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- NMC chops off felled tree supposed to be transplanted Manka Behl| TNN | Jun 15, 2018, 03:33 IST
Nagpur: The old tree near Akashwani square that fell on Wednesday and was supposed to be transplanted by Mahametro was found on Thursday completely chopped up. Timber around 3,000 kilograms was allegedly taken away after cutting it.
As reported by TOI, the huge Neem tree fell due to negligence while laying cable for Metro’s substation at Jhansi Rani Square. Following an outcry by greens, Mahametro on late Wednesday evening assured it would transplant the tree at its Little Woods plantation site near Ambazari lake.
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On Thursday morning when members of NGO Green Vigil Foundation reached the spot they saw the uprooted tree chopped into pieces. On enquiring, they found that the tree was chopped by the contractor of Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) garden department. While Metro officials claimed they had informed the civic officials about their plan, the latter denied it. “We were not alerted by the Metro officials. Chopping an uprooted tree is a routine procedure,” said NMC’s garden superintendent Amol Chorpagar.
Blaming both the bodies for lack of coordination, Green Vigil members on Thursday filed a complaint with Mahametro managing director Brijesh Dixit. “The tree was cut into halves on the very first day of uprooting and the trunk with small branches were lying for 48 hours on the road. MahaMetro did not take any action towards transplantation of the tree then,” they wrote in the complaint.
Instead of hurrying to get rid of the tree, the garden department should have thought of ways to preserve it, members said. “In such cases, trees can be saved using better techniques. Cutting them and making money by selling off the timber is not right,” the NGO said.
In another case, a Neem tree felled inside Zilla Parishad premises on Thursday due to choking. “The tree’s base was completely choked with concrete. There are many other trees that are completely choked and at risk of falling. This is a threat for people in the vicinity,” Green Vigil said.
- 8-acre parking on PDKV land to ease Dhantoli, Ramdaspeth congestion Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 15, 2018, 03:43 IST
Nagpur: Soon parking problem of Dhantoli and Ramdaspeth will be solved. Ruling party leader Sandip Joshi on Thursday asked the standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja to make a provision of Rs5 crore to develop parking place on PDKV land near Rahate Colony T-point on Wardha Road.
While speaking on NMC budget in the general body, Joshi said the agriculture university had given an in-principle nod to provide nine out of 18 acre lands it has on Wardha Road on a condition that no construction will be allowed on it. This ground will provide space for 800 four-wheelers and 1,800 two-wheelers. The House unanimously welcomed the move.
NMC House passed the Rs2,946 crore budget on Thursday. The annual budget presented by standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja was passed without many modifications, even as a fractured opposition led by the Congress termed it ‘biased, unrealistic and anti-poor’.
Kukreja’s budget will come into effect from April 1 with minor changes. Mayor Nanda Jichkar allowed speeches of 28 corporators during the daylong discussions on budget. A few opposition corporators, including of BSP and Congress, supported the budget.
Most speeches lacked sting or adequate study and several corporators simply complained the budget ignored works in their wards. Some corporators also alleged that maximum allocations were made in BJP-controlled wards.
Leader of opposition Tanaji Wanve said, “Kukreja presented a biased, unrealistic and anti-poor budget. Municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal presented Rs2,048.53 crore budget. Kukreja inflated it by almost Rs900 crore.” He also alleged that Kukreja ignored suggestions of corporators and standing committee members.
Senior corporator Abha Pande said despite financial crisis, NMC was implementing loss-making projects like running ethanol buses and water supply project through Orange City Water. NMC is not only paying for raw water but also Rs74 crore per annum electric bills of the private company. She pointed out the Rs145 crore opening balance shown was misleading as it was special grant from state government.
Terming the special focus to North Nagpur an eyewash, Congress corporator Manoj Sangole said no new projects had been announced. He also demanded an audit of ward funds. Praful Gudadhe (Congress) said in 2014, big projects were promised by BJP and union minister Nitin Gadkari like boats would be sailing in Nag Nadi but the river remains polluted as ever. He said implementing these projects through private operators was privatization. He also slammed the civic body for giving GPS based wrist watches to Class IV sanitary workers. Instead they should have been given for civic officials who are misusing even NMC vehicles for personal works, he said. He demanded Kukreja to ensure NMC got Rs1,000 crore grants under GST instead of Rs600 crore per annum.
