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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  • Neeri, Cine Mantage use films to spread message of environment conservation Barkha Mathur| TNN | Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 06:39 IST Representative image

    NAGPUR: On the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, CSIR-Neeri in collaboration with Cine Montage has organized an environmental film festival at the NEERI auditorium. The festival began on Monday with the screening of two films, a documentary ‘If a tree falls’ and ‘Himalaya’. ‘If a tree falls’ is a documentary which investigates the darker side of fight for environment by a radical group Earth Liberation Front and the extreme lengths to which it has gone against deforestations. ‘Himalaya’ showcases the extreme environment of the mountains and the magnificent contrast with humanity and Tibetan culture.

    Neeri takes up various projects to mark World Environment Day and has been looking at various mediums to convey the message of environmental protection. “We have to employ different genres to address various sets of people. Cinema is a powerful medium and has tremendous reach so we have selected four films which address the wide spectrum of environmental issues,” Rakesh Kumar, director of NEERI told TOI. Saying that environment has also become a powerful theme for filmmakers, Kumar added, “People are now realizing that business sustainability depends upon environmental sustainability too. These films reflect this sentiment and so people are increasingly connecting with them.”

    World Environmental Day has gained importance in the UN’s calendar for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for protection of environment feels Ram Tayade, president Cine Montage. “Since it was founded in 1974, this day has grown in importance to become a global platform for public outreach,” he says. “After a lot of deliberation and thought, Cine Montage selected these four films for NEERI. The films, of which two are documentaries, address various issues which touch our daily lives,” he said.

    The two other films to be screened on June 6 are ‘Planet Ocean’ which captures the greatest mysteries of this planet through the lens of international underwater cinematographers while ‘Even the Rain’ speaks about the sufferings which emerge from privatization of water supply.

  • Telangana to plan mitigation for Chanaka, Ambedkar barrages Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 05:41 IST

    NAGPUR: The state-level committee on Monday put on record the series of violations by Telangana irrigation department in construction of Chanaka-Korta, and BR Ambedkar barrages near Tipeshwar (Yavatmal), and Chaprala (Gadchiroli) wildlife sanctuaries respectively. The Telangana irrigation department did not submit the projects plans as directed, which are required to plan the mitigation measures, though it agreed to do both at the next meeting.

    Sources said the nine-member committee of officials, experts and NGOs met on Monday. Chief engineer K Bhagwanth Rao of Telangana irrigation department had been asked by the State Wildlife Board (SWBL) members Kishor Rithe and Anish Andheria to come with detailed canal plans and its lengths for both projects, so mitigation measures could be suggested. Rithe even suggested having pipes instead of open canals.

    However, sources said Telangana officials could not submit data on canals on Monday. “Hence, it was decided to meet again. As a section of officials and members have already visited Chanaka, a site visit to Pranhita project near Chaprala has been planned on June 13. The project is just 232 metres away from the sanctuary,” said Uday Patel, member and honorary warden of Gadchiroli.

    On Monday, the Telangana officials decided to correct their mistake by coming back with canal plans and measures to be taken thereon. The SBWL has already cleared the two projects with a condition that user agency should deposit 2% of the project cost for developing habitat and protection works in the sanctuaries.

    For BR Ambedkar project, Telangana officials refused to agree to one of the conditions, to relocate Prashant Dham temple from inside Chaprala. The temple is a huge source of disturbance due to influx of visitors for various events.

    As reported by TOI, work on both projects started even before Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) was done. Even though the projects fall within 10km of the protected areas, no clearance from the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has been sought. The work on Rs400 crore Chanaka project is 50% complete and Rs235 crore have already been spent.

    As per the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, EIA is mandatory. MoEFCC’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”. However, no EIA has been done for both projects.

    The Rs400 crore Chanaka-Korata (Rudha) project on Painganga river, which stands to mostly benefit Telangana, is 3.5km from the boundary of Tipeshwar sanctuary, while BR Ambedkar project in Asifabad (Telangana) is located 1.5km upstream at the confluence of Wardha and Wainganga rivers, near Chamorshi district of Gadchiroli. The total length of the barrage is 6,450 metres.

