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- Special committee reports fresh violations at Dhamapur Lake Manka Behl| TNN | Jun 8, 2018, 22:17 IST
Nagpur: In another threat to Dhamapur, the state's biggest man-made lake, fresh violations in high flood risk area have been reported. On Thursday, a panchnama was filed after a spot inspection was carried out by a team of officials.
TOI has been reporting how the 500-year-old Dhamapur, an identified wetland in Sindhudurg district, is facing threats from construction and other activities. On the recommendations of civil society groups which have been fighting to protect the wetlands, the district administration had formed a first-of-its-kind committee for brief documentation of wetlands.
The committee, which has around 40 members all experts in different fields, is carrying out brief documentation of 64 wetlands in Sindhudurg.
Recently, during a spot inspection of Dhamapur, the committee noticed excavation of land and tree felling for a construction in the high flood risk area. “As per the high court’s order, it is a protected area. Even though the land is of private ownership, construction is not allowed as per the wetland rules,” said Sachin Desai, one of the committee members.
The other members of the committe include educationist Sushma Keni, agriculturist Sandeep Rane, architect Ajit Parab, wildlife conservator Malhar Indulkar and others.
The committee members immediately reported the violations to the district collector. “During the last 4-5 days, someone is excavating soil from the high flood line area of the lake for doing some construction. The boundary wall is already constructed and 2 teevar trees are already cut. Please save Dhamapur lake,” the complaint stated.
Acting on it, the collector issued an urgent order to the tehsildar of Malvan, directing him to visit the violation site and report the details. Stating that officials of the concerned department should also accompany the tehsildar, the collector said that the report should be submitted before 4pm on June 7.
However as per a complaint made by committee members to the state chief secretary, the tehsildar did not visit the spot personally and instead delegated the work to a talathi of Dhamapur. “A talathi does not have powers to lodge a first information report,” committee members wrote.
Following this, a team comprising of circle officer, a forest official from the mangrove cell and others visited the spot and conducted a panchnama. An official from the tehsildar office told TOI that the report will be submitted in a day or two.
Stating that no further damage should be caused to the ecosystem of Dhamapur lake, the committee members have demanded strict action against the violator. Member of the wetland grievance redressal committee Stalin D said that the violations reported by the committee should be taken seriously. “Setting-up a committee to document details of wetlands is a welcome step; at least the violations are coming on record for the first time. Those damaging environment have no fear of law,” he added.
- MahaRera detected 50 violations in city projects TNN | Jun 10, 2018, 02:08 IST
The Maharera and CREDAI Nagpur Metro workshop was held at a city hotel in Ramdaspeth on Saturday
Nagpur: Ever since registrations under Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) began in May 1 last year, Nagpur MahaRera has detected close to 50 violations in ongoing projects in the city and necessary action has been taken against the erring realtors. The drive is still underway, said Girish Joshi, deputy secretary of Vidarbha region of MahaRera, on Saturday.
Joshi was speaking at a daylong symposium organized jointly by Nagpur MahaRera and Credai Nagpur Metro at a city hotel.
The symposium consisted of a workshop on ‘Compliance activities for registered projects under Rera’ which was conducted after the general body meeting of Credai members. It also provided an insight into the rules and criterion for Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana, apart from live demonstration of online registration process of Rera on the website.
Addressing the gathering of aggrieved audience of almost 250 real estate promoters and owners, BR Hadadre, technical head of MahaRera from Mumbai, said, “Maharashtra has been the leading state in terms of registrations since Rera came into force last year. Over 17,000 projects have been registered till date. Vidarbha alone has more than 850 registrations with Nagpur leading with approximately 400 registered projects. If used by realtors and customers to its full strength, Rera will bridge the gap between them and bring transparency in the system.”
Hadadre said, “We have found some lacunae in the Act and submitted quite a few amendments to the central government. However, discrepancies about registration on the Rera website will hopefully get solved after the workshop.”
