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- One km cement rd in 15 days, VNIT scholar shows the way Sarfaraz Ahmed | TNN | Jul 24, 2018, 03:25 IST
Nagpur: A Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) scholar and his guide from the department of applied mechanics have developed a new technique to help cut the duration of constructing a km-long cement concrete road to 15 days from three months, its thickness and the need to frequently dug them up to lay lines or repairs.
PhD scholar Ameen Syed (28) and his guide — associate professor RS Sonparote — say advantages of ‘pre-stress precast concrete road’ are very relevant in the context of Nagpur’s ongoing development. The duo successfully conducted the trial of the method by laying a 25-metre stretch on the VNIT campus this year in February and is being under observation since then.
“Laying of concrete panels to form the carriage way was completed in just two days on the 25-metre stretch in front of the new academic section on the campus,” says Ameen.
The panels were cast in an open space on the campus and later transported to the site. The interlocking panels were fixed using a rod which can be removed to as and when needed. “The interlocking design ensures there is no need to dig the road but just lift the panel for any underground work,” he says.
Similarly, Ameen says, the innovation can solve traffic issues seen across the city during the construction of cement roads beside speeding up the works. “The panels can be prepared and stored at a casting yard and brought to the site for installation during night hours or when the traffic flow is less,” he said.
The project had cost the duo Rs2lakh which included hiring a crane, red mix concrete and preparing the bed for prestressing panels. Prestressing is a process which helps in reducing the thickness of the road and saves materials, the PhD scholar explained. He said if the thickness is less, ultimately waterlogging in localities will be prevented.
“We are ready to transfer the technology for government and private agencies. Due to lack of advanced machinery, we couldn’t achieve perfection, but the durability of road inside the campus is excellent,” Sonparote said.
Ameen, who did his BE in civil engineering from Ramdeobaba College and PG in structural engineering from BITS Pilani, said the project was started in 2015 as main part of his PhD thesis titled ‘Prestressed Precast Concrete Pavement/Road’.
In the next part of the study, the scholar and his guide would test the performance of the road by plying heavy vehicles on it and computer analysis for project execution.
Another highlight of the method is strengthening of the panels through proper curing. “The water evaporates on the site and the structure gets weak,” he said highlighting the lacuna in the present method.
- Despite SC order, NMC team cannot demolish Kelibagh Rd shops Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 24, 2018, 03:25 IST
Nagpur: Despite clear Supreme Court (SC) orders, the shopkeepers of Mahal continue to oppose Kelibagh Road widening project. A Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) team had to return without demolishing any shop after strong opposition from shopkeepers on Monday.
NMC officials and employees from market and enforcement departments, and Gandhibagh zone, along with police personnel, reached Kelibagh Road to vacate the civic body’s 36 leased shops on Monday. The shops are situated between Mahal Square and Kotwali police station. NMC’s plan was to vacate the shops and demolish the structures, and even JCBs were present at the spot.
However, NMC lease holders and owners of other shops on Kelibagh Road in Mahal started to protest. All shops on Kelibagh Road, from Central Avenue to Mahal Square and further were shut down to mark the protest. The NMC team then returned without taking any action.
NMC officials told TOI the lease holders have been given final ultimatum of two days. “Hearing of all lease holders was conducted last month. Deadline to vacate the shops was July 19. We went today to demolish the shops. We did not have enough police force, as there were only four constables. We directed all of the lease holders to vacate the shops and demolition will be done on July 26,” said an official.
An NMC official added that the 11-month lease was not renewed. “None of the shops are on lease now. Therefore, the occupants have no claim to the shops,” he said.
Corporator Bunty Shelke too had rushed to the spot. “Lease holders say they were given assurance of rehabilitation before demolition of the shops. I too requested NMC to first provide them space to continue their business, and then demolish the shops,” he said.
One of the lease holders, Sunil Jain, said a large number of families will be affected if shops are demolished before rehabilitation. “We are doing our business for last 30-40 years. We have time and again requested all NMC officials and office bearers to allot alternate space, but nothing was done. Many of us have loans on the shops. We have huge stock of garments, where would we sell it?” he asked.