    The BR Ambedkar project plans to irrigate 2 lakh acres of land in Komarabheem-Asifabad and Mancherial districts. Similarly, Chanaka will bring about 5,444 hectare land of Telangana and 1,210 hectare of Maharashtra under irrigation, and will facilitate drinking water to 14 villages with a population of 17,340.

  • ‘Crores spent without knowing quantity and composition of waste’ Manka Behl| TNN | Updated: Jun 5, 2018, 06:02 IST Stressing the need for adopting a decentralized waste management, Sunita Narain suggests ways to clean-up the waste

    NAGPUR:Though Indian cities are spending millions on incentivising waste minimization, they are not aware of the quantity of waste each is generating. According to leading Indian environmentalist Sunita Narain, the country is in a “messy” state because technology to be implemented is decided before looking into the composition of the waste.

    In an exclusive interview with TOI, Narain, who is also the director of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), tells how we need to deep dive into real-time data rather than “aping the west”. Stressing the need for adopting a decentralized waste management, Narain suggests ways to clean-up one of the largest waste generator countries. Excerpts from the interview:

    It’s almost 18 years since solid waste management rules have been in place. Yet, they remain unimplemented in many cities where garbage heaps are only piling up. The Supreme Court recently observed that “India will go down under garbage one day”. Who is to be blamed for this mess?

    We are to be blamed for this. Waste is a problem in our country because everyone thinks it is someone else’s job. Also, there is clearly a lack of administrative will to do this job. Cleanliness is not just sweeping cities, it is about having an end-to-end mechanism to process, reuse and recycle waste. Only this can change the present scenario.

    Having worked in this area for years, do you think solid waste management in India has witnessed any evolution?

    The last few years have seen a paradigm shift in waste management, with the major focus being towards segregation at source and processing. While the principles of solid waste management are being better understood and more discussed, the attention of civic officials towards collection of segregated waste and its transportation, treatment/processing, recycling and safe disposal is still in a nascent stage. Consumer behaviour patterns in Indian cities have also not adapted to facilitate the process of waste management by segregating biodegradable waste from others at the source.

    Have national missions managed to bring down the garbage?

    Solid Waste Management Rules (2016) provide a reasonable framework to address the multiple challenges of municipal solid waste management in India. Strategic direction and funding by the central government through missions such as AMRUT, Smart Cities and Swachh Bharat have also created an environment in which there is a focus on this problem. But it is not adequate. It is extremely important to translate the vision from the rules and missions into an operational integrated strategy of solid waste management.

    Most of the Indian cities are being buried under garbage. Can the government afford to allocate hefty funds for financing solid waste management in all of them?

    Our cities are spending crores of rupees in establishing systems that incentivise collection and disposal of waste with little or minimal processing. This is the biggest blunder as the shift should be towards ensuring segregation and processing at source. This way, we can not only reduce our dependence on landfill sites by 70-80% but also look at waste as a resource.

    For tackling waste, should we go for an indigenous technology or follow what other countries are doing?

    Rather than aping the west, we need to re-look and reinvent our waste management plans and the starting point should be a deep dive into real-time data. Till date, cities do not have figures on how much waste they are generating. Their data is obsolete and redundant. We need to survey it again and come up with a proper inventory on how much a city generates. After this, we need to re-look the city-wise waste composition — quantity of biodegradable, dry, recyclable, non-recyclable and inert waste. Only then we can decide a technology. The problem now is that we decide a technology and spend crores before we look into what goes into the waste.

    Which are the cities that have managed to treat their waste in the best possible scientific manner?

    Alappuzha in Kerala is implementing a 100 % decentralized model where residents segregate at source, wet waste is treated at source and dry waste goes for recycling. The municipality has drastically reduced its budget on solid waste management — it does not spends millions in collection and transportation. Instead, it has invested in creating awareness and provision of subsidies on in situ technologies. Some other cities include Mysuru, Panjim, Vengurla and Panchgani too are doing it.

    Are there different solutions for different cities or a one-stop solution for the entire country?

