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Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

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  • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

    Measures to tackle air pollution can reduce 8.58L deaths: Study

    Manka Behl| TNN | May 31, 2018, 03:40 IST

    Nagpur: Every year in India, around 26.45% premature deaths (among people above 25 years) are due to air pollution from thermal power plants and industries. While most of the coal-fired plants are violating air pollution standards thanks to the extension on the already-missed deadline given by the central government, the compliance of the standards by the currently operating and under-construction plants can actually avoid 1.24 lakh premature deaths annually. Also, 8.58 lakh premature deaths and 40% pollution levels in India can be reduced if mitigation measures are implemented.

    This was revealed in the latest study by Louisiana State University (LSU) which pointed out that emission from thermal power plants is the largest single-point source of pollution in India. At 22.62%, the highest premature mortality due to toxic emissions from power units was found to be in Chhattisgarh — a state which is often called the country’s power hub, having the seventh-largest coal-fired power plant in the country (Korba Super Thermal Power Plant).

    TOI has been reporting on how Indians will continue to suffer for next few years as the power plants have got an extension to comply with environmental norms. While new power plants are all set to come up in various parts the country, the study concludes that cancelling the construction of proposed coal-fired power plants can save 26,000 lives.

    When it comes to premature mortality due to industrial air pollution, Delhi topped the list. The study attributes around 40% of premature deaths in the Capital to industrial sources. “Not just the polluting sources in Delhi, even the industrial units in neighbouring areas like Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh contribute to the pre-mature deaths in the capital. Similarly, the power units of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand are affecting Chattisgarh,” said Sunil Dahiya, campaigner at Greenpeace India. The environmental group also contributed in the study.

    Based on a mathematical modelling, the study analysed 13 scenarios (see box) with current emissions in different sectors. “Emission inventory for various sectors were clubbed with meteorological parameters and were then used to predict the PM2.5 emissions from different sources and their concentrations at various geographies. The PM2.5 data was then clubbed with population data to estimate the health risk,” added Dahiya.

    As per the study, premature deaths associated with PM2.5 exposure are mainly due to cerebrovascular disease which takes away around 4.4 lakh lives every year. This is followed by ischemic heart disease which leads to approximately 4 lakh deaths and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which causes 1.8 lakh pre-mature deaths. About 10,000 people die prematurely of lung cancer. The total number of pre-mature deaths due to the deadly PM.25 are 10.04 lakhs in the country.

    The study further discloses that Uttar Pradesh witnesses the highest number of premature mortality with 2.3 lakh. Bihar and West Bengal are next in line with 1.2 lakh and 1 lakh deaths, respectively.

    The study substantiates that household air pollution continues to be a major threat to public health. Highest number of pre-mature deaths — 55.45% — are caused due to residential pollution. “A majority of households in India use solid fuels for cooking instead of gas and electricity,” the study states.

    As per the calculations, reducing the use of solid fuel in households by 50%, especially in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the North-East can avoid 2.58 lakh deaths annually. During the study, concentrations of PM2.5 were found to be the highest in the Indo-Gangetic region, including northern and eastern India.

    Furthermore, if crop burning is completely abandoned, almost 55,000 premature deaths per year can be avoided. It also focuses on the air pollution caused by burning of municipal solid waste. “Assuming that waste burning is reduced by 80%, 46,000 lives can be saved across the country,” said Dahiya.

    He added that though India has formulated mitigation measures to avoid pollution, its time and target-bound implementation remains a big question mark. “The need of the hour is to implement all the policies systematically in a time-bound manner,” he said.

    Professor Hongliang Zhang, the author of the study, said that major policy measures should include reducing emissions from thermal power plants, instituting strong emissions standards for industries and reducing solid fuel use in households. “Shifting to zigzag kilns in brickmaking and introducing stronger vehicular emissions standards is also needed,” he said.










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    • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

      Bids for E-way from Mumbai to Nagpur, India’s largest, finalized

      TNN | Updated: Jun 1, 2018, 03:42 IST


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      • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

        NGO Eco-Pro marches 43km for wildlife safety

        Mazhar Ali| tnn | Jun 1, 2018, 06:57 IST
        Eco-Pro activists marching on Mul-Chandrapur road to demand mitigation measures for wildlife on the highway

        Chandrapur: Highlighting the increasing number of wild animals being killed on Chandrapur-Mul stretch of newly declared national highway No. 930, NGO Eco-Pro took out a 43-km-long march on Thursday.