One of the executive members of shopkeepers association, Shashi Batra, said NMC should not execute the project before acquisition of other shops. “There are many shops supposed to be acquired. NMC has done nothing to give them compensation and acquire the land. These shops are situated in the middle of the road. Therefore, all shops should be acquired and then demolition should begin. We are not against the project, and always favour development works,” he said.
Batra added NMC has 4.50 acre land behind the shops but was not ready to give space to lease holders to continue their business. “Families of shopkeepers are totally dependent upon whatever is earned on daily basis. All family members, including children, will be affected if shops are demolished before rehabilitation of shopkeepers,” he said.
NMC had planned the project in 2014 but completed alignment of the proposed road a few days ago. NMC is yet to submit list of 157 project-affected-persons (PAPs) to collector office for acquisition. To encourage other people, NMC had demolished its zone office building for the project.
- NMRDA to seek collector office opinion in VCA stadium case Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Jul 24, 2018, 03:26 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (NMRDA) is planning to seek the opinion of collector office regarding the building plan of Vidarbha Cricket Association’s (VCA) international cricket stadium at Jamtha. The final decision on VCA’s application seeking occupancy certificate for the stadium is likely to be taken after obtaining opinion of collector office.
VCA had submitted an application seeking occupancy certificate to NMRDA on March 20, though the stadium has been in use for last 10 years. NMRDA sent a letter dated May 28 to VCA, asking it to submit sanctioned layout and building plan along with few NOCs.
In reply, VCA has submitted a letter along with some documents to NMRDA on June 29.
NMRDA sources told TOI VCA again submitted a copy of same layout and building plan that was attached with the application. “Now, NMRDA will send a letter to collector office asking whether the plans submitted by VCA are sanctioned or not. Also, NMRDA requires to seek couple of more documents from VCA. Then the final decision related to occupancy certificate will be taken,” the sources said.
NMRDA sources added, VCA has claimed environment clearance was not applicable for the stadium. “NMRDA officials of west division will seek opinion of its building section regarding the environment clearance. Also, VCA does not have compliance certificate of district sports office, and Airport Authority of India (AAI),” sources said.
On June 20, the collector office had submitted an affidavit to the State Information Commission (SIC) saying it did not sanction building plan of the stadium. The affidavit was made in an appeal filed by RTI activist TH Naidu, who has been seeking information under RTI Act since January 2016 regarding the Jamtha stadium.
- Demarcate, map mining area around Gorewada: HC Vijay Pinjarkar | TNN | Jul 25, 2018, 03:03 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court directed district collector to issue notices to miners in Mahurzari and Pitesur surrounding Gorewada reserve forest to demarcate and map the mining area within three months.
A bench of Justice BP Dharmadhikari and Justice ZA Haq issued the directive on July 18 while disposing of a PIL filed by social activist Shridhar Ade against illegal mining in Mahurzari and Pitesur.
The high court further said, “Where mining leases are being renewed or being granted afresh, the lease deed itself shall not be entered into in absence of such demarcation and map.”
In 2016, Ade had filed a PIL following large-scale illegal excavation of gravel and murrum in Mahurzari and Pitesur. He had also lodged complaints in April 2015 but revenue department officials did nothing.
On the contrary, tahsildar had submitted a report on July 23, 2015 giving a clean chit to those involved in mining. Ade said that though mining was allowed lawfully in at least 11 survey numbers, the miners carried out quarrying in adjoining survey numbers owned by private parties in Pitesur.
Tahsildar’s report stated that excavation on private lands was too old but did not specify the period when it was done. He admitted that the private properties are unfenced and non-demarcated.
After complaints from affected persons, TOI had visited the spots last year and found that rampant and haphazard quarrying had damaged boundaries and lands owned by people. Some police complaints had also been registered.
Ade alleged that the tahsildar’s spot inspection is an eyewash. “I being the petitioner was not included in the inspection,” he said.
