One of the fastest growing Tier III cities in India -Future IT and Aviation city - Companies like Boeing, Satyam computers, HCL, Dell, Hexaware, DLF, Ascendas etc. has already finalized their projects. Adjacent to IT SEZ(Wardha Road – NH7) is Proposed International Cargo HUB(MIHAN – Multimodal International Hub Airport at Nagpur, (www.madcindia.org ), which is first and only such kind of project in the country being developed in Nagpur by a joint venture between Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) and the Airport Authority of India (AAI). Second Capital and third big city in Maharashtra. Nearby is the new VCA cricket stadium.
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  • Rainfall in city on cusp of setting a new record
    Manka Behl | TNN | Jul 7, 2018, 03:41 IST

    Three to Rain at VCA Square Road Civil Line in City Nagpur on Friday July 07th 2018


    Nagpur: Rainfall in the city is heading for a new record. On Friday, it received 272.7mm of rain in just 12 hours, which is more than the 24-hour highest recorded in the last 12 years. The 107-year-old daily record of 315mm is also likely to be broken if more rains are recorded up to Saturday 8.30am.

    The drizzling that started on Thursday night turned into a heavy downpour in the early hours of Friday. Between 8.30am and 2.30pm, the city received 263.5mm rain, which is about a fourth of entire season’s rainfall average. By 5.30pm, the figure saw a slight increase with 264.7mm rain. However, following heavy rains in the evening, the rainfall went to a whopping 272.7mm. The maximum temperature recorded in the city was just 25.6 degree Celsius.

    According to the information provided by the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), Nagpur, the all-time highest rainfall (24 hours) in the city was 315mm recorded on June 12, 1911. “After that, the city received 304mm rain on July 21, 1994,” said AD Tathe, director of RMC.

    Setting aside rumours floating on social media, Tathe clarified that no cloudburst hit the city. Private weather forecast agency Skymet stated that the rainy spell could be the heaviest one across India for this monsoon season.

    In the last 12 years, the highest 24 hour rainfall received in Nagpur was in 2006 with 173.9mm. After that, the city witnessed heavy downpour in 2013, when the highest rain was 145.1mm.

    As per the RMC’s precipitation forecast, heavy to very heavy rains are expected to hit Nagpur for the next four days. Heavy refers to rainfall between 64.5-115.5mm while very heavy indicates rain between 115.6-204.4mm. Rainfall above 204.4mm is considered to be extremely heavy.

    Apart from Nagpur, Bhandara, Gadchiroli and Gondia are other districts expected to witness heavy and very heavy rainfall. The met department has predicted heavy and moderate rainfall at Chandrapur, Wardha, Washim and Yavatmal districts.











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  • 11 open plots attached to recover tax dues
    TNN | Jul 6, 2018, 17:46 IST



    Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s property tax department on Wednesday attached 11 open plots under Dharampeth zone to recover tax dues of over Rs8.31 lakh.

    Assistant municipal commissioner Mahesh Morone said of the 11 open plots attached, seven are in Dabha and owned by Gruha Nirman Sanstha. The property owners have defaulted property tax to the tune of over Rs 3.75 lakh.

    Four open lands were attached in Mahadev Gruha Nirman Sahkari Sanstha in Hazaripahad for defaulting tax of over Rs5.56 lakh.

    The NMC is focusing on improving its revenue from property tax as the standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja has set a target of Rs509.51 crore in his budget for 2018-2019.

    Last year, the civic body had recovered only Rs196.67 crore against the target of Rs364 crore.












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  • Plastic smiles wiped out: A 40-year-old business goes kaput
    Barkha Mathur | TNN | Jul 9, 2018, 04:06 IST

    Sunil Nahata says he had no option but to shut his plastic straw manufacturing unit following the plastic ban


    Nagpur: Still in his early 20s, Turkesh, once employed in a plastic straw manufacturing unit is now struggling to earn some money by offloading sacks of grains and vegetables at Cotton Market. Not used to picking up such heavy loads, he now smokes marijuana to get the strength to do this work.

    “I was a helper and even though straws were in big bundles, they were of light weight. I am not used to this kind of dirty and heavy work which I have to do now,” says Turkesh who has recently been laid off by the factory owner.

    Turkesh’s employer Sunil Nahata had no option but to shut his unit as “my unit was manufacturing everything that has been put in the list of banned plastic item”. “I continued to have the workers for the past six months, but this month I had no option but stop operations completely,” he says. “Even the autorickshaw drivers who delivered our goods to retailers are facing loss of business. I feel sorry for all of us,” says his son Shrenik.

