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- Bids for E-way from Mumbai to Nagpur, India’s largest, finalized
TNN | Updated: Jun 1, 2018, 03:42 IST
- NGO Eco-Pro marches 43km for wildlife safety Mazhar Ali| tnn | Jun 1, 2018, 06:57 IST
Eco-Pro activists marching on Mul-Chandrapur road to demand mitigation measures for wildlife on the highway
Chandrapur: Highlighting the increasing number of wild animals being killed on Chandrapur-Mul stretch of newly declared national highway No. 930, NGO Eco-Pro took out a 43-km-long march on Thursday.
Over 50 volunteers of the NGO marched full 43km in a day demanding mitigation measures on Mul-Chandrapur road that has turned into a death trap for wildlife.
Wildlife activists were irked following a large number of road accidents have killed and maimed dozens of animals during recent month after widening and strengthening of the road has begun. Chandrapur-Mul stretch that passes through dense forest also serves as critical wildlife corridor that connects TATR with South Indrawati Tiger Project and forests of Telangana. As pleas to build mitigation measures like underpasses, rubble strip breakers etc fell on deaf ears of the authorities, Eco-Pro decided to take out the march.
Activists led by Eco-Pro president Bandu Dhotre began their march at 5.40am from Mul and reached Chandrapur late in the evening. “We are losing wild animals in dozens after the work of widening and strengthening of the highway has begun here. Ours is a token protest seeking mitigation measures on densely forested road. It also stands for all wildlife rich areas that are facing threat due to such roads,” said Dhotre while talking to TOI. The activists took a break when they reached halfway mark at Chichpally in the afternoon and resumed the march after lunch. Bombay Natural History Society’s Saurabh Dande, Prafulla, SARDs Prakash Kamde, WildCAREs Ashish Ghume and wildlife activist Mukesh Bhandkar also participated in the march.
After reaching Chandrapur, a delegation met CCF and field director of TATR, Mukul Trivedi and handed over a memorandum for the forest minister, NTCA, PCCF and forest secretary. They also forwarded their memorandum to the Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari and NHAI through district collector.
- NMC to dig 347 borewells as summer ends Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 1, 2018, 03:43 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) water works department has proposed to dig 347 borewells at the cost of Rs3.55 crore to mitigate water crisis during summer 2018, which, according to the Indian Meteorological Department, will come to end with arrival of monsoon in Vidarbha in June second week. The proposal raises a big question about NMC’s seriousness towards civic amenities and utilization of public funds.
Standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja has convened a meeting on June 5 to discuss and finalize 21 proposals, including construction of borewells.
As per the proposal for borewells, four private firms will be engaged to execute the works. The work orders will be issued in June second week. Then, the Ground Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) will be asked to conduct technical study followed by execution of works. Thus, actual works are likely to begin in July and completed within 3-6 months.
NMC official told TOI that the project got delayed due to lengthy administrative process. “Water works department prepared the project plan in December but took five months to take it to the standing committee,” he said.
As reported by TOI on April 23, the NMC is all set to seek Rs325 crore special development assistance grants as second capital. The proposal to be submitted with the state government has been tabled before the standing committee for its approval. The civic body is seeking the grants for five years citing financial liabilities of Rs3,012.39 crore in the next five years.
Another proposal is to distribute e-rickshaws to 70 persons with special disabilities at the cost of Rs87.89 lakh. This is for the second time, the NMC would be distributing e-rickshaws among disabled persons. Couple of months ago, 63 disabled persons were given e-rickshaws of which three were women.
The traffic department has once again moved the proposal to rope in a private agency to tow away vehicles from no-parking zones. The work will be done in association with the traffic police department. The committee had rejected the proposal couple of months ago.
There is also a proposal to establish a panel of 8 shopkeepers for procurement of uniforms for NMC students at the cost of Rs1.40 crore. The plan is to distribute uniforms to the students on first day of new academic session.
OTHER PROPOSALS BEFORE STANDING COMMITTEE
*Permission to erect gantry over the road at new six locations in lieu of clock tower installed by the private agency at Ajni square in 2015
*Giving the city survey department demarcation work at Rs29.46 lakh for Old Bhandara Road widening
*Fish rearing in Ambazari lake for three years
*Appointment of private agency for supply of cow dung cakes at crematoriums for two years
*Auction of material seized under anti-encroachment drive
- Babhulgaon tehsildar suspended over theft of sand from ghats TNN | Updated: Jun 1, 2018, 12:53 IST
YAVATMAL: Amravati divisional commissioner Piyush Singh has on Wednesday suspended Babhulgaon tehsildar Dilip Zadeon charges of shielding sand mafias operating in his jurisdiction.