Ade said as per the information sought by him under RTI on February 21, 2018, gravels and murrum worth Rs42.52 crore have been illegally excavated since 2010.
However, an affidavit filed by district mining officer (DMO) SP Kadoo through AGP TA Mirza, a fine of Rs3.29 lakh was recovered from violators in Mahurzari and Pitesur between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.
However, the high court said the royalty demand and penalty, including interest, would be fixed after quantity of material excavated in the area has been worked out.
Ade had also said that the rampant excavation is affecting Gorewada reserve forest. However, the DMO ruled the allegations as there were no complaints from Gorewada authorities.
- PIO shunted out after affidavit on VCA Stadium Anjaya Anparthi | tnn | Jul 25, 2018, 05:57 IST
Nagpur: The district administration has transferred public information officer Kamlesh Shendre after he submitted an affidavit to the state information commissioner (SIC) affirming that the collector’s office had not given sanction to the building plan of Vidarbha Cricket Association’s (VCA) Jamtha cricket stadium. Condemning the decision, activists have demanded that collector Ashwin Mudgal cancel Shendre’s transfer order.
President of farmers’ organization Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Prashant Pawar along with RTI activist TH Naidu, advocate Ankita Shah, Vijay Kumar Shinde and others held a press conference on Tuesday and said an agitation will be launched if the order is not reversed within a week.
Pawar alleged that Shendre was transferred as there was “pressure” on the district administration. “It did not give information about the stadium’s sanctioned building plan and other details when we sought it in January 2016. We then filed an appeal with the SIC which passed strictures. Shendre then submitted an affidavit to the SIC on June 20. He has now been transferred from the non-agriculture (NA) department to Ramtek tehsil on June 25. Shendre is being victimized for saying the truth,” he said.
Shendre did not want to talk to TOI. His transfer is being attributed to ‘administrative purposes’.
He joined the district administration on a clerical post two years ago and should have stayed on for at least another year as per rules. There are, however, several employees who have remained in their posts for much longer than three years too.
Resident deputy collector Ravindra Khajanji said Shendre did not follow “administrative process”. “He submitted the affidavit without taking the collector’s signature,” he said.
Naidu said the Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) must issue a notice to the stadium under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act instead of approaching the collector’s office for opinion. After the VCA submitted documents sought by NMRDA for the issuance of an occupancy certificate (OC), the latter wanted a confirmation about them from the collector.
“Why should the NMRDA again go to the collector after the affidavit was submitted before the SIC. Already, for two years it has not taken any action against the stadium. NMRDA should also stop acting under pressure. We will be submitting a copy of the affidavit to the NMRDA,” said Naidu.
Shah said NMRDA should reject VCA’s application seeking an occupancy certificate (OC). “The OC is mandatory before the structure is put to use but matches are being held there since 10 years,” she said.
Pawar charged NMRDA with bias. “It declares small residential structures as unauthorized and makes a hefty demand for regularization. Poor villagers are facing the brunt of coming under the Metro Region. But, when it comes to the influential VCA, the authority is mum,” he said.
- HC notice to Campa for afforestation of Tipeshwar tnn | Jul 25, 2018, 06:01 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court on Tuesday, added Compensatory Officer Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA), as a respondent in the suo motu PILs challenging shooting order of problematic tigress in Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Pandharkawda sub-division forest, Yavatmal.
A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq while issuing notice, directed it to file a reply within two weeks.
Counsel Ravindra Khapre, appearing for petitioners — Ghanshyam Thakur and Mumbai-based dentist Dr Sarita Subramaniyam — informed that tiger numbers have jumped in last few years and resulted in them moving out of the forest. It subsequently led to man-animal conflict in the area. Domestic animals too were being attacked as the forest area was proving to be inadequate.
He informed that the forest department had failed to take any steps to expand the jungle area or prey base for the carnivorous animals, which resulted in tigers eyeing human settlements. He said in cases of shrinking of forests, funds are provided by CAMPA for afforestation, but there are no such plans for Pandharkawda.
