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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  • GSI charting railroad atop the Himalayas

    Snehlata Shrivastav| tnn | May 23, 2018, 03:50 IST

    Nagpur: Even as the Centre plans to bolster border infrastructure, particularly along the Indo-China border, Geological Survey of India (GSI) has geared up to provide all technical backing for the construction of a very high altitude railroad, expected to be a game-changer for the Indian Army.

    Northern Railway has already started work on the second phase detailed project report (DPR) for the 465.13km-long Beri-Bilaspur-Manali-Leh broad gauge rail project, estimated to cost Rs 1 lakh crore, passing through two Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

    “Nowhere in the world there is a railway track at such an altitude with difficult terrain, slopes and passes. Hence, this project is both difficult and prestigious for the GSI,” said N Kutumba Rao, GSI director general. He was in the city for a daylong workshop on landslides assessment at the central region GSI office.

    Sanjeev Kumar, director, engineering geology division, GSI Chandigarh, who too was in the city for the workshop, told TOI that the GSI would be using all possible innovations and techniques to make this railroad technically best track. The GSI has signed a memorandum of understanding with Northern Railway in October 2016 for providing geo-technical consultancy for the project to RITES, the implementing agency for the project.

    The project DPR costing Rs 157.86 crore is being prepared in three phases. It is expected to be completed by March 2020. The project, after its launch, may take nothing less than 10 years or so. Kumar says the GSI will prepare traverse maps for accessible areas and will extrapolate the data where it is not possible to reach geo-technically.

    “There are permafrost areas (where ground remains permanently frozen for at least two years). There are also flash flood prone areas. This is unique area as it is the youngest mountain range in the world. It needs to be thoroughly studied and understood before deciding on setting up any structure here,” said Kumar.

    The altitude in the total stretch to be tracked ranges from 500 meters to 5,360 meters at different places. There are five passes on the stretch and 50% of the stretch would require tunnelling work.

    Kumar tells that a 27km patch on the stretch has severe variations in strata and has various weak zones in between. All this needs to be part of the geo-technical study, he said

    In the first phase, the GSI had suggested major alignment changes during the team’s visit in June and September last year. These changes were incorporated in the first phase of DPR.

    Now, based on other detailed studies of the terrain and strata, more suggestions will be made in the second phase.
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  • MahaMetro, NIT clash over Krazy Castle dues

    Ashish Roy| TNN | May 24, 2018, 02:58 IST

    Nagpur: MahaMetro and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) are at loggerheads over the latter’s existing liabilities towards Krazy Castle amusement park concessionaire Haldiram Foods. MahaMetro wants NIT to settle the existing liabilities while the civic agency is not ready for this.

    A MahaMetro letter to NIT chairman, dated April 7, 2018, states that the existing liabilities in regards to the concessionaire up to the date of handing over of the 6.47 acre land to MahaMetro will be on account of NIT.

    Commenting on this demand, a senior NIT official said, “We are not handing over the park on our own but for the sake of development of the city. The existing liabilities of the park must be taken over by the new owner.”

    According to the official, NIT has to refund extra premium of around Rs72 lakh to Haldiram. “The concessionaire had started using the parking for commercial purposes. We therefore increased the premium by 10%. However, an activist filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Nagpur bench of Bombay high court claiming that the hike was too less. The NIT board then decided to increased the premium by 13% instead of 10%,” he said.

    “Haldiram objected to further increase in premium and approached the HC. However, it paid the 13% hiked premium under protest. The court appointed a retired HC judge as arbitrator, who ruled that 13% increase was not justified and it should be only 10%. The extra 3% increase was to be refunded. Haldiram’s lease was to expire in 2021. However, the arbitrator directed NIT to increase it to 2025,” the official further said.

    The official feels that the wording of the letter is ominous. “The existing liabilities could mean the Rs162 crore compensation demanded by Haldiram. Therefore this demand is in no way acceptable to us,” he said.

    Initially MahaMetro wanted only 6,360 square metre out of the total 26,178 sq m (6.47 acre) land as it was included in the detailed project report (DPR). Haldiram, however, was not ready for a truncated park and stressed that the entire park should be taken over and it should be paid compensation. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari decided to transfer the entire land to MahaMetro in February end.