The commissioner has directed the suspended tehsildar to remain at headquarters, which is the district collector’s office. He has been instructed not to leave headquarters without prior permission of the collector.
Villagers of Watkhed I and II had lodged a number of complaints to the collector alleging that there were thefts of sand from the river beds by sand mafias. Collector Dr Rajesh Deshmukh had, after returning from his in-service training, ordered Pusad Sub-Divisional Officer Nitinkumar Hingole to launch surprise raids on sand dunes in the village.
SDO Nitinkumar Hingole and his team conducted the surprise raids on the midnight of May 17, and seized 42 vehicles and a large quantity of sand loaded in the vehicles from the site. On a complaint lodged by tehsildar Dilip Zade, Babhulgaon police had registered criminal offences against the mafias.
SDO Nitinkumar had sent a report to the district collector regarding the dubious role of the tehsildar in the theft of sand worth crores.
Collector Rajesh Deshmukh had then sent a proposal to the divisional commissioner of Amravati to suspend the tainted tehsildar, followed by a departmental inquiry against him. Accordingly, commissioner Piyush Singh ordered the tehsildar to be suspended with immediate effect.
- 46% work in 32 mths. RPS Infra now has just 4 mths to finish job Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 02:24 IST
Nagpur: The state public works department’s (PWD) Rs300 crore 45km Inner Ring Road Cement Concrete Road Project, which was to be completed by September 23, 2017, has progressed mere 46% (20.7km) in 32 months since the contract was awarded to Mumbai-based RPS Infraprojects Pvt Ltd.
The inordinate delay is causing serious inconvenience to hundreds of citizens and financial loss to the central and state governments. Considering the pace at which the project is being executed, RPS Infra is unlikely to complete the project by the extended deadline of September 23, 2018, which is just four months away, reveal documents obtained under RTI by activist Suraj Lolge.
Data provided by the PWD shows RPS Infra has completed concretization of just 20.70km of the total stretch of 45km as on date. The financial progress of the project is much less compared to physical progress. Works costing Rs 61.59 crore of the total Rs 292.72 crore have been completed as on March 31.
The project is progressing at a snail’s pace which is evident from the fact that widening of the Inner Ring Road between Mankapur and Dabha is incomplete. Widening works have been completed only on 6.50km of the total stretch of 9km. Works have been completed only on two of the 12 bridges.
Interestingly, the PWD has taken no action against RPS Infra despite the delay. Earlier also, the PWD had turned a blind eye to inferior quality of works by the same company.
The delay is resulting in inconvenience to commuters. Best example is the stretch between Khamla Square and Chhatrapati Square. At present, concretization work on one side of the stretch is going on. Traffic on the road is immense round-the-clock. Two-way traffic is being allowed on only one side causing congestion and mishaps. Besides, the stretches where the works are yet to be taken up are in very bad shape. Best example is the stretch between Mhalgi Nagar and Kalamna where potholes are common. Also, street lights and traffic signals at many places are non-functional due to the ongoing works.
A PWD officer told TOI action will be taken against RPS Infra after assessing the works. “Along with delay from private company, hurdles like utility shifting delayed the project to a great extent. Decision on whether to grant further extension to RPS Infra will be taken in coming days,” he said.
The project has already been marred by controversies including shoddy quality of works, appointment of petty contractors by RPS Infra, violations in royalty etc.
- Street lights, NMC buildings to go solar in a year Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 02:55 IST
Nagpur: In a year, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will be using solar power for street lights, water pumping, treatment plants, administrative buildings, hospitals, public health centres, libraries and community among others. By doing so, it will be saving Rs60 lakhs of its over Rs100 crore annual power bill.
The NMC electric department has floated expression of interest inviting private agencies for execution of the project in all 10 zones. The process of issuing work orders and handing over sites is likely to take four months.
The private companies will have to install the solar panels and related infrastructure, and generate power within eight months. They will have to operate and maintain the system for 20 years.
An NMC official told TOI that the estimated cost of setting up the system is around Rs300 crore. “The private companies will have to use their own money to set up the systems. The NMC will pay them after they quote a rate,” he said.