Khapre pointed out that a big area adjacent to forests is available. But it lacked meadows that is needed for herbivores, which are the prey base of tigers. Lack of prey base is another reason for them to look out for the food in human settlements near the forests. The state government had transferred a big area of 31,627.08 hectare to the FDCM for development, of which some area is adjacent to Pandharkawda sub-division. Khapre prayed for taking back this tract from the FDCM and its ecological development by the forest department with a view to attract herbivorous.
According to him, it would not only prevent the tigers from looking out for food in villages, but also prevent man-animal conflict and subsequent attacks on humans.
- NMC: Will raze all illegal religious structures by Nov 30 Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Jul 26, 2018, 04:13 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) informed the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday that it is likely to raze all 1,521 illegal religious structures before November 30.
The submission was made by NMC commissioner Virendra Singh through counsel Sudhir Puranik by filing a comprehensive affidavit on its action plan, and providing details about their numbers in various zones. A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq then adjourned the hearing till next week.
Earlier, two intervention pleas were filed by two temple trusts, contending that the list of illegal structures prepared by NMC was defective. However, the court refused to hear their pleas after they failed to produce sanction maps for their premises.
The government roped in senior counsel Sunil Manohar to plead its case on Wednesday. He appealed for reconsideration of HC’s July 5 orders, where it had directed deduction of Re1/day from the salaries of top officials, including chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, Urban Development Department (UDD) principal secretary, and revenue and home secretaries. However, the judges said it would be possible only after the civic body makes the city free of illegal structures.
The court was hearing a plea by Dr Gajanan Zade and Manohar Khorgade, through counsel Firdos Mirza, praying for removal of encroachments, including religious structures, pandals, stages, statues and others from roads, pavements and public utility spaces.
Singh informed that NMC had removed 54 structures earlier, and from June 22 to July 23, another 134 were removed, taking to 188 the number of structures demolished till date. Six of these were on PWD land.
The corporation also laid out an action plan to remove all such structures from the city. Some 331 of the structures are on roads and footpaths, while another 71 existed prior to May 1, 1960, and are not to be demolished in view of SC orders, while two roadside structures were pending before the corporation’s panel. Till July 23, 174 shrines had been removed and NMC planned to raze 25 per week. With, 84 shrines yet to be demolished, the task would be completed within four weeks.
The civic body has also identified 294 illegal temples, mosques and other structures built on public utility (PU) lands and open spaces in its jurisdiction. Of them, 14 were existing before May 1, 1960, while 10 have raised objections before the NMC committee. Till July 23, NMC had removed eight while remaining 262 would be removed at the rate of five per day.
“All these 262 would be razed within 11 weeks, excluding the occasions of Ganesh and Navratri festivals. This action would start only after removal of structures on roadsides and footpaths. NMC is likely to removal all illegal/unauthorized structures by November 30,” Singh said.
The corporation had received 967 objections, of which 112 were prima facie genuine, while others failed to submit proper documents. The NMC chief stated that if HC grants them permission to hear all objections, they would complete the process within a stipulated period.
NMC has designated zonal officers and assistant commissioners of ten zones to take action against the illegal structures, and they were asked to ensure that no such structure remains in the city. “In case of failure, they would be held responsible and action would be taken against them. They were also instructed to ensure that no new structures come up in their areas,” Singh said. NMC has also directed all other bodies, like NHAI, PDKV and Mhada, to remove all such structures from their lands and submit a progress report on it. Singh informed that on July 12, NMC staffers Harish Raut and Prashant Waghmare were abused and threatened by a mob when they had gone to demolish a temple at Adivasi Nagar.
The entire issue caused much hue and cry in political circles, with temple trusts and right wing organization protesting NMC’s move. Many also approached Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who wrote a letter to the authorities to at least spare temples built on PU land.
- Builder booked for Rs 14.34 crore fraud TNN | Updated: Jul 26, 2018, 06:11 IST
NAGPUR: Nandanvan police booked 15 office bearers of Nirmal Ujjwal Credit Cooperative Society (NUCCS), including well-known builder and founder secretary Pramod Manmode, for allegedly embezzling and misusing investors’ Rs14.34 crore since August 7, 2008 following the complaint of an investor of the multi-state cooperative society (MSCS).
