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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  • Win small battles now, avoid Water War in future TNN | Jun 7, 2018, 04:33 IST Standing from left: Shirish Tare, Salil Jog, Prashant Sarode and Vitthal Mate. Sitting from left: Ujwala Chakr... Read More

    Nagpur: There have been talks of water crisis following the below normal rainfall in the city last year. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) water works in-charge Pradip Rajgire, admitted that some pockets, especially outer areas of the city, did face problem in summer. “This happens when the level in Kanhan river, one of the drinking water sources for the city, goes down. This year, share from Pench reservoir was also reduced. The state government has now assured that there will be no water cut,” he said.

    Hasn’t the issue given a glimpse of things to come? “Yes,” said Rajgire and added that there could be a problem in the next five years. “The water collection and distribution infrastructure needs to be improved,” he said.

    Sanjay Bangale, chairman of NMC projects consultative committee, informed there was no water scarcity in main city areas. “Compared to some areas that get 24 hours water, those on the outskirts get supply for 1 to 8 hours. NMC is replacing old pipelines and it will be completed by 2020. New overhead water tanks are being built. So, the city will be ready for any crisis,” he said.

    Water leakages during distribution — in Nagpur they are as high as 40% — is a major concern. On this, Rajgire said up to 15% losses in distribution were acceptable. “Issues like illegal connections and low billing need to be addressed,” he said.

    Builder Santdas Chawla claimed he always tried to promote conservation methods like rainwater harvesting (RWH) through his schemes but in general, people were ignorant. “We have become selfish. Since the city is getting good water supply now, people are least bothered about its conservation,” he said.

    Giving example of the poor response from residents to his water conservation efforts, schoolteacher Vitthal Mate said, “Before Holi, we held a workshop for kids to educate them about celebrating the festival without water. These 15-20 kids did what they were told but adults at their home presented a bad example by splashing huge amount of water.” Sadly, he added, it is the educated class that is opposing RWH.

    Salil Jog of Jog Caterers touched upon financial viability of RWH systems. “The recovery period for investment could be up to 10 years even for commercial establishments. In case of restaurants, most are operated from rented places, so owners feel RWH system is a waste of money. For domestic purpose, the recovery period will be much more. So, one has to go for it considering it as a social cause,” said Jog.

    Architect Ujwala Chakradeo, who is also promoting RWH, said, “Apart from creating awareness, authorities should also make people practise water conservation by having proper system and policies in place. For example, paver blocks shouldn’t be used everywhere as they prevent percolation of water.”

    Retired forest official ND Choudhari, who has promoted water conservation in rural pockets, was of the opinion that by building concrete roads everywhere, we will be preventing percolation of rainwater, which will ultimately go down the drain. “To make matters worse, sources of old water bodies have been closed. Sonegaon lake is best example of this. Apart from closing its water sources, it’s catchment area has been built over,” he said.

    Mate said in outer areas under gram panchayats, there was no check on erratic water use. “Tanks are overflowing and when the guilty are questioned, they take an aggressive stand,” he said.

    Shirish Tare, NMC’s water works deputy engineer, questioned the water allocation to the city. “Ideally, the city only needs 500 MLD (million litres per day) but is getting 700 MLD. Citizens can minimize use with simple methods like using low-use flushes,” he said.

    Pointing out towards water wastage in city, builder Prashant Sarode said many people used drinking water for washing cars. “The more it is available, the more it will be wasted. In Akola, people value water because it is supplied only once in seven days,” he said and added, water was being wasted here because we lacked proper policies and management.

    When pointed out water charges should be increased with consumption to prevent wastage, Rajgire claimed as per the new GR, the rates go up exponentially with increase in units consumed.

    Chakradeo added commercial kitchens and hospitals should go for recycling. Even for residential areas, there should be separate collection points for used water that can be recycled. “Though RWH is compulsory for plots over 3,000 sq ft, it is only on paper,” she said.

    When Bangale pointed out that NMC had powers to fine builders and plot owners for not implementing RWH, Chakradeo said let’s also honour people who had actually implemented the techniques to create awareness. Bangale added illegal connections in slum areas are being disconnected and public taps are being removed. Sarode said collection pits should be constructed every 100 feet along stormwater drainage network to recharge groundwater.
    In conclusion, Mate said government schemes will be of no use unless people participated in it. “Political parties should also reach out to people for this,” he said.