  • Remote sensing used to prepare city’s env status report Manka Behl| TNN | May 24, 2018, 03:55 IST Nagpur: The city’s environment status report (ESR), which has been mired in controversies since the last few years, seems to be in its final stage. Making use of technology, this year’s report will be focusing on additional key areas. Environmentalists hope that the report is “accurate” and “made public”.

    In October 2016, TOI had reported that as per an agreement between the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri), the ESR will be prepared by the institute. On Monday, Neeri made a preliminary presentation of the report at the NMC office.

    According to Neeri director Rakesh Kumar, the final report will be ready by the end of June. “This was a consultation exercise in which we invited environment NGOs, citizen groups and NMC officials. Apart from presenting how the report is shaping up, we also took their suggestions,” he added.

    On use of technology, Kumar said that this time remote sensing has been used while preparing the report.

    Though the details of the report are not revealed yet, sources from the civic body said that it has many additions. “Environmental modelling, in which Neeri is an expert, is being used for prediction of impact. The report incorporates a lot of comparisons. For instance, it compares air quality of previous years and also predicts the situation in 2025,” said sources.

    Apart from air, noise and water pollution, solid waste management and other areas, the report will also focus on the present condition of city lakes. “Around 11 lakes and three rivers are being analysed,” said sources.

    They added that for the first time, the report is also attempting to establish a link between environmental problems to stress and happiness among citizens. It will take into account the impact of environmental degradation on the economy. “The trend in climate change and city’s biodiversity will also find a place in the report,” sources said.

    In the last few years, the city’s ESR has been censured by experts. In August 2016, TOI had reported that the majority of the content in the 2015-16 report was a copy-paste of the earlier reports. Even the 2013-14 report was the copy of 2011-12 report.

    In March 2016, Bharatiya Janata Party's senior corporator Prakash Totwani had raised doubts over the report’s findings. According to his allegations, ESR 2014-15's findings were much in contrast with position on the ground.

  • Yavatmal water crisis hits dialysis of kidney patients Shishir Arya| TNN | May 24, 2018, 03:59 IST

    Nagpur: The unprecedented water shortage in Yavatmal district is hitting kidney patientsthe hardest. There are five dialysis units here, in different hospitals of the town. However, the procedures at three of the units have been hit due to lack of clean water, which is essential for the process.

    Large quantity of water is needed for dialysis. Impurities of the blood are flushed out through water, which is passed through the machine. The water has to be of ultra pure grade, and it is purified in a reverse osmosis (RO) plant before dialysis.

    As the regular sources have dried up this summer, water is being supplied through tankers. Even the dead storage of Bembla dam here is being tapped. Such water is coming with high level of impurities, making it difficult to carry out dialysis procedures.

    The Government Medical College (GMC) at Yavatmal does not have a dialysis unit, so patients have to depend on private sources.

    Those covered under the Jyotiba Phule Jeevandayee Yojana, which is the state government’s health insurance scheme, go to the Hirachand Munot Criticare Hospital, a private set up in the town. However, the dialysis machine here is not working these days.

    The RO plant at the hospital has been damaged to the excessive impurities in the water available these days. Dr Deepak Deshmukh said the membranes of the RO plant have been damaged due to high impurities, and dialysis cannot be done without pure water. “Earlier, the water was available through regular sources of the water supplies department. Now, we are depending on water from tankers and other random sources, which cannot be cleaned up even in a RO plant,” he said.

    This left 21 patients who needed dialysis stranded. They rushed to district collector Rajesh Deshmukh, seeking help. “The district administration has promptly acted and made arrangements for dialysis at Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences in neighbouring Wardha district, and at another hospital in Amravati. The transportation will be provided by GMC,” said Deshmukh.

    The officer admitted that the water crisis is grim but efforts are being undertaken to tide over the situation. Different sources are being tapped, including dead storage of dams like the Bembla project, he said.

    At another hospital, run by Dr Mahesh Shah, the two dialysis units are being sparingly used. “This is because of lack of pure water. The number of procedures conducted have come down to 20% of the normal level. We are only catering to serious patients, or those admitted at the hospital, and turning down others,” said Shah.

