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- Close all commercial activities inside Children’s Traffic Park: Civic chief TNN | Jun 13, 2018, 01:25 IST
Nagpur: Taking cognisance of commercialization of Children’s Traffic Park, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh on Tuesday directed the administration to ensure closure of all commercial activities inside the premises situated in Bhagwaghar layout within next five days’ time period.
Recently, the park has turned into a den for anti-social activities. Civic Action Group (CAG), formed by Dharampeth residents, has approached the additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare and brought the issue to his notice.
Singh on Tuesday morning visited the park and expressed concern over the very purpose of opening the traffic park being defeated. Forgetting the main objective of educating children about traffic rules and safety measures on road, the place had been reduced to an amusement park with main intention of generating revenue for the contractor.
Developed in 2009, not a single traffic related event has been organized in the park even though people have to pay an entry fee. In fact, one of the intentions of the traffic park was to improve awareness of traffic safety among schoolchildren. Unfortunately, the traffic park has failed to allow children to gain hands-on experience of crossing streets with bicycle or other pedestrian safety challenges in a controlled environment devoid of actual motor vehicles.
- NIT set to regularize 505 plots on reservation lands Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 13, 2018, 03:17 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) is likely to regularize 17 unauthorized layouts comprising 505 plots that cropped up on lands reserved for various types of public amenities. The NIT board of trustees will take a decision in this regard in a meeting to be held on Wednesday.
NIT trustee Virendra Kukreja, who is also Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) standing committee chairman, has ensured the proposal is tabled before the NIT board as a majority of these unauthorized layouts are situated in North Nagpur and a few in West Nagpur. Kukreja, himself a BJP corporator from North Nagpur, had announced special projects for this constituency in the NMC budget presented on Monday.
Kukreja told TOI all layouts have witnessed 50% and above constructions so the decision will benefit a large number of families. “NIT will submit the proposal to the state government after board’s approval. Regularization will not be done under the Gunthewari Act. Reservations will be deleted under Section 37 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act,” he said.
This will be for the first time the civic agency will be taking up regularization of layouts on such a large number of reservation lands. Various types of reservations like primary school, market, hospital, power station, community halls etc will be deleted.
However, the NIT is not likely to shift the reservations in other areas creating a major imbalance in the city’s development and also depriving citizens in other areas of basic amenities.
Earlier, the NIT had regularized unauthorized layouts developed without sanction and on NIT or government departments’ lands under Gunthewari scheme.
Considering the demand of Congress corporator Manoj Sangole, the NIT has proposed to alter reservations of park and hospital on two lands situated in Nari in North Nagpur. Reservation of hospital is on khasra No. 109, 110 (part) measuring 1,672 sq.mt whereas reservation of park on khasra No. 93, 94, 96/1, 97, 98 measuring 16,704 sq.mt. The NMC had acquired the two pieces of land and requested for alteration of the reservations. Proposal is to shift park’s reservation on 1,672 sq.mt land and the two on 16,704 sq.mt land.
Similarly, the NIT has proposed to change reservation of sewage disposal scheme from two lands at Wathoda and Bhandewadi and replace with city transport stand and burial ground for the NMC.
The NIT board will also take a decision on abolishing the ground rent of 2% on shanties being regularized as per the state government’s directives. Along with ownership rights, the NIT has levied ground rent on slum-dwellers that created a controversy. The decision will be implemented after the government’s consent.
*Handing over some part of land of Institution of Engineers and Dharampeth Education Society for Metro rail project on North Ambazari road
*Allotment of community halls, libraries, health centres developed under MP/MLA funds to social organizations for operation and maintenance
*Regularization of unauthorized sale-deeds and structures done in Economic Weaker Section layouts by recovering 50% of ready reckoner value and 2% of ground rent
*Extension of the state government’s one-time regularization scheme up to October 31
- MahaMetro gets Special Planning Authority status Proshun Chakraborty| tnn | Jun 13, 2018, 03:44 IST
Nagpur: In a major development, the stategovernment has accorded Special Planning Authority (SPA) status to MahaMetro so as to complete its ambitious Metro rail project in Nagpur city.
The state’s urban development department has issued a notification in this regard under Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966. Accordingly, special powers have been accorded to ensure MahaMetro does not have to go around for approvals from authorities including the government or any other agencies, the notification stated.
