third prize respectively.

    Efforts of individuals and organizations working for protecting environment were acknowledged and they were felicitated for their contribution.

    Speaking to TOI, Wadatkar said, “It is our responsibility to make people vigilant about the deteriorating condition of our forests. With rising urbanization, the natural habitats are adversely affected and there is severe degradation of biodiversity. Many species have already become extinct while others are endangered. If we don’t understand the gravity of the matter, then the situation would worsen at an exponential rate.”

    Wadatkar also spoke on Biodiversity Act, 2002, and said its provisions should reach the hinterlands too so that the people could get benefit. This is the purpose of the Act.

    Around 15 students of Tilak Vidyalaya English Medium School, dressed in vibrant green attires, set an emotional tone as they danced on ‘Na kaato mujhe dukhta hai’ to highlight the seriousness of the problem of cutting trees and implications of deforestation. There were also students from New Apostolic English High School who performed on “Aao Dharti Bachao.” The little ones also put light on the grave issue of plastic pollution thereby insisting on curbing its usage.

    (With inputs from Heena Manghani)

  • 14 months on, 3 govt depts yet to fix date to inspect Jamtha stadium Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | May 23, 2018, 05:17 IST

    Nagpur: The state environment department had 14 months ago asked Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), and town planning department to inspect and submit some simple information related to Vidarbha Cricket Association’s (VCA) Jamtha stadium. The inspection and report is still pending.

    Activists Prashant Pawar, Ankita Shah and TH Naidu had lodged a complaint with MPCB, police department and other concerned departments for action against VCA in March 2016. Taking cognisance, MPCB regional office had sent a letter to its head office, recommending legal action against VCA in the same month. In the letter, MPCB had said the stadium lacks environment clearance and its ‘consent to operate’.

    The MPCB’s consent appraisal committee is the authority to decide action on violators. The MPCB head office had asked the environment department whether the stadium requires environment clearance and consent to operate.

    Accordingly, the environment department had on March 22, 2017, sent letters to NMRDA, MPCB and town planning department, asking for information related to exact built up area of the stadium including covered and un-covered portion. The department asked NMRDA commissioner, MPCB member secretary and assistant director of town planning (ADTP) for the inspection.

    NMRDA sent a letter some days ago to the town planning department, seeking its time for joint inspection. Accordingly, the department on Tuesday sent a letter to NMRDA, asking its commissioner to finalize date and time for inspection.

    “NMRDA commissioner is superior among the three officials, and asked for inspection. Therefore, we asked NMRDA commissioner to decide the date and time,” said an official from the town planning department.

    Naidu raised questions about the 14-month delay by the departments. “It requires hardly one or two days to inspect and submit report. Also, all three departments have documents and data related to the stadium. All these departments, and also police, are not taking action against VCA despite many complaints. Our complaints are based on documents we collected under RTI Act. In fact, there was no need for MPCB and environment department to investigate whether clearance is required for the stadium or not. MPCB regional office had recommended action because the stadium lacks clearances,” he said.

  • Ramtek devpt to begin with 42 works at Gadh Mandir, Ambala Lake Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | May 23, 2018, 05:07 IST

    Nagpur: The state government has given administrative approval for 42 works at the historical Gadh Mandir and Ambala lake under the Rs150 crore Ramtek pilgrimage and tourism development project. The works are likely to begin from August 15.

    The state’s urban development department issued a notification on Monday giving the green signal for execution of works. Estimated cost of the 42 works is Rs49.28 crore, of which 20 works costing Rs22.07 crore will be executed at Gadh Mandir, and 22 works worth Rs27.21 crore at Ambala lake.

    The government had given in-principle approval to the Rs150 crore project on July 14, 2017. Since then, the project was pending for administrative approval.

    Various basic amenities will be facilitated at Gadh Mandir, the famous Lord Ram temple, with the Rs22.07 crore. Prominent works are construction of porch stairs along existing staircase to climb Gadh Mandir hillock, yog centre at MTDC resort, construction of roads, toilets, seating arrangements, display boards, landscaping etc.