  • ‘Rainwater harvesting can address water needs greatly’ TNN | Jun 7, 2018, 04:37 IST

    Q. What are the various ways of conserving water?

    A. Any scientific approach is dependent on 4 Rs ie. Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and Reclaim (Recovery). Since there are limited sources of fresh and potable water, measures like community level gardening through drip system or sprinklers, collecting wash water for toilet flushing can conserve water to some extent. In cities treating wastewater for recycle and reuse for non-potable purpose including gardening, toilet flushing, pavements washings etc can also save water. Rainwater harvesting in fact is one solution that can do wonder at community levels. Flat schemes as well as individual harvesting can meet substantial water needs including for potable purpose after practising minimal domestic level purification.

    Other case-specific approaches could be (I) efficient storm water collection through drainage network in lakes and reservoirs; (II) groundwater recharging and creating artificial water bodies in water scarce and subsurface hard strata areas respectively.

    Q. Has Neeri done any study on water conservation for city?

    A. Yes, it has demonstrated and implemented decentralized sewage treatment systems for recycle and reuse of treated sewage at Ordnance Factory Ambajhari Nagpur, NIT’s Dayanand Park, Jaripatka, MOIL Staff colony Gumgaon and others.

    Q. How easy or difficult it is to do rainwater harvesting at individual level?

    A. Municipal Councils, corporations should create awareness in common people about installation of rainwater harvesting system. It is very easy to install rainwater harvesting system, and requires combination of PVC/LDPE piping with some filter media. Urban Development Department Govt of Maharashtra has issued notification and guidelines for implementation of RWH system. Awareness among common people will immensely help in implementing RWH system at community level.

    Q. Should treated sewage water be utilized for gardening and car washing etc? How NMC should take up this?

    A: Treated sewage can be utilized for gardening, green belt development after essentially doing treatment and disinfection. However, uses such as car washing should be discouraged and practised only after ensuring complete removal of microbial contamination and organic matter. Municipal corporations can begin this on a small scale by tapping small drains and putting up decentralized STPs.

    Q. Is it possible to practically collect and use storm water? A. Yes, municipal corporations can do RWH through efficient storm water collection and divert water into city’s lakes and reservoirs.
    (Girish R Pophali is Principal Scientist, Waste Water Treatment Division, CSIR-NEERI)

  • HC blasts MSEDCL, SNDL over power to illegal structures Vaibhav Ganjapure| tnn | Jun 7, 2018, 05:57 IST

    Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Wednesday passed several strictures on MSEDCL and SNDL for granting power connections to unauthorized constructions, despite specific directives against the practice. It asked top officials of both the entities to file an affidavit within two weeks on taking up responsibility if any untoward incident happened.

    The stringent directives came while hearing of a suo motu PIL based on TOI reports on deaths of 11-year old twins Priyansh and Piyush Dhar and five-year-old Umesh Pande due to electrocution from HT wires in June last year. The strictures came after amicus curiae Shreerang Bhandarkar pointed out contents from special panel’s interim report where it had identified about 122 illegal structures where electric connections were provided from August 31 last year. The concerned officials from MSEDCL and SNDL were told to remain present during next hearing scheduled after two weeks.

    The HC also asked state government to make alternate arrangements for special panel members before asking them to vacate the cottage No. 28 allotted to them for their day-to-day work. The members were asked to vacate the cottage to accommodate legislative members coming for monsoon session starting from July 4. The HC made it clear that panel members shouldn’t be shifted if alternate location is not found.

    The panel’s report indicted civic agencies for ignoring hundreds of unauthorized constructions that have mushroomed near high tension (HT) lines while brazenly flouting the construction (DCR) norms. While three agencies put together had identified 70 structures, the committee could further identify 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.

  • Actual work of Smart Road begins in Ashok Stambh Sumita Sarkar| TNN | Jun 7, 2018, 19:00 IST

    NAGPUR: The much-awaited work of Smart Road began after some initial hiccups on Thursday. The construction work of this1.1 km road from Ashok Stambh to Modak Point, being developed at a cost of 17.50 crore was to kick off last week.

    On Wednesday notice boards were put up on the road for citizens to understand about the traffic diversions. Bollards were placed few days back on one side of the road to make it two-way so that work can start on the other side.