Aarti Harbhajanka, associate director of KPMG group from Mumbai, gave a live demonstration on the process of registering a project and update its progress on the Rera website. “A promoter or owner should update the progress of their projects every 90 days failing which penal action can be taken. It also needs to be extended if the occupancy certificate for the project from the authorities has not been received. Rera has a provision of extending registration by paying 20% of the initial amount for a maximum period of one year,” said Harbhajanka.
- MIDC to focus on procedural reforms TNN | Jun 10, 2018, 02:09 IST
Nagpur: Priority will be accorded to growth of electronic clusters as it is a booming industry and policy decisions taken on sick units and giving space for solar power generation plant, said Abhishek Krishna, joint chief executive officer of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), on Saturday.
Addressing a review meeting at VIA Hall, Krishna assured entrepreneurs that efforts will be made to solve the problems they faced. He said MIDC will focus on undertaking procedural reforms for better functioning.
The issue of fire safety norms was raised following which representatives of the industry recommended that a self-certification mechanism for low hazardous industries be developed. To this, Krishna said online information about fire safety norms will be given.
The issue of plight of investors due to glitches in AutoDCR, a scrutiny and approval system for building plans, was highlighted and recommendations were made to make the helpline more efficient. Officials representing different units also complained that there was a communication gap as they were not being informed about various reforms in procedures. Krishna said plans are afoot to shift AutoDCR software from a server to a cloud for making it more user-friendly.
Questions were raised about the absence of sewage lines in MIDC-controlled areas which went against the spirit of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. It was also stated that around 70% of the waste is plastic which can be an excellent source of revenue.
Krishna told industrialists that many eco-friendly methods can be used with the development in technology. Replying to a question on auction of plots by MIDC and giving priority to emerging entrepreneurs for business expansion, Krishna said e-auction aimed at a transparent mechanism cannot be relaxed.
It was suggested that the provision for approval of technical adviser should be removed as it causes delays. However, Krishna said such approvals are necessary as inspection procedure requires an expert’s opinion, especially when it comes to IT parks. This provision could be relaxed for other industrial units, he said.
(Reporting by Samruddhi Chiplunkar)
- Cracks on outer ring road even before start of regular traffic Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 10, 2018, 03:26 IST
Nagpur: Cracks as well as potholes have started developing on few newly concretized stretches of outer ring road (ORR) even before the formal start of the road for regular traffic, raising questions on quality of works.
A visit to ORR stretch between Amravati road and Wardha road revealed cracks in large numbers in a couple of locations on few concretized stretches. In other sites, the cracks are wide and from one side of the road to the other. Small sized potholes can also be seen at some locations. None of the concretized stretch is opened for traffic as of now.
Confirming the cracks, NHAI project director N L Yeotkar said private companies are bound to replace all defective panels that too for 20 years. “Project is being executed under the NHAI’s hybrid annuity model (HAM) in which the contractors are supposed to take care of the projects for 20 years. Our site officials are always on the project. We will monitor the cracks. Repairing will be done if cracks do not widen beyond 1-2cm but if it is above 2cm in width, the entire panel will be replaced. There are many such provisions in the contract to get the faulty works rectified,” he said.
The project, sanctioned by Union minister Nitin Gadkari, to complete ORR at the cost of Rs1,170 crore has also got delayed to a great extent.
As per information obtained by activist Suraj Lolge under RTI Act, the NHAI awarded package-I of Rs531 crore to MEP Nagpur Ring Road 1 Private Ltd and package-II of Rs639 crore to MEP Sanjose Nagpur Ring Road 2 Private Ltd on March 31, 2016. The two concessionaires then appointed MEP Infrastructure Developers Private Ltd for executing the works. The deadline of two packages was 30 months.
Yeotkar said 40% works of package-I and 38% works in package-II have been completed.
With just four months remaining for the deadline, the chances of completing remaining works of the two packages seem to be a daunting task for the contractors. Delay in works mean inconvenience for the traffic and chances of escalation in the project cost also.
Under package-I, the company is nearing completion of ORR widening between Wardha road and Amravati road from existing two-lane to four-lane. The company has also started concretization of stretches between Amravati road and Wardha road and construction of ORR between Amravati road and Katol road.