Sandip Sahare (Congress) said the ruling party had funds for statues but not for library. Dayashankar Tiwari (BJP) said, “The budget is visionary and will transform Nagpur.”
- MahaMetro to plant another 6,000 trees in Ambazari catchment Manka Behl| TNN | Jun 16, 2018, 02:51 IST
Nagpur: In another green initiative, Mahametro will be planting 6,000 trees near the catchment area of Ambazari lake. This site will be called ‘Little Wood 2’.
TOI had recently reported that the over 5,000 trees planted by MahaMetro behind Vasudev Nagar (in Ambazari lake catchment) were growing fast. Called Little Wood, plantations are done on a 30-hectare piece of land and 38 variety of trees, suitable for Nagpur’s hot climate, have been planted.
Now, the agency plans to carry out second stage of massive plantation on a nearby land. “We have proposed to do plantations on around 100 acres of land,” MahaMetro officials said. The agency has also invited tenders for the work. Estimated cost of the project is Rs78.76 lakh. As per tender conditions, the time to complete all plantations will be three months. The selected agency will have to maintain the plantations for nine months.
The online submission of tenders is open till June 21. It will be opened the same day at 4.30pm at Metro House, Civil Lines. According to MahaMetro, similar species will be planted at the new site. “Group plantations will be the same as Little Wood but we will try different combination of species, which will be selected keeping in mind the geographical and climatic conditions of the area. Our aim will be to ensure highest survival rate,” said a senior official.
He added the process of taking the land from forest department was underway and would be completed soon. Apart from plantations, a nature track for morning walkers will be developed at Little Wood 2. “We will put up boards displaying information about different species of trees and birds,” the official said.
Flowering trees like Gulmohar, Amaltas, Tab Roses, Mahogany and others are growing at the existing plantation site where 31 bird species like great cormorant, open billed stork, spotted owlet, egrets, lesser whistling duck and, in this season, even peacock can be spotted.
MahaMetro will fell 350 trees for constructing the mass transport system. As per Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) norms, it was supposed to plant 1,750 trees as compensation but will end up planting over 11,000.
- NMC will continue green bus project, say office-bearers Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 16, 2018, 02:53 IST
Nagpur: Despite Scania threatening to pull out, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) office bearers are determined to continue the green bus project on their own in city. They will meet union minister Nitin Gadkari and decide on the way to continue the project and also fate of green bus operator Scania.
TOI on Friday had reported Scania has served notice of termination to the civic body and announced it will withdraw 25 ethanol-run buses from the city from midnight of August 12. TOI had also reported Scania shut down its ethanol-run and premium bus body building unit in Karnataka and ecofriendly bus project of Goa.
Former mayor and BJP corporator Pravin Datke had made efforts to launch the project during his tenure as mayor. Datke told TOI all efforts will be made to continue the project with any other interested company. “We wanted ecofriendly bus project so launched it under the guidance of Gadkari. We have nothing to do with Scania. We will also launch biogas and electric run buses under Gadkari's guidance," he said.
Ruling party leader Sandip Joshi said it was very unfortunate that Scania was pulling out. "It should have not taken such a decision. We will identify reasons behind it. We will meet Gadkari and decide how to take the project forward," he said.
Chairman of city transport committee Bunty Kukade said Scania did the same in Goa and Thane. "Scania is taking the projects and leaving them midway. NMC has tried its best to give all facilities to Scania. We launched the project under Gadkari's leadership to provide AC and pollution-free buses to citizens,” he said. However, the service is deep in the red with buses running mostly empty.