    This busy road houses the district collector’s office, the district court, education institutes and central bus stand hence there is traffic-related issues with traffic moving slower than usual. “The construction got delayed as we wanted security to man the traffic. There are many diversions and people should know about it. Now, boards are put up and things have been streamlined. We started digging the road on one side – the side by the collector’s office,” said an NMC official.
    The project includes smart signal, CCTV, smart lighting, Wifi, cycle track on both sides of the road, pedestrian crossing, junction development, smart pole, seating arrangement for senior citizens on the walkways, kiosks providing information on important places of the city, underground electric cables etc. The entire road will be concrete.
  • HC slams forest dept for promoting ‘VIP culture’ in Tadoba Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | Jun 7, 2018, 16:46 IST


    Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday slammed the forest department for allegedly promoting VIP culture for safaris in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR).
    The division bench of justices BP Dharmadhikari and ZA Haq directed PCCF (wildlife) to file an affidavit detailing ‘VIP entries’ permitted by TATR last year.

    The court issued the directives while hearing a PIL by wildlife activist Avinash Prabhune who alleged excessive tourism in TATR. The PIL was filed based on a series of TOI reports.

    As per the petitioner, the foresters have failed to protect and conserve the forest, and have allegedly misused their power to allow ‘excessive tourism’ in TATR.

    The petitioner also challenged the circular on entry rules which fixed an entry fee of Rs8,000 per trip if booked before 120 days. The petitioner said that the forest department is exorbitantly charging the common man while allowing VIPs free visits to the park.

    Petitioner’s counsel Tushar Mandlekar said that though only 12 vehicles are allowed in TATR under ‘VIP quota’, papers show that the then field director permitted many vehicles in TATR between April-December 2015 (3,759 vehicles entered the park against permissible 1,248).

    He also said that 322 vehicles were permitted in TATR in seven days from October 31, 2016 to November 6, 2016 by the field director against the sanctioned 84 as stated in the affidavit. Hence, misuse of powers in VIP quota by officials is on the record.

    The HC asked the forest department counsel why VIP quota is need in the country when such practice did not exist in foreign countries. As per the forest department counsel Chotu Uikey, the field director has to permit foreigners, ministers and politicians to TATR. According to the petitioner, there is a rampant misuse of power in the forest department and VIPs are permitted in the park in violation of norms. The petitioner has submitted all details in PIL and a rejoinder exposing violation of guidelines issued by NTCA October 15, 2012 under Section 38 (O) of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 issued on the direction of the Supreme Court.
    The petitioner has also prayed for quashing fee of Rs8,000 per jungle safari and demanded complete ban on VIP entries in TATR in larger interest of wildlife.
  • Nearly 2,100 traffic violators being booked every day in city Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 8, 2018, 02:05 IST

    Nagpur: It seems that Nagpurians are not ready to be disciplined drivers. Traffic police data shows that 2,060 cases of traffic violations are being reported every day on an average. This includes 1,393 violations captured by CCTV cameras and about 667 cases registered manually by traffic cops. The closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras are proving to be more effective in spotting violations than expected by the traffic police.

    Till June 5, as many as 97,515 cases were registered with the help of over 3,800 CCTV cameras installed at 700 locations to keep a hawk’s eye on the city streets to detect violations and generate e-challans.

    Deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Chaitanya S, said the traffic police started monitoring live footage provided by the city’s extensive CCTV camera network from March 29. The traffic police also took snapshots of violators by taking screenshots from the live footages. At present, the traffic police are focusing on 66 locations and most of them are major junctions.

    Cameras rotate in various angles every 20 seconds. These cameras also help the people sitting in the control room to zoom in and out and set an angle manually.

    The traffic police staff sitting in the control room prepare the e-challans which contain the description and picture of the vehicle captured during the traffic rule violation.

    Of the CCTV camera cases registered, highest number of offenders were booked from zone-3 that covers areas like central Nagpur. Here, with the help of CCTV cameras, the traffic police generated 27,935 challans. Besides this, the traffic police manually booked 29,762 violators.

    At zone-2 that comprises west and parts of south-west Nagpur, the traffic police registered 22,830 violations with the help of CCTV cameras, according to the statistics recorded till June 5.