Henceforth, any planning work related to stations or any construction work can be undertaken by the MahaMetro itself. MahaMetro had approached the state government and sought the SPA status.
- Netas blame administration for empty coffers of NMC Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 13, 2018, 03:45 IST
Nagpur: A day after standing committee chairman presented NMC’s budget for 2018-19, a blame game has started over the poor financial condition of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) leading to stalling of several projects. While politicians blamed the administration for “cash-less” civic body, officials on the other hand claimed netas project unrealistic revenue figures while presenting their budget.
Former standing committee chairman, Dayashankar Tiwari, said, “The civic officials are not serious about meeting the revenue targets. The administration has failed to achieve even the revised budget targets set by former municipal commissioners. In six-seven years, they have neither improved the NMC’s revenue nor implemented new sources of income as suggested by the standing committee.”
“The civic administration has not taken any step to improve NMC’s financial condition and the revenue shortfall is affecting city’s development,” he said.
During his tenure as standing committee chairman, Tiwari had proposed the administration to impose penalty on new properties that had not implemented rainwater harvesting system. But the administration ignored the proposal, he said.
Echoing Tiwari, senior corporator and former chairperson of the panel Abha Pande said the officials have failed to achieve the revised revenue target for 2017-18 set by the then municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal. According to her, the ruling party is presenting ‘exaggerated’ budgets for the last 5-6 years. Besides, there is no check on mis-utilization of taxpayers’ money on projects like supplying water or running city bus operations. In both the projects, NMC is paying the firms by diverting development funds.
“As for the projects announced in the budget for 2018-19, even loan and government grants would not suffice to complete them,” she said. “Neither the ruling party has shown any effort in improving revenue collection nor have they allowed the administration to tap new ways of revenue generation,” a miffed Pande said.
Avinash Thakre, another former standing panel chief, blamed the present financial crisis on the laxity in achieving the targets. However, he was quick to point out that many projects like the ongoing cement road works will definitely bring down NMC’s annual maintenance costs. This will help NMC have surplus budget in future, he explained.
Another former chairman Narendra Borkar said the budget targets have never been met. Supporting the standing committee for setting ‘high’ targets, he said if this is not done the civic administration will never work.
The fact that budgetary figures have grown manifold over the years and even the revised revenue targets by civic chief too have fallen short suggest that projects remain only on paper while the civic body keeps adding more projects to the list of pending ones year after year, he said.
The civic administration, however, blamed people’s representatives for presenting unrealistic budgets. “We have repeatedly asked the general body to keep targets realistic. But, the elected members keep inflating the figures every year while opposing any tax reforms to generate more revenue,” said a senior NMC official.
The official further said: “We cannot go against the wishes of the elected members. It is time they understand that the city’s growing needs can be met only if there are more sources of revenue and higher tax slabs.” “With exaggerated figures, priority projects and infrastructure works suffer,” the officer added.
“Projects should not be planned just for the sake announcement and publicity, there should be proper budgetary allocation for it so as to complete the same in time,” said another official.
- NMC company to execute Rs2,852cr Nag River projects Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 13, 2018, 04:19 IST
Nagpur: Nagpur Environmental Services Limited (NESL) that is executing 24x7 water supply project will also execute Nag River pollution abatement and riverfront development projects worth Rs2,852.33 crore. NESL is Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) fully owned special purpose vehicle.
This was decided in a meeting of officials of NMC, NESL, Smart City project’s special purpose vehicle Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL) and Agence Française deDéveloppement (AFD), the French Development Agency, held on Tuesday. AFD is preparing detailed project report (DPR) of Rs1,600 crore Nag Riverfront Development Plan and will also finance the project.
NMC sources told TOI, officials including municipal commissioner Virendra Singh decided that NESL would be proper agency to execute the two projects. “Accordingly, a proposal will be tabled before NESL board,” sources said.
In the meeting, AFD was asked to submit DPR of riverfront development plan by August 15 to the NESL. The team of AFD and its agencies will hold meetings with NMC and citizens for next three days as part of DPR preparation. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is likely to fund the pollution abatement plan of Rs1,252.33 crore.
