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, ( ), 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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  • CM vows to ban dumping of garbage by civic bodies Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 17, 2018, 03:47 IST

    Nagpur: Calling garbage dumping yards more dangerous than atom bombs, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis promised a ban on dumping garbage at dumping yards by municipal corporations soon. He also said a policy to ban allocation of fresh raw water to industries three years from now has also been framed.

    Fadnavis, along with finance, railway and coal minister Piyush Goyal, and union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari on Monday performed bhoomipuja of four innovative projects — irrigation and power generation using waste water from coal mines, supply of treated sewage for power generation, and production of power from treated garbage.

    Calling it a historic day for the innovations, Fadnavis said all the projects were role models for the entire nation. “I would thank Goyal, Gadkari and energy minister Chandrashekar Bawankule for the projects. PM Narendra Modi says it will take at least 50 years for development of the nation, and also people, if we go only by existing concepts. The PM says only innovations can help us develop within five years. Therefore, these projects aim to bring a revolution,” he said.

    Fadnavis said projects to supply waste water from coal mines, and treated sewage for power generation and irrigation can prevent battles for water. “Already we have started to witness battles between countries, states and districts for water. We have no economic value for water, as we are getting it free or very cheaply. The need is for judicious utilization of water and its reuse. These projects are also beneficial for conservation of environment,” he said.

    Fadnavis said the state government has framed the policy to ban allocation of fresh water for industries three years from now taking inspiration from Nagpur’s projects.

    Goyal said the central government has implemented a policy, after seeing Nagpur’s project, making it mandatory for thermal power stations to use treated sewage if the plant is situated within 50km of urban local bodies.

    Adding to the slew of innovative projects, Goyal said sand that goes waste from coal mines will be given for construction of roads, affordable housing schemes under PM Housing For All Project, and also in open market to end sand mafia and bring down cost. “WCL is ready with the concept. Some 300 cubic meter sand will be supplied to PM Housing For All Project at only Rs160 per brass. The same sand is available at Rs1,500 per brass in open market. WCL is also planning to supply the sand in open market. Tendering process in this regard is going on,” he said.

    In yet another major relief for NMC, Bawankule said remaining 50 million litres per day (MLD) treated sewage from the civic body’s sewage treatment plant (STP) will be taken for power generation at Mahagenco’s proposed project at Umred. “Mahagenco is already taking 130 MLD from NMC’s first STP. Now, Mahagenco has signed MoU for 150 MLD from second STP with capacity of 200 MLD. NMC will get Rs45 crore per annum revenue. Major problem of pollution of rivers and Gosikhurd dam will come to an end,” he said.

  • Nagpur divn faces water scarcity as dams only 23% full Ashish Roy | tnn | Jul 17, 2018, 03:11 IST

    Nagpur: Despite five weeks of monsoon, major dams in Nagpur division only have 23% water storage, which may lead to water shortage after the season is over. Against this, Konkan’s major dams have 63% water while Western Maharashtra dams have 56% water. Last year, Vidarbha had received poor rainfall and the dams had not filled up completely.

    The medium size dams of the division have relatively better storage at 41% while small dams are 25% full. In these cases too dams of Konkan and Western Maharashtra have ample water.

    The storage in major dams of Amravati division is marginally better than Nagpur at 24%. The small and medium dams of west Vidarbha have lesser water than Nagpur division.

    The biggest source of worry for the city is poor storage in Totladoh reservoir. The huge dam is only 13.5% full. Ever since construction of Chaurai dam on the Pench river upstream, Totladoh is not getting filled up. It is practically the sole source of water for the city. Kamptee-Khairi, the downstream dam of Totladoh, has 60% water, which is of some comfort.

    Khindsi dam near Ramtek has only 24% water as Totladoh does not have enough water. The dam is charged through a canal using water from Totladoh.

    Due to low stock in Totladoh, Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) has asked Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to lift water from Kanhan and use as less water as possible from the reservoir. It has also asked NMC to enforce a water cut in the city.

    Even if NMC wants to lift extra water from Kanhan, it will not be possible this monsoon because the proposal will have to be prepared and cleared by standing committee and general body. Then a tender will be floated and a work order will be issued. Nagpur will be fortunate if work on the project starts before next monsoon.

    Nand and Wadgaon dams have 41% water as on date. Their storage had crossed 80% a few days ago but water was released to prevent floods in case of heavy rainfall.