    The public works department, archaeology department and Ramtek Municipal Council will execute the works.

    At Ambala Lake, famous for asthi visarjan, structures of 24 temples situated around the water body will be strengthened. Nullah coming into the lake will be diverted. Here too works of basic amenities like parking, toilets, staircases, roads, landscaping etc will be executed.

    Welcome gate and water supply infrastructure will be executed at Narayan Tekdi, famous as the place where Tukadoji Maharaj stayed for over a decade.

    Guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule held meeting on Monday and directed officials to commence works from August 15. Bawankule also asked officials to begin works on pilgrimage and tourism development projects of Deekshabhoomi and Dragon Palace from August 15.

    Bawankule also announced the central government has approved Swadesh Darshan project, under which works will be undertaken for development of Chhota Tajbagh, Waki Dargah, Dhapewada and Paradsinga pilgrimages.

  • 10 acre Green Belt planned in all tehsils TNN | May 23, 2018, 04:06 IST

    Nagpur: Guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule has proposed development of Green Belt in all tehsils of the district. Each green belt will be developed in an area of 10 acre.

    Bawankule held a meeting to approve works from the Rs135 crore received under Mineral Development Fund on Monday. Works worth Rs85 crore were approved in the meeting, of which Rs5 crore were set aside for each green belt project. Under the project, greenery followed by water source, waste-to-wealth concepts will be developed in 10 acre.

    Bawankule also announced the project to manufacture compost from garbage in all villages in the district. Citing the projects of Saoner and Koradi, Bawankule said it can be easily done by roping in women self help groups (SHGs). He added that the entire district can become clean and green if the project is successful.

    Bawankule also approved Rs10 crore for reviving abandoned irrigation projects of the district on the lines of Ralegaon-Sindhi’s project. These Rs10 crore were approved for basic amenities at Umrer and Ramtek.

    Funds were also approved for Daga Hospital and IGMCH. A project to bring all water supply schemes of villages on solar power was also given consent. Prominent among other approved works include distribution of tricycles, and skill development training to unemployed youths.

  • Desilting of Sonegaon Lake bears fruit as water surfaces Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | May 23, 2018, 04:05 IST
    Like last year’s drive, silt and sand is being removed up to a depth of 5.5 feet and works will be carried out... Read More

    Nagpur: Two BJP corporators — Sandip Joshi and Prakash Bhoyar — have continued the project to deepen Sonegaon Lake for the second consecutive year and already it has started to bear fruits for the water body. Amid the scorching summer, water can be seen in the part of the lake where the works started this year.

    Joshi and Bhoyar re-launched the project on May 15. A poclane with some trucks have been engaged at the southern side of the lake towards Sonegaon village. On the lines of last year’s drive, silt and sand is being removed up to a depth of 5.5 feet. Water can be seen in the part that has been deepened in these seven days.

    Joshi, the ruling party leader, and Bhoyar, chairman of Laxmi Nagar zone in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), have organized the project’s formal inauguration project on May 27 to mark the birthday of Union minister Nitin Gadkari.

    Bhoyar told TOI the works will be carried out in the lake till monsoon reaches its peak. “We are planning to bring in more machinery in the coming days. The entire lake cannot be covered this year. We will continue the works next year too,” he said.

    The Sonegaon lake, which is spread over 16.42 hectares, used to dry up completely in March or April. The state government had sanctioned Rs3.24 crore for rejuvenation of the lake in 2010. The NMC had executed the works in 2013 and 2014.

    The NMC had claimed to remove the silt from the lake under the project yet the lake continued to dry up before the start of summer.

    Last year, Joshi and Bhoyar deepened the lake by 5.5 feet in the eastern side towards the Hanuman and Ganesh temples. A huge quantity of silt and sand was excavated from the southern bank to northern side. The desilted area was 150 meter long and 40 meter wide. The efforts bore fruits as water can be seen in this stretch even today.

    The NMC had proposed a beautification project of Rs18.25 crore and sought the funds from the state government last year. The two BJP corporators realized beautification works without any water in the lake will not help. The government has approved the funds and work is likely to commence at the end of the year.