As per police, NUCCS office bearers had loaned investors’ money to their relatives with the intention of never returning it. The NUCCS had taken no steps to recover the loans.
Police said the accused also used the investors’ money to buy land on UmredRoad and construct Nirmal Ujjwal housing society without permission of the concerned authority. Being a MSCS, the society was supposed to be operated on no profit and no loss basis and provided to only needy people.
However, the society’s residents said that as many as 750 properties in the society were sold to them at commercial rates with an intention to earn profit. They alleged that the builder had sold them the properties for one amount and later demanded more money for all amenities. But, the builder had not provided even basic amenities, including water supply and electricity connection, despite taking extra money from them.
As per sources, Manmode’s brother-in-law had taken a loan from the cooperative society and Rs36 lakh of it was waived off.
Residents said that they had unearthed several irregularities in the audit of the cooperative society through RTI. Around Rs135.25 crore of investors was invested in mutual funds without the permission of central registrar of agriculture department, which governs the MSCS.
They also said that as per the audit report obtained through the RTI, a loan of Rs92.66 crore was disbursed to Hindustan Micro Finance Private Limited which turned into NPA. Residents alleged that no steps were taken to recover the money and additional Rs3.98 crore were given to the company.
Police said that the amount of embezzled money is likely to be more.
- Who dug up Mount Rd? Nobody has an answer Proshun Chakraborty | tnn | Jul 26, 2018, 05:44 IST
Nagpur: Despite the ban by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), digging of roads continues unabated in the city during monsoon. A case in point is the busy Mount Road in front of Burhani Masjid at Sadar. Here, some agency has dug up almost one-third of the road to lay a pipeline.
The rules are being flouted despite municipal commissioner Virendra Singh’s clear instructions to all the agencies against digging city roads during monsoon.
A senior official in the NMC’s hotmix department too confirmed that no permission was given to dig up any road across the city. According to the officer, the area comes under Mangalwari zone and TOI should check this with the zone. The zone office also denied giving any permission for the work. This means that either the officials are passing the buck or they are completely unaware of who dug up the road.
Residents have complained about potholes that are lying open not only on major roads but also on internal lanes, posing a serious threat to the motorists.
“A major accident can happen on this stretch as the streetlight is also not functioning properly. The work should not have been initiated during monsoon as callousness of the authorities could claim life of any motorist,” said Dinesh Besarkar, a resident of Sadar.
The ban was imposed till completion of the monsoon season. “Nagpur is caught up in a whirl of mindless digging of roads. The authorities not only dug the road but have also vandalized corner side used by the pedestrians. It is an impending disaster during the monsoon season,” said citizens.
“Roads are being dug in many parts of the city,” said Yakub Vazir, a resident of Mehdibagh. He also cited the example of Kamal Chowk, where a portion of the busy square was dug up by Orange City Water on Tuesday midnight.
“There is a provision of penalty for those flouting the orders. It is disastrous that digging continues on the roads in the city during heavy rains. There are chances of falling into a hole on a road dug up by government agencies or private companies,” said Prakash Chiwande, a resident of Sadar.
Though municipal commissioner Virendra Singh was not available for comments, a senior official from the hotmix department assured to look into the matter. The officer also pointed out that recently, NMC had issued notices to MahaMetro, Reliance JIO and L&T for not repairing dug up roads.
- MIL to survey illegal bldgs near airport Ashish Roy | tnn | Jul 26, 2018, 05:47 IST
Nagpur: Unfazed by non-cooperation by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), Mihan India Limited (MIL) has decided to conduct another survey of illegal buildings near airport that come in way of aircraft landing.
After the survey report is available, notices will issued to all such buildings and the owners will be asked to demolish the extra construction.
“Airport Authority of India (AAI) has empanelled surveyors. We will contact one of the surveyors and give it the contract. The survey should take 15 to 20 days,” said a source in MIL.