Kukde said Scania had no interest in increasing the number of passengers though it was its responsibility. “Scania increased fleet of buses to 25 only after several reminders and ultimatum. It did not comply with NMC's agreement. We had many times suggested Scania to display fares of Green Bus and Red Bus on all buses so the passengers should know there was not much difference. Scania did not do so," he said.
Kukade also said notice should have been given to city transport committee but it was sent to the department. "We will meet Scania officials and resolve the issues," he said. An official from city transport department said a reply to Scania will be sent in a couple of days. "Points raised by Scania in the notice of termination were not at all true. We will talk to them and chalk out further way if Scania is not positive about the project," he said.
Scania being world’s only ethanol-run bus maker, it might be difficult for NMC to run them on its own. It can, however, deploy biogas and electric-run buses through other companies.
- PMO seeks report on Ambazari Lake pollution Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 16, 2018, 03:42 IST Ambazari Lake overflows after a bout of mighty rainfall in Nagpur on Saturday August 19th 2017.
Nagpur: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought report on pollution of Ambazari Lake from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Accordingly, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) will investigate and submit the report to the CPBC that will forward it to the PMO.
One of the members of Ambazari Lake Swimmers and Conservation Association, Ajay Kadu, had lodged a complaint with the PMO on May 24 informing increase in pollution in the water body to a great extent due to release of untreated sewage water and industrial waste. Kadu received a reply from the PMO in which section officer, Kumar Shailendra, has asked the CPCB and chief secretary of government of Maharashtra to investigate and submit a report to the PMO and Kadu.
The CPCB, in its letter dated June 5, directed the MPCB to submit a status report and action taken report.
Kadu, who resides at Subhash Nagar near the lake, in his complaint said flora and fauna in and around the lake was declining to a great extent due to high pollution levels.
“Earlier, Ambazari Lake was the only source of drinking water to the city. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) shifted its drinking water supply system to other places due to rising pollution. City's iconic Nag river begins from the lake. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), Hingna, CRPF and others still depend upon the lake for water. Sewage water flows into the lake from Wadi and adjoining areas without any check. Also, industries in MIDC release industrial waste in the lake,” he said.
A Grade-I heritage water body, Ambazari Lake has been neglected by the NMC for decades. Incidents of fish dying in large numbers were reported several times in the last two years proving rise in pollution to alarming levels. MIDC Hingna supplies water from the lake to soft drink plants, bottled drinking water units, five villages for drinking purpose and industrial use after treatment. MIDC also complained to the NMC about the increase in pollution levels. However, nothing changed.
The NMC had proposed rejuvenation of the lake under the central government’s National Lakes Conservation Plan five years ago and sitting pretty. Also, the civic body in association with the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) and other government departments had proposed to install sewage treatment plants on Nag river for treatment and release of recycled water into the lake but the plan remained only on paper for two years.
- Discom plans to allow mobile towers on its land Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 16, 2018, 04:06 IST
Nagpur: In order to increase its revenue, cash-strapped discom Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) has decided to allow mobile service providers to erect towers on its land on revenue-sharing basis. The discom has 5,300 premises in the state for the project. Both ground based and roof towers will be allowed for this purpose.
The bidder has to propose the revenue-sharing model in lieu of MSEDCL’s space utilized for mobile towers. The bidder has to propose the percentage of profit (post tax & excluding all expenses) that it will share with the MSEDCL. Revenue-sharing may be either monthly or quarterly.
The bidder has to also provide free mobile connectivity (within tower vicinity) from all service providers who are using the mobile tower. He has to propose free minimum 10 MBPS Internet leased line (1:1) with minimum of 4 Public IP and 4 MBPS MPLS link at MSEDCL offices/locations within 5 km radius of the tower. The discom will have undisputed rights to further extend these links for its own use. The bidder also has to propose the additional bandwidth charges in case higher bandwidth is required.
Detailed audit will be done while deducing the due share. Bidder may propose single enterprise-wide model, differential model or location-based model. The initial period of the contract for the rented premises is minimum 5 years which shall be renewed at the sole discretion of the MSEDCL up to a maximum period of 15 years. Further decision of allotment of space shall be taken afresh.