    The Sahjeevan Hospital also has a couple of dialysis machines. Dr Sunil Agrawal, the in-charge here, said that they are able to manage the show for now. Water is being drawn from the hospital’s own sources, he said.

    Dr Avinash Chaudhary of Amravati, at whose clinic some patients have been shifted from Yavatmal, said that never before has such a crisis arisen. “Five of the patients have been diverted to our hospital but they have not turned up yet,” he said.

  • German city Karlsruhe to help in Ngp’s development Ashish Roy| tnn | May 24, 2018, 05:50 IST

    Nagpur: German city Karlsruhe will become Nagpur’s partner in sustainable development. An agreement was signed between Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and International Urban Cooperation (IUC) programme of European Union in this regard on Wednesday.

    The partnership agreement has been signed broadly to identify and extend areas for cooperation between the two cities. It is in line with EU–India global partnership, which identifies and intends to address various issues relevant to sustainable urban development.

    Under this programme, Nagpur and Karlsruhe will prepare a joint local action plan specifically addressing the needs of sustainable urban development and smart cities mission of Government of India. Mayor Nanda Jichkar and municipal commissioner Virendra Singh signed the agreement on behalf of NMC while Pier Roberto Remitti, Director of IUC-India, represented IUC.

    Before signing the agreement, a brief introduction about the project was given by Ashish Verma, sustainable development expert from IUC, India. He broadly presented the objective, implementation process and the support available to cities under the programme.

    Ramnath Sonawane, chief executive officer of Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL), gave a brief overview about Nagpur, opportunities and challenges that the city faced and how the IUC programme could support Nagpur in terms of knowledge exchange and implementation of smart city plans.

    He highlighted the smart cities plans (a) priority to integrate urban development and municipal services (b) low carbon development and urban innovation, and (c) sustainable mobility. Singh said that it was a very good opportunity for Nagpur to learn and work with a European city on issues related to sustainable urban development.

    Nagpur and Karlsruhe will be working together on specific topics including urban mobility, low carbon development and urban innovation as well as integration of urban development and municipal services. Karlsruhe has been a leader in using smart technologies and its mobility models are very encouraging.

    Jichkar said the adverse impact of climate change was no longer a global problem and it had started affecting the lives of people now.

  • Around 18 companies bid for Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway project The Maharashtra State Road Development Corp (MSRDC), the nodal agency for the project, opened the financial bids submitted by qualified contractors to construct 13 out of 16 packages of the 700-km long NMSCEIANS | May 24, 2018, 13:00 IST

    As many as 18 construction majors including Reliance Infrastructure and L&T are in the race for the proposed Rs 46,000-crore Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway project, official sources said on Wednesday.

    The Maharashtra State Road Development Corp (MSRDC), the nodal agency for the project, opened the financial bids submitted by qualified contractors to construct 13 out of 16 packages of the 700-km long NMSCE.

    Bids process for the remaining three packages is still under progress and will be announced later, the sources said.

    A pet project of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the NMSCE, or Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg project, will connect the state capital directly with a high-speed corridor to the second capital in eastern Maharashtra.

    The 18 eligible bidders are: Reliance Infrastructure, Megha Eng & Infra Ltd, NCC Ltd, TPL CENGIZ JV, L&T Ltd, Sadbhav Eng Ltd, PNC Infratech Ltd, Afcon Infrastructure Ltd, BSCPL GVPR Jv, Navayuga Eng Co Ltd, APCO Infratech Pvt Ltd, IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd, KNR Constructions Ltd, Dilip Buildcon Ltd, Montecarlo Ltd, Ashoka Buildcon Ltd, Gayatri Projects Ltd and Oriental Structural Eng Pvt Ltd.

    "With the opening of the financial bids, we have achieved a milestone in the implementation of the project. We are now ver close to the historic moment of inauguration," said MSRDC Vice Chairman and Managing Director Radheshyam Mopalwar.

    Mopalwar added that the MSRDC will soon undertake an evaluation of the eligible bids before issuing the work orders and it is expected that the construction work for the NMSCE will begin within the next couple of weeks.