MIL had earlier done a survey of such buildings and found out that some 15 of them were constructed more than the permissible height. These were mostly located in Jaitala area and one on Wardha Road.
The source said that unless the extra construction was demolished, the length of one of the runways will have to reduced by 560 metre. “The present length of the runway is 3,200m. This means that big aircraft can’t land on it. This will adversely affect expansion of the airport,” he added.
Pilots frequently complain that due to high buildings near the airport their ground proximity warning (GPW) becomes activated. MIL has maintained a record of such complaints.
The airport has two runways — 1-4 and 3-2. It is the 3-2 runway which has been affected by the illegal buildings. MIL will prohibit landing of aircraft like Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 on this runway.
MIL had requested NMC to raze the illegal constructions. However, the municipal commissioner flatly refused saying that it was not his job. The airport agency then wrote to director general of civil aviation (DGCA) seeking its intervention but is yet to get any response.
“If DGCA does not respond, we will urge civil aviation ministry to direct NMC to raze the constructions,” said the source.
The reason for NMC’s refusal is due to grey area in DGCA Demolition Rules, 1994. The rules state that the illegal constructions have to be razed but do not specify who is to do the job. MIL says that it does not have the machinery to raze the constructions and only civic agencies like NMC can do the job. Moreover, MIL officials say that if a building is illegal, NMC has to demolish it even otherwise.
- Online building plan sanction goes live, initial glitches exist tnn | Jul 26, 2018, 05:52 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) launched the Building Plan Management System (BPMS) on Wednesday, an online portal for architects and civil engineers to submit building plans to get sanction. This system, launched under Central government’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ initiative, intends to curb underhand dealings, and sanction all plans within 30 days of submission.
The system is currently operating in 220 councils and ‘D’ Grade corporations, and NMC has become the first in the state among all ‘A’ and ‘B’ grade municipal corporations to adopt it.
Till date, some 65 architects and civil engineers from the city have registered on the portal, out of the over 2,000 professionals practicing currently. “The response to BPMS might be need based, and architects might be waiting for feedback on the software,” said chairman of Nagpur chapter of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) Paramjeet Singh Ahuja.
However, the system is still being rolled out, and has not been fully launched, so it is missing some major provisions. From July 25 onwards, no building plans would be accepted manually at NMC, and all submissions would have to come only through BPMS. The pending submissions will still get manual sanction. Services like addition or alteration in existing structures, compounding, layout sanctioning, amalgamation and subdivision of plots are yet to be launched, and are likely to go online soon.
In addition to above glitches, TOI had earlier pointed out some more drawbacks, including a lack of provision to acquire various No Objection Certificates (NOCs). “Authorities should take the matter seriously and make provision for online acquisition of fire NOC, since it will be beneficial to the public,” said chief fire officer Rajendra Uchake.
The architects who have already registered are facing glitches in downloading the software necessary to trace plans. “Manual interference in any way will impact the process, and this would be a major reason for failure of the system. Also, the credibility of the software is questionable since the voluminous DCR guidelines might not be updated in real time,” said Ahuja.
NMC is still looking hopeful for strong support from the fraternity. “Even though architects will face some problems initially in adapting to it, BPMS will benefit all in the longer run. After the initial discomfort, I am positive that people will look at the bigger picture,” said NMC’s assistant director of town planning Pramod Gawande.
- Twin-litter bins damaged within months of installation Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Updated: Jul 27, 2018, 06:37 IST
The damaged twin-litter bins installed by the civic body across the city to promote waste segregation have evo... Read More
NAGPUR: The damaged twin-litter bins installed by the civic body across the city to promote waste segregation have evoked apathetic civic sense. Though these bins have been targeted by vandals, there hasn’t been much effort on part of the Nagpurians to use the facility judiciously.
“At least 30 bins have been damaged in the last few months,” said a senior official in the NMC’s sanitation department.