    Smaller cities definitely have the option of going in for decentralized technologies but bigger cities need to re-look into their existing systems and modify it — from collection to dumping to processing. For instance, Delhi, which generates a gargantuan 10,500 TPD of waste per day, dumps 40-50% of it in the three dumpsites. The city has 1,700 dhalaos (secondary transfer stations) and these can be redesigned into processing centres. Our cities need hybrid solutions.

    Various petitions were filed in different courts on solid waste and there are many stringent orders. But the situation remains unchanged.

    Judgements are passed, rules are made, but nothing happens on the ground because monitoring is lax.

  • Repair potholes, ensure people don’t suffer: Mayor to NMC NAGPUR: With only a few days left for the onset of monsoon, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is racing against time to complete resurfacing and repairs of roads. The official date for the onset of monsoon is between June 7 and June 10. Year after year, the civic body has been at the receiving end for the numerous potholes that develop on Nagpur roads following heavy rainfall.

    Mayor Nanda Jichkar directed the civic administration that Nagpurians should not face any inconvenience due to pothole-ridden roads. Though no deadline has been set for this, the hotmix department has been instructed to complete all repairs at the earliest.

    Jichkar has also instructed the department to look after those roads from where complaints come every monsoon and handle it on priority. Earlier this year, ward officials were told to submit list of roads under their jurisdiction that needed repairs on priority.

    The hotmix department had claimed to have repaired 9,434 potholes across the city roads in the last fiscal. The highest number of potholes — 2,398 — were repaired in Laxmi Nagar zone, where the roads are considered to be always better compared to other zones. It was followed by Dharampeth zone with 1,439 pothole repairs in 2017-18. Similarly, potholes in Hanuman Nagar zone (734), Dhantoli (890), Nehru Nagar (942), Gandhibagh (633), Satranjipura (326), Lakadganj (628), Ashi Nagar (581) and Mangalwari (863) were repaired.

    Apart from pothole-free roads, Jichkar has also instructed to set up control rooms at zone-levels and asked the administration to prepare a list of dilapidated buildings.

    Meanwhile, Vidarbha Taxpayers Association secretary Tejinder Singh Renu has urged the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure roads maintained by them remain pothole-free.

    “With heavy rains sure to lash our city within a week; it's extremely important to repair side roads at places where work is in progress for flyovers like Sadar Flyover and Bhandara Road, etc. As the roads are dry now, repairs are quite easily possible and such repairs done now will last longer too,” he pointed out in a letter to the NHAI regional officer M Chandrashekhar. Once monsoon sets its feet on Nagpur, these side roads will become extremely dangerous for two-wheeler riders, he stated.

  • Nagpur Municipal Corporation gets new additional commissioner NAGPUR: In a bureaucratic reshuffle, Suhas Diwase, who was district collector of Bhandara, has been transferred as additional municipal commissioner of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). Shantanu Goel is the new collector of Bhandara. Goel was working as additional commissioner at NMC.
    Diwase went on medical leave in April while holding charge as Bhandara collector. In his absence Abhimanyu Kale, collector of Gondia, was given additional charge of Bhandara and was also given the responsibility as Returning Officer for the Lok Sabha by-elections held recently in the twin-district seat.

    A day before the counting on May 31, Kale was relieved of all the posts and asked to hand over charge to Kadambari Balkawde, who stays on as Gondia collector.

    The Nagpur CEO’s post that she vacated will now be given to SL Yadav who was earlier additional tribal commissioner at Thane. He will be replaced by SM Suryavanshi who was holding post of CEO Bhandara ZP. AN Karanjkar is the new CEO of Bhandara ZP.

    Kale is the new Collector of Jalna.

  • Houses built in violation of norms in Nara: Bombay HC panel Representative image NAGPUR: The specially constituted panel appointed by Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has indicted civic agencies for ignoring hundreds of unauthorized constructions that have mushroomed near high tension (HT) lines while brazenly flouting the construction (DCR) norms.
    In its first report filed on Tuesday, the panel identified about 122 violators coming under the jurisdiction of 33KV Nara feeder which originates from Mankapur and terminates at Nara substation, covering about 5.5 kms area.