Under package-II, the private company is constructing bridges, railway over bridges and construction of road. The concretization works are yet to begin.
The state public works department’s (PWD) Inner Road Cement Concrete Project of Rs300 crore and the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) cement concrete road project phase-I of Rs123 crore and phase-II of Rs324 crore have been also hit due to cracks and inferior quality of works.
- Woman seeks civic chief’s prosecution for ignoring ‘illegal’ house Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 10, 2018, 03:36 IST
Nagpur: An 82-year-old woman has approached secretary of urban development department (UDD) and sought prosecution of municipal commissioner and assistant commissioner of Dharampeth zone for turning a blind eye towards an unauthorized construction in Sadar.
As per Rukhmani Gandhewar’s complaint, her neighbour Satish Gandhewar constructed a five-storeyed house despite having permission to construct only a three-storeyed structure. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has not acted against the alleged unauthorized structure despite several complaints.
Following Rukhmani’s complaint, NMC had issued a notice under Section 53 of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act to Satish Gandhewar in March 2017. As per the notice, the basement was illegal. However, civic officials did not pursue the matter. Taking advantage of NMC’s inaction, Satish accelerated the construction of fourth and fifth floor. The civic officials did not bother to revisit the house in spite of repeated complaints.
Now, not only the basement but the top two floors are unauthorized. It means that the house owner has consumed extra floor to space index (FSI).
The letter states that as per Section 260 (1A) of MRTP Act, if the municipal commissioner finds any construction contrary to the provisions of the rules and by-laws, then he can demolish the illegal construction after following the due process.
After NMC issued a notice to Satish Gandhewar, Rukhmani went to the Dharampeth zone office and also met the municipal commissioner but she got only hollow assurances.
“Conduct of these authorities make it evident that they have miserably failed to discharge their duties and implement the provisions of Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, which they obliged to do. Deliberately not acting in consonance with the provisions of the Act makes them liable for criminal prosecution as envisaged in the Act,” the complaint states.
Repeated attempts to contact Dharampeth assistant commissioner Mahesh Morone were unsuccessful.
- A village digs a canal and reaps water benefit Barkha Mathur| TNN | Jun 10, 2018, 03:39 IST Alarmed at the depleting water table near his farm land in Hinganghat (Wardha district) two years back, software engineer and environmentalist Ashish Kaswa rectified the situation through rainwater harvesting.
In what could be a first-of-its-kind individual initiative, he dug a one kilometer-long canal with soak pits at 50 meter intervals to harvest rainwater. The results of the effort were encouraging as, even in February, the canal remains filled with water and the well in the village, which had run dry in 2016, is now replete with water.
When the 100-year-old well in Borkani village in Hinganghat district, which is used by the entire village, ran dry, Kaswa realized that the situation would get worst. “It was an indication of things to come and I decided that rainwater harvesting is the only way to go,” he says.
“I took this plan to the village sarpanch who agreed. The total cost of construction worked out to Rs28 lakh for which a common pool was created and farmers who would get the benefit were asked to contribute 10% of this cost in return of personal connections. It was essential to make them a stakeholder as I needed their NOCs to dig this canal,” says Kaswa.
It took six months to dig the one kilometre-long and 40-meter-wide canal and make soak pits along the length to give more time for water percolation. “We identified the water channel and deepened its flow direction to increase the amount of water that can be collected. Six-meter-wide soak pits along the length were dug as they help more water to percolate into the ground by checking the speed and flow and prevent soil erosion,” Kaswa informs.
Farmers in this region grow cotton and now have sufficient water for irrigation. The well is sufficiently recharged and the canal remains filled with water even in dry winter months, says Kaswa, and adds, “Some farmers have dug wells near the canal where it passes through their farms and have found water at 30ft when otherwise one has to dig at least 50ft.”
Necessary precautions have been taken to prevent overflooding during heavy downpours. “The soil dug out while constructing the canal has been utilized to create 10ft high bund along the length and this gives the canal a height of 30ft which is sufficient to prevent flooding,” says Kaswa.