    Till date, the state government has acquired 80.25 per cent private and government lands against a total compensation of Rs 4,788-crore for this mega-project.

    The NMSCE, a Greenfield Project, will zip through 10 districts, 26 sub-districts and 392 villages en route, reducing the travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur from the existing 18 to just eight hours.

    It will help the state prosper through a holistic process that integrates road connectivity with sustainable rural development through agri-business ecosystem and multi-dimensional sub-projects.
  • Civic chief suspends five NMC staffers for being late

    NAGPUR: Municipal commissioner Virendra Singh has suspended five Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) staffers for not reaching their workplace on time. They include Manoj Singh (deputy engineer, Dhantoli zone), MG Bhoyar (water works employee, Dharampeth zone), AS Sheikh (working in lighting department, Dharampeth zone), Nitin Zade (employee of public works department, Dharampeth zone) and Anil Nimborkar (mason of public works department, Dharampeth zone).

    Singh and additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare paid a surprise visit to Dhantoli and Dharampeth zones on Wednesday morning. The zone offices open at 10am and all employees are expected to be on their desk at 10am sharp. However, many employees habitually reach office quite late.

    “Singh reached Dhantoli zone office at 10am. As employees had no idea of his visit they were in a state of panic. On entering the office, Singh ordered the main door closed. He then interacted with the staffers and asked them about the problems faced by them and citizens in their working. As Manoj Singh was not on his desk, the commissioner was furious and ordered the assistant commissioner of Dhantoli to suspended him. The civic chief also directed that a list of employees not inside the office be prepared and a proposal be sent to the head office for deduction of their salaries,” a NMC official said.

    Singh also directed the NMC administration to install biometric attendance system in all civic offices. He made it clear that employees reaching late would be suspended in future.

    After this, Singh proceeded to Dharampeth zone at 10.15am and ordered the suspension of four employees for not remaining present at their desks on time.


  • Transport minister hints at ST bus fare hike

    NAGPUR: State transport minister and Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote on Wednesday indicated that the fares of ST buses may have to be hiked soon to meet the ever escalating fuel prices.

    Raote was on a day-long visit to the city to review his party’s units in all eleven district of Vidarbha.

    The transport minister said Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) was incurring an additional financial burden of around Rs 460 crore because of the sky-rocketing prices of diesel. He said fuel cost was going up daily and hence, a steep hike in bus fares could not be ruled out. The wage revision of one lakh MSRTC employees was also due and he was awaiting firm proposal from the government on providing finances for it.

    “The managing director of MSRTC is on a foreign tour. As soon as he returns, I expect to receive the financial statement for the proposed staff wage hike,” he said. The staff had resorted to strike a couple of months ago and have again served a notice to strike work.

    Raote spent the day meeting with district units’ office-bearers and discussing poll preparedness. Party chief Uddhav Thackeray was here on May 11 to take stock of the situation and now Raote followed up making it clear that the Sena was going ahead seriously with plans to contest all next elections on its own.

    Raote slammed BJP for ‘importing’ from other parties and said it showed BJP did not have strength of its own.

  • Take up disaster management training, citizens urged TNN | Updated: May 25, 2018, 05:23 IST

    NAGPUR: The Directorate General Fire Service, civil defence and home guards, New Delhi organized the 39th standing fire advisory council meeting at Raj Nagar Campus of National Fire Service College on Thursday. The meeting was inaugurated by Lt Gen (retd) NC Marwah while IPS (retd) Prakash Mishra and Rajni Sibal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, were the chief guest at the event.

    The number of delegates having vast experience in practical life put forward their recommendations to enhance the quality of fire services in India, strengthen the system and also suggest revisions in the policies during the course of the meeting, informed Marwah while speaking to TOI.

    This year, the major focus of the council will be on proper implementation of national building code 2016, which serves as an instrument providing guidelines for regulating the building construction activities. Marwah said, “Although this is applicable for all constructions but there are many cases where people don’t follow the code. At least public works departments like hospital and schools must adhere to it to deal with emergency situations like floods, earthquake and fire hazards.”

    Marwah was of the view that state government should encourage and fund the modernization of fire safety techniques as it is the need of the hour while centre should support it. The meeting will also emphasize on the human resources development and training part along with other aspects.

