Sort by :
Filter by :
- Germany may fund second phase of Metro Ashish Roy | tnn | Jul 31, 2018, 06:04 IST
Nagpur: The German government is happy with the progress of phase I of Nagpur Metro and may consider funding phase II of the project. German diplomat Jasper Wieck, who had come to Nagpur to inspect phase I of the project, said that it was an excellent project as 65% of electricity requirement was being met by solar, and feeder buses would be run to provide connectivity to large number of areas. “This is the biggest project of German agency KfW,” he said.
Replying to a query, Wieck said that while Germany agency KfW was not funding any other Metro, it was funding the feeder water transport of Kochi Metro.
“The German government is funding several projects in India. We are contributing to Clean Ganga Mission by funding a sewage treatment plant in Haridwar. We are helping farmers in North-East India to earn a sustainable livelihood, which is affected by climate change. There are various other projects,” said the official.
On ease of doing business, Wieck said that it had certainly improved things for investors. “We want to contribute to Make in India, Digital India and Skill India. One example if Indo-German cooperation is Bharat Benz plant at Chennai, which manufactures trucks. Some 90% of the components are supplied by Indian industries. We are also helping Indian firms in research and development,” he added.
On Nagpur as an investment destination, the diplomat said that the city was clean, well-planned and would soon have an excellent mass transport system. “There is no reason why the city can’t attract industries,” he added.
- Plastic ban drives trader to end life tnn | Jul 31, 2018, 17:05 IST
Nagpur: Naresh Tolani, 51, a plastic trader who committed suicide, became the first reported victim of the state government’s plastic ban. He ended life by jumping into Gandhi Sagar Lake. His body was found floating in the lake in the early hours of Monday.
Tolani, a resident of Kashmiri Lane, had left home on his two-wheeler in the wee hours of the day. His family members had approached Pachpaoli police station to report him missing at 5am, after they could not trace him in the vicinity or with his friends. In the meantime, a morning walker alerted control room after spotting a man taking a plunge into the lake. The man later turned out to be Tolani.
Ganeshpeth police later fished out the body. Police said Tolani had not left behind a suicide note. The family members, however, said that Tolani had been depressed since the plastic ban had compelled him to suspend his trading activities. He had been robbed of his livelihood, they said.
The suicide evoked strong reactions from trading associations, who expressed solidarity with the plastic ban victim and his family. Sources from Tolani’s neighbourhood also confirmed that the trader had suffered a set back after the ban, which he had repeatedly expressed in his friend circle.
Ganeshpeth police have registered a case of accidental death.
- Religious trusts join hands against demolition drive Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Jul 31, 2018, 22:39 IST
NAGPUR: With a view ‘save’ religious structures from the ongoing demolition drive, various trusts have come together to form Dharmik Sthal Bachav Sangharsh Samiti, announced BJP city president and MLA Sudhakar Kohale. To begin with, the Samiti will conduct Maha Aarti at different temples in six assembly constituencies on Tuesday at 12.30pm.
The Maha-Aarti will be performed at East Nagpur (Satnami Nagar Sheetla Mata Mandir), West Nagpur (Ramnagar Chowk Hanuman Mandir), South-West Nagpur (Ajni Chowk Hanuman Mandir), North Nagpur (Inodra Chowk Hanuman Mandir), South Nagpur (Rajabaksha Hanuman Mandir) and Central Nagpur (Shree Kalimata Mandir Gandhibagh).
Subsequently, a memorandum will be submitted to the divisional commissioner demanding discontinuation of the demolition drive.
“If the administration continues with its demolition drive, the Samiti, along with city BJP unit, will launch demonstrations in the city from August 6. If needed, we will call for a Nagpur bandh,” said Kohale.
North Nagpur MLA Dr Milind Mane too announced support of Boudh Vihar committees to the Samiti.
According to Kohale, the ruling BJP in the NMC only expects the civic administration to take corrective measures to save religious structures in open spaces and public utility spaces from demolitions.
- HC allows NHAI to continue work on road trenches on NH-44 Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Aug 1, 2018, 03:49 IST
Nagpur: Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Tuesday, allowed National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to fill up trenches on the proposed expansion of NH-44 passing through Kanhan.
The court had granted interim stay on the plans to expand the width of the road following 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 on the way of the expansion.
NHAI then filed two applications for filling up the trenches meant for road dividers and for covering the gap between the roads, which was meant for proposed metro rail project, with the paver blocks. NHAI’s counsels Ajay Ghare and Aneesh Kathane informed that filling up both gaps was must for ensuring safety of vehicle drivers.
The proposed road was to be developed into a six-lane carriageway, but the petitioners claimed that the NHAI is reducing the width of road under pressure from the encroachers.