        Over 50 volunteers of the NGO marched full 43km in a day demanding mitigation measures on Mul-Chandrapur road that has turned into a death trap for wildlife.

        Wildlife activists were irked following a large number of road accidents have killed and maimed dozens of animals during recent month after widening and strengthening of the road has begun. Chandrapur-Mul stretch that passes through dense forest also serves as critical wildlife corridor that connects TATR with South Indrawati Tiger Project and forests of Telangana. As pleas to build mitigation measures like underpasses, rubble strip breakers etc fell on deaf ears of the authorities, Eco-Pro decided to take out the march.

        Activists led by Eco-Pro president Bandu Dhotre began their march at 5.40am from Mul and reached Chandrapur late in the evening. “We are losing wild animals in dozens after the work of widening and strengthening of the highway has begun here. Ours is a token protest seeking mitigation measures on densely forested road. It also stands for all wildlife rich areas that are facing threat due to such roads,” said Dhotre while talking to TOI. The activists took a break when they reached halfway mark at Chichpally in the afternoon and resumed the march after lunch. Bombay Natural History Society’s Saurabh Dande, Prafulla, SARDs Prakash Kamde, WildCAREs Ashish Ghume and wildlife activist Mukesh Bhandkar also participated in the march.

        After reaching Chandrapur, a delegation met CCF and field director of TATR, Mukul Trivedi and handed over a memorandum for the forest minister, NTCA, PCCF and forest secretary. They also forwarded their memorandum to the Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari and NHAI through district collector.








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        • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

          NMC to dig 347 borewells as summer ends

          Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 1, 2018, 03:43 IST


          Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) water works department has proposed to dig 347 borewells at the cost of Rs3.55 crore to mitigate water crisis during summer 2018, which, according to the Indian Meteorological Department, will come to end with arrival of monsoon in Vidarbha in June second week. The proposal raises a big question about NMC’s seriousness towards civic amenities and utilization of public funds.

          Standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja has convened a meeting on June 5 to discuss and finalize 21 proposals, including construction of borewells.

          As per the proposal for borewells, four private firms will be engaged to execute the works. The work orders will be issued in June second week. Then, the Ground Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) will be asked to conduct technical study followed by execution of works. Thus, actual works are likely to begin in July and completed within 3-6 months.

          NMC official told TOI that the project got delayed due to lengthy administrative process. “Water works department prepared the project plan in December but took five months to take it to the standing committee,” he said.

          As reported by TOI on April 23, the NMC is all set to seek Rs325 crore special development assistance grants as second capital. The proposal to be submitted with the state government has been tabled before the standing committee for its approval. The civic body is seeking the grants for five years citing financial liabilities of Rs3,012.39 crore in the next five years.

          Another proposal is to distribute e-rickshaws to 70 persons with special disabilities at the cost of Rs87.89 lakh. This is for the second time, the NMC would be distributing e-rickshaws among disabled persons. Couple of months ago, 63 disabled persons were given e-rickshaws of which three were women.

          The traffic department has once again moved the proposal to rope in a private agency to tow away vehicles from no-parking zones. The work will be done in association with the traffic police department. The committee had rejected the proposal couple of months ago.

          There is also a proposal to establish a panel of 8 shopkeepers for procurement of uniforms for NMC students at the cost of Rs1.40 crore. The plan is to distribute uniforms to the students on first day of new academic session.

          OTHER PROPOSALS BEFORE STANDING COMMITTEE

          *Permission to erect gantry over the road at new six locations in lieu of clock tower installed by the private agency at Ajni square in 2015

          *Giving the city survey department demarcation work at Rs29.46 lakh for Old Bhandara Road widening

          *Fish rearing in Ambazari lake for three years

          *Appointment of private agency for supply of cow dung cakes at crematoriums for two years

          *Auction of material seized under anti-encroachment drive












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          • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

            Babhulgaon tehsildar suspended over theft of sand from ghats

            TNN | Updated: Jun 1, 2018, 12:53 IST
            Representative Image

            YAVATMAL: Amravati divisional commissioner Piyush Singh has on Wednesday suspended Babhulgaon tehsildar Dilip Zadeon charges of shielding sand mafias operating in his jurisdiction.