    Marwah urged that citizens should take up at least basic disaster management training so that they become well acquainted with the methods. He said, “At the time of emergency, the fire department is contacted and they coordinate with district disaster management cell before taking any action. The situation may aggravate till the time the workforce is deployed, but if citizens have knowledge about the basic training, they can act as volunteers and prevent the damage to a great extent.”

    The prime motto is to increase the level of preparedness among the general public to avoid loss of life and property. The university grant commission (UGC) has also directed all universities across the country to consider compulsory courses on disaster management which will help students learn about bomb threats, explosions, terrorist incidents and other alarming situations.

    The expert authorities also discussed about the measure to be taken to avoid fire especially during the heatwave. GS Saini, Director, National Civil Defence College added, “Personal safety of volunteers and fire fighters and their uniforms will also be taken into account and there maybe some improvement in this regard.”

  • MSEDCL’s maintenance shutdowns only on Wednesday Ashish Roy| TNN | Updated: May 25, 2018, 05:20 IST
    Representative image

    NAGPUR: MSEDCL has decided to undertake maintenance shutdowns only on Wednesday from now on. It has asked agencies like MahaMetro to do excavation work only during these shutdowns.

    TOI in its edition dated May 22 had highlighted the problems caused to citizens due to power shutdowns on almost every day of the week.

    MSEDCL earlier used to undertake planned shutdowns only on Wednesday. They lasted from 7am to 4pm even though the actual shutdown hours were usually less. Some days ago, the state run power company decided to restrict the shutdowns till 11am in view of high temperatures during the day. Simultaneously it decided to go for shutdown on almost every day of the week.

    TOI in its report had pointed out that its franchisee SNDL was also restricting shutdowns till 11am and undertaking its maintenance work only on Wednesday.

    A MSEDCL official said that shutdowns on multiple days of the week were required as many times maintenance work could not be completed by 11am. “In view of the public opinion, we will complete our work between 7am and 11am on Wednesday,” he said.

    Navin Uttam, a resident of Dhantoli, welcomed the development. “You are mentally prepared for shutdowns on Wednesday as this has been taking place since years. However, shutdowns on other days throw life out of gear. I am happy over MSEDCL’s decision to not go for shutdowns on other days of the week,” he said.

    Amit Parlewar, a resident of Bajaj Nagar, said that MSEDCL should take some steps to stop trippings. “It is good that shutdowns would be restricted to Wednesdays but the maintenance work should be done properly. Even though the duration is not much but breakdowns during the afternoon cause great inconvenience. I have young kids and they suffer a lot when there is no electricity. Inverters and generators are too costly and I can’t afford them,” he said.

    Shachi Mukherjee, a resident of Madhav Nagar, demanded that there should be no shutdowns. “We had stayed in Mumbai for five years. There are no shutdowns there. Why should consumers of Nagpur suffer? After all we are paying our bills honestly,” she said.

  • Akola sand mining auction challenged, NGT issues notices Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | May 25, 2018, 03:00 IST

    Nagpur: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Principal Bench, Delhi, has admitted petition challenging auctioning of 58 sand ghats in Akola district against environment clearance that was given without following MoEFCC guidelines.

    The petition has been filed by environment lawyer Manish Jeswani from Akot, who had filed a complaint against rampant illegal sand mining in the district but no cognisance was taken.

    The NGT principle bench presided over by chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim, judicial member SP Wangdi and expert member Nagin Nanda took serious note of the matter and directed respondents — MoEFCC, state government, Akola district collector and mining officer and others to file a reply till next date.

    TOI on May 4 had reported that in March, 34 sand ghats were e-auctioned for a royalty of Rs4.85 crore without district survey report (DSR), which is an important initial step before permitting sand mining and granting environment clearance (EC). However, permits to extract sand through e-auction were granted on March 5, without preparing the mandatory DSR.

    Sand extraction was allowed without following MoEFCC’s Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines, 2016 of MoEFCC. Jeswani’s petition states that sand mining activity is adversely affecting overall ecology of the area and thus there is substantial question relating to environment, wherein community at large is affected by its consequences, which needs to be decided by the NGT.