    “Crime is bound to increase now that so many people have lost their jobs after the closing of scores of plastic goods manufacturing units,” adds Nahata.

    His unit manufactured items like disposable plastic plates, bowls, straws and glasses. “I had imported a machine from China and had installed it on March 19. The notification of ban came on March 23,” he says upset with the government for not giving sufficient time to the manufacturers.

    Nahata, who has a bank loan of Rs20 lakhs, says he is not against the ban. “At least give us five years to cover our costs and look for an alternate business. I have paid Rs8 lakhs as duty and excise, GST on the existing inventory and am holding goods worth Rs17 lakh which has no takers now.”

    Nahata’s firm has a Rs12 lakh outstanding in the market which his buyers are not willing to pay. “They are asking me to take back the goods,” he says.

    Suraj Bopache, who worked as an operator in Nahata’s unit, is now sitting idle. “I had undergone training to operate the machine but now there is no employment. This was the month when we were waiting for increments,” he says.

    Nahata has been in the business for 40 years. “My younger son who was taking care of sales and marketing for the past six years is extremely depressed now,” says Nahata who wants the government to write off the previous loans and give them interest-free ones to start new businesses.







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  • Plastic smiles wiped out: Bizman, 65, who used to sell water to earn bread
    Manka Behl | TNN | Jul 9, 2018, 04:13 IST

    Brij Singhal says his manufacturing unit of drinking water pouches is completely closed since a month

    Nagpur: Retirement blues started hitting Brij Singhal when he still had three years of service. Working as a financial controller in a firm, Singhal’s biggest fear was running out of his savings.

    To be financially self-dependent in the tough economic times, he chose to start his own post-retirement venture. In 2010, Singhal put in his life savings, including his provident fund, and also took a bank loan to set-up a manufacturing unit of drinking water pouches in Waddhamna. Including the working capital, it was an investment worth Rs30-40 lakhs. Slowly, the business started booming, with the unit manufacturing around 2.5-3,000 water pouches every day.

    Today, one out of the two pouch-packing machines is missing from the unit, so are three commercial vehicles. Also in the missing list are 15 employees for whom selling drinking water was a bread and butter job. Heaps of raw material is lying unused outside a small cabin. Inside, the 65-year-old entrepreneur is engrossed in bills and calculations. “The bank has started calling up since the news about ban got confirmed,” is the first thing he says.

    Singhal’s case is a classic example of how one “not-so-well-thought-of” decision will not only snatch away livelihoods but also turn a well-to-do businessman insolvent. “My unit is completely closed since a month. Despite selling a packing machine and three vehicles, the unit was struggling to make ends meet,” says Singhal, whose 11 family members were dependent on the earnings from unit. “We are taxpayers, the state didn’t even think about the revenue losses it would face,” he adds.

    After losing all hopes of getting respite by the state, Singhal had no option but to discontinue services of his employees. He failed in paying the fee of Rs1.25 lakh for renewing the unit’s license by Bureau of Indian Standards. “When milk pouches are exempted, why can’t water pouches be,” is his only complain to state environment minister Ramdas Kadam. “We use plastic above 65 microns. If not better, it is at least similar than the plastic used for packing milk. The government could have implemented a buy-back mechanism for us too,” he adds.

    Like his, at least 33 packaged drinking water units in the city, which were mostly dependent on pouches, are on the verge of shutting down. Says Vidhan Bhartia, founder member of the Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association (Nagpur), “Hardly 2 grams of plastic is needed to make a 250 millilitre water pouches which are recyclable. Instead of banning multi-layered and non-recyclable plastic used in packing chips and tetra packs, the government chose to get rid of an affordable source of safe drinking water for many.”

    Though Singhal’s unit also manufactures water jars, its selling cost is not even sufficient to meet the labour cost. “The ban will encourage the sale of unpackaged drinking water cans which are highly unsafe,” he says.

    If Singhal sells off the machinery which had cost him lakhs, he would hardly get a few thousands. If he shifts to manufacturing drinking water bottles, he would need another Rs20-25 lakhs. Staring at huge losses and an unpaid loan in his golden years, Singhal holds no grudge against the ban. “Saving environment is important and I would have supported the government, if it had given a thought about my wife and kids,” he says.

    With nothing to do, he locks his unit to head home.








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  • Rain toll rises to 6, bridge on Kamptee road caves in
    Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Updated: Jul 8, 2018, 11:43 IST

    Rain toll rises


    NAGPUR: The death toll due to impact of 24-hour heavy rainfall on Friday has increased to six from three. Also, a small bridge on Kamptee Road caved in, hitting the traffic on Jabalpur national highway hard, and Ambazari lake witnessed earliest ever overflow, putting the authorities on high alert.