    Constituted to inspect violations by residents came up in gross violation of electrical safety norms, the panel reviewed the list of 2044 violators placed on record by NMC, NIT and SNDL. It decided to start inspection from be 33 KV Nara feeder since the 11-year-old Dhar twins — Priyansh and Piyush — were electrocuted at Armors Town in Sugat Nagar coming under this area. Their deaths prompted the HC to take a suo motu cognisance regarding safety norms for citizens living under the HT lines.

    Headed by convener Gauri Venkatraman, the panel mentioned that though the authorities namely NMC, NIT and SNDL made attempts to identify the violators breaching electrical safety norms, they didn’t make any comprehensive efforts to identify all violators. While three agencies put together had identified 70 structures, the committee could further identify around 52 on its own. The report also stated that some structures which prima facie appeared at high risk, were neglected and these agencies should be held accountable for ignorance.

    These agencies were also blamed for ignoring the slums dwellers beneath the HT lines, as they too, were exposed to potential dangers of loss of life and suggested resolving of this issue on priority to ensure their safety.

    The committee further found that a large number of structures built in violation of norms were just at a handshake distance from the 440-volt Low Tension (LT) line. Here too, the authorities were being held responsible for conveniently ignoring dangers posed by LT lines. The authorities were told to take act seriously in removing or at least modifying these unauthorized structures which have put the electrical safety norms in jeopardy.

    The panel also observed that in many densely populated areas, the MSEDCL through its franchisee SNDL had planned to lay overhead Air Bunch Cable (AB Cable). It serves the dual purpose of preventing power pilferage and revenue leakage and enhancing electrical safety as the bare conductor. It recommended directives to power utility to take remedial measures in the future.

    On conducting hearings of 2,044 violators, the panel informed that it would interact with them in a phased manner and requested the HC to issue notices in groups of 25-30 per day. It also prayed for allowing them to continue functioning from Ravi Bhavan cottage allotted to them uninterruptedly, till the completion of work.

    These 2,044 households included over 1,500 identified by the NIT, 573 named by the specially constituted panel and another 141 suggested by the amicus curiae Shreerang Bhandarkar.

    (With inputs from Samruddhi Chiplunkar)

  • No check on fibre-based speed-breakers
    No check on fibre-based speed-breakers
    NAGPUR: Even though no new speed-breakers can be installed without the approval from District Road Safety Committee (DRSC), speed humps are being constructed or installed with impunity. The recent fibre-based speed-breakers are installed on Police Lake Road near Old Katol Square. These speed humps are not even designed as per the Indian Road Congress (IRC) rules.
    Another pair of fibre-based speed-breakers has come up just outside the office of Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s Mangalwari zone.

    Traffic cops too confirmed that the DCP (traffic) office has not given any no-objection certificates to construct speed-breakers on these roads.

    TOI has been continuously reporting that thousands of speed-breakers in the city are not scientifically built. At present, the civic administration, Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) and even state’s public works department (PWD) construct speed-breakers based on the recommendations of corporators or citizens’ groups.

    Fibre speed-breakers have sprung up all over the city, making driving hazardous. What’s described as a traffic calming measure by the NMC, PWD or NIT is a source of great agitation for most drivers. Essentially a pedestrian-friendly measure, these have become a nuisance because they are not built or installed in accordance with the stipulated guidelines and the choice of spots is arbitrary. This causes damage to vehicles and also poses a threat to the people.

    As per the high court directives, speed-breakers have to be approved by the RTA. It is the RTA that would decide whether these are needed or not and where these are needed. But this does not seem to be the case.

    “If the existing speed-breakers are not as per IRC rules, we would write to the concerned agencies to remove them,” deputy commissioner of police Chaitanya S told TOI.

    Following a similar TOI story on illegal speed-breakers in April this year, the NMC chief engineer Vijay Talewar had issued a notification stating no speed-breaker would be constructed without the nod of DRSC headed by chairman and district collector.

    The CE directed all the executive engineers, assistant municipal commissioners, EEs (traffic and hotmix departments) to construct speed-breakers only after nod from the DRSC and also by following the norms of Indian Road Congress-99 guidelines.

    Even in Gokulpeth area, speed-breakers have been constructed and are not painted with the prescribed marking. There are no signboards too and instead of curbing speeds, these spot have become accident-prone spots, said shopkeepers.