    “Rampant illegal sand mining in Purna, Morna, Katepurna, Maan, Mahesh, Wan and various other riverbeds in Akola district is affecting integrity of river system and flood plains,” the petitioner alleged.

    Though river mining is permitted, it needs to be carried out with certain checks and balances for protection of environment. Such safeguards and checks are provided in terms of Environment Impact Notification (EIA) issued on August 14, 2006 and amended on January 15, 2016 by issuing guidelines.

    Jeswani says these sustainable sand mining guidelines require preparation of a DSR before formulating a mining policy. These guidelines emphasize detail procedure to be followed for purpose of identification of areas of aggradation and deposition where mining can be allowed and identification of areas of erosion and proximity to infrastructural structures and installation where mining should be prohibited.

    The DSR is to be prepared in the district based on direct and indirect benefits of the mining and identification of the potential threats to the riverbeds in the district. DSR provides environmentally safe depth of mining and safeguards of banks by prescribing safe distance from banks.

    Jeswani says preparation of DSR has to be done by a sub-divisional committee which should visit each site and make recommendations. The committee consists of SDO and officers from irrigation, geology, mining, forest departments and state pollution control board.

    Jeswani says DSR is to be prepared every 5 years by District Environment Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) for granting EC below 5 hectare.

    “The DSR draft is required to be kept in public domain in collectorate inviting comments in 21 days. After considering comments, DSR is to be published in district website. No EC can be granted without DSR,” says Jeswani

    In Akola, as no DSR has been prepared since 2016, there is no data on pollution caused to rivers amount of sand extracted in last three years. Sand is being permitted in violation of MoEFCC guidelines.

  • Environment impact ignored for barrage project near Tipeshwar Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | May 25, 2018, 02:58 IST

    Nagpur: The Channaka-Korta barrage, an inter-state irrigation project between Telangana and Maharashtra being constructed on Painganga River, is a classic case of how environment rules are tossed to the wind. With 50% work on the project completed, shockingly, no environment impact assessment (EIA) has been done by the Telangana irrigation department.

    As per the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, EIA is mandatory. Environment ministry’s notification of 2006 and 2009 says, “purpose of EIA is to identify and evaluate the potential impacts (beneficial & adverse) of projects on the environmental system.”

    “EIA is an useful aid for decision-making based on understanding of the environment implications, including social, cultural and aesthetic concerns which could be integrated with the analysis of the project costs and benefits,” says EIA analyst Pushp Jain, Delhi.

    Jain adds this exercise should be undertaken early enough in the planning stage for selection of environmentally compatible sites, process technologies and such other environmental safeguards.

    Sources said the fact that the project was implemented without an EIA came to light when a three-member team of officials and a NGO from Pandharkawda visited the barrage site at Channaka two days ago.

    On the contrary, superintending engineer Mohammed Amjad Hussain said, “As per EIA norms, we took a public hearing at Pimpalkhuti on Thursday. This was the first public hearing since commencement of the construction work in April 2016. No public hearing has been held on Maharashtra side.”

    Hussain adds though EIA was not done before starting the work, currently the project is being expedited for drinking water purpose only. Of the total cost of Rs400 crore, Rs235 crore have been spent till now.

    On why EIA was not done, executive engineer K Ravinder says, “As the project will benefit land under 25,000 hectares, there was no need of EIA. Only mechanical work is being done and not civil works. Still many works like canals are remaining.”

    However, Yavatmal honorary wildlife warden Ramzan Virani said, “MoEFCC had granted permission for pre-construction activities with certain conditions. It says that construction can only be done after EIA. Hence, the work that has been done is illegal.”

    A formal inter-state agreement between two chief ministers Devendra Fadnavis and K Chandrasekhar Rao was signed in August 2016. The barrage work has been put on fast-track and January 2019 has been set as the deadline to complete the project.

    Even as EIA was not done, the project, which falls within 3.5km from the boundary of Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary and is in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ), was approved by the state wildlife board (SWBL) headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

    When asked, AK Misra, PCCF (wildlife) & member-secretary of SWBL, said, “EIA is not in the purview of wildlife board. The project was approved subject to conditions and a panel has also been constituted to suggest wildlife mitigation measures.”