    Lakadganj fire station officer M K Gudadhe said body of a 25-year-old youth — Ashish Bharat Nagpure (25), resident of Nageshwar Nagar, Bhidgaon — was fished out from Umiya talav near Pardi on Bhandara national highway on Saturday afternoon. “One of the family members of Nagpure had given a call to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) fire department on Friday. Our team was posted at the water body since Friday evening,” he said.

    Ambazari police station registered the death of another youth — Mukesh Kesrichand Sakhre (22), a resident of Bhamti, Trimurti Nagar. “Mukesh along with his friend went to see Ambazari lake on Friday afternoon. The two were walking on the lake wall when Mukesh slipped and fell down on the rocks, receiving severe head injuries. He was rushed to a private hospital where he died,” police said.

    Following the death, the NMC barricaded the overflow point and also sought police’s help. But youths were seen enjoying the lake that is filled up to brim even on Saturday.

    The fire department fished out an unidentified body of another youth from Hudkeshwar nullah on Saturday and handed it over to police.

    TOI on Saturday reported about the death of three persons of which one in the city and remaining two in Ramtek tehsil. As per police, deceased Nilesh Toliram Saoke (28), a resident of Bhagwan Nagar, Ajni, drowned when he was taking selfie at the overflowing nullah at Mangaldeep Nagar, Hudkeshwar Road, on Friday.

    Following alert of heavy rain for three more days, collector Ashwin Mudgal has invited 34-member team of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Pune, that arrived on Saturday and camping at SDRF, Nagpur base camp at Hingna. SDRF, Nagpur, having a team of 110 personnel, have been were deputed at various locations in the district for rescue operations.

    The SDRF teams will also be sent to other parts of Vidarbha in case of any eventualities.

    Chief fire officer Rajendra Uchake said two motor pumps with two fire personnel were stationed at Vidhan Bhavan for preventing waterlogging in coming days. “We are keeping watch on the flow of Ambazari and Gorewada lakes. Four boat teams have been mobilized and ready at Civil Lines, Sugat Nagar, Sakkardara and Narendra Nagar fire stations,” he said.

    Few low-lying areas, slums and outskirts like Hudkeshwar, Narsala, Besa, Pipla etc continued to face waterlogging but safe as compared to situation of Friday.

    Standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja said NMC’s drive to clean Nag, Pili and Pora rivers proved beneficial to recede 282mm rainfall. “It was a big achievement that water receded within 15-30minutes in all parts of the city despite a record rainfall. I have visited many parts of north Nagpur and all areas regained normalcy. Only unauthorized layouts are facing waterlogging problems,” he said.

    Ambazari lake has recorded earliest ever overflow. Normally the lake starts overflowing sometime in August or September. In 1994 and 2013, the overflow commenced in the mid of July. The overflow was witnessed in early hours of Saturday and stopped by the afternoon.

    The heavy rainfall also took the toll of a small bridge on Kamptee road situated in front of Hanuman temple at Kalpataru Colony hitting traffic on the national highway to a great extent. The NHAI is widening the road and also constructing the bridge adjacent to the old one, which caved in. Traffic has, however, been diverted from Asha Hospital through Cantonment area for reaching Kamptee.







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  • Gadchiroli cops take up plantation drive
    Soumitra Bose | TNN | Updated: Jul 8, 2018, 11:38 IST

    Plantation drive


    NAGPUR: Gadchiroli police, as part of the Maharashtra government campaign to plant 13 crores trees, initiated a green drive in the tribal district too. On Saturday, the Gadchiroli police kick-started a plantation drive which saw participation of around 20 officers and 400 constabularies.

    The Gadchiroli cops, who are already fighting Maoist violence, have now taken up the challenge of enhancing greenery of the district which has been gifted with natural resources. In the past, the Gadchiroli cops, along with local people, had undertaken a workshop to prepare vermi-compost.

    SP Gadchiroli Abhinav Deshmukh urged his personnel to plant saplings at their respective workplace, whether it is at police station, sub-police station or armed outpost.

    Deshmukh, while speaking on the occasion, said planting trees would add richness to the already gifted green environment of the district.

    Several senior officials and the other personnel participated in the drive by planting saplings at Gadchiroli district police headquarters.






