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- No clarity over policy on plastic buyback
Manka Behl | TNN | Jul 11, 2018, 05:59 IST
NAGPUR: Even as the state government has pushed the buyback scheme for PET bottles and milk pouches by at least a month, city manufacturers feel that the scheme won’t be successful until the state looks at several logistical challenges.
The scheme was to come into force from Wednesday but on Monday evening, the manufacturers learnt about its postponement. Under the country’s first such scheme, the government formulated an “extended producer responsibility” and placed the onus of recycling of water bottles and milk pouches on the manufacturers.
While purchasing, a deposit fee will be paid to a retailer which would be refunded if the consumer brings back the used bottles and pouches. “It is still not clear how to keep track on the number of bottles the retailer is selling and the number of bottles coming back. There is a big loophole here as the retailer can throw away the returned bottle and pocket the deposited money,” said Vidhan Bhartia, founder member of the Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association (Nagpur).
The manufacturers don’t have a clarity on how the model of integrating bar codes will work. “As every bar code will be unique, we will have to produce separate labels for every bottle which will be not feasible. Moreover, the bottle we manufacture first goes to the super stockist, then to a dealer, retailer and consumer. Ensuring a reverse chain will be very difficult. Not all dealers and retailers will have a system to install bar codes,” added Bhartia.
Willing to cooperate with the state, the manufacturers feel the entire responsibility can’t be on them due to involvement of several parties.
While mayor Nanda Jichkar informed that the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has set-up 10 collection centres in different zones, around 20 makers of packaged drinking water have also come together for collection and recycling of empty bottles. “We have identified a recycling unit in Nagpur which will compress the bottles and form cubes of specific sizes. These cubes will be transported to a unit in Bhopal where they will be converted into fibres,” said Bhartia.
He added that the group will also install special dustbins for bottles at public places like malls, theatres, Ambazari lake, Telangkhedi lake, railway station, bus stops and others. “We are doing our best. But if the government wants to implement buy-back, it needs to form local-level monitoring committees. Buy-back can only work if all the manufacturers contribute,” said Bhartia.
- Metro, railways to ink MoU for trains to four towns on July 16
Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 12, 2018, 03:05 IST
Nagpur: City MP and Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s plan to start high speed local trains between Nagpur and four nearby towns — Bhandara, Wardha, Katol and Ramtek — is set to be a reality soon.
For planning and execution of the project, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be executed between Indian Railways, Maharashtra government and MahaMetro on July 16.
Gadkari, railway minister Piyush Goyal, minister of state (independent charge) for urban development Hardeep Singh Puri, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries will be present at the MoU signing ceremony organized at Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) Suresh Bhat Hall.
MahaMetro managing director Brijesh Dixit told TOI the project would be first-of-its-kind in the nation. “High speed fully air-conditioned coaches will run under the project. All formalities like timings, number of trips, revenue sharing pattern, special stations etc will be decided after the MoU,” he said.
The plan is to run three-coach electric multiple units (EMUs) to these towns with four on each route. The average speed of city to Ramtek passenger train is 27km per hour, while that of Gondia passenger train is 50km per hour. The plan is to run EMUs at 120km per hour. MahaMetro will use existing tracks, signalling, platform etc of railways for the services.
Refuting allegations by former BJP MP and current MPCC vice-president Nana Patole and activist Prashant Pawar, Dixit said MahaMetro will also have to start Pune Metro Rail’s priority section with rental coaches.
Patole had alleged that 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.
“Coaches, signalling system etc are not made in the country, hence, we so depended on foreign countries. We have to place orders only after getting loans. We are likely to get three coaches in September. It will take 6-7 months more for certification etc. Till then, we cannot wait and render the entire infrastructure unutilized,” he said.
Dixit added that payment of Rs15 crore has been made to LTMRHL. “We could not take coaches from Chennai as our platform’s design is for three coaches, while Chennai has a set of four coaches,” he said.
Dixit said one of two sets of three coaches each will be moved to Hingna-Subhash Nagar T-point corridor once the works are completed.
He said Metro Rail will begin operation from Munje Square in Sitabuldi to Khapri in March 2019.