It is likely that NESL will also get Pora river rejuvenation project worth Rs618 crore. NMC is preparing DPR of the project after assurance from chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for approval of funds under the central government’s AMRUT scheme.
- Birds of a feather unite, make a clean home to welcome migratory friends Manka Behl| TNN | Jun 13, 2018, 04:03 IST
It is after decades that water in the 18th century Chhatri lakelooks crystal clear. Situated in the heart of Amravati, the lake was choking on trash until hundreds of conscious citizens freed it from over 20,000 kilograms of plastic waste and 1200 PoP idols.
A unique fight against plastic pollution started in December last year when a group of wildlife photographers noticed the dwindling population of migratory birds which would migrate to the lake every year on a winter sojourn. “In the last few years, the number of birds reduced almost by half. Earlier, we would sight over 1,000 migratory birds of different species including painted storks, woolly-necked storks, red-naped ibis, pacific golden plovers and many others,” says wildlife conservationist Prathamesh Tiwari.
In February 2015, TOI had reported that more than 250 red-crested pochards were recorded at the lake during the Great Backyard Bird-Counting programme. “When the numbers started falling drastically, it didn’t take us long to figure out that the toxic plastic was killing the lake,” adds Tiwari.
During a casual meeting with a local NGO ‘Let’s Clean Amravati’, Tiwari happened to share the problem with dentist couple Dr Anukool and Dr Krishna Pateria, who were among the eight founding members of the organization. “Until then, we were cleaning government schools and public spots. We instantly agreed to take up the lake’s cleaning,” says Anukool.
Constructed during the drought of 1880, the lake had been a major source of water for years (as per some available literatures). On the last Sunday of December 2017 when around 20 people reached the ground zero, the lake was drowning in huge idols of goddesses and chunks of plastic. “The entire ecosystem of the lake was in danger, fishes were dying. The biggest problem was age-old plastic waste was present deep down the lake’s bed,” says Krishna.
The couple spearheaded a campaign and since then, the group started cleaning the lake every Sunday. On one hand, the quantity of plastic and PoP idols in the lake was plummeting and on the other, the number of citizens joining the initiative kept increasing every Sunday.
The campaign went on for 16 weeks and ended on June 10 by which over 160 people managed to remove 1,500 PoP idols and over 20,000 kilograms of plastic waste — a quantity that is enough to make over 10 lakh mineral water bottles and has a scrap value of around 5 lakh. “The Amravati municipal corporation provided us JCBs to dig out very old plastic waste which was buried at the bank. After every drive, the corporation would send a truck to take away the collected waste,” says Dr Sandeep Deole.
This was the only administrative support that the campaign saw. “It is wrong to be dependent on government for everything,” says Mayur Joshi, a young volunteer. The young lot has never seen the lake how 54-year-old naik tehsildar Arvind Gangele it did 20 years back, “pristine”, he says.
“Till now, even we would throw garbage in the lake. But being a part of this campaign has completely changed our mindset. We don’t expect that henceforth, people will stop littering here. But the number of such people will definitely reduce,” says young dentist Dr Nikhil Wankhede.
Not just a learning lesson, the campaign was a “much-needed positive change”, says Aarti Pateria, who is battling breast cancer for the last two years. “Since this was a selfless cause, I would go back home feeling very contended,” she says.
Akshay Janglor, 23, shares the same satisfaction. Though he is a daily wage painter, he had no qualms toiling for three hours every Sunday and not getting paid for it. “We have done all the cleaning work manually. We often come up with innovative techniques. Few of us would dive deep in the lake, dig out the trash and pass it on through a human chain,” he says.
When a similar citizens’ initiative of Akola was recently praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ripples of happiness from Morna reached Chhatri too. “We all felt a sense of gratitude. It was an like an assurance that we have taken efforts in the right direction,” says ayurvedic doctor Sonali Ingle.
The group has done their bit for now. But will the local civic bodies ensure that the lake remains free of plastic? Winter is coming and the birds will tell.
- Two dilapidated houses demolished Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | Jun 13, 2018, 03:57 IST
Nagpur: With the onset of monsoon, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has started demolishing dilapidatedstructures to prevent loss of life. On Tuesday, one such dilapidated residential housewas demolished while part of another was razed.