- GR issued for free land ownership for Sindhis Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 16, 2018, 04:01 IST
Nagpur: Seventy-one years after Independence, around 50 lakh members of Sindhi community in the state— around 20,000 reside in Khamla, Jaripatka and Mecosabagh in the city — are all set to get ownership rights of land, on which they are residing or doing business, for free. Also, encroachments done by them and sale deeds executed with other people will be reportedly regularized.
The state’s revenue and forest department has issued a notification in this regard on June 14. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja told TOI that the GR is the result of efforts taken by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and union minister Nitin Gadkari.
“District administration will now announce a time bound programme to give the ownership rights. Area occupied by the people other than that allotted by the government will also be regularized after a survey. Also, present occupants will get ownership rights after survey and verification of documents,” he said.
Activist Narayan Ahuja said district administration should start distributing the ownership rights to residential and commercial plots. “Planning authorities were not giving building plan sanctions due to lack of ownership rights. Also, encroachments had cropped up in a few areas. People were not getting loans and also documents to prove their residential address. All these problems will be solved now,” he said.
Only a few people were given ownership rights in 1975 and 2005 by recovering ready reckoner value. But the community demanded ownership rights and regularization for free as they had left their properties in Pakistan following partition.
It will be an uphill task for the district administration as many have expanded their residential and commercial structures. Some of them have even encroached upon internal roads.
The decision is likely to benefit BJP if everything goes well as per the notification. Already, the government has started give giving ownership rights to slum-dwellers in various parts of the city.
- 2,158 Vidarbha forest patches between 1-5 sq km: Study Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | Jun 19, 2018, 03:44 IST
Nagpur: Although many studies have been done on genetic connectivity of tiger landscape, for the first time wildlife wing of the forest department has come out with a report on fragmented patches leading to rise in man-animal conflict.
The report — ‘Forest fragments in Eastern Vidarbha Landscape (EVL)’ — by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) states that EVLs harbour more than 200 tigers. These tigers are spread across five tiger reserves, three sanctuaries, and fragmented forests outside protected areas (PAs). They live among human population of over 1.45 crore and a network of 45,790km of roads criss-cross the landscape. The study was carried out in Vidarbha’s seven districts — Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Nagpur, Wardha and Yavatmal.
Fragmentation of forests has also led to frequent man-animal conflict. In the last 6 months, 13 humans have died in wild animal attacks. Besides, 12 tigers too have died, and orders to capture three problem tigers were issued recently.
Talking to TOI, state’s chief wildlife warden AK Misra said, “The study has identified 2,158 forest patches between 1-5 sqkm, 16 patches between 100-500 sqkm, and only five patches beyond 500 sq km. These patches also face huge biotic pressure. Tiger being a long-ranging animal, it enters into conflict with so many fragmented patches.”
Misra said of the forest patches that are over 500 sqkm, one each is in Chandrapur and Gondia, while three are in Gadchiroli, where there is hardly any tiger presence. “While Gondia and Chandrapur remain fully occupied with big cats, we need to now focus on Gadchiroli now,” he added.
“This study is an outcome of my concerns over growing incidents of man-animal conflict in the recent past. I had asked WII to conduct such a study, which has revealed forest fragmentation was one of the major reasons for conflict. How to convert these patches into big forest is a challenge now,” said Misra.
Misra said a lot of research has been carried out to study genetic connectivity of the landscape, but none have attempted to study the patch characteristics of the fragmented remnants of forests in the corridors. “The study aims to analyse forests outside PAs and in corridors — to inform forest management about magnitude of fragmentation and enable better-informed policies to aid long-term tiger conservation,” says Bilal Habib, WII scientist and lead author.
Habib said patch characteristics and isolation of forest patches greater than 1 sq km in size were calculated based on the daily average movement (302.33 metres) of a tiger in this landscape, as calculated from data on tiger movement from radio collars.
“We identified such isolated patches in three forest classes (very dense, moderately dense, and open forest) and provided descriptive patch statistics. Roadless areas in the landscape were also mapped using existing published methodology,” he said.