On Wednesday, MahaMetro operated electrical shunting vehicle ‘Buland’ on the elevated stretch between Airport and Airport South stations. It is the first of the elevated stretches where works have been completed and ready for trial run.
In April, MahaMetro started Metro Rail joyrides between Airport South and Khapri stations, that is at grade stretch.
NMC’s three projects to take off
After conclusion of the MoU programme, the dignitaries will dedicate NMC’s newly commissioned sewage treatment plant (STP) having capacity of 200 million litres per day (MLD) to the public.
Also, the civic body’s project to supply 150MLD treated sewage from the STP to Mahagenco’s Koradi and Khaparkheda thermal power stations will be announced. At the same time, bhoomipuja of waste-to-energy project will be performed.
NMC had constructed the STP on PPP model through a consortium of three private companies, including city-based Vishvaraj Infrastructure Limited (VIL), at a cost of around Rs236 crore at Bhandewadi dumping yard. This is NMC’s second STP after an earlier one with a capacity of 130MLD, commissioned under the central government’s JNNURM scheme.
The civic body is already supplying 130MLD treated sewage to Koradi thermal power station. Now, the quantum will increase to 330MLD.
Under the waste-to-energy project, the private operator will produce 11.50MW power by treating 800 of the total 1,100 tonnes of garbage generated from the city daily. The power will be supplied to MSEDCL.
- Oppn pulls up govt over sand smuggling
Ramu Bhagwat | tnn | Jul 12, 2018, 03:21 IST
Nagpur: A question raised over illegal sand mining at Usgaon, Vasai in Palghar district on the banks of Tansa river saw several members of lower house across party lines expressing serious concern over sand smuggling, threat to environment as well as the growing magnitude of clandestine business.
During question hour on Tuesday, Kshitij Thakur and Hitendra Thakur raised the matter of sand mafia illegally excavating on the Tansa riverbed using suction pumps and alleged that two people had died under sand heap early last month.
Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, NCP’s Ajit Pawar, senior-most member Ganpatrao Deshmukh and several others posed questions and wanted revenue minister Chandrakant Patil to explain what steps the government was taking to stop the dangerous business. They suggested today sand smuggling had become the biggest illegal activity in the state and complicity of district officials and police was helping it flourish.
While admitting one worker had indeed died in illegal sand excavation at the Tansa banks on June 1, the minister said there was no question of paying compensation as the worker was engaged in illegal activity. However, Patil said strict action was taken against smugglers and as many as Rs 22 crore fine was slapped against 182 persons caught doing it. He said heavy machinery could be used to mine sand only after National Green Tribunal allowed it. Pawar wanted a total clampdown on sand mining on the lines of plastics.
To a supplementary by Deshmukh, Patil assured the house there was no shortage of sand for government, development works and dedicated sites were allocated for it. He said every citizen could avail a permit for two brass of sand for personal house-building work. Patil said Malaysia was ready to export sand in bags like cement and the government was examining the proposal.
- No stormwater inlets left along new cement roads
Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 12, 2018, 03:59 IST
Nagpur: Though the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is blaming record rainfall for waterlogging on roads and flooding in houses on both sides of the roads on last Friday, the problem appears to be due to lack of proper stormwater drain network and also increase in height of newly constructed and under construction cement roads.
Water logging also took place on roads where Metro Rail work is going on. Stormwater drain network laid under footpaths along these roads have been damaged for Metro station works, said NMC officials.
After every downpour this season severe water logging has occurred in areas along new cement roads and also on Metro rail stretches.
Roads like Wardha Road, Central Avenue and North Ambazari Road were the worst affected by Friday’s heavy rain. TOI visited few of the affected spots like the newly laid stretch of East High Court Road between GPO Square and High Court Square and Central Bazaar (CB) Road from Abhyankar Nagar Square to Kachipura Square.
Due to concretization, the height of these roads has increased by eight inches. Cement roads have completely covered the stormwater drains’ circular inlets, which are 30 metres apart at the bottom of footpaths on both sides. Now, there are small chambers on roads that have been connected in an improper manner with chambers on footpaths. These chambers are at every 100 metres.