Constructed in 2016, no maintenance has been required so far. “After four to five years, excavation of sand and soil from the canal will be required but cost of doing this is very nominal,” Kaswa adds.
- 3 booked for duping man, bank of Rs37.58 lakh in property deal TNN | Jun 10, 2018, 04:52 IST
Nagpur: The Hudkeshwar policehave booked three people, including a brother-sister duo, have been booked for duping a man and a bank to the tune of Rs37.58 lakh in a property deal between October 10, 2011, and December 29, 2017.
The accused have been identified as Sunil Ambekar, his sister Neha and brother-in-law Keshav Sonekar.
Vijay Menon, 49, had bought a flat from Ambekar in Besa locality in 2011. A sale deed was also done. Menon, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, took a loan from a cooperative bank to buy the flat. He deposited a demand draft worth Rs12.58 lakh in Ambekar’s account. Menon was supposed to get possession of the flat within 60 days.
Meanwhile, the accused filed a false complaint at Sakkardara police station that they have lost documents of the flat. The accused then prepared new documents and sold the flat to Sonekar who also took possession of the property.
The accused also procured loan of Rs25 lakh from a bank by mortgaging the flat. Cops said the accused also did not pay the bank instalments, following which the flat was sealed.
- NMC to install waste bins to keep Futala lake clean TNN | Jun 10, 2018, 22:09 IST Municipal commissioner Virendra Singh along with additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare inspected... Read More
NAGPUR: Taking a step further in its ongoing Futala Lake cleanliness drive, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will place garbage bins at every 100 metres along its periphery. The decision was taken on Saturday when municipal commissioner Virendra Singh along with additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare visited the lake to inspect the ongoing work.
NMC has also demolished unauthorized shops or their extensions near the lakes. “NMC will also install dustbins at every hundred metres surrounding the lake. A plan has also been passed by commissioner Singh in which parking will be allotted only for three hours near the lake,” said health officer (sanitation) Dr Pradip Dasarwar.
The commissioner issued directives to prohibit domestic animals in the area and has also ordered work for extension of Futala temple.
- Two days of rain convert city roads into death traps Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 11, 2018, 03:36 IST
Nagpur: Even though the monsoon has just hit the city, dangerous spots have cropped up on many city roads, with accidents waiting to happen. The city experiences similar problems each year in the rainy season, but this year the problems have been compounded by the widespread infrastructure works, and shoddy repairs by various agencies.
Nagpur received over 66 millimetre rain on Saturday and Sunday evenings. This led to waterlogging in a large number of potholes created due to Nagpur Metro, flyover, and cement road works, making them invisible to motorists. The trench filling works done by agencies that had dug up many roads were of shoddy quality in many places. The filling material came unstuck in the first rains, creating water filled potholes, causing traffic congestion.
A huge pothole was created on Wardha Road, where construction of Nagpur Metro viaduct caused a part of the road to cave in. MahaMetro traffic marshals isolated the pothole with barricades but this created traffic jams.
MahaMetro is constructing a road underpass at Karve Nagar and Ujjwal Nagar. It has dug a huge trench for this. Due to heavy rainfall, the earth from the edges of the trench flowed into the trench, widening it. At Ujjwal Nagar, an electricity pole with a distribution point (DP) box on it collapsed into the trench. “Two feet of earth was washed away and caused the pole to fall down. It took some time to locate the spot, and consumers had to go without power from one to seven hours,” said a source in MSEDCL.
Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) cement road works too created accident-prone spots. On many roads, the tiles installed on the sides are intermittent. Before rains, it was possible to see where they had been installed. However, with rainwater submerging the tiles, it is not possible to see where there is a gap between the shoulder of the road and the earth below it. Motorists can easily drive over the sharp drop and damage their vehicles, or suffer injuries.
The power infrastructure of the city also broke down due to rains. Power franchisee SNDL received around 2,600 complaints of power going out on Saturday evening. Some of them had not been attended till Sunday evening. Many areas had breakdowns on Sunday afternoon too. A SNDL spokesperson said there were no major outages. MSEDCL spokesperson also said the same thing.