The NMC had issued a notice to Shankar Mohod, a resident of Dwarkapuri, Hawrapeth, on July 14, 2017, directing him to demolish his dilapidated house. As Mohod did not comply with the NMC’s notice, the civic body swung into action and demolished the house completely.
Similarly, the NMC team partially demolished a residential house belonging to Surendrakumar Jain at Chitar Oli, Badkas Square. The NMC team stopped the action citing sunset. The team will demolish the remaining structure on Wednesday.
Also, the NMC team removed encroachments around Futala Lake on Tuesday following directives of municipal commissioner Virendra Singh on Saturday.
Assistant commissioner Ashok Patil, Sanjay Kamble, Nitin Mathankar, Jamshed Ali, Sanjay Shingane and others took the action.
- Orange City St to take off with mall, hosp work Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | Jun 13, 2018, 05:39 IST
Nagpur: Planned 11 years ago, Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) Rs 5,700 crore Orange City Street project (earlier London Street) is all set to take off with construction of a mall and two hospital towers. The civic body will construct the buildings itself and lease out units in them.
Ruling party leader Sandip Joshi and standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja, after presenting budget on Monday, had announced the project’s execution will commence from August.
Executive engineer (projects) Naresh Borkar said Orange City Mall will come up adjacent to Jaiprakash Nagar Metro Station and two hospital towers at Bhamti. “Mall will have direct connectivity with Metro Rail Station. MahaMetro has given its clearance. One of the two hospital towers will be allotted to a 200-bed hospital and while the other will be given different medical institutions and doctors for setting up hospitals, clinics etc,” he said.
Earlier, a private operator was supposed to develop the project on 31.15 hectares land spread over 5.5 km on its own cost, sell units and pay premium to civic body. The model received no response as the project cost was around Rs 5,700 crore. NMC then divided it into ten parts and will construct the schemes itself and sell it.
The proposed mall will have first ever pick up and drop facility in its ground floor. Parking will be provided in two-layer basement. Four floors will be for commercial and top two floors for offices. It will connect with Metro Rail Station on fourth floor. The estimated cost is around Rs 100 crore.
The land on which Metro Rail Station is coming up was also owned by the NMC and is part of the project. It is situated on Wardha road. NMC had leased it to MahaMetro for the station. The estimated cost of two hospital towers is also around Rs 100 crore. NMC is likely to raise loans and construct the structures. The loan will be repaid from revenue coming from the project itself.
Once remaining eight sectors are executed, the project will be a landmark of the city and also provide citizens of South-West, South, West Nagpur and others various facilities.
- For 1st time, NMC has 6 deputy commissioners Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | Updated: Jun 14, 2018, 00:26 IST
Nagpur: For the first time in its history of 67 years, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will have six deputy municipal commissioners as the state government has appointed two more officials in the civic body.
Deputy municipal commissioner, Nitin Kapadnis, from Pimpri-Chinchwad joined the NMC on Wednesday. Deputy municipal commissioner from Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation, Aziz Shaikh, is expected to join in a couple of days.
Already, the NMC was having four deputy municipal commissioners — Ravindra Deotale, Rajesh Mohite, Jayant Dandegaonkar, all three on deputation, and Ranjana Lade from the NMC’s quota.
After upgradation to grade-A municipal corporation in September 2014, the number of posts of deputy municipal commissioners increased to seven at the NMC. Half of the posts were to be filled by the government on deputation and remaining from the NMC. But the government has filled a majority of the posts by bringing in officials on deputation.
There was a time when the NMC was having only two deputy municipal commissioners in 2015.
Out of three additional municipal commissioners’ posts, the NMC is having only one filled — Ravindra Kumbhare. The government had posted Suhas Diwase, but he is yet to join.
The government also delayed filling up of posts of chief engineer, superintending engineers and other posts on deputation.
- 50-year-old tree falls, Metro plans to transplant it Manka Behl| TNN | Jun 14, 2018, 02:52 IST Tree fell due to damaged root during metro rail cable work at Aakashwani Square in Nagpur on Wednesday June 13th 2018
Nagpur: In a close call on Tuesday, a huge 50 year-old Neem tree fell at the busy Akashwani Square putting lives of motorists and passers-by at risk. Environment activists alleged that the incident took place due to negligence while laying cable for Metro’s sub-station. Mahametro will now be transplanting the tree.