The situation along under-construction cement roads is even worse. Here, there are no inlets at all as concretization work has been undertaken before developing stormwater drain network.
Rainwater gushes into residential, commercial and administrative premises are they are now below the surface layer of cement roads.
As per the state PWD officials, Ravi Bhavan has a similar problem. On Wednesday, the PWD dug up footpaths, even the new ones, along the newly concretized East High Court Road to allow rainwater from Ravi Bhavan premises to flow into stormwater drains laid under footpaths. But while doing so, they have not restored the trenches on footpaths and roads. Now, rainwater from Ravi Bhavan premises now also flow on the road.
As per NMC officials, the PWD did not take any permission from the civic body before digging footpaths and roads.
PWD official told TOI that NMC had caused the problem in the first place by raising the height of roads. “Process of obtaining permission would have consumed a lot of time. We have to rectify the problems swiftly. We have already started laying a new stormwater drain network from Vidhan Bhavan, Ravi Bhavan, Hyderabad House, Nag Bhavan and MLA Hostel. The work will take a long time to complete,” he said.
Municipal commissioner Virendra Singh said all causes and problems of waterlogging are being identified and will be solved soon.
- NMC fines 4 traders for keeping banned plastic products
TNN | Jul 12, 2018, 20:52 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Thursday fined three traders after the civic body’s flying squad found banned plastic products in their business establishments.
The squad from Dharampeth zone conducted raids at three shops in different areas. After seizing 3.7kg of banned products, the squad recovered Rs5,000 fine each from the three traders.
A squad from Laxmi Nagar zone led by its zonal officer (sanitation) and comprising sanitary inspector and civic cops found banned plastic carry bags weighing 300gm at a eating joint on Wardha Road. The squad then imposed a fine of Rs5,000 and also seized the bags.
- NHAI trucks damage Uppalwadi road, industrialists suffer losses
Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Jul 13, 2018, 03:34 IST
Nagpur: As many as 100 units from Uppalwadi Industrial Estate in north Nagpur are suffering financial losses as transporters have stopped plying vehicles in the periphery due to pathetic condition of the 800-metre approach road to the estate. Several potholes have developed on the stretch due to plying of heavy vehicles deployed by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) contractors.
“Most industrial units are unable to get supply of raw material or deliver finished products as transporters are not ready to use poor roads as the vehicles get damaged, resulting into increase in maintenance cost,” said UIE Association chairman Arvind Choudhary.
Until two months ago, the road to the region’s first industrial estate was in a motorable condition. It started deteriorating after the NHAI started road widening work near the railway underbridge that connects Kamptee Road with the industrial estate, said industrialists.
On being informed, TOI visited the area and found that a big pit (50ft diameter and 40ft deep) has been dug up in the middle of Kamptee Road at the entrance of Uppalwadi, resulting into traffic chaos during peak hours. Even heavy vehicles deployed for road widening works are parked on this road, leading to formation of potholes.
Industrialist Rakesh Khandelwal also said drivers of private vehicles and employees of industrial units have complained about the road condition. “Plying of heavy vehicles has damaged the only road to the estate,” said Sukhbir Singh, an industrialist.
Choudhary claimed that the association has also informed the agencies concerned but their pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Pothole-ridden isn’t the only problem here as industrialists claimed that on July 10, production of many units was hit due to no power supply from 12 noon till late in the night.
According to industrialist Anuja Sharma, a power cable was damaged when an NHAI contractor was carrying out some work. “In another incident, an NHAI contractor cut an underground BSNL cable a few weeks back leading to snapping of Internet and phone lines here,” she said.
The industrial association has now decided to lodge a written complaint with the Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari.
NHAI regional officer M Chandrashekhar claimed that very few trucks of NHAI contractors are parked on the Uppalwadi industrial estate road. “We will park them elsewhere if locals are facing problems. But that will not solve the problem as a large number of private trucks too are parked there,” he said.
To a query, he said, “The Central government had sanctioned Rs5 crore for setting up of a truck terminal on five hectares near Kamptee Road. The state government was to hand over the land to NHAI. However, the government had indicated its inability to do, so we have dropped the project.”