The NMC fire service said that five trees were uprooted in the rains on Saturday and Sunday.
Narendra Nagar railway underbridge (RuB) too continued to be a problem spot during rains. A city bus and a private travels bus broke down in the water filled RuB. The passengers had to wade out in waist high water, and move to higher ground.
- NMC Budget today: Citizens expect no hike in taxes, clean & safe city Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 11, 2018, 03:01 IST
Nagpur: The standing committee chairman, Virendra Kukreja, will present the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) budget for 2018-19 at 11am on Monday at the Town Hall in Mahal. Citizens are expecting no hike in taxes apart from clean, safe and smart city from the budget.
President of Vidarbha chapter of Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat, Gajanan Pande, said property tax has been hiked by 2-3 times and it should be reduced. “Taxes should be increased to some extent after a gap of two years. No new taxes should be levied as the common man is already burdened by rising prices. NMC should abolish cess levied on petrol and diesel. Unequal water distribution should be scrapped forthwith. Some areas are getting water for over five hours daily while some on alternate days. Issues of contaminated water supply should be resolved. A proper action plan should be chalked out to ensure safe roads by regular repairs, completing cement roads and infrastructure projects on time,” he said.
President of CREDAI’s local chapter, Anil Nair, said online building plan approval system with no human interference should be launched. “NMC should follow MahaRERA’s portal in which one can track his/her application,” he said.
Coach Dhiraj Kadao said a policy be implemented in which NMC should provide infrastructure like new courts, playgrounds, stadiums, rooms for storing sports material, electrical systems etc to sports associations running clubs for various sports. “Also, provisions should be made for long-term lease of grounds to sports associations,” he said.
Activist Leena Budhe said budget should be realistic so that provisions of funds made for works are available for execution. “NMC’s budget is of around Rs 2,200 crore every year. Still, NMC has no funds for major works. Many of the projects have been carried forward for the last seven years. Provisions of Rs50 crore made for survey of slum areas two years ago is a glaring example. No such survey happened and funds spent. Also, the provision was never carried forward. New sources should be explored. A project to develop slum areas in a systematic manner should be prepared as it will give the city a facelift. Public toilets should be constructed in all parts of the city followed by special emphasis on garbage segregation at households and reuse at source level itself,” she said.
RTI activist TH Naidu said NMC should do audit of its properties and use it for the public instead of allowing encroachments and cropping up of slums. “NMC is also not taking possession of open spaces despite providing services in layouts. Many areas are without gardens and playgrounds. Proper audit can help in identifying such properties followed by development,” he said.
With the theme of Clean and Green Nagpur, Kukreja is likely to give more attention to North Nagpur from where he comes and also to improve BJP’s standing in this part of the city in the wake of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.
- NIT’s renovated pool loses sheen in 2 mnths Nagpur: Although Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) spent Rs8 crore on renovation of its Ambazari swimming pool, users are already complaining about the poor state of the facility. The pool was re-opened in April after remaining closed for 14 months since February 2017.
The contractor had installed several rods on the edges to allow swimmers to warm up. Now, all but one of the rods remain. Moreover, earlier the pool had footrest rods. This time, the NIT did not bother to install them.
The bathing area was renovated in 2016 at a huge cost. Several showers throw out water with less than desired force and some have even stopped functioning. One of the three taps in the urinal is not working.
Manmohan Bajpai, president of Ambazari Pool Users’ Association, alleged that the renovation work was of poor quality. “The work was not done as per specifications. The NIT is yet to install the ozone filter. It is not clear why it is stuck up. A huge crack has developed on the floor in the shower area. The cementing material of tiles in the deck area is already coming unstuck,” he said.
Bajpai said that a delegation of pool users would meet NIT chairman Ashwin Mudgal and ask him to conduct an enquiry into the shoddy renovation work. “Action must be taken against guilty officials and contractors,” he added.