As per the officials of the Metro agency, the work of laying electric cable was being carried out opposite the district court. The cable was being laid from Mahatransco 132 KV sub-station at Mankapur to Mahametro’s radial sub-station (RSS) at Jhansi Rani Square.
While digging the trench, a JCB cut-off roots of the tree from both sides, said members of NGO Green Vigil Foundation. TOI visited the spot on Wednesday and found that the entire tree was uprooted, damaging a nearby compound wall. It was evident that the roots were damaged during the excavation work as remaining part of it was visible beneath pavement on both sides.
“Roots of trees which were in the middle of the trench were damaged. This Neem tree was quite big and lost balance during winds,” said Kaustav Chatterjee, founder of Green Vigil.
According to a nearby kiosk owner Ashok Prajapati, the tree collapsed on Tuesday morning. “The trench was dug few weeks back and roots of few other trees were also damaged,” he said. Workers at the site said that roots got cut by the JCB.
Pointing out that the incident could have caused casualties, Chatterjee said that in such cases the trench should be diverted. “While laying out cables, it is not necessary to maintain a straight line. If there are trees in between, the trench can go around them without damaging the roots,” he added.
Assuring to save other trees from such damage, Mahametro officials said that the Neem tree will be transplanted in the agency’s plantation site near Ambazari Lake which is called ‘Little Wood’. “Though for safety reasons a large portion of the tree’s upper part was cut by the civic body, we will still try to transplant it by making a root ball. The tree’s trunk and some parts of the roots are still in place,” they added.
If done, this will be Mahametro’s second transplantation. In December last year, the horticulture department of Mahametro transplanted 15 trees of different species at a newly built residential society in Mihan.
- HC stays govt’s move to dissolve NIT Vaibhav Ganjapure| TNN | Jun 14, 2018, 02:55 IST
Nagpur: In a setback to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ plans to dissolve the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted an interim stay on the Maharashtra government’s move.
Vaidnyanik Vikas Yuwak Aghadi president Satyavrat Dutta, through counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar, challenged cabinet’s decision of December 27, 2016, where it principally agreed to dissolve NIT from December 31, last year, but it was marred by delays on one or other counts till date. The ministers also approved transfer of its powers and responsibilities to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA). The civic body was set-up under the NIT Act, 1936. The petitioner prayed for quashing or staying cabinet’s 2017 decision.
A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq issued notices to the State Urban development Department and other respondents, asking them to reply within two weeks. NMC commissioner, NIT chairman and NMRDA managing director are other respondents in the PIL.
Claiming cabinet’s move a “politically motivated” decision, the petitioner said in NIT’s absence even the planning authority like NMRDA wouldn’t be in a position to directly take up the developmental schemes and works in the metro region to ensure planned urbanization of the metropolitan region. The move is against the public interest and would also hamper city’s pace of growth drastically, he contended.
Terming government’s decision as “ambiguous”, Dutta pointed out that seven schemes started by NIT are still incomplete and future of its employees would be in jeopardy due to its dissolution. “The applicability of NIT Act is extended to the whole metro region. Thus, it can be safely said that the NIT is now in a position to take improvement schemes even outside city limits over t metropolitan region,” he said.
He further pointed out that the bodies like Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) are continuing to exist and therefore, there is no violation of Article 243-ZD and 243-ZE of the Constitution of India.
Explaining the NIT’s role in city’s development, he said it was set up to control the city’s future expansion by implementing different types of schemes to the metro region so that these areas can be developed in a planned manner and there is no unplanned development.
(With inputs from Vaidehi Kolhe)
- No. of flood-prone areas rise due to haphazard infra works Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 14, 2018, 03:00 IST
Nagpur: Due to several ongoing infrastructure works and haphazard planning, more areas in the city face the threat of flooding this year, reveals a survey by Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s fire and emergency services department. The department has identified 70 such localities that are prone to inundation during monsoon.
Interestingly, the NMC’s administrative building is no exception. On Wednesday, Team TOI found waterlogging in the car parking area of the administrative building. Sources said with no proper drainage facility, water can be found accumulated in the basement even if it rains moderately.