    The NMC had constructed over 150 speed-breakers in the last one year, while precautionary boards were erected only at 21 places. At some places, lighting is also poor.

  • Agencies told to include wildlife mitigation plans, budget in Detailed Project Reports
    Representative image
    NAGPUR: A state level committee on threats from linear projects, constituted on the direction of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also chairman of state wildlife board (SWBL), has called project proponents to henceforth incorporate wildlife mitigation measures and budget thereon in the detailed project report (DPR) itself.

    “The maiden meeting of the committee chaired by PCCF (wildlife) AK Misra was held on Tuesday at Van Bhavan in which user agencies namely PWD, MSEDCL and VIDC were asked to submit proposals incorporating mitigation plan and budget for the same in the future,” said Sunil Limaye, additional PCCF (wildlife), East.

    Limaye added a series of workshops will be conducted to sensitize these agencies on reports by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, on corridors in the region and mitigation measures thereon.

    “Many linear projects by these user agencies have been proposed in the region including railways, and they need to be told scientifically why mitigation measures are a must,” said Limaye.

    However, in Tuesday’s meeting no railway officials were present. It was attended by PWD, MSEDCL and VIDC officials. Expert members Kishor Rithe and Anish Andheriawere present. Chandrapur CCF Vijay Shelke and honorary wildlife warden Bandu Dhotre were also present.

    “The committee took a stand that projects wanting forest permission will be cleared only if it had mitigation plans and budget for the same in the proposals,” said officials and members attending the crucial meeting.

    The meeting took serious note of series of wild animal kills on Chandrapur-Mul-Sindewahi road and suggested temporary mitigation measures before long-term steps could be taken.

    The committee, which will work as an advisory panel for four ministers and principal secretaries, was at the insistence of Fadnavis after Rithe and WII’s Bilal Habib raised death of wild animals due to existing railway, roads and highways passing through wildlife habitats sans any mitigation measures.

    Both suggested that such accident-prone spots should be identified and mitigation measures be taken. The decision was taken in on June 7, 2012 in SBWL meeting but there is still no improvement in the situation.

    Hence, Fadnavis directed there should be a monitoring committee under the chairmanship of forest minister to monitor the progress of preventive and mitigation measures on linear projects.

    Rithe had also raised the falling of Umred-Karhandla tiger Jaichand in Gosikhurd canal in January. Fadnavis had also gave directions that irrigation department should complete these works in 6 months.

    VIDC officials said the underpasses over the canal will be completed by June 2019.

    “The meeting was fruitful and all agencies are now interested in taking mitigation measures on existing and proposed projects. I’m sure together we can help resolve man-animal conflict,” said Rithe.

    Andheria said, “It will be a win-win situation if provisions of wild animal passes over canals submitting new proposals is done. There should also be facility for siphoning off canal water for wildlife in forest areas from existing canals to stop animals entering command area for water during summers.”

  • Airport deal: Date extended for submission of bids
    Representative image
    NAGPUR: The dates for submitting financial bids by private players for developing the Nagpur airport have been extended by two months. Earlier it was planned to invite the bids till June 14 which has been extended to August 14, following the requests by private players shortlisted for the deal.
    Five private companies GVK, GMR, Essel Infra, PNC Infra and Tatas have been shortlisted to bid for the airport privatization. Out these all the companies except Tatas who have been attending the pre-bid meets had requested that the dates for submitting the bids should be extended by two months at least

    Sources said that the companies needed time to examine the offer before placing the bids. This would include having an assessment of commercial feasibility and even physical inspection of the airport and its assets said a source. This could be done only after the draft request for proposal was in hand.

    There were demands to relax other conditions as well which have not been accepted by the Mihan India Limited — the current operator of Nagpur airport. MIL is a joint venture company of Airports Authority of India (AAI), and state government’s Maharashtra Airports Development Company (MADC).

    Earlier in the pre-bid meet, the companies had sought relaxation in the requirement for companies not having prior experience on tying up with an entity having run an airport earlier. It was also requested that the work on new terminal building and second runway should be deferred to the second phase of development. All the other requests which can change the original proposal have not been accepted, said a source.