- VIDC asks NMC to look for other sources of water for city
Shishir Arya | TNN | Jul 13, 2018, 03:41 IST
Nagpur: Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) has asked Nagpur Municipal Corporation to tap sources of water other than Totladoh dam on Pench river for city’s water needs. The civic body needs to be ready with alternative sources if it wants to avoid a shortage in coming days, warns VIDC.
NMC’s consumption has exceeded the quota of 140 million cubic metres (MCM) in the last month itself. The period for fixing the quota is counted from October 2017 to September 2018.
The new quota will only be fixed two months from now. For any drawal above the limit till then, the civic body will have to pay a higher tariff according to the guidelines of Maharasthra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA), said a VIDC source.
Thanks poor monsoon last year, water level in Totladoh, like other dams in the region, had touched a low. This was the first year of cut in NMC’s yearly quota. Water availability has been reduced as Chourai dam has been built on Madhya Pradesh side of river. There is a likelihood of a cut even in coming season. Earlier, as much as 190 MCM was available for Nagpur.
VIDC has asked the civic body to reduce dependence on Totladoh dam or the city may face a major drinking water crisis.
The letter mentions that during the winter session chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had stressed for early completion of the Kanhan-Kolar project so that the dependence on Totladoh was reduced. An agreement has been signed to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for the project. VIDC has pointed that a proposal for allocation of funds for Kanhan-Kolar project has to be routed through the urban development department (UDD).
Even this year, the water situation has not improved much despite good rains so far. The letter says not much rain is expected during the month of July as well. Considering the likely shortage, NMC needs to begin water rationing, it adds.
The letter asks NMC to wake up to the situation and start tapping other resources of water until Kanhan-Kolar project is competed. The groundwater level increases during the monsoons that can be exploited by NMC for the time being, it adds.
VIDC has also suggested the NMC should lift water at the sites where its pipeline crosses the Kanhan-Kolar rivers and use it for city. If timely steps are not taken, water from the Kanhan river will flow away.
Meanwhile the rains during last 10 days have marginally filled up Totladoh dam. As against 7.8% storage a couple of day ago, the level has now touched 11.5% as of Thursday. However, the bigger apprehension is the cut in availability due to Chourai dam in Madhya Pradesh, the source said.
- Forest clearance must for Melghat railway line: State
Vijay Pinjarkar | TNN | Jul 13, 2018, 03:59 IST
Nagpur: Though South Central Railway (SCR) has sent detailed estimates to Railway Board for converting Akola-Khandwa (176km) narrow gauge line into broad gauge through Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR), the state forest department has written to MoEFCC that Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, will be applicable to the project.
Of the 176km, 39km section between Akot-Amlakhurd section passes through the tiger reserve and its buffer zone.
“Based on Attorney General of India (AGI) opinion, Railway Board has conveyed to us on June 19, that FCA came into existence in 1980 and the railway line was constructed in 1959, hence FCA was not applicable. Accordingly, we have sent estimates to the board,” said M Umashankar Kumar, chief public relations officer (CPRO), SCR, on Thursday.
Refusing to go into details, he said the work will be done through tiger reserve only as alternative line will escalate the cost immensely. The railway ministry had approved the project in 2008. After the AGI’s opinion, the railways have asked MTR to allow it to start work on the project. However, referring to the Railway Board June 19 letter, state’s nodal officer wrote to the MoEFCC on June 22 reminding it about its own direction issued on December 5, 2017, that states irrespective of right of way (ROW) with the railways, construction of new track and other facilities for gauge conversion of existing line would require forest clearance.
“It seems the meeting between highways minister Nitin Gadkari and railway minister Piyush Goyal on June 18 has not considered the MoEFCC letter. It is also surprising why the director general forest, who was part of the meeting, kept mum,” asked Sawan Deshmukh, honorary wildlife warden of Amravati.
“When MoEFCC, which is expert on the subject, says forest clearance is must, how can AGI’s opinion be different? It is evident BJP government wants to implement the project through the reserve without considering the ecological damage it would cause in future,” said Amravati-based wildlife activist Sarvesh Marathe.