    Misra added the project was approved with the condition that user agency would deposit 2% of the project cost with Pench Tiger Conservation Foundation for habitat development, protection and conservation of wildlife in Tipeshwar.

  • NMC dy engr suspended for inaction against unauthorized building Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | May 26, 2018, 03:04 IST

    Nagpur: Municipal commissioner Virendra Singh has suspended deputy engineer Anil Kadu for not taking action against an unauthorized building for last many months. This takes the number of employees suspended in the last three days to six.

    Singh approved suspension of Kadu, who was working with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) Ashi Nagar Zone, on Friday.

    NMC officials told TOI Kadu did not take action against the unauthorized construction even after receiving show cause notice last month. “A resident of Lashkaribagh has various violations in his building. Ashi Nagar zone office issued notice to the building under MRTP Act. But Kadu neglected action even after issuing notice. Inquiry was conducted against Kadu in which he was proved guilty,” he said.

    Singh had assumed charge of municipal commissioner on May 4. During a surprise visit on May 23, Singh had found five employees arriving late at Dhantoli and Dharampeth zones. He had suspended the employees immediately.

    NMC official, police attacked

    On Friday afternoon, assistant commissioner Ashok Patil, PSI Rajesh Gadekar, constables Dyaneshwar Kothe, Maya Pillewar and JCB operator Ajju Shola were attacked by slum dwellers at Lakadganj being removed by NMC enforcement department team.

    Over 100 shanties had cropped up on NMC land in the name of Kadba Talas zopadpatti. The civic body had proposed to construct citizen facility centre on the land. Therefore, the enforcement department team went and razed all shanties between 11am and 3pm. When the team was about to return, some 10 people pelted stones at the team.

    Patil sustained injuries on the head and leg, and was admitted at Mayo Hospital for some time. Other four sustained minor injuries.

    Lakadganj police have registered offences against three persons under relevant sections of IPC. NMC officials said police department did not give enough staff despite the area being very sensitive.

  • Panel to revise water quota for Maha, MP from Totladoh dam Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | May 26, 2018, 05:56 IST

    Nagpur: The central water commission (CWC) has constituted a five-member committee to revise the quota of raw water to the Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh (MP) from Totladoh (Pench) irrigation reservoir. In case of any revision, the city along with irrigation will get more raw water from the dam.

    The CWC has sent a letter to the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) on Friday informing the latter about the committee. Chief engineer (HSO) of CWC, New Delhi, will be chairman of the committee while representative of water resources departments (WRD) of Maharashtra, MP, director (hydrology) and director (M&A) of CWC will be the members. The committee has been directed to study and submit report within three months.

    The committee has been asked to study exact storage capacity of the dam, actual storage in the past few years, hydraulogical data etc of the dam. It will also recommend water allocation from the dam to Maharashtra and MP.

    The CWC’s move is seen as a big achievement of VIDC’s efforts. VIDC had told Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule about the need to revise the 1964 quota allotted to the state and MP. The two also got Union minister for water resources Nitin Gadkari into the picture.

    The dam’s storage capacity is 1,964 million meter cube (MMC) — 60 thousand million cubic feet (TMC). MP’s quota is 991.09 mmc (35 TMC) and state’s 707.92 mmc (25 TMC).

    Due to climatic conditions, the average actual storage (yield) was 1,197.80 MMC (42.30 TMC) of which 698.58 mmc (24.67 TMC) was MP’s share and 498.94 mmc (17.62 TMC) of the state which was utilizing the entire water available in the dam up to last year. The MP Government had constructed Chaurai dam on Pench river last year. Since then, the utilization of water from the dam is being done as per quota decided in 1964.

    It came as a big setback for the district as allocation to the NMC, thermal power stations of Mahagenco at Koradi and Khaparkheda and irrigation reduced to a great extent. As against the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) demand of 197.90 MMC, the allotted quantum was 139.03 MMC. Any increase in quota will mean rise in allocation to the city as well as others who are drawing water from the dam.

    Surprisingly, a majority of catchment area of the dam is in the state but a higher quota was allotted to MP 54 years ago. This is seen one of the major reasons behind chances of rise in the state’s quota.