The study identified 406, 1,189 and 1,017 patches of very dense, moderately dense, and open forest respectively, which are larger than 1 sq km in area, and may have the potential of acting as stepping stone corridors, provided they are present in areas of tiger movement, within the daily displacement distance from each other, and are devoid of human disturbance.
The study also found an alarming proportion of these patches to be isolated from each other when filtered with a 300 metre threshold distance. “We identified 70, 306, and 315 patches which are isolated from each other in very dense, moderately dense and open forest category respectively,” said Habib.
- Cut on irrigation saves water for city Shishir Arya| TNN | Jun 19, 2018, 03:26 IST
Nagpur: Despite less rain in 2017 that left dams depleted, water level in reservoirs of the region as on Monday was almost same as last year. The savings could happen only due to curtailment on irrigation front. Irrigation was limited to barely a couple of rounds throughout the year in most areas so water could be saved for drinking and other purposes, said sources.
There were concerns about supply to Nagpur as Totladoh dam that caters to the city was among the reservoirs where the level was really low.
An year on year comparison shows that as on June 18 (Monday), Totladoh is having 62.80 million metre cube (MMC) of water. This comes to 6.18% of the total capacity. Last year, on the same date there was 40.10 MMC water or close to 4%.
Government sources said there were major cuts in irrigation with just one round each released in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. In the Nagpur district, there were protests by paddy growers as water was not released from Totladoh dam. Had it not been for that rationing, the dam’s level may have been lower. Under the current situation city’s drinking water needs can be met till July 15 if even if it does not rain well, said a source.
Totladoh dam is built on the river Pench that flows from Madhya Pradesh. The supply was cut to nearly half after the Chaurai dam was built on Madhya Pradesh side. The impact was seen in 2016 itself that left water level at 4% in the previous year. There was no cut in irrigation last year which resulted in less water, an official said.
Considering the dry spell in 2017 there were cuts in irrigation leading to better savings. Officials dealing with the issue said this year’s experience showed water could be made to last even if rains are low. But to ensure enough water for city, irrigation will have to take a back seat. Totladoh irrigates nearly one lakh acres of land.
There was rationing in other dams also. The dams are divided into major, medium and small on the basis of size. There are 18 major dams in Nagpur division which covers Wardha, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gondia, Gadchiroli and Nagpur district. The average water level as of Monday in these dams is at 12.88%. On the same date last year it was 10%.
Situation is somewhat reverse in Amravati division. The storage here was 23% last year while at present it is 21%. West Vidarbha had a major dry spell last year. The level at Katepurna dam has touched 1.18% while last year it was 20%. Bembla dam in Yavatmal had 12% water now as against 23% in 2017. The average level in West Vidarbha’s reservoirs was only marginally lower but the water crisis was at its worse in 2017-18.
- NMC, Power Grid to set up floating solar panels in Gorewada lake Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Jun 20, 2018, 08:20 IST Representative image
NAGPUR: In the first-of-its-kind project in the state, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) plan to generate power from floating solar panels in Gorewada lake. The solar power will be utilized to run the civic body’s water treatment plants (WTP) located adjacent to the lake. The plan is to generate 3MW solar power from the project expected to cost Rs18 crore. As per NMC officials, three WTPs — Pench-I, II and III situated adjacent to Gorewada lake can run entirely on the 3MW solar power during daytime, saving huge expenses of NMC.
Power Grid team comprising executive director Sanjay Garg, manager Anurag Shrivastav and deputy manager Dr Vinay Senre made presentation of the proposed project before the NMC officials on Tuesday.
An official from NMC electrical department told TOI Power Grid will now prepare detailed project report (DPR) of the project and submit with the NMC. “Power Grid came up with pre-feasibility report of the project. Project is feasible and beneficial for NMC. Decision on who will set up, operate and maintain the unit will be taken after submission of DPR,” he said.
TOI had on June 1 reported NMC’s plan to set up solar power generation units of 42MW for running all its establishments like WTPs, hospitals, community halls, libraries, street light, administrative offices etc on solar power. This floating solar power project will be in addition to the earlier project.