Earlier, Shivshankar Halmare and others filed a petition through counsels Tushar Mandlekar and Rohan Malviya, challenging the NHAI’s notice to them for eviction of their premises for proposed widening of the road. They argued that they are owners of their immovable properties and have submitted their proof of ownership by the way of submission of sale deed, 7/12 extracts, municipal tax receipts, NA copies, sanction maps to the NHAI in reply to its notices of February 2. Those were issued under section 26(2) of the Control of National Highway (land and traffic) Act, 2002, for removal of encroachment to nearly 200 persons in village Kanhan-Pipri, Kandri.
Even prior to issuance of this notice, the petitioners and many other villagers have already submitted their objections along with copies of their proof NOC’s of their respective properties.
NHAI is 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 under encroachment. Earlier 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.
- Ring road delay: RPS now blames PWD, cops & seeks 15 more months Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Aug 1, 2018, 03:54 IST
Nagpur: Unable to complete the Ring Road widening and concretization work by the first deadline of September last year and extended one till August 15 this year, Mumbai-based RPS Infraprojects Private Limited has sought yet another extension up to November 15, 2019 for completing the project.
Not stopping at this, RPS, which is already facing allegations of inferior quality work and several violations, has submitted a letter to the PWD executive engineer on June 27 hinting it may seek extension beyond November 15, 2019 for finishing off the project.
The PWD had issued work order to RPS on September 24, 2015 for widening and concretization of Inner Ring Road in two years. Though the work’s estimated cost was Rs 260.77 crore, RPS had bagged the contract quoting 21.51% below at Rs 204.68 crore.
RPS also blamed the PWD and traffic police for the delay and said, “We shall claim compensation. Though the contract does not contain any clause for payment of compensation for the delays, we shall claim the same under sections 55 and 73 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, and established law of the land.”
As per RPS, it had earlier sought extension of 21 months but the PWD chief engineer approved the same up to only August 15. The contractor has cited three reasons for the delay — various types of hindrances/obstructions at the site, inordinate delay in handing over the site and also releasing payments.
Blacklisted by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for road works scam, RPS said, “Work suffered due to piecemeal permissions given by the traffic police for closing traffic on one side of the road. This difficulty was brought to the notice through many letters and also during meetings. Traffic police also imposed restrictions on movement of trucks carrying construction material during peak hours (9am to 11am and 5pm to 7pm),” the contractor said.
Activist Suraj Lolage obtained information about the project’s status under the RTI Act. Interestingly, public works department (PWD) has initiated no action like termination of contract against RPS despite inordinate delay in completion of the project. The contractor has completed less than 60% of the work as on date.
Highlighting the delay, Lolage demanded FIR against PWD and RPS officials. “Inner Ring Road is a lifeline for hundreds of people. Due to frequent blockages, citizens are facing severe inconvenience. It is like rubbing salt on the citizens’ wounds if the contractor is given extension of 15 months. Many road mishaps have occurred due to lack of safety measures at the construction sites,” he said.
Lolage said PWD did not take any action against RPS despite several violations of the contract. “Even the district administration has initiated no action despite all the evidences submitted along with complaint in connection with irregularities in royalty challans,” he said.
- 14.71 cr saplings planted in state tnn | Aug 1, 2018, 05:09 IST
Nagpur: The one-month-long 13 crore plantation drive in the state exceeded the target by planting over 14.71 crore seedlings till July 31.
A buoyed forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said by September 1, district-level committees will be set up to audit of the planted saplings every six months and this information will be made available in public domain.
The state had already achieved the 13 crore target on July 27, four days ahead of schedule. This is the third consecutive year when the state has exceeded set plantation target.
In 2016, under the 2 crore drive, over 2.82 crore saplings were planted followed by 5.43 crore under the 4 crore drive in 2017 and now over 14.71 crore in 2018. In 2019, the last leg of the drive, 33 crore saplings will be planted.
The drive concluded on Tuesday by planting saplings at a program. It was attended by revenue minister Chandrakant Patil, chief secretary Dinesh Jain, forest secretary Vikas Kharge and others.
- On course, but barrage work under ACB lens Shishir Arya | TNN | Aug 2, 2018, 03:05 IST
NAGPUR: Ner-Dhamana barrage on Purna river in Akola district is crucial for irrigation in this area where saline content in water hampers the soil quality. The project was started in 2009-10 and by 2021, it is expected to irrigate 6,954 hectares under its ambit.
Unlike many other irrigation projects of the region, here the work is on schedule but not free from controversies.
The ACB is investigating over 40 tenders granted for different works by Vidarbha Irrigation Development corporation (VIDC), including one of the tenders related to this project. Offences have been registered in 17 cases.
The main tender granted for the work on the barrage is also under ACB’s scanner. Though no offence has been registered yet, further prosecution can only begin after an offence is registered by the investigating agency.
Officials related to the project said the dam would be ready for storage by June 2019 with irrigation to start by 2021.
The main tender has been granted to a joint venture company (JVC) between M/s D Thakker Co and M/s SMS Group. The former has been named in many of the FIRs registered by the ACB. Jigar Thakker, one of the director’s in D Thakker Co, committed suicide in March this year. SMS Group is managed by the Sancheti Family; one of the brothers, Ajay Sancheti, is Rajya Sabha member from BJP.