The official added that the “system will be set up under MSEDCL’s net metering and as well as the open access system”.
Under the project, the NMC will generate 24,000kW (20MW) solar power. There are around 5,000 connections from where the NMC draws power from the MSEDCL. Net metering system will be set up where consumption is 800kW or below. The rest of the connections will be explored in open access.
The major highlight of the project will be setting up of systems for street lights for which there are around 2,300 connections/meters. The connections will now be brought down to 1,500.
The NMC will install solar panels 10 metres above the road parallel to street light poles. A majority of the panels will come up on road-dividers and some will be along the roads. Panels will also be set up on the roofs of its properties and next to open spaces like water treatment plants, pumping stations, administrative offices, hospitals, libraries and community halls.
Under the central government’s Model Solar City Project, the NMC had installed solar power systems at its main administrative building and four zone offices. This pilot project received a big success. But, the government had revised norms of the project. Now, the NMC is taking up the project on its own.
- Krazy Castle land: Rides still in place, Metro waits Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 03:26 IST
Nagpur: In spite of passing a resolution in its board, Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has failed to hand over Krazy Castle amusement park land to MahaMetro on Friday. MahaMetro officials claimed that a slight delay would not hamper the construction of Metro viaduct on the park land. The park is currently closed after two students drowned in the wave pool.
NIT chairman Ashwin Mudgal said that the concessionaire Haldiram Foods had sought time to dismantle its rides. “It will submit a formal letter to us, which will be forwarded to MahaMetro. If the Metro officials agree to grant some time, Haldiram’s request will be accepted. Otherwise it will be asked to wind up as soon as possible,” he added.
NIT had passed the resolution terminating Haldiram’s contract on May 15. The concessionaire was informed about the decision on May 17. However, it did not start the process of dismantling the rides. One ride was however, dismantled even before the NIT decision.
A MahaMetro official said that it had barricaded the portion of the park where foundation of the viaduct would be dug. “One pillar would come up in front of the park gate. We will start work on it after we get possession,” he added.
While MahaMetro may get possession of the park in the coming days, the issue of compensation of Haldiram is yet to be decided. Divisional commissioner Anup Kumar will decide the amount of compensation to be paid but it is not clear whether he will also decide who will pay it. Haldiram wants a compensation of Rs162 crore for loss of business.
The question of past liabilities of Haldiram is also a grey area. NIT has to refund Rs72 lakh to Haldiram for charging excess premium. Moreover, the arbitrator appointed by Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has extended Haldiram’s lease till 2025 and hence its compensation has increased.
Meanwhile, city police is dragging its feet on registering an offence against Haldiram owners over the death of the students. When three labourers had died while cleaning a well in Empress Mall premises, the cops immediately registered an offence of culpable homicide. However, in this case they say that no criminal act was committed.
- NMC buys cow dung cakes worth Rs20.85L for cremations sans nod Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 03:29 IST
Nagpur: Yet another irregularity at Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) health department, which is already under scanner for various reasons, has come to fore.
The department has allegedly procured cow dung cakes worth Rs20.85 lakh for cremations without any administrative approval and tendering process in the last 20 months.
The health department has submitted a proposal with the standing committee seeking its approval for tendering process to appoint private agencies for supply of cow dung cakes for all crematoriums for the next two years. The committee will take a decision on the proposal during a meeting on June 5.
In its proposal, the department has admitted that cow dung cakes were procured without any administrative approval for 20 months. Also, the department has mentioned that there was a difference between procurement and consumption of cow dung cakes at the crematoriums.
As per the proposal, the department had appointed Awasti Traders for supply of cow dung cakes for crematoriums in 2015-16 and 2016-17. The work period came to an end on September 29, 2016. But the department continued purchasing cow dung cakes from the agency.
Now, the agency has raised bills of Rs19.81 lakh for cow dung cakes supplied between October 2016 and March 30, 2018. The department has estimated the cost of supply till date at Rs20.85 lakh. Accordingly, it has sought administrative approval of the standing committee for paying the bills.
The department has also proposed to change the terms and conditions of the contract. It has proposed to appoint several agencies that are ready to supply cow dung cakes at the lowest rate in the tendering process. The agencies will be responsible for facilitating weighing machines, appointment of staff to weigh, distribute 10kg cow dung cakes for every cremation and laying of cow dung cakes for cremations.
Earlier, the agency was supposed to only supply cow dung cakes and the remaining works were done by the NMC staff.