    To a query, another senior traffic cop said: “It is at an initial stage and a few areas need to be worked upon. For example, fine collection needs to be more effective. However, the system is working and people should cooperate and pay fine on time.”

    With increasing number of vehicles plying on the roads, the new system will serve as the third eye of the traffic police, said the senior cop.

    Besides this, the traffic police are also entertaining complaints through social media groups. Citizens can post complaints and send photos and videos of traffic violation on WhatsApp number 9011387100 and Twitter handle @trafficngp.

  • NMC ignoring ‘illegal’ house despite complaints since ’95 Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 8, 2018, 02:15 IST

    Nagpur: Recently, Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) razed a marriage hall on Manewada Road which was constructed in a residential area. However, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), its parallel agency, is not razing an unauthorized house since 1995, though several complaints have been lodged in this regard.

    Mansur Sharif, who resides near Nawabpura Masjid, has been running from pillar to post to get the unauthorized construction of his neighbour Ghanshyam Nakade razed for the last 23 years.

    Nakade had submitted his building plan to NMC in 1995 but it was rejected by deputy municipal commissioner. He then appealed before the municipal commissioner but did not succeed. NMC officials should have immediately served him a show cause notice asking him to demolish the structure but they did not do so. Nakade’s illegal house stands even today.

    Sharif continued to lodge complaints with NMC and state’s urban development department (UDD). The assistant director of town planning, NMC, in his letter to UDD, stated that Nakade had constructed the house without taking permission of the civic body.

    Nakade was issued a notice in September 2004 over the illegal construction. The house owner then submitted an amended building plan in February 2010 but it was rejected by NMC. The grounds were: The dimensions of the house and that mentioned in the map were different, the floor to space index (FSI) was more than permissible and the owner had not left margins on all side as required by development control rules (DCR).

    In the meantime, Sharif had filed a petition in Nagpur bench of Bombay high court. The HC in July 2015 directed NMC to investigate the matter and take appropriate action. However, NMC ignored this directive and spared Nakade.

    Sharif has again written to assistant commissioner of Lakadganj zone, urging him to raze Nakade’s house. Two weeks have passed but no action has been taken. Repeated calls to assistant commissioner Subhashchandra Jaideo went unanswered.

  • NESL wants property tax dept to recover water bill arrears Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 8, 2018, 03:17 IST

    Nagpur: The water works department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has miserably failed to recover arrears of water bills, which have crossed Rs180 crore. Now, the Nagpur Environment Services Limited (NESL), a special purpose vehicle formed to implement 24X7 water supply project of NMC, wants the property taxdepartment to recover the arrears. The proposal will be tabled at the meeting of NESL board of directors on Friday.

    Following failure to recover Rs91.54 crore, the civic body has disconnected water supply of 1,14,21 consumers. The board will also discuss a proposal for recovery of arrears of disconnected consumers and also a plan to charge groundwater rent from them.

    Discussion will also be held on revised plan submitted by Orange City Water Private Limited — the firm entrusted to implement 24X7 water supply project — for completion of round the clock water supply work up to May 2019 and bringing 60% consumers under 24X7 water supply scheme up to December 2018.

    The NESL has also submitted a proposal on creating infrastructure in unauthorized areas where NMC is supplying water through tankers. The NMC is spending crores on payments to 342 tankers that are making over 2,400 trips daily.

    Other proposals include Rs1.38 crore for shifting of pipeline at Khairpura proposed railway underbridge, installation of new meters against stolen meters, approval to rope in a private firm to monitor non-network tanker with the help of GPRS system and preparing policy regarding billing category for water supply to dispensers proposed to be installed in NMC limits.

  • Metro plans scooters on rent at its stations Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 8, 2018, 03:18 IST

    Nagpur: MahaMetro has decided to provide scooters on rent at its stations for last mile connectivity to its users. It will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Bengaluru-based company for this service. The system is a hit in Bengaluru where some stations have a demand for 5,000 scooters and motorbikes.

    A source in MahaMetro said that feeder buses would not depart from the station soon after the arrival of the train. “Buses will wait for some passengers so that it is at least half full. Those who don’t want to wait can use the scooters on rent service,” he added. MahaMetro also reckons that very few people will prefer to use bicycles for reaching their destinations in Nagpur, which has a warm weather all year round.