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  • Plastic smiles wiped out: Rags to riches to rags again
    Manka Behl | TNN | Jul 9, 2018, 04:21 IST

    Non-woven material worth Rs60 lakh produced from trial-and-error are piled up in Manish Jain’s factory


    Nagpur: Around 1989, a seventh-grade student started selling lottery tickets in the evening to finance his education. While preparing for his tenth boards, he would work at a lemon juice kiosk. In 1996 when he lost his father, he left his education midway and started working as a salesman at a garment shop to repay the debts.

    After setting his family free from all the monetary trappings, he started a small business of printing visiting cards. In 1999, an experiment of screen printing on carry bags took off and opened doors to a new world of plastic for him.

    This is the short story of a boy’s long journey who wanted to make it big. In January this year, Manish Jain set up two units of manufacturing carry bags and non-woven bags. The trial-and-error production of the bags was going on at full swing when the state announced a blanket ban on plastic.

    It all happened overnight. The machineries came to a standstill and so did the lives of over 60 workers who were directly and indirectly dependent on the two units. The government’s move brought Manish back to where he was about 20 years back — reeling under loans to the tune of crores, mortgaged properties and a bleak future. “In 2006, I had purchased my first unit for cutting and printing carry bags. That time, I would outsource the raw material. Even before the unit turned functional, the state had banned carry bags,” says Manish.

    Manish was out of work for about a year then. “Later the government had exempted bags above 50 microns. But this time there is no relief. I ventured into manufacturing non-woven bags thinking it would be a good substitute for plastic if the government bans it again. We were yet to start making profits, but the state has banned non-woven too,” he adds. With 80% of his clients based in Vidarbha itself, Manish “cannot keep his unit running” only by exports.

    Non-woven material worth Rs60 lakh produced from trial-and-error are piled up in his factory. With nothing much to do, the workers are recycling the produce to reclaim the expenses incurred in trials. Sushant Kumar Raut, who has been the printing in-charge since last 12 years, is pushing the material inside the recycling machine. “I earn nearly Rs20,000 a month here. If the unit closes, I will have to work as a daily-wager for Rs200 per day,” says Raut.

    If 47-year-old Niladhar Deshmukh (factory’s manager) fears finding a new job at his age, 29-year-old newly married Nilesh Pawar dreads starting from the scratch. While Deshmukh wants to “support dreams of his daughter who is preparing for medical entrance”, Pawar, who at the age of 18 came to Nagpur from a small village in Madhya Pradesh, is worried about how he would “start a family”.

    In Jain’s units, men are not the only family breadwinners. 27-year-old daily wager Bharti Bansod started walking 8 kilometres to the factory when her husband died of chronic heavy drinking one-and-a-half years back. Her sole aim is to keep her 8-year-old daughter’s education going. 30-year-old Sukeshni Dhargave’s husband is a habitual drinker and refuses to give her a penny of his earnings. 36-year-old Shalini Bele comes to the factory because the money her husband makes from tailoring is not enough. And 27-year-old Kalyani Moreshwar works here because she, wife of another alcoholic, is scared of being in Bharti’s shoes.

    Do you have something to say to the government, TOI asks them. “It should have banned alcohol. We don’t know what harm plastic is causing. But we do know that if the ban continues, we will end up washing dirty utensils and clothes.”







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  • Zudpi jungle doesn’t attract FCA rules, says panel
    Vijay Pinjarkar | TNN | Jul 9, 2018, 03:40 IST

    Nagpur: A six-member state-level committee headed by divisional commissioner Anoop Kumar has recommended that entire 86,409 hectare of zudpi jungle in Vidarbha be construed as revenue land, and should be immediately brought out of the ambit of Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.

    The report submitted to the government states that in case the Centre does not change its stand, the state may consider approaching Supreme Court by filling interlocutory application (IA) in writ petition (202/95 Godavarman case) with a prayer that the 86,409 hectare zudpi land does not attract provisions of FCA, and that the orders of 1996 by the Apex Court are not applicable on the said land.

    The 86,409 hectare zudpi land, vested with revenue department, was used by the government to develop basic amenities for village communities like schools, primary health centres, laying of water supply and electric lines, burial grounds, bus stops, panchayat bhavans etc. These lands were also allowed to be used for construction of railway stations and post offices.

    In 1961, out of total 9,23,913 hectare zudpi jungle transferred to Maharashtra, 6,55,619 hectare was notified as protected/reserve forest. Of the remaining 2,68,294 hectares, 92,115 was found suitable for forestry management and till now of this over 73,211 hectare has already been notified as RF under Section 4 of Indian Forest Act, 1927.