  • I-Clean members promote use of eco-friendly bags TNN | Jun 6, 2018, 15:36 IST

    In an effort to help save environment from the plastic menace, members of I-Cleangroup visited Nagpur RailwayStation on the occasion of World Environment Day.

    They carried placards giving out messages to restrict single-use plastics in the form of carry-bags, mineral water bottles, etc., which could be easily avoided by creating an environment-friendly habit.

    They were joined in their effort by DRM Somesh Kumar, ADRM (Infra) Trilok Kothari, ADRM (Op) NK Bhandari, Sr. DCM KK Mishra, Sr. DME Akhilesh Choube, Station Director DS Nagdeve, Dy. SM RR Admane, PAS Pravin Rokde etc.

    Mayor Nanda Jichkar also paid a visit to the station and appreciated the efforts of the group to clean and beautify the city.

    Members of the group fanned out and visited all the platforms and waiting rooms, appealing to passengers to use cloth and paper bags instead of the thin plastic ones, which have a damaging effect on the environment and livestock. They also requested them to utilise the affordable service started at the Station to refill water at a very nominal cost starting at ₹1 per glass.

    The I-Clean group members included Vandana Mujumdar, Ajinkya Topre, Jaideep Moghe, Tanay Kandge, Rohit Londhekar, Vinita Agge, Reshma, Sunita Topre, Sandeep Agrawal, Ajinkya Mowade, Atharva Dehmukh, Ashwini Topre, Nanda Verma, Shardul Khapekar, Chinmay, Aparna Rewatkar, Ram Munje, Vedant Randai, Meena Joshi, Archana Gadge, Sangeeta Melag.

    People of all ages and vocations can voluntarily be a part of these efforts. You can call on 8421930862/7743994550 to be a part of this selfless group that is making efforts to make Nagpur really a clean and smart city.

  • Airport deal: Date extended for submission of bids Shishir Arya| TNN | Updated: Jun 6, 2018, 07:47 IST
    Representative image

    NAGPUR: The dates for submitting financial bids by private players for developing the Nagpur airport have been extended by two months. Earlier it was planned to invite the bids till June 14 which has been extended to August 14, following the requests by private players shortlisted for the deal.

    Five private companies GVK, GMR, Essel Infra, PNC Infra and Tatas have been shortlisted to bid for the airport privatization. Out these all the companies except Tatas who have been attending the pre-bid meets had requested that the dates for submitting the bids should be extended by two months at least

    Sources said that the companies needed time to examine the offer before placing the bids. This would include having an assessment of commercial feasibility and even physical inspection of the airport and its assets said a source. This could be done only after the draft request for proposal was in hand.

    There were demands to relax other conditions as well which have not been accepted by the Mihan India Limited — the current operator of Nagpur airport. MIL is a joint venture company of Airports Authority of India (AAI), and state government’s Maharashtra Airports Development Company (MADC).

    Earlier in the pre-bid meet, the companies had sought relaxation in the requirement for companies not having prior experience on tying up with an entity having run an airport earlier. It was also requested that the work on new terminal building and second runway should be deferred to the second phase of development. All the other requests which can change the original proposal have not been accepted, said a source.

  • Mihan devpt commissioner being compulsorily retired Shishir Arya| TNN | Jun 7, 2018, 03:11 IST

    Nagpur: Development Commissioner (DC) of Mihan-SEZ, S S Das, has been ordered to be compulsorily retired. His tenure has been terminated 3-4 years before normal superannuation.

    Though the reasons could not be confirmed, it is learnt the case pertains to Das’ earlier tenure and has no relation with his work in Mihan-SEZ. The order was issued over a week ago and is now subject to procedural review. The review committee will have to submit its report within three weeks, said a source.

    DC of an SEZ is an officer of Indian Trade Service (ITS) cadre appointed by ministry of commerce. He is supposed to clear projects coming into a SEZ. DC also attends meetings of board of approvals (BoA), an agency under the ministry of commerce that scrutinizes the projects and other developments within SEZs.

    Getting a full-time DC has always been tough for Mihan-SEZ being developed by Mahrasthra Airport Development Company (MADC).