            The commissioner has directed the suspended tehsildar to remain at headquarters, which is the district collector’s office. He has been instructed not to leave headquarters without prior permission of the collector.

            Villagers of Watkhed I and II had lodged a number of complaints to the collector alleging that there were thefts of sand from the river beds by sand mafias. Collector Dr Rajesh Deshmukh had, after returning from his in-service training, ordered Pusad Sub-Divisional Officer Nitinkumar Hingole to launch surprise raids on sand dunes in the village.

            SDO Nitinkumar Hingole and his team conducted the surprise raids on the midnight of May 17, and seized 42 vehicles and a large quantity of sand loaded in the vehicles from the site. On a complaint lodged by tehsildar Dilip Zade, Babhulgaon police had registered criminal offences against the mafias.

            SDO Nitinkumar had sent a report to the district collector regarding the dubious role of the tehsildar in the theft of sand worth crores.

            Collector Rajesh Deshmukh had then sent a proposal to the divisional commissioner of Amravati to suspend the tainted tehsildar, followed by a departmental inquiry against him. Accordingly, commissioner Piyush Singh ordered the tehsildar to be suspended with immediate effect.







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            • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

              46% work in 32 mths. RPS Infra now has just 4 mths to finish job

              Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 02:24 IST


              Nagpur: The state public works department’s (PWD) Rs300 crore 45km Inner Ring Road Cement Concrete Road Project, which was to be completed by September 23, 2017, has progressed mere 46% (20.7km) in 32 months since the contract was awarded to Mumbai-based RPS Infraprojects Pvt Ltd.

              The inordinate delay is causing serious inconvenience to hundreds of citizens and financial loss to the central and state governments. Considering the pace at which the project is being executed, RPS Infra is unlikely to complete the project by the extended deadline of September 23, 2018, which is just four months away, reveal documents obtained under RTI by activist Suraj Lolge.

              Data provided by the PWD shows RPS Infra has completed concretization of just 20.70km of the total stretch of 45km as on date. The financial progress of the project is much less compared to physical progress. Works costing Rs 61.59 crore of the total Rs 292.72 crore have been completed as on March 31.

              The project is progressing at a snail’s pace which is evident from the fact that widening of the Inner Ring Road between Mankapur and Dabha is incomplete. Widening works have been completed only on 6.50km of the total stretch of 9km. Works have been completed only on two of the 12 bridges.

              Interestingly, the PWD has taken no action against RPS Infra despite the delay. Earlier also, the PWD had turned a blind eye to inferior quality of works by the same company.

              The delay is resulting in inconvenience to commuters. Best example is the stretch between Khamla Square and Chhatrapati Square. At present, concretization work on one side of the stretch is going on. Traffic on the road is immense round-the-clock. Two-way traffic is being allowed on only one side causing congestion and mishaps. Besides, the stretches where the works are yet to be taken up are in very bad shape. Best example is the stretch between Mhalgi Nagar and Kalamna where potholes are common. Also, street lights and traffic signals at many places are non-functional due to the ongoing works.

              A PWD officer told TOI action will be taken against RPS Infra after assessing the works. “Along with delay from private company, hurdles like utility shifting delayed the project to a great extent. Decision on whether to grant further extension to RPS Infra will be taken in coming days,” he said.

              The project has already been marred by controversies including shoddy quality of works, appointment of petty contractors by RPS Infra, violations in royalty etc.











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              • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                Street lights, NMC buildings to go solar in a year

                Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 02:55 IST


                Nagpur: In a year, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will be using solar power for street lights, water pumping, treatment plants, administrative buildings, hospitals, public health centres, libraries and community among others. By doing so, it will be saving Rs60 lakhs of its over Rs100 crore annual power bill.

                The NMC electric department has floated expression of interest inviting private agencies for execution of the project in all 10 zones. The process of issuing work orders and handing over sites is likely to take four months.

                The private companies will have to install the solar panels and related infrastructure, and generate power within eight months. They will have to operate and maintain the system for 20 years.