A health department official told TOI that one clerk has been held responsible for the irregularity and slapped with a show-cause notice. “NMC did not incur any loss as the rate for cow dung cakes would have been high if it had gone for the tendering process in 2016,” he said.
The department has been in the centre of controversy for irregularities in supply of firewood for crematoriums, collection and transportation of garbage, appointment of daily wage sanitary workers/aiwajdars, bogus salary to aiwajdars etc.
- Small hydropower units making big impact on Western Ghats Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 04:43 IST
Nagpur: The first ever scientific study in India of small hydropower projects (SHPs) in Western Ghats has revealed that despite being promoted as clean energy, they have significantly impacted ecology and caused alterations in the course of streams. Also, quality of water and freshwater fish too has taken a hit.
Western Ghats represent a continuous band of natural vegetation extending over a distance of 1,500km and is spread across the six states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The work recently published in the journal ‘Aquatic Conservation’ was conducted by scientists from Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program (WCS-India Program), National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bengaluru, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, and Foundation for Ecological Research Advocacy and Learning (FERAL).
SHPs are hydroelectric plants with relatively smaller power-generating capacity compared to larger ones. They are often promoted as a cleaner and greener alternative as it is assumed that they have little or no environmental impact.
In India, they are defined as those that generate power up to 25MW. There has been a proliferation of SHPs in India, especially in biodiversity-rich areas such as the Western Ghats and Himalayas. As of 2012 there were 1,266 projects commissioned while another 6,474 are waiting to be undertaken.
The study was conducted in the upper reaches of Netravathi River, which is part of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, in February-May 2014. In the study, two dammed tributaries and one undammed tributary of the west-flowing Netravathi river were selected.
It was found that the SHPs affected the river flow by reducing flow immediately below the dam and caused flow fluctuation when the water is released back into the river after power generation — both of which have consequences on fish assemblages. The dammed streams had altered fish composition and reduced number of species.
Explaining the results, lead author Suman Jumani said, “Our study was one of the first to holistically assess the impacts of SHPs in the Western Ghats. Since they divert water for long distances, it leaves vast stretches of the river almost completely devoid of water flow in the dry season. Waters in these stretches had lower oxygen levels and higher water temperature. Not surprisingly, these habitat alterations strongly affected freshwater fish assemblages.”
The study also found that the dammed streams had more generalist species of fish compared to specialist species. They also had reduced numbers of migratory fish such as the ‘mahseer’.
A couple of years ago, as part of the related study, the research team had conducted a survey to understand the perceptions of local communities towards the SHPs. They noticed that there was general discontent among the communities who were dependent on the river.
The SHPs have also brought along a surge in human-elephant conflicts. The research showed that there were increased human-elephant conflicts whenever a new SHP was being constructed.
WCS-India’s Shishir Rao, who co-authored the study, says, “Our research has shown that the sudden onset of human-elephant conflict in the study area correlated with the beginning of SHP construction. In the year 2005, the number of claims filed for elephant conflict compensation increased by 173% compared to the year before.”
Apart from the dam, the construction of associated structures such as large pipes, canals and transmission lines hinders the movement of elephants, forcing them to find new routes, thus increasing the incidences of conflicts with humans.
“SHPs are a classic case of good intentions leading to terrible consequences. This is mainly because SHPs are defined not based on their ecological footprint, but rather on their installed capacity. In our country, SHPs are hydroelectric dams that produce up to 25MW of power — an arbitrary threshold,” says Jumani.
- NMC to identify mosquito breeding spots at households
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has launched a month-long drive to spread awareness among the citizens about malaria, a vector-borne disease. The drive commenced from June 1 and each day will witness a programme till June 30.
The NMC teams will visit households and identify mosquito breeding spots across the city during the drive. Also, diagnosis camps will be organized to identify people frequently suffering with fever.
Rallies and exhibitions will be organized at 10 locations where dengue positive cases were reported in large numbers in last few years.
Representatives of NGOs, educational institutions, Mahametro staff etc will be guided on various aspects related to vector-borne diseases.
- Cracks, potholes appear on new cement roads too Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 3, 2018, 03:43 IST
Nagpur: Like new cement concrete roads under phase-I, roads recently concretized under Rs324 crore— cement concrete road project phase-II have also started developing cracks and potholes, inviting some sharp reactions in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) circle as it is allegedly said the civic body, instead of taking action, is releasing payments without completion of works on 22 packages.