    The first full time DC, Ved Prakash was appointed in 2014. After his transfer, there was no appointment for two years. Then S K Sharma was appointed in 2016 and transferred after a year. Sources said even during his brief tenure Sharma remained away from Nagpur for long periods, which hampered the work. Sharma was replaced by the current DC Das who took over in November 2017 and is now being compulsorily retired.

    When contacted Suresh Kakani, vice-chairman-cum-managing director of MADC, said he was aware of the development but since the matter pertained to a different department altogether he had no further details.

    Kakani said the absence of Das would not make any difference to day-to-day functioning of SEZ. Matters can be handled by deputy development commissioner. There are standing instructions that in case there is no full time DC at Mihan, the cases will be handled by the DC for SEEPZ Mumbai. None of the clearances will be held up for want of a full time DC, he said.

    The development has left a demoralizing affect on others. There have been times when the clearances were delayed when there was no full time DC at Mihan. Having an official at Nagpur always helps, said a source here.

    A source added that a full time DC would have led to other activities like review of the works and grievance redressal. It is easier to get doubts cleared for the developer as well as investors if the officer is posted at the same location. At times, the DC who is otherwise a regulator of SEZ also helps in promoting a project.

  • Monsoon round the corner, city rivers not yet cleaned Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 7, 2018, 03:42 IST In troubled waters

    Nagpur: With monsoon scheduled to arrive between June 7 and 10, the river and nullah cleaning work in Nagpur is incomplete at many places.

    According to sources, the cleaning work of rivers, major and minor nullahs and storm water drains is underway, but far from completion due to inadequate supervision by the NMC. The pace of various infrastructure projects is also slow, which may lead to waterlogging at some places especially at traffic junctions where road heights have increased significantly due to cement concretization of roads.

    Mayor Nanda Jichkar conducted a review meeting on Wednesday and expressed concern over the slow pace of work.

    Of the 48.5km stretches of Nag, Pili and Pohra rivers, the civic body has managed to complete only 24.2km patches drawing wrath of the mayor. She directed the civic administration to speed up the work and ensure no citizen should face inconvenience due to waterlogging.

    The target date of nullah cleaning is June 7 and the health department (sanitation) has claimed to have completed cleaning 212 out of 236 canals.

    According to the data, of the 16.50km stretch of Nag River, the civic body managed to clean 8.1km. In Pili (19km) and Pohra (12.20km) rivers, the NMC has cleaned 9.13km and 6.9km, respectively.

    “The work at almost every nullah is incomplete. Now, the monsoon may arrive any time, due to incomplete work, it can lead to waterlogging. The authorities should have taken the matter seriously and should complete the rivers and nullahs by May 31. There has been absolutely no improvement in the work which shows that a similar situation is going to arise like last year,” said city Congress President Vikas Thakre.

    North Nagpur residents fear waterlogging

    Though NMC is cleaning the nullah but the residents of around over 15 localities in North Nagpur are not happy with the desilting work as the storm water drainages have been left clogged. “Every year, NMC cleans up the clogged nullah’s but never does it ever clean the drainages. This prevents the free flow of water during monsoon and results in the drainage water getting inside many houses,” said senior Congress corporator Manoj Sangole.

    The drainages of the area along roadsides were constructed more than 15 years ago and since then no cleanliness work has been carried by the civic body.

    In 2017, during monsoon, due to the clogged stormwater drainages many localities in this part of the city was flooded.

  • Closed for decades, Old Airport Road reopens for traffic Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 7, 2018, 03:44 IST

    relief from traffic woes

    Nagpur: Closed for decades for security reasons, the Old Airport road via Khamla has reopened for traffic a couple of days ago. It will come as a big relief for air passengers, VVIP movement and emergency services.

    TOI was the first to report on March 11 about the plan to reopen the road. The Maharashtra Airport Development Company Ltd (MADC), MIHAN India Limited (MIL) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) have reportedly given clearance for reopening of the road.

    Mahametro, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and traffic police made efforts to reopen the road citing regular blocks and congestion on Wardha road due to ongoing construction works of Metro Rail and flyover between Ajni square and Hotel Pride.

    The 900-metre road was developed during British era for reaching the airport. After widening the Wardha road, it was shut for security reasons as it crossed taxiway to Nagpur Flying Club at one point.