                An NMC official told TOI that the estimated cost of setting up the system is around Rs300 crore. “The private companies will have to use their own money to set up the systems. The NMC will pay them after they quote a rate,” he said.

                The official added that the “system will be set up under MSEDCL’s net metering and as well as the open access system”.

                Under the project, the NMC will generate 24,000kW (20MW) solar power. There are around 5,000 connections from where the NMC draws power from the MSEDCL. Net metering system will be set up where consumption is 800kW or below. The rest of the connections will be explored in open access.

                The major highlight of the project will be setting up of systems for street lights for which there are around 2,300 connections/meters. The connections will now be brought down to 1,500.

                The NMC will install solar panels 10 metres above the road parallel to street light poles. A majority of the panels will come up on road-dividers and some will be along the roads. Panels will also be set up on the roofs of its properties and next to open spaces like water treatment plants, pumping stations, administrative offices, hospitals, libraries and community halls.

                Under the central government’s Model Solar City Project, the NMC had installed solar power systems at its main administrative building and four zone offices. This pilot project received a big success. But, the government had revised norms of the project. Now, the NMC is taking up the project on its own.








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                • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                  Krazy Castle land: Rides still in place, Metro waits

                  Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 03:26 IST


                  Nagpur: In spite of passing a resolution in its board, Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has failed to hand over Krazy Castle amusement park land to MahaMetro on Friday. MahaMetro officials claimed that a slight delay would not hamper the construction of Metro viaduct on the park land. The park is currently closed after two students drowned in the wave pool.

                  NIT chairman Ashwin Mudgal said that the concessionaire Haldiram Foods had sought time to dismantle its rides. “It will submit a formal letter to us, which will be forwarded to MahaMetro. If the Metro officials agree to grant some time, Haldiram’s request will be accepted. Otherwise it will be asked to wind up as soon as possible,” he added.

                  NIT had passed the resolution terminating Haldiram’s contract on May 15. The concessionaire was informed about the decision on May 17. However, it did not start the process of dismantling the rides. One ride was however, dismantled even before the NIT decision.

                  A MahaMetro official said that it had barricaded the portion of the park where foundation of the viaduct would be dug. “One pillar would come up in front of the park gate. We will start work on it after we get possession,” he added.

                  While MahaMetro may get possession of the park in the coming days, the issue of compensation of Haldiram is yet to be decided. Divisional commissioner Anup Kumar will decide the amount of compensation to be paid but it is not clear whether he will also decide who will pay it. Haldiram wants a compensation of Rs162 crore for loss of business.

                  The question of past liabilities of Haldiram is also a grey area. NIT has to refund Rs72 lakh to Haldiram for charging excess premium. Moreover, the arbitrator appointed by Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has extended Haldiram’s lease till 2025 and hence its compensation has increased.

                  Meanwhile, city police is dragging its feet on registering an offence against Haldiram owners over the death of the students. When three labourers had died while cleaning a well in Empress Mall premises, the cops immediately registered an offence of culpable homicide. However, in this case they say that no criminal act was committed.








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                  • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                    NMC buys cow dung cakes worth Rs20.85L for cremations sans nod

                    Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 03:29 IST

                    Nagpur: Yet another irregularity at Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) health department, which is already under scanner for various reasons, has come to fore.

                    The department has allegedly procured cow dung cakes worth Rs20.85 lakh for cremations without any administrative approval and tendering process in the last 20 months.

                    The health department has submitted a proposal with the standing committee seeking its approval for tendering process to appoint private agencies for supply of cow dung cakes for all crematoriums for the next two years. The committee will take a decision on the proposal during a meeting on June 5.

                    In its proposal, the department has admitted that cow dung cakes were procured without any administrative approval for 20 months. Also, the department has mentioned that there was a difference between procurement and consumption of cow dung cakes at the crematoriums.

                    As per the proposal, the department had appointed Awasti Traders for supply of cow dung cakes for crematoriums in 2015-16 and 2016-17. The work period came to an end on September 29, 2016. But the department continued purchasing cow dung cakes from the agency.

                    Now, the agency has raised bills of Rs19.81 lakh for cow dung cakes supplied between October 2016 and March 30, 2018. The department has estimated the cost of supply till date at Rs20.85 lakh. Accordingly, it has sought administrative approval of the standing committee for paying the bills.