NMC official added Power Grid’s plan was good as it will save huge space in and around WTPs for solar power generation. “We were planning to set up panels in and around WTPs. It would have occupied huge space. We bring water from Totladoh (Pench) reservoir and put it in Gorewada lake, which is owned by NMC itself. Then, the water is pumped and treated at the three WTPs. Therefore, the project will be feasible and requires no more stress,” he said.
Under the project, power generating solar photovoltaic (PV) cells will be installed on the surface of the water in the lake. Such projects have proved successful in other parts of the state like Kerala and West Bengal in the past.
Deputy mayor Deepraj Pardikar, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh, leader of opposition Tanaji Wanve, additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare, chief engineer Manoj Talewar, executive engineer (electrical) Sanjay Jaiswal, ADTP Pramod Gawande, deputy executive engineer Dipak Chitnis and other NMC officials were present.
- Road works worth Rs3,607 cr to begin in Vid after monsoon Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 20, 2018, 03:50 IST
Nagpur: Road works worth Rs3,607.34 crore are set to be launched in various parts of Vidarbha after the monsoon. Further Rs3,133.26 crore road works are at the tendering stage and are likely to begin later in the year. Thus, road works worth Rs6,740.60 crore will be executed across the region very soon.
Of the first lot of road works worth Rs3,607.34 crore, 18 packages comprising two to five roads each, and costing Rs3,044.08 crore, will be executed in Nagpur revenue division. Similarly, four packages costing Rs563.26 crore will be executed in Amravati revenue division. The state’s public works department (PWD) has issued letter of award to contractors for 22 packages. Works will start after execution of agreements.
The tendering process for more four packages costing Rs381.88 crore is going on for Nagpur division, and 18 packages costing Rs2,751.38 crore for Amravati division.
Under one of the packages, city’s two major roads — North Ambazari Road from Jhansi Rani Square to Subhash Nagar T-point, and Ambazari T-point to University Campus Square will be concretized. At present, the two roads are in very bad condition due to lack of repairs for last many years.
Under the project, Vidarbha will get roads stretching 2,456.50km, some 1,198km in six districts of Nagpur division, and 1,257.67km in five districts of Amravati division.
The PWD used to execute road works worth around Rs400 crore every year in each of the two divisions in the region. The projects used to be worth a maximum Rs25 crore each.
For the first time, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and PWD minister Chandrakant Patil have planned road works on a large scale under new hybrid annuity model. Here, the contractor is supposed to complete the given project in two years and get 40% of total cost. Remaining 60% will be paid in equal instalments over 10 years. Therefore, PWD could take up road works on such a large scale.
PWD chief engineer Ulhas Debadwar told TOI the highlight of the project is that the contractor is liable for repairs and maintenance of the road for 10 years. “Earlier, defect liability period was for maximum three years. Thus, new model will ensure quality in road works and convenience for citizens over a longer time. This was the vision of Fadnavis and Patil,” he said.
Debadwar added micro seal surfacing of the roads will be done after three years, and strengthening after seven years, to ensure there are no problems on the roads for 10 years. “PWD minister and secretary CP Joshi have incorporated this in the project itself. Therefore, there is no reason for the roads to be damaged for 10 years,” he said.
The response from contractors to big road projects in Vidarbha is always very lukewarm. Nagpur division managed to get good response due to Debadwar and his team’s efforts. Contractors from Hyderabad and various parts of the state participated. Amravati division is facing some problems but is expected to complete tendering process of remaining packages successfully.
- Residential consumers to pay water surcharge meant for commercial users Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Jun 20, 2018, 08:31 IST
NAGPUR: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) latest hike of 11% in water tariff has turned out to be a controversial one. The civic body is levying raw water surcharge of 9% on residential consumers even though it is meant for only commercial consumers. The NMC had increased water tariff by 11% of which 9% was raw water surcharge and 2% was electricity surcharge. Raw water surcharge is a result of the MaharashtraWater Resources Regulatory Authority’s (MWRRA) directives to water resources department (WRD) for levying charges on the NMC as per utilization of water by the latter.