Activist Anil Wadpalliwar said that he had visited the pool following complaints from users and found it in a sorry state. “The contractor has done sub-standard work and the officials have not taken any action against him. Rs8 crore public money was spent but the pool users have not benefited. It is a huge scam. Some pool tiles already have stains. I will seek information under Right to Information (RTI) Act and then lodge a complaint with the higher authorities. If they don’t take any action, I will approach the high court,” said the activist.
NIT assistant Pankaj Ambhorkar denied that the renovation work was of poor quality. “If the showers are not working we will replace them soon. The diving pool was closed because of water shortage during summer. Swimmers should use the pool with care,” he said.
- NIT board to abolish ground rent for slums Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Jun 12, 2018, 14:41 IST
NAGPUR: BJP MLA from East Nagpur Krishna Khopde has said the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) will abolish ground rent of 2% levied on shanties in slums. The decision will be taken at a meeting of board of trustees organized on June 13.
Khopde, along with BJP activists and slum-dwellers, met NIT chairman and collector Ashwin Mudgal on Monday. Khopde said slum-dwellers can never afford ground rent of Rs5-10 lakh levied on them. “The state government had taken a good decision to distribute ownership rights to slum-dwellers. But the ground rent issue cropped up as a major worry for the slum-dwellers,” he said.
The NIT will have to seek the state government’s permission for implementation of its decision.
Khopde also demanded to expedite survey of remaining slums and distribution of ownership rights to remaining slum-dwellers.
Corporator Pradip Pohane, Manoj Chafle, Dharmapal Meshram, Sarita Kavre and other BJP leaders were also present.
- Only 3 hours parking at Futala lake road Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | Updated: Jun 11, 2018, 18:10 IST
Nagpur: Municipal commissioner Virendra Singh has directed the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) officials to permit parking of vehicles on the road in front of Futala lake only for three hours in a day.
NMC has started cleaning and desilting of the lake from April wherein on every Sunday, officials including Singh, additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare, deputy municipal commissioner Jayant Dandegaonkar and others participate in the drive. The drivewas carried out on Saturday this week.
During the recent drive, Singh also directed the NMC officials to remove encroachments near the lake. “Install dustbins every 100 metres at the lake so that people have access to them and do not litter waste in the water body. Pets should not be allowed near the lake and also restrict cattle movement around the lake. Accordingly, boards should be displayed in the vicinity. Initiate action against the restaurants in case of any violations like erection of sheds etc,” he added.
Singh also directed the officials to store silt and garbage in one corner of the lake and dispose it off properly later.
The officials were asked to get a sanctioned plan of the Hanuman temple situated adjacent to the lake from the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). “Verify whether the structure and its usage are as per the sanctioned plan or not. Accordingly, the concerned engineers should submit a report with me,” he said.
Health officer (sanitation) Dr Pradeep Dasarwar, chief fire officer Rajendra Uchake, executive engineer Aniruddha Chauganjkar, veterinary officer Dr Gajendra Mahalle, assistant commissioners Vijay Humne, Ashok Patil, Rajesh Karade, Harish Raut, Prakash Warhade and others participated in the drive.
- NMC budgets for 1k cr more revenue sans new taxes Anjaya Anparthi and Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 12, 2018, 03:09 IST
Nagpur: Standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja presented Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) surplus budget of Rs2,946 crore for 2018-19 fiscal, with the stated aim of developing a clean and green city. However, continuing the tradition, he estimated the revenue at a very high Rs2,801.01 crore, even though it was Rs1,747.55 crore in the last fiscal.
In perspective, NMC has taken last nine years to grow its revenue by Rs1,000 crore, while the budget envisages doing this in one year. Also, Kukreja has not imposed any new tax, or hiked property tax, water tariff, building plan sanction or other charges to get more revenue.
Even though the cash-strapped NMC has not cleared contractors’ bills of last fiscal, Kukreja managed to show surplus of Rs145 crore from last fiscal. This figure was a notional Rs10.64 lakh in the civic chief’s Rs2,048.53 crore budget presented two months ago.
Kukreja said he was very confident on his revenue estimation. “I did not propose any new revenue source but will achieve the target with the help of grants from the state government and increase in revenue from property tax and town planning department. The government is all set to make amendments in the Metro Rail transit oriented development (TOD) zones, and hefty revenue is also expected from regularization of unauthorized structures and plots,” he said.