Considering the MoEFCC direction issued in December 2017, the state’s nodal officer has sought necessary instructions from the environment ministry for further action regarding the applicability of the provisions of FCA for the railway line.
Meanwhile, talks between wildlife activists and BJP MP from Akola MP Sanjay Dhotre, who is pushing for the project through the tiger reserve, failed as Dhotre said alternative alignment would not help much. “It will involve forest clearance, construction of a 6.5km tunnel, land acquisition, development of new stations and host of complicated issues. Many villages on alternative route are small where trains would not stop,” Dhotre said.
When pointed out that BJP’s own MLA Sanjay Kute from Buldhana and its ally MP Prataprao Pawar from Shiv Sena were opposing the line through tiger reserve, Dhotre said, “They are misguided. They never opposed it earlier. Railways is ready to take mitigation measures.”
- Metro Phase-II DPR submitted to govt
Ashish Roy | TNN | Jul 13, 2018, 04:14 IST
Nagpur: MahaMetro has submitted the detailed project report (DPR) of Nagpur Metro phase-II to state government’s urban development department (UDD). The department will study the report and raise queries if any. After UDD is satisfied, it will forward the report to state cabinet for approval. The DPR has been prepared by RITES.
The cost of the phase is about Rs10,500 crore at 2018 prices. Phase-II will have five stretches having total length of 48.3km and 35 stations.
The first stretch is from Automotive Square to Kanhan River having length of 13km and 12 stations. The second one is from Lokmanya Nagar to Hingna. Its length is 6.7km with seven stations. The third one will connect Wasudeo Nagar to Dattawadi. It will be of 4.5 kms and have three stations. The Prajapati Nagar to Transport Nagar stretch’s length is 5.6km with three stations. The longest stretch is from Mihan to Butibori MIDC ESR having a length of 18.5km and 10 stations.
The estimated daily ridership from Kanhan River to Butibori MIDC is 2.61 lakh in 2024, 3 lakh in 2031 and 3.73 lakh in 2041. The ridership of Transport Nagar to Hingna line is 2.58 lakh in 2024, 2.98 lakh in 2031 and 3.62 lakh in 2041. The figure for Wasudeo Nagar to Dattawadi spur is 30,000 in 2024, 35,000 in 2031 and 39,000 in 2041.
- Chanda, Ballarpur get 1st prize in clean, beautiful rly stations contest
Mazhar Ali | tnn | Jul 13, 2018, 06:20 IST
Chandrapur: Chandrapur and Ballarpur railway stations jointly received the first prize in Clean and Beautiful Railway Station competition, conducted by the Indian Railways, at a function held in New Delhi on Thursday. Total 62 stations from 11 railway divisions in the country were part of the competition.
Keen on promoting Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve as a global tourist destination, state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had proposed the idea of developing Chandrapur and Ballarpur as green railway stations. Six professors and five students of Government College of Arts and Design, Nagpur, toiled for months to complete the project.
They decorated both the stations with relic murals, sculptures and paintings of wild animals as well as the tribal folk arts. The two stations now stands as showpiece of modern artistry and passengers get a feel of moving through thick forest with wild animals.
Project officer and professor of the college Vinod Mankar, professors Prafulla Nayse and Abdul Gaffar along with CCF, Chandrapur, Vijay Shelke received the first prize of Rs10 lakh for the two stations from Union railway minister Piyush Goyal.
Madhubani railway station under Samastipur railway division and Mudrai railway station in Tamil Nadu jointly bagged the second prize, while Gandidham railway station in Gujarat, Kota in Rajasthan and Secunderabad in Telangana jointly bagged the third prize.
- Only Mhada will build affordable houses in district
Ashish Roy | tnn | Jul 13, 2018, 07:18 IST
Nagpur: Guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule has asked all local bodies in the district — Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), municipal councils and Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) — to hand over government land to Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) for building affordable houses.
Henceforth, only Mhada will build affordable houses. The local bodies were told to hand over to Mhada only those lands that do not have any reservation and whose title is clear. The affordable housing target for the district this year is 50,000 tenements.