The NMC used to draw raw water of 175 million metre cube (MMC) from Totladoh (Pench) reservoir under residential (domestic) category. It used to supply the water for residential, commercial and industrial. WRD’s rate for residential category is Rs2.50-5.50 lakh per MMC while Rs48-96 lakh per MMC for commercial and industrial category.
Therefore, the WRD started to levy residential tariff for 145 MMC and commercial tariff for 30 MMC. Thus, the NMC’s expenses on raw water increased from Rs9 crore to Rs13.50 crore per annum. Accordingly, the NMC started to levy raw water surcharge of 65 paise per unit that adds up to to 95 paise on residential and commercial consumers.
NL Sawarkar from Jan Samasya Nivaran Manch told TOI that it was injustice towards residential category. “Raw water surcharge should only be levied on consumers utilizing 30 MMC water. We will raise the demand with the NMC,” he said.
Defending the decision, an NMC official said raw water surcharge was also levied on residential consumers as tariff of residential category very less compared with commercial category. “NMC’s expense on water works comes to around Rs20 per unit. Water tariff for residential category is Rs7.38 per unit up to 20 units and Rs11.26 per unit up to 30 units. Residential consumers are supplied water at subsidized rates. Tariff for commercial consumers begin from Rs21 per unit and goes beyond Rs100 per unit. Tariff of commercial and industrial consumers would have increased further if raw water surcharge levied only on them. Therefore, raw water surcharge is being recovered from all consumers,” he said.
Another official said provisions of separate water tariff to different categories is made in the NMC’s water bylaws but not for surcharges. “Therefore, the decision cannot be changed. NMC’s loss will increase further if the raw water surcharge is withdrawn,” he said.
- Nagpur civic body returns properties to defaulters after auction This has also jeopardized the efforts of successful bidders who have to pay 25% of the auctioned price and participants who have to pay Rs10,000 each as registration feesAnjaya Anparthi | TNN | June 20, 2018, 18:15 IST
NAGPUR: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) action against property tax defaulters by auctioning their properties has turned out to be a damp squib. It has returned the properties of around 100 defaulters after the auction process, raising the question mark over the entire process of the civic body’s auction policy which “authorizes the civic chief to return the property and terminate the auction process if the owner pays all the dues and charges within 20 days of the auction”.
This has also jeopardized the efforts of successful bidders who have to pay 25% of the auctioned price and participants who have to pay Rs 10,000 each as registration fees. The “faulty” process has led to a simmering disappointment among bidders as they may not take part in any of the NMC’s auction process in future.
According to a data provided by the NMC, the process to auction around 200 properties for recovery of property tax arrears completed between November 2017 and March 31, 2018, and out of this, auction of around 110 properties was completed successfully.
“After the auction process, around 100 defaulters turned up and assured to pay the arrears. The NMC recovered arrears, expense incurred for auctioning process and 10% of the auctioned amount to be paid to successful bidder. Then, the NMC returned the properties to defaulters,” the sources said, adding none of the successful bidders in remaining 10 cases got the auctioned properties in these seven months since November 2017, and it is a lengthy and difficult process for the successful bidders to get back their 25% money.
In a couple of cases out of ten cases, the defaulters have filed petitions in the high court. In remaining cases, the NMC is yet to issue self-certificate to the successful bidders for getting possession of the property.
In remaining around 90 properties out of 200 which was to be auctioned, the NMC has cancelled the auction process on time. As per the NMC officials, the defaulters turned up and paid the arrears so the auctions were cancelled.
The NMC launched auctioning process after its various methods for recovery of around Rs 378 crore arrears failed. The civic body also launched an amnesty scheme in which total amount of arrears and interest was supposed to be waived off. Of total 2.30 lakh defaulters, below 10,000 turned up under the scheme.
Then, the civic body decided to auction the properties of defaulters.
Now, the NMC has lined up around 2,247 properties for auction of which dates for 40 has been announced so far.