In 2018, the fire department has identified flood prone spots and roads using inputs from the city and traffic police. Due to ongoing cement road works and the increased height of the roads, the number of localities in the list of low-lying areas has increased by over a dozen, the study shows. The new areas included in the list of flood prone are Shankar Nagar Square, Ujwal Nagar, Alankar Talkies, Sevadal Nagar, Raj Nagar, Ashok Chowk and Medical Square.
Most spots identified are either situated in slum areas or congested parts of the city, while some parts are close to Nag or Pili rivers, the study stated.
According to the study, the highest number of low-lying areas has been identified under the jurisdiction of Narendra Nagar fire station. Here, the fire department identified 22 flood prone areas and they included Ladikar Layout, Trimurti Nagar, Shanti Niketan Colony, Shatabdi Chowk (Manewada Ring road) and a few parts of Laxmi Nagar near Aath Rasta Chowk. It is followed by Ganjipeth and Sugat Nagar fire stations with 14 each flood prone spots.
TOI visited many low-lying areas and during interaction with the citizens and shopkeepers found that negligence in drain management, blockage of inlets and encroachment are some of the reasons for flooding.
“As many such areas, including some of the flood prone spots, have no drainage facilities, there is a need for revised mapping to understand existing challenges,” a senior official from NMC’s public works department admitted.
Many low-lying areas in Narendra Nagar and Sugat Nagar have no stormwater drains, the official said.
“Blockage of secondary drains, bad planning of layouts and construction has resulted in rainwater from several upstream localities flooding low-lying areas. Shankar Nagar is one such example. Also, there is more flow of rainwater into drains owing to increased concretization, but the carrying capacity of the drains has remained the same over the years,” said a health department official.
“With fund crunch dogging its civic infrastructure projects, the NMC has been in a scramble to identify funding sources to complete missing links of stormwater drains in various parts of the city,” the senior PWD official added.
- NMC to auction N Kumar’s properties for tax recovery Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 14, 2018, 02:58 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has decided to identify and auction properties of builder N Kumar for recovering property tax arrears of Rs36.09 crore on Inox Mall, situated in Wardhaman Nagar of East Nagpur. Similar action is also likely on Kumar’s Poonam Mall situated at Alankar Talkies Square in West Nagpur as it owes arrears of Rs9.89 crore.
The NMC had auctioned 200 properties since November last year to recover tax dues on them. However, in case of Inox Mall the civic body will be looking for N Kumar’s other properties to be auctioned as the land on which the mall stands is owned by the NIT. The NMC’s Lakadganj Zone had proposed to auction the mall but the head office changed the module.
NMC official told TOI, “Inox Mall cannot be auctioned as the land is owned by Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). Kumar’s Indo Pacific Infrastructure Private Ltd is a BOT (Build, Operate and Transfer) operator of the mall. After NIT’s abolition, the property will come to the NMC. Therefore, decision has been taken to identify other properties of Kumar and auction them for recovery of tax.”
NMC official added that Kumar stopped paying property tax of the mall since the tax revision in 2013.
“NMC had started to levy property tax on the mall in 2006. The tax was assessed as owner occupancy property after Kumar claimed he was business partner in all establishments situated in the mall. Tax was levied as per owner occupancy till 2013,” the official said.
The NMC conducted an investigation into all malls to check whether property tax was recovered as per tenant or owner occupancy. Tax in tenant occupancy is very high compared to owner occupancy. Mall’s tax was revised to tenant occupancy in 2013. “The state’s auditor general, in 2015, raised objection for not levying tax as per tenant occupancy from 2006 onwards. Then, the NMC levied difference amount on the mall from 2006 to 2013. Kumar objected to the revision in tax. The NMC rejected his objection in March 2017. Yet, Kumar has not paid the tax,” the official said.
Similarly, Kumar reportedly has not paid property tax of Poonam Mall situated at Alankar Square since its opening in October 2013. The NMC had assessed property tax as per tenant occupancy. Kumar raised an objection that was settled in February this year.
The official also said NMC levied property tax on the two malls as per tenant occupancy after obtaining documents and information filed by Kumar with income tax department. “Kumar has shown occupants of the two malls as tenants and also reported rental income,” he said.