This will aggravate people’s woes when the monsoon season picks up the momentum in the city.
It is also allegedly said none of the NMC engineers can be seen inspecting the roads and monitoring the quality and speed of the works. “Even corporators’ complaints are being ignored. Engineers only clear the bills sitting at the offices,” corporators said.
The NMC has so far released payments of Rs131.61 crore as against work order costs of Rs279.29 crore.
NMC chief engineer Manoj Talewar did not respond to frequent TOI calls.
A major problem being witnessed on new cement roads under phase-II is that the roads are undulated which did not crop on roads under phase-I. The surface layer of 500-meter stretch between Mangalmurti square and Subhash Nagar T-point is not levelled properly and it has also started developing cracks at several places and potholes in few spots. Surface layer too can be seen damaged to some extent in few locations.
The stretch is a part of package-2 in which the civic body has released payment of Rs9.90 crore to the contractor— Abhi Engineering. Similar problems can be seen in other two roads of the same package— between Ambazari T-point and Mate square and RPTS road.
Standing committee chairman and BJP corporator Virendra Kukreja, however, accepted few of the newly constructed cement roads were undulated. “Package no-22 is being executed in my ward no-1. Stretch between Itarsi RoB to Nara road T-point is undulated to a great extent. I have asked the officials concerned to engage VNIT and get the problems solved,” he said.
A visit to other packages like RPTS road between Jerryl Lawns and Ajni square, RPTS road to Deekshabhoomi square, Alankar square to Bhole Petrol pump, Law College square to Ladies Club Lawn square also revealed horizontal and vertical cracks on many spots.
Quality and laying of inter-locking tiles/paver blocks on these roads are also very poor resulting into creation of potholes. In many places, the blocks can be seen sunk into the ground. Quality of storm water drains and footpaths also questionable.
Congress corporator Sanjay Mahakalkar said works going on in South Nagpur on six roads under two packages were also marred with shoddy quality of works and inordinate delay.
BSP corporators Mohammed Jamal and Jitendra Godheshwar said the quality of works under two packages in North Nagpur were not up to the mark.
Unfortunately, the NMC has now started the process to appoint Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) for improving and monitoring the quality of cement roads under phase-II when works on 20 packages underway of which few about to complete.
- ‘Mining projects will profit few people and leave the locals with nothing’ Abha Goradia| tnn | Jun 3, 2018, 17:38 IST
Lalsu Noroti, a 38-year-old lawyer belonging to the Madia tribe, scripted a success story when he got elected to the Zilla Parishad last year. This he achieved as an independent candidate in Bhamragad in Gadchiroli district “without spending any money”. Having spoken at a UN programme in Geneva, where he was invited, and at places like Philippines, Mumbai among others, Noroti has become a voice for tribal rights. He has been active in the resistance movement against mining companies making inroads in Gadchiroli. Noroti has also been working to help tribals conserve their culture by means of sharing unheard stories on their Facebook page of ‘Humans of Gondwana’ and promoting minor forest produce.
Excerpts from an interview with the tribal activist...
Q. What made it possible for you to become a lawyer? Why did you not pursue it?
A. My father died when I was young and my mother married a second time to someone else in another state. We were left to do odd jobs to make a living. One day, people left me outside Dr Parkash Amte’s ashram in Hemalkasa. Soon, I started excelling in studies and achieving ranks. From here on, I was sent to Anandwan for further studies. During my first year of graduation, Baba (Amte) asked his friend to take me to Pune for higher education. I graduated in Marathi from Fergusson College, then pursued MA in journalism and also studied Law at Indian Law Society, Pune. I started engaging actively in social work and worked with NGOs. Whichever government may be in power, we were warned from raising our voice against the authority or for speaking about our rights. I soon understood that politics is a platform, you may criticize it but only politicians have the power to bring change. Therefore I did to contest elections. Each household, on my behalf, then collected Rs10 and a handful of rice, apart from taking their bikes and hosting a rally.
Q. What issues did you highlight when invited to United Nations in Geneva?
A. I was invited to the UN as a fellow for their Indigenous Fellowship Programme in Geneva. I’m the only one among UN’s 20 Fellows who comes from a tribal background and actively working with the community. Here, I got the opportunity to put forth the issue of deteriorating culture of tribals, and the mining projects. The government is breaking its own rules. Those who are protesting the mining projects are being termed as Maoists and trumped up charges are foisted on them. The Maoists are also protesting these projects but we are trying to fight constitutionally. The government is trying to throttle this endeavour. The lives of tribals are fully dependent on jungle. They don’t worship Gods; they worship nature, mountains, trees and rivers. Presently, the Madia population is stagnant, but if disturbed, the community will vanish.