- NMC to rationalize routes to cut losses in city bus ops Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 20, 2018, 17:24 IST
Nagpur: Realization has dawned upon the NMC transport department to rationalize bus routes to curb losses and meagre earnings.
“The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s transport department has issued directions to rationalize all routes of Aapli Bus plying on city roads. Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) has already been asked to conduct a study on route rationalization. The study is almost complete and in 15 days the report’s outcome will be implemented,” confirmed a senior department official.
Presently, the NMC, through three red and one green bus operators, operates 375 buses on 126 routes in the city and outside city limits. Ever since the NMC took over the city bus operations, it has not modified any route. Right now, 1.40 lakh commuters ply in city buses every day. The number was similar when VNIL was operating the city bus service.
Sources said for NMC there is no concept of loss on the routes. If NMC maintains a 5-30 minute frequency on all routes its loss on city bus operation will reduce. Besides, peak hour management is crucial.
Right now, there is no proper scheduling of city buses as both green and red buses ply on same routes at same time. As a result, the civic body is not finding ridership for air-conditioned eco-friendly buses even after a fare cut. At the same time, if they work on better frequency on the existing routes, they stand to gain.
“So, we are working on a study of all the existing routes. It will take around 15 days to modify the routes as many of them have less than standard stipulated income per day,” he said.
The Aapli Bus’s standard income is Rs27 per km. It should ideally be Rs58 per km but there are some routes that do not rake up that amount. “After rationalization, the NMC will need to either discontinue or curtail the number of trips on such routes,” the officer added.
For example, the response on Manish Nagar or Besa route is very less, so it needs to curtail number of trips, the senior official explained.
Currently, there are more than 30 routes on which the per-km earning is below the stipulated standard. “The bus routes were decided as per the demand of the political leaders or by citizens. The civic body never carries out any study after a bus is introduced on a specific route. There has been no restructuring of the routes even though the bus is getting poor response,” the officer pointed out.
So, after the NMC survey, some routes will either be shut down, extended or changed according to the frequency of buses.
The officer also pointed out that on many profitmaking routes, the city bus services have been affected due to the huge competition from illegal transport vehicles. A better coordination from traffic police and regional transport office needed to curb operation of illegal passengers’ vehicles.
- ‘Metro has already earned Rs100cr’ Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 20, 2018, 17:27 IST
Nagpur: Even though Nagpur Metro is yet to begin commercial operations, MahaMetro has already earned Rs100 crore from commercial operations. MahaMetro managing director Brijesh Dixit told Rotarians that the money had been earned through 1% surcharge on stamp duty, premium of extra floor to space index (FSI) under transit oriented development (TOD) policy, supervision charges paid by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and 4% testing charges at MahaMetro’s quality testing laboratory. Dixit was conferred the Rotary Vocational Excellence Award on Sunday.
“We are trying to find other sources of revenue so that Metro fares are on the lower side,” added Dixit.
The MD further said that MahaMetro was using 5D BIM technology, which had led to a saving of Rs800 crore. “There are many unique features of Nagpur Metro. It is the first one to have a TOD policy before beginning commercial operations. We have gone in for solar energy at the initial stage itself. Solar power is costing us Rs 3.50 per unit while MSEDCL power is Rs 9.50 per unit. This huge difference will bring down the operational cost. We have provided special facilities for senior citizens and physically handicapped persons.” he added.
“The work on at grade section of Nagpur Metro was completed in record time and currently MahaMetro is organizing free joyrides for Nagpurians. Our aim is to make citizens acquainted with the Metro,” he said.
According to Dixit, MahaMetro is in the process of providing high quality mass transit system to Nagpur and its environs. “The work of phase I is 65% complete while the detailed project report (DPR) of phase II has been submitted to us by the consultant,” said the MD.
Annarupa Chandak, Mangesh Joshi, Rajender Singh Khurana, Dr Vinay Tule, Shashank Vishwarupe, Madhavendra Jain, Raghuvir Singha and Anil Kokate were prominently present in the award function.