    Of the remaining, 1,76,179 hectares, over 89,768 has already been diverted for non-forestry activities up to 1992, and needs to be located. It is possible that judges’ bungalows, NIT headquarters, Deekshabhoomi, MLA Hostel, and Ravi Nagar Colony in Nagpur may be part of this land. Currently, the contention is about 86,409 hectare.

    The committee is of the firm view that provisions of FCA 1980 are not applicable in respect of zudpi lands. The status of these lands should have been settled timely, as it was done in the case of Madhya Pradesh.

    The committee has also been able to establish that even the directives of judgement on December 12, 1996, by the Supreme Court in Godavarman case is not applicable in respect of 86,409 hectare zudpi lands in question. “The state government may consider the committee’s report and based on the recommendations, formulate strategy to convince the Centre to agree to treat above said 86,409 hectare zudpi land as revenue land,” the report has recommended.

    Anoop Kumar said, “To ensure the process of diversion of said zudpi lands without interruption, we have recommended the state government to request Centre to consider the measures suggested in the report to make the procedure simplified in true sense.”

    Forest officials, who were part of the committee, agreed the procedure needs to be simplified. The already simplified procedure still remains quite cumbersome and the user agency faced number of problems in preparation and submission of these proposals. “We hope the report may provide clear road map for such resolution,” said a member.

    “Between 2014-2018, only one diversion proposal in Nagpur admeasuring 15.84 hectare could be approved by MoEFCC. Due to multiple levels of inspection and verifications, the submission remained quite sluggish and proposals up to 7,140.81 hectare out of contentious 86,409 hectare could be submitted,” said Kumar.







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  • Unauthorized layouts on open land close to being regularized
    Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 9, 2018, 03:36 IST

    Nagpur: Even before beginning to develop Metropolitan Region, the state government is considering deletion of over 130 reservations to allow regularization of unauthorized layouts, some with no construction on them. Another 155 types of modifications are also likely in the Metropolitan Region’s development plan (DP) approved by the government just six months ago.

    Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA), the erstwhile Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), through UK-based Halcrow Consulting India Pvt Ltd took six years to finalize reservations and prepare the draft of DP. Still, NMRDA itself has proposed 1,160 modifications in the draft DP, of which 939 were approved. The state’s urban development department (UDD) had on January 5 approved the DP.

    The UDD, coming under chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, also issued a notification inviting suggestions and objections on proposed 285 modifications on January 5. TOI has copy of the notification. UDD has appointed deputy director of town planning NC Adhari to collect suggestions and objections, and submit the final report. Adhari is likely to submit the report this week.

    The notification says over 130 types of reservations are likely to be deleted and replaced with residential and commercial usage. Best example is Bhilgaon village situated on city’s outskirts on Kamptee Road. Some 13 reservations — recreational, public-semi-public (PSP), transportation zone, industrial zone etc — are being deleted and converted into residential and commercial.

    Shockingly, most of the unauthorized layouts at Bhilgaon, which is in guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule’s constituency, do not have any houses but still reservations are being deleted. Most shocking is that developers are very confident of getting approval to the modifications by the UDD, so they have started selling plots on these unauthorized layouts.

    A fine example is Mahajan Nagari, a layout in 2.5 acre land of Ma Vaishanavi Group and Land Developers. The land on which the layout is located is reserved for recreational open space. The developer has started selling the plots since last four months. TOI has advertisement pamphlets of the layout where the developer even mentions that the layout is sanctioned by ‘NIT Metro’.

    Rahul Meshram from Ma Vaishanavi Group told TOI they stopped selling plots after a warning from MahaRERA office. “MahaRERA officials have directed us to get the layout sanctioned before selling plots. We will sell the plots after getting sanction. As of now we are only talking with customers and no sale has been made,” he said.

    Fadnavis and Bawankule did not respond to TOI’s calls and messages.

    Adhari refused to comment on anything related to 285 modifications till next week.

    NMRDA officials also refused to comment, saying it was related to the government, and nothing to do with them.

    Joint commissioner of MahaRERA Girish Joshi said it was a violation of law in case developers started selling plots and also advertising without any sanction or registration with MahaRERA. “We have initiated action against 39 unauthorized layouts. We will find more such unauthorized layouts and take action,” he said.

    Prashant Pawar of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan threatened a severe agitation in case these modifications are done in the DP. “NMRDA paid Rs12 crore to Halcrow to prepare the DP. Then 939 modifications were done. Most of the proposed 285 modifications were earlier rejected by NMRDA. Also, residential zone is fixed up to a limit of gaothan. Then why is the government considering residential and commercial usages outside the residential zone. Now, there is no meaning left in approved DP, so entire Metro Region plan should be dropped. We will find out who is exactly behind all the modifications and expose them in public soon,” he said.