Q. Why are tribals protesting against mining projects in the region?
A. The jungles that fall in adivasi belt come under the fifth schedule area, which according to Andhra Pradesh’s Samta Judgement, the government can’t sell. However, in Gadchiroli, more than 25 companies have proposed mining projects, some of whom have already begun work, like the ones in Surjagarh. According to PESA (Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas act), the gram sabha needs to be consulted in matters related to forests. However, several contracts were given consent by manipulating laws and deliberately keeping the locals at bay. The environmental public hearing for Surjagarh was held in Allapalli, without informing the locals. When the gram sabha of the area came to know, people resisted the action. The mining site in Surjagarh has been a pilgrim place for adivasis since years.
Q. How are mining companies unfavourable for tribals?
A. The government has allowed mining in Surjagarh by giving it on lease for Rs42 crores. However, the selling of bamboo and tendu leaves have alone fetched tribals Rs60 crore for one year. Mining projects will profit few people and leave the locals with nothing. We have been told that mining projects will bring 175 jobs but the same jungle takes care of lakhs of people. The jungle provides them with leaves, medicines, bamboo and other things for daily sustenance. No person in this area is qualified to be a mining engineer and get employment in these projects and only outsiders will be hired to fill these jobs. It has only led to destruction of their culture, their jungle and has left nothing.
- SECR plants 16 lakh saplings, installs 2,281 bio-toilets Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | Updated: Jun 4, 2018, 07:43 IST
In Bilaspur and Durg coaching depots, SECR has installed recycling water plants with a capacity to treat 50,000 litres daily
NAGPUR: In its efforts to go green, the South East Central Railway (SECR) has planted over 16 lakh saplings in the last three years.
In 2015-16, 2.73 lakh saplings were planted followed by 9.34 lakh in 2016-17 and 4 lakh in 2017-18 financial years.
“We have an ambitious plan to plant 10 lakh seedlings in the current year in all three — Nagpur, Raipur and Bilaspur — divisions,” said SECR’s official spokesperson, Bilaspur.
In another initiative towards environment conservation, the official said till May end, SECR installed 2,281 bio-toilets in 610 coaches. To save on energy bills, SECR has drawn massive plan to replace existing bulbs and lights with LED lights, besides taking to solar energy.
“Till now, we have installed 848 KV solar units at various stations and buildings to save electricity. Moreover, LED lights have been fitted at 260 railway stations. This has led to saving of Rs1.18 crore towards power bills annually,” he said.
The official said SECR is also taking big steps to utilize waste water by recycling it and take to rainwater harvesting systems in a big way. As per the policy decision, SECR is installing rainwater harvesting systems on buildings over 200 square metres.
‘Till now the system has been installed at 225 buildings across SECR. This includes 67 in Nagpur, 61 in Raipur and 97 in Bilaspur, Besides, all the newly constructed buildings will mandatorily have rainwater harvesting system,” the spokesperson said.
Apart from this, the official, said in Bilaspur and Durg coaching depots, SECR has installed recycling water plants with a capacity to treat 50,000 litres daily. This water is being utilized to water plants wash coaches. On an average water recycling plants are helping save 60-75,000 litres of water per day. Such plants are coming up at three places including Gondia under Nagpur division.
Poor State-ment: Plastic Rules Which Remained On Paper Manka Behl| TNN | Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 06:12 IST In 2011, the Union environment ministry formed rules for a framework on regulation of plastic waste.
NAGPUR:Here’s the not-so-good news on World Environment Day – over 50% states of the country failed in acting on plastic waste management between 2011-16. During the same period, over 80% of the states did not constitute the mandatory state level advisory (SLA) body which was to monitor the implementation on plastic waste norms. That, only 4 states chose to submit the plastic waste data consistently reflects the lack of seriousness by majority of them in not adhering to norms.
To know the dirty picture of the plastic plague in the country, TOI analysed the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) annual reports on implementation of Plastic Waste Management Rules from 2011 to 2016.