    The rent for the scooters will have to be paid through automatic fare collection (AFC) cards. “When the rent is paid, the user will get a one time password (OTP) on his mobile. When this OTP is entered in the scooter’s keyboard it will get unlocked. There will be no keys for the scooters. After reaching the destination, the scooter will have to be locked by an OTP,” said the official.

    The rent for a scooter in Bengaluru is Rs5 per kilometre plus 25 paise per minute idling charges. MahaMetro will try to reduce the rates for Nagpur.

    The official said the Metro agency plans to provide at least 30 scooters at every Metro station. “The number will be higher in stations which have ample parking space. In other places we will have to acquire land for parking these bikes at the stations. We will take up the issue with the state government after the MoU is signed,” he said. “We will also hold talks with big apartment schemes for parking of these rented scooters,” he added.

    The Bengaluru-based company is also holding talks with other Metro agencies for providing this service.

    Commenting on feeder buses, the official said that the tender would be floated when Sitabuldi to Airport South section is nearing completion. “We will start commercial operations of Nagpur Metro on this stretch. So feeder buses will be required then,” he added.

  • Illegal structures on roads: HC seeks chief secy’s reply Vaibhav Ganjapure| tnn | Jun 8, 2018, 04:16 IST

    Nagpur: Expressing disappointment over Maharashtra government’s failure in removing illegal religious structures on roads, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court asked chief secretary to file an affidavit on steps taken in this regard.

    A division bench comprising Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Zaka Haq also granted last chance to Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to make a definite statement on removal of such structures which have mushroomed in the city in the last few years. The HC asked the civic agencies to file comprehensive reply before June 20.

    The court was hearing a plea by Dr Gajanan Zade and Manohar Khorgade, through counsel Firdos Mirza, praying for removal of religious structures, pandals, stages, statues and others from roads, pavements and public utility places.

    “We’ve taken note of orders passed by the Supreme Court in this regard. It’s not in dispute that period of six months stipulated earlier by the government had expired. At Bombay, in PIL (No.104/2010) lastly, time was extended by six months in 2016. Petitioners’ submit that religious structures have still not been removed and it’s not clear that exercise of categorizing them in Category A, B and C is over or not,” the judges said. They also pointed out that the government on May 5, 2011 constituted a committee at the state level with chief secretary as its chairman and hence he should file a reply.

    Quoting a debate on television, the judges pointed out that a grievance was being made about use of public money for erecting statues and monuments. It was also pointed out during the debate that for hospitals or schools, government is not making land available. However, huge amounts are being allocated for statues and monuments. “Hence, we want to find out whether there is any law or policy which regulates the issue of erection of statues or monuments,” they said.

    Citing various Supreme Court rulings, the petitioners pointed out that the apex court had directed chief secretaries of all states to remove encroachments at public places and government land. Citing Bombay Police Act where the cops can take cognisable action against encroachments like pandals for religious festivities, the petitioners claimed the police are doing nothing. Additionally, the NMC Act empowers the civic body to remove encroachments, but it is also ignoring the issue, they said.

  • Relocation of rly facilities delays Ajni multi-modal hub Ashish Roy| tnn | Jun 8, 2018, 06:20 IST

    Nagpur: The detailed project report (DPR) for multi-modal passenger hub in Ajni is ready but National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to defer its submission due to a demand raised by Central Railway (CR).

    NHAI will build an integrated bus, rail and Metro station in Ajni. As Nagpur Metro will link the city airport to the station, it will have air connectivity in effect.

    NHAI has to acquire 75 acre land belonging to CR in Ajni. CR has some essential facilities on this land and they have to be relocated. CR has asked NHAI to suggest a plan for their relocation. The highway agency is therefore conducting a survey of entire railway land in Ajni to find suitable locations. Divisional commissioner Anoop Kumar is coordinating the work.

    “We will not submit the DPR to the Central government until CR gives a green signal to the relocation plan prepared by our consultant,” a NHAI official told TOI.

    The cost of the project, known as inter-modal station (IMS), is around Rs1,600 crore, and it will be spread over 445 acres. The pre-feasibility study done in early 2017 had found the project to be viable.

    IMS is being constructed only in two cities of the country — Nagpur and Varanasi. The Orange City has been chosen due to Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari while Varanasi is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency.