The minister had convened a meeting of chief executive officers (CEOs) of district’s municipal councils for this purpose on Wednesday. He took a review of the progress of affordable housing schemes under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Top housing officials and CEO of Mhada were present in the meeting.
Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) was asked to set up a cell for affordable housing. Some 72,000 applications have been received by NMC for affordable housing so far. The corporation officials were asked to certify these applications.
NMRDA was directed to hand over 38 acre land in metro region to Mhada. It was also asked to hand over 4.39 acre land within municipal limits. Bawankule further said that Indira Awas Yojana and Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) land could also be handed over to Mhada.
An official in Bawankule’s office, however, said that NMRDA will be allowed to complete its ongoing affordable housing projects. The agency is constructing houses in Wathoda and Tarodi.
District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) has submitted a list of 759 villages to NMRDA. The metropolitan agency should find out how many people have their own houses and the number of houses on government land. Those living in houses with tin and tile roofs will be provided affordable houses by Mhada. NMRDA will have to certify such people and homeless people.
All the CEOs were asked to find out government land available in their jurisdiction and make it available to Mhada. They were also asked to certify people living in tile and tin roof houses and homeless people.
The application for obtaining an affordable house will be submitted to municipal councils. The CEOs were asked to process these applications fast.
- Rs7,300 cr for rural power infra revamp: Bawankule Ashish Roy | TNN | Jul 14, 2018, 04:57 IST
Nagpur: Energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Friday announced that MSEDCL was planning to launch a Rs7,300 crore scheme to revamp rural power infrastructure. Several MLAs had raised the issue of low voltage supply and frequent breakdowns in rural areas.
“MSEDCL already has a loan of Rs40,000 crore so another Rs7,300 crore won’t matter. We will take another loan for the benefit of rural populace,” the minister told the state assembly during question hour.
“We are also spending Rs5,000 crore on revamping power infrastructure under Deendayal Upadhyay Yojana and Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS). When these projects are completed problems of low voltage supply and frequent breakdowns will go away,” he said.
Bawankule further said that MSEDCL had identified 21,000 accident prone spots in the state and money would be spent there. “The rural power infrastructure is old and needs urgent replacement,” he added.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar, referring to a newspaper article, questioned whether the state was facing a shortage of 4,000MW. The minister said that the article was factually incorrect. “Our present peak demand is 14,400MW. We are fully meeting it without load shedding. In fact we are forced to backdown the power stations due to low demand. We had met the highest demand ever of 23,700MW without resorting to power cuts,” he added.
- ‘Bhoomipuja’ of Butibori MIDC flyover today Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 15, 2018, 03:44 IST
Nagpur: Planned two years ago, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is set to start construction of the flyover on Wardha Road at Butibori MIDC junction. The flyover is likely to be constructed in 18 months.
Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will perform bhoomipuja of the flyover on Sunday.
NHAI project director NL Yeotkar told TOI that the project’s estimated cost is Rs45 crore. “The flyover’s length will be 850 metre on Wardha Road. Total length of construction work, including service roads, will be 1.67km. An eligible contractor has been shortlisted and work order has been submitted for approval,” he said.
The flyover will reduce traffic congestion on Wardha Road and bring relief to Butibori MIDC residents.
Traffic congestion at Butibori MIDC junction has become a major problem ever since residential and commercial areas have come up there. Hyderabad national highway’s traffic slows at the junction while vehicles coming from Butibori industrial area enter directly on the national highway, causing severe congestion.
The NHAI has also started to widen the existing two-lane railway over bridge (ROB) at Chinchbhuvan into a four-lane ROB. The cost of the project is estimated to be Rs76 crore.
- MSEDCL digs up London St road amid rains, mocks at NMC orders Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Updated: Jul 15, 2018, 10:43 IST
NAGPUR: The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) has continued to dig roads violating Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) orders to stop all such works during monsoon. Also, the power utility’s bad quality of restoration has resulted into nightmare for the citizens.
MSEDCL is digging the London Street road between Khamla Vegetable market and Bhamti for laying underground power cable. The digging has also been done across the roads joining London Street. The works started last Thursday and have continued since.