    Gosikhurd reservoir near Bhandara on Wainganga river has only 25% water. The newly constructed Bawanthadi has 17% storage. Sirpur dam in Gondia district has the lowest storage in the division at 8%.

  • Amended land revenue code to benefit 4L Vid ryots: Govt Vaibhav Ganjapure | tnn | Jul 17, 2018, 03:10 IST

    Nagpur: The council unanimously cleared the all-important ‘Maharashtra Land Revenue Code (Fifth Amendment) Act’ on Monday, which is expected to benefit over 4 lakh farmers in Vidarbha alone.

    After taking into account suggestions and objections from members, revenue minister Chandrakant Dada Patil informed that farmers earlier part of CP and Berar region, and now part of Maharashtra, were suffering as their lands were classified under class-II, and they couldn’t sell it without government consent.

    “Many such legislations were drafted in the British era, as per the situation of that time. But these need to be changed now, including the laws governing temple trusts, due to rapid change in circumstances. The old laws made the entire procedure very complicated. Now, all such class-II lands would be converted into class-I for the entire village without any application,” he said, adding that the new law was based on the centre’s law of 2013 to increase compensation for acquisition to four times.

    He pointed out that laws governing nazul, cooperative and other excess lands in the state had become obsolete, and the government would bring in new legislation in the next session to amend them. “Of course, the government would be at a loss, as it would lose revenue, but we will discuss in cabinet how one-time charges could be imposed in such cases.”

    MLC Sharad Ranpise pointed out that over two lakh hectares land would be released after passage of this bill. He hoped the new legislation would be able to provide succour to farmers.

    Earlier, leader of opposition Dhananjay Munde pointed out that rehabilitation of project affected persons (PAPs) had become big problem now and demanded that the government should look into it.

    He cited the example of farmer Dharma Patil, who committed suicide at the Mantralaya, while charging the BJP-Sena government with meting out injustice to poor farmers. “Problems of farmers whose lands were acquired for the Koyna project are still pending, and their third-fourth generation are now fighting the battle. Even in Samruddhi highway, we’ve heard that one farmer was granted compensation of Rs800 crore. Only those who’re near the bureaucrats are benefiting, while poor farmers struggle to get compensation.”

    Hailing the bill, Neelam Gorhe said it would help curb the menace of middlemen and agents, who used to loot farmers by forcing them to sell land at very cheap rates.

  • Book contractors, civic officials for culpable homicide: Opposition Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Updated: Jul 17, 2018, 14:03 IST

    Pothole Deaths

    NAGPUR: Claiming that deaths due to potholes on roads are “not accidents but murders”, Opposition members in the Legislative Council have demanded strict action against civic and government officials. They also said that police complaints must be lodged under Section 304 of IPC for culpable homicide.

    Raising the issue, Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt said the potholes were claiming lives of innocent commuters every day across the state. “The government, instead of acting against the contractors and civic officials, had become a mute spectator. The number of civilians being killed due to potholes outnumber those dying in terror attacks across the country,” said Dutt.

    Reeling off statistics, Dutt said, “ In 2016, 329 lost lives due to potholes and it rose to 726 last year. It happens because blacklisted contractors were given contract. In collusion with the civic and government officials, they use inferior quality material that gets washed away in a single spell. Compensation to the victims’ families should be least Rs10 lakh.”

    Demanding a detailed discussion on the issue under Rule 289, leader of opposition (LOP) Dhananjay Munde said people were dying due to poor roads, but the “insensitive” government wasn’t uttering a word on it. “Five people have died so far in Mumbai. These are taking place due to sheer negligence of the civic and government authorities. Not a single road, including the Express Highway is in good condition,” he said.

    He added that the father of a school-going child who was killed in Mumbai had sent a letter to the civic body for immediate repairs of the killer pothole. “But the insensitive authorities did nothing, which led to death of a woman Manish Bhoir at same spot,” added Munde.

    Ashok Jagtap demanded immediate arrest of civic authorities and contractors for negligence that took away the lives of five citizens. “The father of the school kid comes every day at the spot carrying milk and rice in his memory and puts it in the killer pothole. Yet, the insensitive authorities are in a slumber.” PWD minister Chandrakant Patil passed the buck on civic bodies in respective districts for poor roads stating that those were autonomous institutions. “Now contracts are awarded with a mandatory two years of annual maintenance. So no tenders would be floated this year, as contractors would take care of bad roads or potholes. The Sion-Panvel road would be fully concretized, while roads of 22,000 kms in length were handed over to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). About 1,000 kms of roads were given on contracts with a 12-year warranty. It’s a statewide problem, but the government is working on it.”
    Patil said he has visited all 36 districts by road to take a stock of the situation and had ordered repairs wherever he found that those were not in good conditions.