A survey by TOI revealed that dust bins on major roads, including West High Court Road and Amravati road, have been pulled down and as a result, garbage is found strewn all over the place. A sanitary worker, pointing to a damaged bin near Bole petrol pump, said that it was the job of local residents.
In 2009, NMC had declared Nagpur a bin-free city by appointing Kanak Resources Management Limited to collect garbage from every household and dispose it at Bhandewadi dumping yard. But it failed to keep the city’s commercial places clean. So, to fix the gaps in the garbage disposal mechanism, NMC installed bins back at market places earlier this year.
NMC has put up almost 1,200 bins mainly in market areas across the city in accordance with the Swachh Survekshan 2018 guidelines. The 200kg twin plastic litter bins, fitted to the ground, were meant for the use of shoppers and pedestrians in congested commercial areas. These bins have the facility that enables them to be tilted for the contents to be emptied into a collection vehicle.
But these newly installed bins have been damaged in almost all areas like Khamla Road, Civil Lines, Dharampeth, Police Line Takli Road etc. A cursory look across the city shows garbage being dumped in these bins but never cleaned. Citizens also claimed that Kanak staffers do not collect garbage from the bins.
“The high capacity bins are meant for public use, but the residents in many areas are dumping domestic waste causing them to overflow and form a black spot. Residents have door-to-door collection facility and are not supposed to use the litter bins. There should be sensitization about the purpose of the bin at zonal level,” said the officer.
The NMC should ensure that these bins are periodically cleared without allowing garbage spill over, said residents.
The initiative was honest, said civic activist Leena Budhe, but the authorities lacked the vision and effort to make it sustainable. “While the authorities demonstrated slackness and apathy towards implementation, management, and supervision of the facility, a section of city dwellers showed sheer lack of civic sense. All this resulted in the failure of the initiative,” she said.
“Actually, these ill-maintained bins across the streets will now clog stormwater drains leading to flooding of roads. Before trying to making the city clean, NMC should at least prove it can have garbage cleared regularly,” she added.
- Non-forest agencies lagging in 13 crore plantation drive Vijay Pinjarkar | TNN | Updated: Jul 27, 2018, 05:54 IST
NAGPUR: With five days left for the 13 crore ‘Greening Maharashtra’ drive to end, the campaign doesn’t seem to have gone well with all the agencies. Among the laggard agencies are two of the most polluting industries — energy department and Western Coalfields Limited (WCL). The energy department was set a plantation target of over 1.26 lakh seedlings but planted 75,548 (59%) while WCL, set a target of 1.65 lakh saplings, planted 7,580 seedlings (5.53%) till July 26.
Most of the 13 crore plantations, which is expected to surpass the target, is due to the forest department, whose three wings — social forestry (SFD), Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) and wildlife wing together planted 7.34 crore saplings while others have planted 4.51 crore.
Till 7.30pm on Thursday, plantation of over 11.60 crore saplings had been recorded online, while, according to forest department, 86.43 lakh sapling plantation was recorded offline till Wednesday.
However, even as the forest department has exceeded the target, NGOs (31%), educational institutes (72%), PWD (58%), gram panchayats (55%), NHAI (42%), Central Railway (18%), and departments of labour (16%), industry (48%), tourism (35%), rural (45%), agriculture (63%), public health (57%), and urban development (53%) are far behind achieving their targets.
APCCF (policy & information technology) Praveen Srivastava said, “We can’t comment on the performance of other departments, but certainly their participation has increased as compared to last two drives to plant two crore and four crore saplings.”
On the meagre plantations, WCL general manager (environment) Kaushik Chakraborty said, “We will achieve our target of 1.65 lakh trees. Not a single tree will be planted less. It is not about planting all the saplings in a month. We have distributed the target month-wise.”
Chakraborty added, in addition to the 1.65 lakh saplings, WCL has distributed 35,000 seedlings in Chandrapur villages. “We expect to achieve the set target in August,” he said.