At the same time, MSEDCL is also filling up the trench with stones and sand but in an improper manner. It can be gauged from the current condition of the road. The filled up trenches have turned muddy. The wet mud has also flowed on to the road. Since these are not level with road, they create a speed bump.
Hawkers alsong the roads said two-wheelers were skidding and pedestrians facing severe problems. “The road poses danger during the night. It has resulted into inconvenience for parking of two-wheelers and four-wheelers along the road. Vehicles can be seen stuck in the mud,” they said.
NMC Laxmi Nagar Zone officials said letter was issued to MSEDCL directing it to stop the works during monsoon. “We were busy with monsoon session of the state legislature and also demolition of religious structures so could not visit the road. We will inspect and initiate necessary action,” they said.
MSEDCL additional executive engineer, Trimurti Nagar, Vijay Mankar said, “the contrator has been asked to restore the trenches immediately.”
Private companies are also yet to restore trenches they had dug up in a proper manner. In Sahakar Nagar, Pande layout, Khamla, Dharampeth etc restoration has not been done properly even on interior roads leaving them in bad shape.
On Wednesday, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh reviewed works being done by all government departments. Singh urged all departments to take permission before digging roads. He also asked for security deposit that will be forfeited if trenches were not restored properly. He set a deadline for various projects including construction of footpath by MahaMetro on roads where Metro Rail works were going on.
- At Rs60 for Wardha, broad gauge Metro may be cheapest mode Vijay Pinjarkar and Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 16, 2018, 03:10 IST
Nagpur: The broad gauge Metro services being planned between Nagpur and nearby towns are also likely to be the cheapest. Union minister Nitin Gadkari announced at a function on Sunday that fare between Nagpur and Wardha would be Rs 60, which is substantially less than even ordinary bus fare (Rs100).
Though he did not give fare for other destinations like Ramtek, Katol, and Bhandara, they are likely to be proportionately priced. Air-conditioned travel in mail/express trains between Nagpur and Wardha costs Rs545 and sleeper class Rs170.
A MoU to run the services will be signed between MahaMetro and railways in presence of railways minister Piyush Goyal, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Central Railway and MahaMetro officials on Monday. “These trains will run at speed of over 100 kmph and plans are afoot to also manufacture broad gauge metro coaches at Butibori providing employment to locals,” Gadkari said.
However, MahaMetro managing director Brijesh Dixit said, “The fares will be at par with Metro services and will be finalized later, but of course they will be cheaper than AC buses.”
As per the MoU, MahaMetro plans to run these fast trains from Nagpur to Wardha and Katol (Central Railway), and Bhandara & Itwari-Ramtek (SECR). As reported by TOI, Nagpur Division of South East Central Railway (SECR), which operates most of these trains in the region, has already received three conventional non-AC MEMU rakes each having 8 coaches.
The service may be launched with these coaches shortly and they would be replaced by AC coaches being specially made for MahaMetro in a few months. “These rakes have been stationed at Raipur. We are awaiting signing of MoU on Monday, to get a clear picture where these MEMUs will operate,” SECR sources said.
“It is also possible these new MEMU rakes may replace conventional passenger trains currently operating to Ramtek and Bhandara-Tumsar-Tirodi in next 2-3 months. These will run with old pricing, even if they replace passenger trains,” they told TOI.
“Another possibility is that these MEMUs may be converted into air-conditioned high acceleration rakes that would be called MahaMetro Train Sets,” they said.
“They may have six car formation comprising two units of three cars each that can carry about 2,000 passengers. Before operating them, permission from commissioner of railway safety (CRS) will have to be obtained,” the officials added.
“Another possibility is that MahaMetro will procure such train sets and hand them over to Central Railway. The coaches will be maintained by Metro at Khapri,” said railway officials.
The cheap fares that Gadkari mentioned would kick in once MahaMetro procures high acceleration sets for which commuters will have to wait for another 4-5 months till these coaches are procured by Maha Metro. Besides, according to railway sources they will need some time to decide on final timetable, rake requirement, linkages and line capacity constraints.