    Pawar alleged it was the modus operandi to propose reservations and then delete them in DPs. “The same was done in the city due to which the outskirts areas came up without any planning and basic amenities. DP of Metropolitan region will only benefit the government and NMRDA, and not the citizens,” he said.









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  • Remove encroachments from nullahs, river beds: Bawankule
    Ashish Roy | TNN | Jul 9, 2018, 04:02 IST


    Nagpur: Guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule inspected the flood-hit areas and told the officials that encroachments on bed of rivers and nullahs had caused flooding. He asked the district collector to take over all the nullahs on revenue land and remove the encroachment within 15 days.

    Bawankule told the media that Ghogli, Besa, Beltarodi and Hudkeshwar areas had suffered maximum flooding. “Water flowed over the bridge at Ghogli and entered houses. A company Vaidya Plywood had diverted the course of the nullah and done construction on the original river bed. The administration had tried to remove the encroachments but the company got a stay from the court. We will now present the real picture before the court,” said the minister.

    “Many builders had encroached on nullah beds and done construction. This has reduced the width of nullahs and hence their water carrying capacity. This was reason of water entering the houses,” he said.

    In Gonhi Sim many citizens have constructed houses on the nullah. The builder of Take Off City township has taken a part of the nullah into his possession and built a compound wall.

    Some 1,200 students of Adarsh Sanskar Vidya Mandir had got stuck up on Friday due to heavy rains. While about 700 could leave for their homes after some time, the remaining 500 had to stay back. This school also encroached a part of the nullah. “The school management did not make any arrangements for students despite the weather warning. I have instructed the metropolitan commissioner to cancel the license of the school,” said Bawankule.

    In Hudkeshwar, St Paul School has also encroached on the nullah. Bawankule instructed the administration to issue notice to the school. Several encroachments were found on Dhorya Pohra nullah.

    In Shivni village of Kamptee taluka, water had entered large number of houses. The minister asked the authorities to immediately widen the nullah.










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  • Unauthorized layouts on open land in Nagpur close to being regularized Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA), the erstwhile Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), through UK-based Halcrow Consulting India Pvt Ltd took six years to finalize reservationsAnjaya Anparthi | TNN | July 09, 2018, 13:00 IST


    NAGPUR: Even before beginning to develop Metropolitan Region, the state government is considering deletion of over 130 reservations to allow regularization of unauthorized layouts, some with no construction on them. Another 155 types of modifications are also likely in the Metropolitan Region’s development plan (DP) approved by the government just six months ago.

    Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA), the erstwhile Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), through UK-based Halcrow Consulting India Pvt Ltd took six years to finalize reservations and prepare the draft of DP. Still, NMRDA itself has proposed 1,160 modifications in the draft DP, of which 939 were approved. The state’s urban development department (UDD) had on January 5 approved the DP.

    The UDD, coming under chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, also issued a notification inviting suggestions and objections on proposed 285 modifications on January 5. TOI has copy of the notification. UDD has appointed deputy director of town planning NC Adhari to collect suggestions and objections, and submit the final report. Adhari is likely to submit the report this week.

    The notification says over 130 types of reservations are likely to be deleted and replaced with residential and commercial usage. Best example is Bhilgaon village situated on city’s outskirts on Kamptee Road. Some 13 reservations — recreational, public-semi-public (PSP), transportation zone, industrial zone etc — are being deleted and converted into residential and commercial.

    Shockingly, most of the unauthorized layouts at Bhilgaon, which is in guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule’s constituency, do not have any houses but still reservations are being deleted. Most shocking is that developers are very confident of getting approval to the modifications by the UDD, so they have started selling plots on these unauthorized layouts.

    A fine example is Mahajan Nagari, a layout in 2.5 acre land of Ma Vaishanavi Group and Land Developers. The land on which the layout is located is reserved for recreational open space. The developer has started selling the plots since last four months. TOI has advertisement pamphlets of the layout where the developer even mentions that the layout is sanctioned by ‘NIT Metro’.

    Rahul Meshram from Ma Vaishanavi Group told TOI they stopped selling plots after a warning from MahaRERA office. “MahaRERA officials have directed us to get the layout sanctioned before selling plots. We will sell the plots after getting sanction. As of now we are only talking with customers and no sale has been made,” he said.

    Fadnavis and Bawankule did not respond to TOI’s calls and messages.