    Nagpur IMS is being built with an eye on future. NHAI envisages that 3.5 lakh people will use the facility by 2050.

    Ajni railway station would be modernized, a bus terminal having 400 bays would be constructed and Mahametro’s Congress Nagar station would be integrated into the structure.

    A huge multi-level underground parking with a capacity of 3,600 cars will be built. A large number of spacious waiting rooms will be constructed. A private party will build hotels (budget as well as high-end), commercial complexes, food court etc at the station.

    NHAI plans to acquire land belonging to Ajni railway colony, medical staff colony and Central Jail for the project. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) with representation of NHAI, ministry of railways, Mahametro, state government entities like PWD, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and Nagpur’s civic bodies will be formed for executing the project. While the private partner will invest Rs450 crore, the SPV will avail a loan of around Rs1,100 crore from World Bank for the project.

  • State to sanction Rs4 crore for Morna river development Manka Behl| TNN | Jun 9, 2018, 02:38 IST

    Nagpur: State forest and finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has agreed to sanction Rs4 crore for the development of Morna river.

    Akola district collector Astik Kumar Pandey, who initiated the river cleaning campaign, confirmed the news to TOI. As reported by TOI earlier, the district administration was preparing a detailed project report (DPR) of Morna river.

    The DPR was recently presented to Mungantiwar. “After suggesting some modifications, the minister agreed to sanction Rs4 crore for the first phase of the development project,” said Pandey. The DPR has been submitted to the state environment department.

    The funds will be used to save water for the summer season when Akola often faces acute water shortage. Pandey informed that two water storage structures will be built at the starting and ending points of the river. “Water will be conserved without obstructing the natural flow of river and without disturbing the water budget. The stored water will be very useful during summer months,” he added.

    The total estimated budget of this technique is around Rs20 crore. The administration also plans to approach a central government agency for funds.

    The DPR also includes cleaning of the river. As reported by TOI earlier, many major and minor drains meet Morna at different points. As a pilot experiment, to ensure that only clean water enters Morna, the administration set-up phytorid wastewater treatment plant at one of the major drains. Phytorid is the patented technology of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute’s (Neeri) and uses specific plants to absorb nutrients directly from waste water.

    Apart from this, the administration is using bio-sanitizers for cleaning the waste water that enters the river. “We have installed biosanitizers at 9-10 spots and are getting positive results,” said sub-divisional officer of Akola Sanjay Khadse.

    He added that the work of constructing ghats and installing LED street lights alongside the river is under progress. The administration plans to develop Morna on the lines of Sabarmati riverfront project.

    The 92-day-long ‘Clean Morna River’ campaign, a citizens’ initiative that began on January 13 in Akola, was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Over 35,000 people, including senior citizens, housewives, NGOs, schoolchildren, youngsters and professionals from various fields, have been a part of the campaign.

    On Friday, state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis shared a latest picture of the river on Twitter, stating that the river was full of clean water after the first showers.

  • MahaMetro to prepare DPR for coach plant Ashish Roy| TNN | Updated: Jun 9, 2018, 08:11 IST
    Representative image

    NAGPUR: The board of MahaMetro has cleared proposal to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for coach assembly plant in Butibori. MahaMetro has pegged the cost of the plant at Rs350 crore but the actual figure will be known after the DPR is ready. The board meeting was held in Chennai on Thursday.

    MahaMetro plans to assemble broad gauge as well as standard gauge coaches. The broad gauge coaches will be for Metro trains to Wardha, Bhandara, Katol and Ramtek while standard gauge coaches will be for Pune Metro. If MahaMetro gets orders from other Metros then it will set up a full scale coach manufacturing facility involving an investment of hundreds of crores and providing employment to thousands of people.

    MahaMetro has set a target of completing the assembly plant within one year so that it does not have to buy coaches for Pune Metro. China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) will, however, supply coaches to Nagpur Metro.

    The Metro agency wants central and state governments to invest in the project. It will also rope in a private partner for chipping in with funds and running the plant. MahaMetro will only have a supervisory role.

  • HC summons div comm over Bezonbagh encroachments Vaibhav Ganjapure| TNN | Jun 9, 2018, 03:15 IST Representative Image

    NAGPUR: Irked over Divisional Commissioner Anoop KumarShrivastav’s failure to remove encroachments at Bezonbagh, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Thursday summoned him on June 28.