Kumar said he did not get any notice for auction of his properties. “I had submitted objections on the property tax of the two malls and both the cases are pending,” he said.
- Now, NMC prior nod must before digging up roads Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 14, 2018, 03:40 IST
Nagpur: Taking serious cognizance of bad quality of restoration of trenches across city roads, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh has made it mandatory for all agencies, be it Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) contractors or other government departments, to seek permission and pay security deposit for digging on the roads. The civic chief also directed NMC officials to forfeit deposits and restore trenches if work done by them was not up to the mark.
Singh, in a meeting held on Wednesday, also decided to hold review meeting with all agencies— MahaMetro, MSEDCL, NHAI, state PWD etc— on second Tuesday of every month for proper co-ordination in execution of works and restoration.
Now, NMC’s contractors like Orange City Water Pvt Ltd that is executing 24x7 water supply project, L&T that is doing Smart and Safe City project, agencies executing LED streetlight project, MSEDCL and other government agencies will also be required to take permission and pay security deposit.
TOI had reported about inordinate delay in completion of roads under cement concrete road project Phase-I and II, open manholes on newly concretized roads and poorly restored trenches turning into potholes.
Corporators and office bearers including ruling party leader Sandip Joshi have pointed out many spots where agencies did not restore the trenches properly resulting in death traps forming, especially during rains.
Singh also reviewed cement road projects and directed the officials to ensure display of boards highlighting project’s name, cost, department, starting and completion dates at all sites. He also asked officials to solve water logging problems at all under construction sites.
“Department concerned should issue notification and put up display boards at the sites where traffic is to be diverted. Map of diversion should be highlighted properly. These steps are necessary to prevent mishaps and inconvenience to citizens,” he said.
He also directed officials to install reflectors on all dividers at proper distance. He also asked the officials to erect signages of same size and colour across the city.
- Scania to shut citys green bus service in two months
Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 15, 2018, 03:30 IST
Nagpur: In a setback to government efforts to cut down air pollution and also help sugarcane growers at the same time, Swedish bus maker Scania Commercial Vehicles has reportedly decided to shut down Indias first and only eco-friendly ethanol-run bus project. Its operator SST Sustainable Transport Solutions, a fully owned subsidiary of Scania, served notice of termination of service on Thursday to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC).
CEO of SST Torbjorn Glad in the notice stated company would withdraw its ethanol-run buses and close down its depot from midnight of August 12.
The Volkswagen-owned company has blamed non-fulfilment of contract obligations by the civic body for its decision to discontinue the 19-month-old project of running 55 ethanol-run and 25 bio-gas buses. Scania did not reply to TOIs four-point questionnaire mailed to it.
As reported by TOI on June 5, Scania has already shut down its plant making ethanol-run buses and bus bodies in Karnataka and also pilot project comprising two ethanol-run and one bio-gas buses in Goa. It has also held back ecofriendly city bus project in Thane.
Scania has demanded Rs 19.73 crore from NMC that includes Rs 9.77 crore pending bills, Rs 7.50 bank guarantee, Rs 1.50 crore liquidated damages and Rs 0.96 crore for hiring workshop. In the notice, Scania has mentioned it would withdraw 25 ethanol-run buses from service with effect from August 12. Clearly, Scania will not be bringing in remaining 30 ethanol-run and proposed 25 bio-gas buses.
Scania notice stated it was understood there was no chance of fulfillment of conditions prescribed in the agreement by NMC. "NMC is requested to arrange alternative modes of transport as from August 12. Company will not be responsible to provide green buses operations anymore and shall withdraw all its buses provided by it under the agreement with effect from termination date," the company said.
The company requested NMC's cooperation in smooth transition for termination of the project. It has also asked for help in safeguarding the operating assets and further to desist from any chance of sabotage or any unwarranted chance of uncertainty in protecting underlying assets under the project.
Though the project was launched in November 2016, Scania in association with the NMC and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways headed by city MP Nitin Gadkari had launched the pilot with one ethanol-run bus in August 2014. Five more buses were added in November 2016 and 19 only in January this year.
As it is considered dream project of Gadkari, NMC is in a dilemma after receiving the notice. It is likely NMC office bearers and officials will try to convince Scania to continue the project. As an immediate step, NMC's transport department will reply to the notice.