    Adhari refused to comment on anything related to 285 modifications till next week.

    NMRDA officials also refused to comment, saying it was related to the government, and nothing to do with them.

    Joint commissioner of MahaRERA Girish Joshi said it was a violation of law in case developers started selling plots and also advertising without any sanction or registration with MahaRERA. “We have initiated action against 39 unauthorized layouts. We will find more such unauthorized layouts and take action,” he said.

    Prashant Pawar of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan threatened a severe agitation in case these modifications are done in the DP. “NMRDA paid Rs12 crore to Halcrow to prepare the DP. Then 939 modifications were done. Most of the proposed 285 modifications were earlier rejected by NMRDA. Also, residential zone is fixed up to a limit of gaothan. Then why is the government considering residential and commercial usages outside the residential zone. Now, there is no meaning left in approved DP, so entire Metro Region plan should be dropped. We will find out who is exactly behind all the modifications and expose them in public soon,” he said.

    Pawar alleged it was the modus operandi to propose reservations and then delete them in DPs. “The same was done in the city due to which the outskirts areas came up without any planning and basic amenities. DP of Metropolitan region will only benefit the government and NMRDA, and not the citizens,” he said.











    https://realty.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/regulatory/unauthorized-layouts-on-open-land-in-nagpur-close-to-being-regularized/64914374

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  • Sena joins Cong-NCP to stop bullet train
    Vaibhav Ganjapure and Sujit Mahamulkar | TNN | Jul 10, 2018, 04:57 IST



    Nagpur: After opposing proposed Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train in their respective press briefings, the opposition and Shiv Sena have come together to censure the government over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project. This time, the project was opposed in the state assembly during discussions on the supplementary demands on Monday.

    The government has made Rs250 crore provision as capital investment in special purpose vehicle (SPL) for the project, which was added into supplementary demands.

    The first salvo came from senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar who flayed the government for allotting Rs250 crore in supplementary demands for the mega project. The government should spend that much amount in improving existing railway lines, bridges, lighting system and modernization of its work force,” he said

    Pawar further said when 155/289 MLAs are opposing it, why is the government still insisting on the project. “When leaders from majority of parties like Congress, NCP, Shetkari Sanghatna and even Sena are against the project, it’s not proper on the government’s part to go ahead with the allocation just for making their leaders in Delhi happier. Ultimately, it would be the state’s loss,” he said.

    He even charged Sena with opposing the project only outside but not keeping their word inside the House. “We will see what stand Sena takes on the project. We are going to oppose it vehemently. The Sena shouldn’t fool the 12 crore population of the state,” said Pawar.

    While reiterating his party’s stand on the issue, Sena leader Sunil Prabhu said they were strongly against the project since beginning, as many farmers in Palghar district may lose their fertile land. “The common man will neither benefit nor can afford this project. Instead of spending crores on bullet train, the government should spend the amount in improving the existing local train services and infrastructure in Mumbai,” he said.

    Last month, BJP’s partner in alliance had joined the dais with Congress, NCP and CPM to oppose the project in Palghar. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had already voiced its opposition to the mega project and its chief Raj Thackrey had even slammed Modi.

    With an expected time of four years to complete, the bullet train would reduce the journey time between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to less than three hours from six hours in normal trains. Out of total over 500km route and 12 stations, 120km and four stations would be in Maharashtra, for which Japan has extended a soft loan.







    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/sena-joins-cong-ncp-to-stop-bullet-train/articleshow/64923778.cms


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  • ‘Metro Region’s DP modification process illegal’
    tnn | Jul 10, 2018, 05:58 IST

    Nagpur: Farmers’ organization Jai Jawan Jai Kisan has alleged that the state government’s process to make 285 types of modifications in the development plan (DP) of Metropolitan Region was against norms and need to be set aside.

    Organization’s president Prashant Pawar along with Vijay Kumar Shinde and other activists met deputy director of town planning NC Adhari and submitted objections over the modification process on Monday.

    In the memorandum, Pawar and Shinde said, “NMRDA paid Rs12 crore to UK-based private company for preparing the DP. Also, NMRDA roped in its entire machinery for preparing the DP. Then why the government felt the need for making modifications on such a large scale?” they said.

    They said change in residential zoning pattern will incur a huge revenue loss. “NMRDA was supposed to earn Rs25,223 crore that is 70% of development cost of Metropolitan Region from zoning pattern. But the government denied NMRDA’s proposal and replaced it with another pattern. Also, North-B urban growth centre was demolished,” they said.