                    The department has also proposed to change the terms and conditions of the contract. It has proposed to appoint several agencies that are ready to supply cow dung cakes at the lowest rate in the tendering process. The agencies will be responsible for facilitating weighing machines, appointment of staff to weigh, distribute 10kg cow dung cakes for every cremation and laying of cow dung cakes for cremations.

                    Earlier, the agency was supposed to only supply cow dung cakes and the remaining works were done by the NMC staff.

                    A health department official told TOI that one clerk has been held responsible for the irregularity and slapped with a show-cause notice. “NMC did not incur any loss as the rate for cow dung cakes would have been high if it had gone for the tendering process in 2016,” he said.

                    The department has been in the centre of controversy for irregularities in supply of firewood for crematoriums, collection and transportation of garbage, appointment of daily wage sanitary workers/aiwajdars, bogus salary to aiwajdars etc.










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                    • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                      Small hydropower units making big impact on Western Ghats

                      Vijay Pinjarkar| TNN | Jun 2, 2018, 04:43 IST

                      Nagpur: The first ever scientific study in India of small hydropower projects (SHPs) in Western Ghats has revealed that despite being promoted as clean energy, they have significantly impacted ecology and caused alterations in the course of streams. Also, quality of water and freshwater fish too has taken a hit.

                      Western Ghats represent a continuous band of natural vegetation extending over a distance of 1,500km and is spread across the six states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

                      The work recently published in the journal ‘Aquatic Conservation’ was conducted by scientists from Wildlife Conservation Society-India Program (WCS-India Program), National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bengaluru, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, and Foundation for Ecological Research Advocacy and Learning (FERAL).

                      SHPs are hydroelectric plants with relatively smaller power-generating capacity compared to larger ones. They are often promoted as a cleaner and greener alternative as it is assumed that they have little or no environmental impact.

                      In India, they are defined as those that generate power up to 25MW. There has been a proliferation of SHPs in India, especially in biodiversity-rich areas such as the Western Ghats and Himalayas. As of 2012 there were 1,266 projects commissioned while another 6,474 are waiting to be undertaken.

                      The study was conducted in the upper reaches of Netravathi River, which is part of the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, in February-May 2014. In the study, two dammed tributaries and one undammed tributary of the west-flowing Netravathi river were selected.

                      It was found that the SHPs affected the river flow by reducing flow immediately below the dam and caused flow fluctuation when the water is released back into the river after power generation — both of which have consequences on fish assemblages. The dammed streams had altered fish composition and reduced number of species.

                      Explaining the results, lead author Suman Jumani said, “Our study was one of the first to holistically assess the impacts of SHPs in the Western Ghats. Since they divert water for long distances, it leaves vast stretches of the river almost completely devoid of water flow in the dry season. Waters in these stretches had lower oxygen levels and higher water temperature. Not surprisingly, these habitat alterations strongly affected freshwater fish assemblages.”

                      The study also found that the dammed streams had more generalist species of fish compared to specialist species. They also had reduced numbers of migratory fish such as the ‘mahseer’.

                      A couple of years ago, as part of the related study, the research team had conducted a survey to understand the perceptions of local communities towards the SHPs. They noticed that there was general discontent among the communities who were dependent on the river.

                      The SHPs have also brought along a surge in human-elephant conflicts. The research showed that there were increased human-elephant conflicts whenever a new SHP was being constructed.

                      WCS-India’s Shishir Rao, who co-authored the study, says, “Our research has shown that the sudden onset of human-elephant conflict in the study area correlated with the beginning of SHP construction. In the year 2005, the number of claims filed for elephant conflict compensation increased by 173% compared to the year before.”

                      Apart from the dam, the construction of associated structures such as large pipes, canals and transmission lines hinders the movement of elephants, forcing them to find new routes, thus increasing the incidences of conflicts with humans.

                      “SHPs are a classic case of good intentions leading to terrible consequences. This is mainly because SHPs are defined not based on their ecological footprint, but rather on their installed capacity. In our country, SHPs are hydroelectric dams that produce up to 25MW of power — an arbitrary threshold,” says Jumani.












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