Despite revenue from property tax being Rs196.67 crore last year, Kukreja has estimated it will now be Rs509.51 crore. He made it clear that the civic body was not in a mood to reduce last year’s steep hike in property tax.
Similarly, Kukreja estimated revenue from town planning department at Rs252.50 crore, up from Rs48.64 crore last year.
Kukreja has also accounted for Rs249.91 crore revenue that is to go to the state government directly, and also loan of Rs284 crore. Only Rs1,031.11 crore will come from NMC’s own sources, with the rest from the government as grants, indicating a rise in dependency on the government.
Sticking to his theme — clean and green — Kukreja made provision of Rs2 lakh each for 156 corporators for plantations, landscaping, rainwater harvesting or solar panels on NMC establishments. “I will ensure approval of Nag, Pili and Pora river rejuvenation projects from the government, along with lakes’ conservation plans,” he said.
Amid applause from corporators, he also announced Rs21 lakh each for 156 corporators as ward fund, in which women corporators will get Rs2 lakh more than men. He increased zonal budget to Rs75 crore, where emergency and small works can be executed in 38 wards.
Announcing some new projects, Kukreja said works on Rs5,700 crore Orange or London Street Project will begin from Diwali, bringing in cash for the civic body. “Three layout plans have been sanctioned. I will ensure completion of ongoing and proposed projects of the last budget. Special concentration will be on BoT projects. I will also take follow up all projects sanctioned by union minister Nitin Gadkari and CM Devendra Fadnavis to make the city smart and safe,” he said.
The budget also reduces NMC’s high administrative and establishment expenses of around 55% to below 40%.
Already facing huge financial liability, NMC has much to worry as Kukreja has proposed grants of Rs120 crore for water supply and Rs108 crore for city bus services, despite two special purpose vehicles formed around six years ago to take care of these two services.
Though a builder by profession, Kukreja did not announce introduction of online building plan sanction management system, which CREDAI was awaiting anxiously.
Appreciating the budget, mayor Nanda Jichkar said Kukreja succeeded in giving new vision to NMC. “Women have much to cheer from the budget as female corporators got Rs2 lakh higher ward fund for women self-employment,” she said.
Ruling party leader Sandip Joshi and leader of opposition Tanaji Wanve decided to hold discussions on the budget on Thursday, which will be followed by approval and its implementation.
- No power dues must for govt staffers to surrender quarter Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 13, 2018, 03:01 IST
Nagpur: Government servants will no longer be able to shift to another town before paying their electricity bills. General administration department (GAD) has made it compulsory for them to submit a no objection certificate (NOC) issued by the power company to public works department (PWD) before surrendering their government quarter in an event of transfer or retirement.
The government servants do not get a new quarter unless they surrender the previous one. The decision will benefit MSEDCL, Reliance, Tata Power, BEST and power franchisees Torrent Power and SNDL.
Welcoming the decision, a MSEDCL official said that many public servants did not pay their last electricity bill before shifting to another place. “As per our rules, the new occupant has to pay the dues of his predecessor. This always created problems as the new occupant refused to pay the arrears. In order to avoid this frequent problem, our top bosses approached the GAD,” he added.
The government resolution (GR) issued by GAD has directed the PWD to not take over the surrendered quarter unless the occupant produces power company’s NOC.
The government servants can apply for the NOC online or offline. The concerned sub-divisional officer (SDO) will send a line staffer for meter reading. A provisional electricity bill will be issued on the basis of the reading, which the occupant will have to pay for getting the NOC.
“The decision was taken by GAD during a recent review meeting of state-level coordination committee for Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY). MSEDCL officials pointed out that defaults by government servants were hurting its finances. Principal secretary (GAD) then took this decision and issued a GR,” said the source.
Last year, MSEDCL had decided to issue power connections in the name of individuals instead of designations. This was to ensure that the defaulter has to pay the bill wherever he goes before getting a new connection.