The first report was published in June 2012 after the states submitted data on implementation of rules. According to the CPCB, which is a statutory organization under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), the performance of states was “not satisfactory”. The board directed all the municipalities to submit their annual report by August 31 every year.
As per the rules formulated by the MoEFCC, it was mandatory to constitute the SLA body for monitoring strict implementation of the rules. The ministry’s notification stated that secretary of the state’s urban development department will chair the body, the other members of which will include an expert each from state’s environment department, pollution control board or committee, urban local body, non-governmental organization, industry and academic institution.
“The body shall meet at least once in a year and may invite experts too,” the ministry stated.
In the first year (2011-12), only two out of 34 states and union territories formed the body. Not a single state presented recommendations of the body for managing plastic waste. States like Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura assured that the body is being formulated.
However, a year later, among the non-compliants only MP formed the body (as mentioned in the 2012-13 annual report). The total number of states which constituted the body was 8, which means hardly 23% of them adhered to the rule. Once again, none of the states submitted the body’s recommendations.
The report of 2013-14 shows that only 1 out of the 5 states which formed the body submitted recommendations. In 2014-15, the number of states submitting recommendations increased to 5 but then dropped to 3 in 2015-16. “When recommendations on tackling plastic waste for many states were not available, implementing them on ground remains a far-off dream. The information regarding formation of a special body and its recommendations should have been made available for all states on a public domain,” said Sunil Dahiya, campaigner at environmental group Greenpeace India.
In a bigger shocker, majority of the states failed in submitting a concrete action on plastic waste management. In these 7 years, there wasn’t a single year in which even half the number states informed the board about its action plans. “The information related to plastic waste management is not available,” CPCB observed for most of the states.
The number of states which submitted their action plan in 2011-12 was 11 while in the next year’s report it was 9. Fourteen states submitted their plans in the annual reports of 2013-14 and 2014-15 and 13 in the 2015-16 report.
The laxity of states in implementing rules is reflected in the comprehensive data regarding annual estimated plastic waste generation of different states. TOI summed up the figures and found that Maharashtra was the highest generator of plastic waste — 10.68 lakh tonne between 2011-16. Even though Gujarat provided number for four years only, it still was the second highest generator of plastic waste — 10.38 lakh tonne.
MP, whose population is more than Gujarat by over a crore, generated around 1.21 lakh tonne of waste in 5 years. The data further shows that the annual generation of plastic waste witnessed an increase over the years. In few states like Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura, the amount of plastic waste saw a reduction.
Apart from Andhra, Jharkhand, MP and Goa, no other state submitted a consistent data regarding estimated annual plastic waste generation. “In absence of such data, how are states going to get rid of plastic pollution? You can’t solve the problem by imposing a blanket ban on use of plastic. The waste management rules are good enough and if implemented in true sense, they can curb the plastic menace,” said Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of city NGO Green Vigil.
- NMC own department violates norms, digs up cement road Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 07:03 IST
NAGPUR: Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) own electrical department violated the civic body’s norms and dug up a portion of concretized West High Court Road causing it permanent damage.
The road was dug up at Tatya Tope Nagar. As per NMC’s norms, cement roads cannot be dug up or trenched. NMC refuses permission to all government or private agency to dig up cement roads for any reason.
According to Tatya Tope Nagar residents, the electrical department’s contractor executing LED streetlights project reportedly dug up the cement road from one end to road-divider for replacing old electrical cable with new one on Saturday. A drilling machine was engaged to cut the cement road.
The stretch between Khamla square and Laxmi Nagar square was concretized when present city MP and Union minister Nitin Gadkari was Maharashtra PWD minister in 1999. Apart from minor potholes in some parts, the road is in good condition till date.
Though the contractor had restored the trench the same day, by Monday, the concrete used to cover it began to come off. The restoration was not done properly resulting in inconvenience to vehicles.
NMC’s hot mix department that gives permission to dig across the city has no intimation about destruction to cement road. An official from the department told TOI digging or trenching cement road was not permissible. NMC Laxmi Nagar zone office was also not having any information about the work. “We will find out the agency that trenched the road and take action,” said an official from the zone.
TOI came to know that electrical department had executed the work after contacting various departments. An official from electrical department said contractor will be directed to restore the trench properly. “There was no duct below the road in that particular stretch so trenching was required,” he said.
Chances of more destruction to cement roads cannot be ruled out. Experts say the trench was likely to grow as this particular stretch of WHC road carries huge traffic.