    Expressing anguish for ignoring HC’s repeated directives, the HC issued him contempt notice clarifying that it would frame charges against him during the next hearing.

    A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq further informed the petitioner that they would hear the criminal contempt plea against the commissioner for making false statements if it is filed.

    The crackdown came while hearing a contempt plea by Madhukar Patil through counsel Firdos Mirza alleging commissioner’s inaction for not handing over open plots in Bezonbagh to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) despite court’s clear orders in a related petition (WP No 1515/2008) filed by Atmaram Ukey against the Maharashtra government.

    On December 19, 2008, the HC had directed commissioner to hand over available open space to the corporation after removal of encroachment, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case before January 31, 2009. It also directed him to conduct a survey on encroachments and submit a report along with recommendations to the additional chief secretary of state revenue and forest department.

    A year later on December 9, 2009, the court even censured the commissioner over his inaction while tersely observing that the time sought by him “was just an excuse to delay implementation of its directives”. On November 28, 2011, Ukey filed an application seeking directives to handover open plots which are not used as dwelling houses to the NMC commissioner.

    On May 6, 2016, the HC again directed the commissioner to hand over possession of plots as mentioned in 2011 order. He instead filed an application for modification of that order which was rejected by the court on June 24 in same year. Aggrieved by Kumar’ delaying tactics, Patil knocked judiciary's doors demanding directives to him to implement court’s orders.

    The Empress Mills land was originally allotted to Bezonbagh Sanstha. As per the sanctioned map and plan, the entire layout comprised four big plots admeasuring 80.09 acres. In all the layouts, plots for public utility were reserved. A multi-storied building for the economical backward classes was also planned. However, after some time, illegal constructions started cropping up on the public-utility land, established by influential persons and politicians.

  • Finish 24X7 project by Sept, water operator told Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 9, 2018, 02:36 IST

    Nagpur: In a major jolt to NMC water supply operator OCW, the board of Nagpur Environment Services Ltd (NESL) rejected its plan to complete the 24X7 water supply project by May 2019 and asked it to do so by September 2018.

    Following an OCW proposal, the water works department submitted a request on revision of plan for completion of 24X7 water supply work. “Instead, the vice-chairman-cum-managing director of the board Virendra Singh, who is also municipal commissioner of the NMC, directed the company to expedite the work in Hanuman Nagar, Ashi Nagar and Nehru Nagar zones,” said water works committee chairman and NESL director Pintu Zalke.

    In the meeting, the civic chief also directed OCW to restore dug up roads within 20 days. Mayor Nanda Jichkar, who is chairperson of the NESL, ruling party leader Sandip Joshi and leader of opposition Tanaji Wanve (who are directors) were also present.

    To ensure 24X7 water supply, OCW was supposed to lay household service connections at 3,20,211 houses and water network of 676km. However, it could only complete 1.69 lakh household connections and 600km water pipeline network.

    The approved project cost is Rs387.86 crore. Already, the cost has increased to Rs566.09 crore due to the delay. The meet also decided to release payment to OCW in accordance with work progress.

    The meeting, however, gave nod to NESL’s proposal to recover water tax arrears through property tax department. The proposal was cleared on condition that the property tax department will get 10% of the recovered arrears. Currently, arrears towards water consumers is around Rs180 crore including Rs91.54 crore from 11,421 disconnected consumers and Rs93.59 crore from 1,76,035 consumers.

    Zalke said water works department had no power to recover water bill arrears and can only disconnect defaulters’ water supply, whereas tax department has power to auction even properties of defaulters. So the decision has been taken to recover of arrears of water charges through the tax department, he said.

    The board was in favour of waiving delay payment charges of water consumers from slums. According to data, the outstanding from slum-dwellers is around Rs16 crore. The board also okayed a proposal to set up water dispensers in city. Water will be provided at a rate of 2 paise per litre, said Zalke.

    The board also cleared a proposal to install 14,000 new meters in houses from where meters were stolen. The consumers will have to shell out Rs800, while OCW will share an equal amount, said Zalke. It also okayed shifting of pipeline at Khairpura proposed railway underbridge site at a cost of Rs1.38 crore.