  • HC stays diversion of open spaces, public amenities in city, Metro region Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 18, 2018, 03:37 IST

    Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has imposed a stay on regularization of structures on plots reserved for open spaces and public amenities. The order came in a public interest litigation (PIL) pointing out that regularization or compounding schemes were a major reason behind hefty rise in unauthorized constructions at the public’s cost.

    A resident of Bajeria, Ajay Tiwari, filed the PIL through advocates Anilkumar Shankarlal and Akanksha Wanjari on July 4, making the state’s urban development department (UDD), Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), and Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) as respondents. The PIL mentions four of TOI’s reports revealing the regularization.

    During the hearing on July 11, Anilkumar submitted a copy of TOI news report dated July 9, about the UDD recommending 285 modifications in Metropolitan Region’s development plan (DP) in which over 130 reservations will fall prey to unauthorized layouts, some of which do not have any construction at all.

    Judges DP Dharmadhikari and ZA Haq said, “Learned counsel for petitioner submits that since 1987, instead of curbing illegal layouts and developments, under the guise of police decisions, the layouts and encroachments are being legalized at the cost of general public. According to him, initially there were only 572 layouts, which in due course were raised to 1,900, and now the approximate number is more than 4,500. He has invited our attention to a news item published in The Times of India on July 9 to show that all such unauthorized layouts on open plots are sought to be regularized. He has also invited our attention to the litigation and its history before the Principal Seat of this court.”

    The justices added, “Petitioner’s counsel contends that open land earmarked accordingly, or then earmarked for public amenity as per the provisions contained in the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act-1966 is, therefore, reduced at the cost of general public who has paid for it. Till next hearing, no steps to regularize any structure on open land and public amenity, shall be taken by respondents.”

    Anilkumar told TOI now UDD and NMRDA cannot modify plots or lands reserved for open space and public amenities in Metropolitan region’s DP, until HC orders.

    The government had approved DP of Metropolitan Region on January 5. At the same time, the UDD issued notification for 285 modifications in the DP and invited suggestions and objections. The UDD had appointed deputy director of town planning NC Adhari for completing the process, and submitting the report. Adhari has completed the process and was all set to submit the report with the UDD.

    Citing information available from various sources and examples, Tiwari said in his 56-paged petition, “NIT had regularized 4,088 layouts comprising 2,01,150 plots, of which reservation plots were 75,711. Regularized reservation area accounts for 11,35,66,500 sq ft (over 2,580 acres). It has been done at the cost of public amenities intended and proposed in the city’s DP. NIT has regularized more than 6,800 acres agriculture land for residential and other purposes. Even reservations of playgrounds and gardens were deleted, despite HC orders. Footpaths, roads and other public places are marred by encroachments. City has turned into a concrete jungle. Authorities are only interested in regularization instead of action. Therefore, all policies and rules for regularization or compounding require to be set aside.”

    The HC has asked that notice be issued to all respondents. The next hearing is slated on July 25.

    (With inputs from Bhagyashree Kashyap)

  • Cantonment board stops Kamptee road concretization Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 18, 2018, 03:38 IST

    Nagpur: Kamptee Cantonment Board reportedly stopped concretization of on 4.2km stretch of Kamptee-Jabalpur national highway being carrried out by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari organized a meeting on Tuesday to resolve the dispute at New Delhi.

    Gadkari arranged the meeting between the officials of Ministry of Defence and NHAI. Guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule, collector Ashwin Mudgal and other officials were also present.

    Bawankule told TOI a joint secretary rank official of Ministry of Defence will conduct survey on Saturday and take final decision. “Existing width of Kamptee-Jabalpur national highway is 26 metres. The tar stretch was less than 26 metres so far. Now, NHAI is concretizing the road along with construction of footpath and other amenities. Therefore, entire width of 26 metres is being brought into use. Cantonment Board officials claimed road’s width was only 15.24 metres and remaining area of 10.76 metres belonged to Defence ministry,” he said.

    Bawankule added Defence ministry wants land in lieu of area going under concretization of Kamptee-Jabalpur national highway. “We hope to resolve the issue soon and complete the project,” he said.