In the meanwhile, Nanded has taken the lead in Maharashtra by achieving 99% target. The district planted 78.53 saplings of the 78.75 lakh target followed by Kolhapur (98%), Nandurbar (97%), Beed (96%), Sangli (95%), Gadchiroli (94%), Sindhudurg (93%) and Thane (91%). Wardha in Nagpur division has fared the worst by achieving a target of just 54%.
In the meanwhile, the PCCF (HOFF) office has expressed dissatisfaction over lackadaisical attitude of chief conservator of forests (CCFs) in the state in submitting drone pictures of plantations.
The department spent lakhs in deploying drones to gather evidence of plantations, but till now CCFs have failed to submit these pictures. Even the videos sent by the officials are not geo-referenced.
- Kochchhi barrage project needs Rs 130 crore, government gives Rs 1 crore Ashish Roy | TNN | Updated: Jul 27, 2018, 06:37 IST
Kochchhi barrage project needs Rs 130 crore
NAGPUR: BJP-Shiv Sena government, which promised to do justice to Vidarbha, seems to have forgotten all about it. Kochchhi barrage on Kanhan river, which is vital for supplying irrigation water to farmers of Ramtek and Mouda talukas, will face fund crunch unless government releases the money later this year. It may also create problems in meeting water needs of Nagpur.
A source in Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) said that the agency had sought Rs 130 crore for 2018-19 but got only Rs 1 crore. “This amount was sanctioned in the budget while we got nothing in supplementary demands passed in the monsoon session. We have Rs 40 crore left from last year and this money will run out by December. Unless government sanctions some money, work on the project will stop,” he added.
Contrary to the popular misconception, Kochchhi barrage will not directly supply water to Nagpur. “We will transport water through an underground pipeline to Pench right bank canal (RBC). This will irrigate 4,500 hectares in Ramtek and Mouda talukas. In lieu of this water, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will lift its full share from Totladoh dam,” said the source.
The total cost of the barrage is Rs 950 crore and so far Rs 650 crore have been spent on it. “We need Rs 130 crore this fiscal and Rs 170 crore in the next one. The target for completing the project is December 2019. However, if we don’t get funds on time, we will not be able to meet the deadline,” the source further said.
The storage capacity of Kochchhi is 54 million cubic metre (mm3). “However, we would have used 75 mm3 by lifting the water when available,” said the source.
Sunil Kedar, Congress MLA from Saoner, slammed the government for failing to sanction funds. “I had got the project cleared with lot of effort. All my efforts are going waste,” he told TOI. Kedar had raised the issue in the monsoon session of the state legislature but got no reply.
Meanwhile, survey has started on the Jamghat dam, which is expected to meet the water needs of the city for coming 20 years.
- Relax stay on road expansion: National Highway Authority of India to HC Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Jul 27, 2018, 06:23 IST
NAGPUR: The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on Thursday moved two applications in the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court, praying for relaxing the stay on expanding width of NH-44 passing through Kanhan and also to fill up potholes on the existing road.
A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq then fixed the hearing on both applications on Monday.
The applications were filed in a PIL (2/2018) by Chandrabhan Singh through counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar and two others challenging NHAI and Kanhan Municipal Council’s move to remove encroachments coming in the way of road expansion.
According to the petitioner, the NHAI was expanding its stretch passing through Kanhan, which included laying of new bridge and service roads. For this purpose, it needed an area which was passing through dense locality which was encroachment. As NHAI issued notices for eviction of illegal houses, the petitioner approached the judiciary praying for a stay on their action.
The NHAI in its applications through counsels Ajay Ghare and Aneesh Kathane stated that filling up of potholes on the road was must while warning of accidents. On April 11, the HC slapped Re1 fine on collector and NHAI project director for failure to inform about width of the road and stayed the widening works.
During the last hearing, the government and other authorities were directed to take necessary steps to remove encroachments on either side of the road and initiate necessary steps within four weeks.
“The petitioner submitted that merely because encroachments are being protected, national highway with uneven width is being constructed. We find substance in this contention. The work is today not continuing. We direct the respondents not to continue or restart work till they come up with a definite plea in relation to NH’s width,” the HC said.