    MADC officials told TOI the road will remain open for traffic round the clock. “There are two gates on the road, one towards the airport and other towards Sahakar Nagar nullah. Security guards will be present at both gates,” they said.

    The officials added facility to close and open the road at Nagpur Flying Club has been made. “Road will be closed for 10 minutes whenever planes of Nagpur Flying Club leave or return,” he said. Mahametro has widened the road from 3.50 to 5.50 metres and also asphalted it. The process to install streetlights is going on.

    The convoy of Union minister Nitin Gadkari used the road a couple of days ago.

    Earlier reports had suggested it will be used only for VVIP movement and emergency services. It is learnt the authorities decided to open the road for all as opening it only for VVIPs would have led to controversy.

    Already, Mahametro has begun blocking one side of Wardha Road during night for Metro construction. The two way traffic is being permitted on other side of Wardha road. The citizens can turn from Hotel Pride to use Old Airport road and vice versa from Khamla road.

    MADC officials said the road will not be closed down even when Metro Rail work is completed.

    Corporator Prakash Bhoyar said people from South-West constituency will also benefit from the road. “Also, people travelling from Hotel Pride square to WHC road or towards Hingna and vice versa will get relief. The road should be widened and streetlights installed soon,” he said.

  • Civic bodies’ demand pushes up Metro Phase I, II land cost Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 7, 2018, 04:17 IST

    Devendra Fadnavis CM Maharashtra and Union minister Nitin Gadkari flagged of the trail run of Maazee Metro Nag... Read More

    Nagpur: With government and civic agencies demanding market rate for their land, the cost of both Phase I and Phase II of Nagpur Metro has gone up. The cost of land acquisition for Phase I has increased by Rs 900 crore up to Rs 1,500 crore while Phase II cost has gone up from Rs 8,650 crore to about Rs 10,500 crore.

    MahaMetro managing director Brijesh Dixit will meet chief minister Devendra Fadnavis soon and urge him to provide government and civic lands for free at least for Phase I. MahaMetro’s consultant RITES has submitted the draft detailed project report (DPR) of Phase II and has pegged the cost at Rs 10,500 crore at 2018 prices.

    Phase II will have five stretches having total length of 48.3 km and 35 stations. The first stretch is from Automotive Square to Kanhan River having length of 13 km and 12 stations. The second one is from Lokmanya Nagar to Hingna. Its length is 6.7 km with seven stations. The third one will connect Wasudeo Nagar to Dattawadi. It will be of 4.5 kms and have three stations. The Prajapati Nagar to Transport Nagar stretch’s length is 5.6 km with three stations. The longest stretch is from Mihan to Butibori MIDC ESR having a length of 18.5 km and 10 stations.

    The estimated daily ridership from Kanhan River to Butibori MIDC is 2.61 lakh in 2024, three lakh in 2031 and 3.73 lakh in 2041. The ridership of Transport Nagar to Hingna line is 2.58 lakh in 2024, 2.98 lakh in 2031 and 3.62 lakh in 2041. The figure for Wasudeo Nagar to Dattawadi spur is 30,000 in 2024, 35,000 in 2031 and 39,000 in 2041.

    Parking space will be provided at nine Phase II stations. They are Kanhan River, Hingna Mount View, Hingna, Dattawadi, Pardi, Transport Nagar, Ashokvan and Butibori MIDC ESR. As per the DPR, the number of additional rakes required after Phase II becomes operational is 18 in 2024, 21 in 2031 and 28 in 2041.

    Land acquisition cost for Phase I has become a problem for MahaMetro. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had directed MahaMetro to develop Cotton Market and built an amusement park on Krazy Castle land. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) wants Rs 148 crore for Cotton Market land while Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) wants MahaMetro to pay compensation to Haldiram Foods for acquiring Krazy Castle land. Haldiram has demanded a compensation of Rs 162 crore although the final figure will be decided by the divisional commissioner. In addition, cost of private land has also gone up due to amended land acquisition policy of central and state governments.

    MahaMetro has saved Rs 600 crore by reducing the project cost. It plans to expand Phase I and set up a Metro coach assembly factory in Butibori using this money. However, the increase in land cost threatens to upset these plans.