    Mudgal said right of way (ROW) was clearly of 26 metres on the road. “Land record of cantonment area is not available with district administration. Therefore, we could not examine exact ROW area. But the compound wall and fencing of the board is situated on either sides of the road itself leaves 26-metre ROW,” he said.

    Gadkari had sanctioned Rs 250 crore for concretization of the road along with expansion of railway under bridge (RuB) at Uppalwadi and construction of some bridges. The national highway will be concretized from Inner Ring Road from Automotive square to Outer Ring Road beyond Kanhan town.

    Of the 18km stretch, the dispute is about 4.2km of which 2.6km is before Kamptee and remaining 1.6km after Kamptee. NHAI commenced execution of project in March 2017 and needs to complete it by March 2019. Over half the work is completed. Any delay in execution escalate the cost.

  • NMC tells Neeri to remove speed breakers, restore road in 24hrs Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Jul 18, 2018, 03:38 IST

    Nagpur: Taking cognizance of TOI report (‘Despite HC no, Neeri drilled cement road to install fibre-based speed breakers’, July 17, 2018) the Nagpur Municipal Corporation on Tuesday asked National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) to remove the speed breakers within 24 hours.

    The action was initiated after municipal commissioner Virendra Singh directed assistant municipal commissioner Suvarna Dakhane and project department to ensure removal of speed breakers immediately.

    In a notice to Neeri’s administrative officer S Majumdar, NMC’s cement project road department stated the agency had not obtained any permission from NMC and went ahead with erection of fibre-based speed breakers outside rear gate of its head office. The speed breakers installed do not meet with the Indian Road Congress specification, the notice stated.

    Quoting high court order not to allow speed breakers violating IRC specifications, the civic body has asked it to remove them within 24 hours and restore the road as before. If Neeri fails to act, NMC will on its own remove the speed breakers and the recover the cost from Neeri, the notice stated.

    Besides, officials from NMC’s cement road department also spoke with Neeri officials and expressed anguish over their illegal act of installing fibre-based speed breakers. NEERI’s director Rakesh Kumar was not available for comments.

    City-based advocate RP Joshi had filed a contempt petition in HC in 2010 about NMC blatantly ignoring all norms in constructing speed breakers. The court had asked road-owning agencies to remove all unauthorized speed breakers after pleas against them were filed.

    HC had made it clear its directions “shall be strictly complied with” and warned that in case of non-compliance, it “would be constrained to take coercive action” against those responsible. Following HC strictures, NMC had to remove around 900 speed breakers till 2013. Later, not only NMC, but other government agencies started constructing speed breakers.

    Following a similar story on fibre-based speed breakers being installed in city in April this year, NMC chief engineer Vijay Talewar had issued a notification stating no speed breaker should be constructed without the nod of District Road Safety Committee headed by chairman and district collector and also asked the assistant municipal commissioners of all the 10 zones to remove all fibre-based speed breakers. But no effort has been made to remove them.

  • ‘Fast-track system for toll plazas to reduce waiting time’ Vaibhav Ganjapure | tnn | Jul 18, 2018, 05:50 IST

    Nagpur: In some respite to commuters, the state government on Tuesday announced a fast-track system on toll plazas to reduce waiting time and avoid crowding.

    Replying to the calling attention motion by MLCs Kiran Pawaskar, Hemant Takle and others, minister of state for public works Madan Yerawar said that radio frequency IDs will be used to scan entire information of the vehicle. “The vehicles would be fitted with stickers, which would have all the information of the car and its owner. It would be scanned by machines installed at toll plazas,” he said.

    The MLCs said commuters suffer due to heavy traffic at the entrance of Mulund, LBS Marg, Airoli, Vashi and Dahisar in Mumbai, due to toll plazas. They asked for suggestions on implementing the toll-free ‘V-Toll Collection App’ system.

    The minister replied that improvements were being made to avoid traffic jams at toll gates. “Even the number of lines has been increased. Although the app system was introduced, cars still have to stop to show receipt at the toll barriers,” he said.

    Yerawar added that the central government will be implementing the fast-track system in the country from December, and a panel had been constituted to introduce it in the state. MSRDC is working on this, he said.

    Chairman to check proceedings of charges made Badole

    Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar assured the members on Tuesday that he would check proceedings of serious charges made against social justice and special assistance minister Rajkumar Badole by Shiv Sena MLC Anil Parab.