    Pawar and Shinde said it was a matter of investigation as to who will benefit from the modifications. The government is all set to make 285 modifications including deletions of over 130 reservations in the DP approved six months ago.






    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/metro-regions-dp-modification-process-illegal/articleshow/64923679.cms

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  • Will scrap bullet train project if Congress comes to power: CM Prithviraj Chavan
    Ramu Bhagwat | TNN | Updated: Jul 11, 2018, 06:29 IST

    CM Prithviraj Chavan

    NAGPUR: Senior Congress leader and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has said that if his party comes to power next year, it would waste no time in scrapping the bullet train project as envisaged by the Narendra Modi government.

    Chavan who had a long stint in PMO during earlier Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-headed UPA regime, while talking to TOI on the sidelines of the monsoon session of the state legislature here, said one of the flaws that could derail the project was that the Modi government has hurriedly gone ahead signing the deal with Japan without bothering to bring about a legislation on it in Parliament.

    “A legislative support is required as a commitment to fulfil international obligations when such project is taken up with external aid,” said Chavan. The absence of such a legislation would hamper the execution of the project, he stressed.

    The Modi government has plans to introduce the high-speed bullet train in the country and has already chosen the Mumbai-Ahmedbad route for the first such venture which is to be executed with Japanese aid and expertise. Supporting the project, the BJP-led government in the state has already sought to provide Rs250 crore in the state’s supplementary budgetary demands tabled in the state legislature currently in session here. It is learnt that land acquisition work for the project has also been kicked off.

    In a fiery debate on the supplementary budget, not only Congress and NCP but also the ruling partner Shiv Sena has raised serious objections and vowed not to allow execution of the project saying the state and Centre should first strengthen existing railway infrastructure and facilities in Mumbai serving the common, toiling commuters than rather catering to the fancy needs of ultra rich who could afford the high cost journey on the proposed high-tech train.

    Chavan admitted that the bullet train project was conceived and cleared by Manmohan Singh-led UPA-II. “But we were aghast that the project cost had substantially escalated by Rs13,000 crores, than what we had approved, by the Modi government. The Japanese premier came on an unscheduled visit to sign a pact raising suspicion that the Japanese company facing closure was being bailed out though the project.









    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/will-scrap-bullet-train-project-if-cong-comes-to-power-chavan/articleshow/64938217.cms
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  • Metro Rail paying Rs 45 cr to L&T for joyrides
    Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Updated: Jul 11, 2018, 05:47 IST


    NAGPUR: Nana Patole, former BJP MP and current vice-president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), has alleged that the MahaMetro’s joyrides are benefiting only L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited (LTMRHL). He added that MahaMetro is paying Rs45 crore as hiring charges for six coaches to LTMRHL for three years. With that same amount, it could have procured seven coaches, he claimed.

    Stating that Friday’s floods and waterlogging problems has shown the city and Vidarbhain poor light, Patole in a press conference claimed improper planning and poor of Metro Rail and cement road projects works had caused the problems. “The authorities have no control on the work being done by contractors. There is some nexus which I will reveal in a week,” said Patole.

    “How can the state legislature’s session be stalled due to water logging and power failure,” he asked.

    Patole added that city’s residents are paying a heavy cost for the Metro Rail project. “The state government increased stamp duty by 1% in 2016 to generate funds for the Metro Rail. Also, the NMC and NIT are contributing Rs860 crore which is coming from the taxes paid by residents,” he said.

    Activist Prashant Pawar said MahaMetro has chosen to hire coaches from a private party. “After an MoU with Chennai Rail whose coaches are government owned, it brought the coaches from LTMRHL which had many coaches lying idle,” he said.

    Patole said the state government has also misguided the people of Nagpur by announcing that a Chinese company was going to set up a Metro coaches plant at Butibori. “We have confirmed news the company didn’t even submit an application to the MIDC,” he said.

    Pawar questioned why MahaMetro delayed procurement of coaches from China when it had planned to start services by 2017. “All these were done only to benefit LTMRHL,” he claimed.

    Patole and Pawar also said they will reveal irregularities like the Navi Mumbai CIDCO land scam soon. “Why did the state cancel land allotment in Navi Mumbai,” he asked.

    Patole said the authorities were destroying the city in the name of development. “It seems the BJP has become a slave of Babbar by demolishing religious structures that are not on roads,” he said.

    The former MP from Bhandara-Gondia said he would also expose the people and their intentions behind the 285 modifications being done in Metropolitan Region’s development plan.









    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/metro-rail-paying-rs-45-cr-to-lt-for-joyrides/articleshow/64938300.cms
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