    The assurance came after Badole denied accusations by Parab that he had “discussed Rs50 lakh bribe charge” made by members of caste validity committee for preparing a certificate for one of his friends. Raje said he would convene a meeting of both legislators in his chamber to sort out their differences.

    Earlier, Badole offered clarification under Rule 46, stating that though Parab talked to him on the issue, he never made any demand to him, as was claimed in the media. “Instead of levelling personal allegations, he should have lodged a police complaint,” he said.

    Parab replied that he had never made any such charge against the minister but informed him that under his name the officials were demanding Rs50 lakh for caste validity certificate. “I just told him that his name was being misused to demand a bribe. The officials commented that “Rs50 lakh wasn’t a big amount for a Mumbai corporator” and “they’ve to pay Rs1 crore for transfers to the ministers”, which I told the minister and demanded an enquiry. I never sought the minister’s resignation,” he said.

  • NMC dues cross Rs 800 crore, earns only Rs 321.45 crore in Q1 Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Updated: Jul 19, 2018, 12:28 IST

    NAGPUR: The financial health of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is getting precarious. In the first quarter of this fiscal, the civic body generated revenue of Rs321.45 crore while its liabilities have crossed over Rs800 crore.

    As a preventive measure, sources said, the civic administration has advised standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja to prioritize projects.

    The cash crunch has caused unrest among contractors who stall ongoing works to get their bills settled. The NMC owes contractors Rs500 crore, while its liabilities towards employees, including provident fund and mandatory contribution towards educational cess, have touched Rs300 crore.

    Kukreja had projected Rs2,946 crore budget for the 2018-19 fiscal. This has also led to a delay in implementing his budget. Though Kukreja presented the budget on June 12, the NMC implemented the same only on Tuesday.

    It will be a Herculean task for the NMC to achieve the revenue target set by Kukreja. He had estimated an exorbitant revenue at Rs2,801.01 crore, though it was Rs1,747.55 crore in the last fiscal.

    With several ongoing big projects like cement road works of Phase-I, II and III, and Orange Street Project to kick off this year, liabilities of the NMC will grow further, sources said. However, no efforts were made to plug lapses in revenue collection in projects like Aapli Bus, said senior corporator Abha Pande.

    Citing an example, Pande said the BJP-ruled NMC was wasting taxpayers’ money while operating green buses which continues to get a very poor response from commuters. “The green bus project actually turned a white elephant for the cash-strapped NMC,” she said.

    Similarly, there are no efforts to improve tax collections in both water and property tax departments. No efforts have been made to reconcile bounced cheque paid against property and water tax bills, said sources.

    Sources said the NMC never made any efforts to increase its revenue and instead implements projects that rank low in the list of priorities. Sources also pointed out the civic body needs to focus on preparing a financial policy and there should be a cap on annual spending at every level — from zonal to deputy commissioner and beyond. Currently, there is no such policy, resulting into less money in its coffers.

    Kukreja said the ruling party is committed to ensure the target is achieved. To a query, he said works will be carried out only after they were prioritized.

  • NMC has failed to address most of city’s issues: Sunil Kedar Ashish Roy | TNN | Jul 20, 2018, 04:09 IST

    Nagpur: Sunil Kedar, Congress MLA from Saoner, launched an all-out attack on BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) charging it with failing to address most of the problems of the city. It was after several years that Nagpur’s problems featured in a prolonged discussion in state assembly. Kedar was speaking during the last week resolution moved by the opposition.

    Kedar began with the 24x7 water supply project. “Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had told the house in December 2017 that NMC was providing round the clock water to 70,000 consumers in the city. However, a few weeks ago when opposition in NMC asked the municipal commissioner about number of beneficiaries of 24x7 project, he said that he did not have the figure and would be able to give it only in December 2018. So who is telling the truth,” he said.

    Turning to sanitation, the MLA said that NMC had failed to develop a sewage system and the entire sewage was being discharged in Nag river, which had become highly polluted. “The polluted water of Nag river flows into Gosikhurd reservoir, which has also become polluted. Fishes are dying in it,” he added.

    “The BJP government makes a song and dance about Nagpur Metro but the city’s bus service is in shambles. Commuters are suffering and only person seems to benefit is the consultant Dinesh Rathi. NMC has paid him Rs32 crore. Shouldn’t the consultant pay the price for failure of the service,” said Kedar.

    According to the MLA, NMC was not interested in running schools for poor children. “It is closing down the schools and handing over the premises to other institutions at negligible rent. The health centres and hospitals of NMC are in pitiable shape and many have closed down,” he further said.

    “NMC had promised to built 50,000 affordable houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) but it has not even built 1,000,” he said.

    Kedar blamed the civic body for High Court’s directive to raze illegal religious structures. “NMC does not take any action against encroachers on roads and encroachments by big businessmen but it razes temples built by common people,” he said.

    The MLA said that NMC presented an inflated budget every year which had strained its finances. “The dues owed by NMC to small contractors is Rs150 crore. They are unable to make their two ends meet,” he added.

  • NMC starts removing illegal speed breakers Proshun Chakraborty | tnn | Jul 20, 2018, 05:34 IST

    Nagpur: Following a series of TOI reports on illegal speed breakers put up by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) on the road outside its rear gate, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has decided to put a brake on speed breakers.

    To begin with, Dharampeth zone of NMC started removing existing fibre speed breakers from major roads in Dharampeth today, though it is yet to act against the speed breakers installed by Neeri. NMC, however, said it will remove speed breakers installed by Neeri too, and will recover the cost incurred for the removal.

    Armed with an excavator, the zone team removed at least 13 speed breakers from internal lanes. Officials from the zone told TOI that the drive will continue.

    Despite high court order directing NMC to remove fibre speed breakers from across the city, in 2016, NMC’s traffic department had erected almost 50 fibre speed breakers in the bylanes of Dharampeth and Khare Town. The zone office was in the dark about the move, and no permission had been sought from the traffic police too, whose permission is mandatory for the construction of any speed breaker.

    Late corporator Vishakha Maind and former mayor and MLC Anil Sole had contributed Rs10 lakh each from their ward funds to install these speed breakers. Similar speed humps were installed at many places across the city.

    Now, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh has instructed all assistant municipal commissioners to remove or raze illegal speed breakers. Singh has clarified that NMC will observe zero tolerance regarding illegal speed breakers across the city. He has said the civic body will first target speed breakers in residential areas, which have come up without proper permissions.

    NMC officials admitted that a majority of speed breakers violate guidelines of Indian Road Congress. All road-owning agencies — including zonal offices, NIT, PWD, NHAI — have been instructed to remove speed breakers. They will only be permitted outside schools, hospitals and other strategic locations.

  • Greens challenge panel findings on zudpi jungles Vijay Pinjarkar | tnn | Jul 20, 2018, 05:35 IST

    Nagpur: Greens and environmentalists have challenged the state-level committee report submitted to the government, which states that zudpi jungle is not forest and Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, is not applicable to these lands.

    Reacting to the TOI report of July 9, former National Wildlife Board (NBWL) member Kishor Rithe said, “There is nothing new in the report. Earlier, principal secretary (forest) had already given a formula to address the zudpi jungle issue. The same solutions have been suggested by the committee,” said Rithe.

    He added revenue officers need to read the land classification in Land Revenue Code before calling zudpi jungle as ‘gairaan’ (grazing lands). “It would be interesting to see entire list of zudpi lands under encroachment. The officers deliberately allotted zudpi lands for construction of residential quarters of high court judges, so that other buildings could get protection,” said Rithe. “They have also tried to worry citizens by mentioning areas under zudpi land in Nagpur in the report to get protection for wrong doings in entire Eastern Vidarbha,” said Rithe.

    According to him, as per the Supreme Court orders, when the committee was constituted to identify forests as per the new definition of forest, zudpi jungle was not considered as it was already a forest. “However, the committee is trying to take that as shelter to prove that it is not even an identified forest,” he said.

    The committee’s assertions also go completely against the stand taken by the central ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) in a letter sent to the state forest department on June 27, 2018. The letter, which states that state government has authority to approve transfer of zudpi land to other departments, ends by explicitly mentioning that no provisions of FCA 1980 should be violated.

    Environmentalist Debi Goenka said the state panel report is based on several fundamentally flawed assumptions. “It mentions that the total zudpi jungle area was 9,23,913 hectares. Out of this, 6,55,619ha was notified. So, balance 2,68,294ha still remains to be notified. But report talks only about 1,78,524ha, of which 92,115 has been notified as reserve/protected forest, and 86,409ha has been considered ‘unsuitable’, and government wants it to be de-notified at one go. The report doesn’t talk of balance 89,770ha,” says Goenka.

    Based on the report, PCCF (HOFF) UK Agrawal had sent a positive note last week to the government. “I agree with the SC ruling that “forest” must be understood according to its dictionary meaning, and we cannot obviate from the legal stand, but the report talks about 86,409ha land which was used for government projects only. This land should be brought out of the purview of the FCA,” said Agrawal.

    However, wildlife conservationist Prafulla Bhamburkar says the report talks of duplicity. “On one hand workable zudpi land is acceptable to the government but wants exemption on non-workable zudpi land. This indicates that FCA is applicable and hence net present value (NPV) should be charged for non-forestry use of the 86,409ha land,” said Bhamburkar.

    Goenka said the report claiming that zudpi jungles are not forest lands is the most condemnable part.

    “In 1987, state had urged MoEF to keep zudpi jungle out of FCA purview. When Bombay Environment Action Group (BEAG) and I challenged this in high court, the government had backtracked,” he told TOI.

  • 4k new affordable houses under Smart City project tnn | Jul 20, 2018, 05:46 IST

    Nagpur: As many as 4,000 new affordable houses will be constructed under the Smart City project.

    The Rs201-crore proposal was approved on Thursday by the board of directors of Smart City special purpose vehicle, Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL), which is headed by additional chief secretary to CM Praveen Pardeshi.

    Of this, 3,000 affordable houses will be constructed through public private partnership. The remaining 1,000 houses, which will be constructed by NSSCDCL and will be used to rehabilitate project-affected people.

    The work of issuing tenders is in progress and will be issued shortly, said chief executive officer of NSSCDCL, Ramnath Sonwane. The board also gave nod to adopt the logo of NSSCDCL.

    MLA Krishna Khopde, mayor Nanda Jickar, standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja, district collector Ashwin Mudgal, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh, BSP leader and corporator Mohammed Jamal, corporator Mangala Gaware and others attended the board meeting.
  • Now, use app to pay water bills tnn | Jul 20, 2018, 05:47 IST

    Nagpur: Water consumers now have one more easy option of paying water bills. Along with Online Billing facility, now official mobile app ‘Nagpur Water’ will allow consumers to avail NMC-OCW services at his/her fingertips.

    The step by Nagpur Municipal Corporation and Orange City Water (OCW) will enable consumers to pay the bills from their mobile handsets. The app is simple and easy to use, and provides transparency in delivering services to consumers.

    Along with the mobile application, NMC-OCW has also introduced PayTM services for consumers. PayTM is the one of the most popular payment application, and now NMC-OCW will accept water bills via PayTM too.

    Consumer needs to enter his contract account number and amount to pay his bill. The receipt of the payment will be provided by PayTM. The paid amount will be credited to consumers account in 24 hours. Consumer will also get promotional offers from PayTM for water bill payment.

    To increase digitization and cashless transactions, NMC-OCW have also introduced swipe machines in all zone offices. Consumers can swipe any Visa or Master debit or credit card to pay water bills. All transactions are without any additional charges to the consumers.

    Further, NMC-OCW have started five additional payment counters at various zones; Trimurti Nagar Water Tank (Laxmi Nagar zone), Dabha Water Tank (Dharampeth), Kharbi Water Tank (Nehru Nagar Zone), Shanti Nagar Water Tank (Satranjipura), and Subhan Nagar Water Tank (Lakadganj). Consumers can pay water bills as well as register water related complaints at all such extension counters also.

  • 4 thousand new affordable houses under Smart City project TNN | Updated: Jul 20, 2018, 13:25 IST

    4 thousand new affordable houses under Smart City project

    NAGPUR: As many as 4,000 new affordable houses will be constructed under the Smart City project.

    The Rs201-crore proposal was approved on Thursday by the board of directors of Smart City special purpose vehicle, Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL), which is headed by additional chief secretary to CM Praveen Pardeshi.

    Of this, 3,000 affordable houses will be constructed through public private partnership. The remaining 1,000 houses, which will be constructed by NSSCDCL and will be used to rehabilitate project-affected people.

    The work of issuing tenders is in progress and will be issued shortly, said chief executive officer of NSSCDCL, Ramnath Sonwane. The board also gave nod to adopt the logo of NSSCDCL.

    MLA Krishna Khopde, mayor Nanda Jickar, standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja, district collector Ashwin Mudgal, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh, BSP leader and corporator Mohammed Jamal, corporator Mangala Gaware and others attended the board meeting.