Jan Manch, the NGO which had filed a PIL seeking ACB inquiry into the state’s irrigation tenders, had also filed a complaint against major cost escalation in the project on account of change in design. The complaint was that the design was changed after the tender was awarded benefiting the contractor.
TOI had reported the matter in 2012. Initially, the dam’s cost was pegged at Rs181 crore. However, as the saline belt has a typical strata which is not strong enough to hold structures like a barrage, the design was changed.
VIDC got a new design prepared from New Delhi-based PSU Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited (WAPCOS). It took the estimate to Rs638 crore. This raised eyebrows and it was pointed out that the tenders should have been awarded after the design was finalized.
A source in Jan Manch said despite the complaint, no action has been taken. A source privy to the developments said the ACB inquiry is covering general issues related to granting of the tender. Since the change in design was approved by the government, there is no question of any inquiry.
When the case was taken up for clearing central aid by the Central Water Commission (CWC) in 2012, it was pointed out that an alternative design involving a lesser cost could have been taken up.
Commenting on the controversies related to irrigation works, Anand Sancheti of SMS Group said, “The morale of the state government officials is rather low these days and any decision involving financial implications is being delayed. The project is crucial for the area. Due to the high saline content, the water flow has to be restricted through a barrage so that it does not affect the soil quality,” he said.
Sancheti said the private contractors have also not received designs for pump house yet. On this, a source said that the designs are yet to be finalized by the central design organization, but it is expected to be done soon.
- 5.2 km flyover to replace ring road project in Chandrapur TNN | Aug 2, 2018, 04:40 IST
Chandrapur: Following the intervention by ministers Sudhir Mungantiwar and Hansraj Ahir, the Chandrapur Municipal Corporation (CMC) on Tuesday formally cancelled the proposal of the ring road through Tukum locality of city for Nagpur-Gadchiroli highway.
A 5.2 km-long flyover will now replace the ring road.
Heavy traffic moving from Nagpur to Telangana and Gadchiroli through the city is a cause of severe traffic woes in Chandrapur city.
Back in 1980, the ring road was proposed on the outskirts of the city to deal with the traffic choas. However, hundreads of houses have come up along the proposed ring road stretch in the last 35 years.
The municiapal corporation faced uproar of the locals when it first initiated a survey for the ring road as more than 700 houses needed to be demolished to actualise the project.
Sources in the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) informed that a 5.2 km-long flyover worth Rs 500.4 crores will be constructed over existing Nagpur-Gadchiroli highway passing through the city to replace the ring road.
Once built, the flyover will ease the load of heavy traffic moving to-and fro from Nagpur-Gadchiroli and Telangana route.
Vivek Mishra, executive engineer, NHAI, said that the proposal of flyover as a part of National Highway no. 903 passing through city was submitted to Union ministry of road transport and highways in March 2018 and is pending for final approval.
- Civic body removes illegal structures in Dharampeth zone tnn | Aug 2, 2018, 05:56 IST
Nagpur: Taking cognisance of TOI report ‘Despite civic chief’s directive, encroachers stay put on footpaths’, Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) enforcement squad razed illegal structures in commercial areas of Dharampeth zone. However, the encroachers were back by the evening at many places.
Earlier, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh had directed assistant municipal commissioners to ensure that there are no encroachments on pavements and carriageways.
Armed with an excavator and two tipper trucks, the enforcement department first razed illegal extensions of 19 shops outside its Dharampeth zone office. Later, the officials cleared vegetable vendors who had encroached upon the road alongside Gokulpeth market near Coffee House Square.
As the team proceeded towards Laxmi Bhuvan Square, the roadside fruit vendors removed encroachments from the footpaths between Laxmi Bhuvan Square and Ram Nagar Square.
Later, the squad cleared three crowded and narrow lanes in Sitabuldi despite some resistance from shopkeepers. Encroachments from Modi number 1, 2 and 3 were also removed.
Meanwhile, the NMC’s market department on Wednesday demolished 16 of its 23 shops on the 1.5km Kelibagh Road, clearing the way for the ongoing widening work. The NMC needs around 1455.82 sqm land to widen the 1.5km patch up to 24m. This road is a vital link between central and south Nagpur and Bhandara Road in Mahal.
- Despite NIT notice, shop owner continues illegal construction Ashish Roy | TNN | Aug 3, 2018, 03:39 IST
The owner Yashpal Arya intends to open a Patanjali Ayurved outlet
Nagpur: Shop owners seem to have lost fear of Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). Even though NIT had asked Yashpal Arya to raze his illegal construction on Abhyankar Road, Sitabuldi, he is going ahead with the construction. He plans to open a Patanjali Ayurved outlet there.
Activist Anil Wadpalliwar charged that NIT was deliberately not taking any action against Arya. “There are a large number of illegal shops in Sitabuldi but NIT has not cracked down on them all these years. There is certainly more than meets the eye,” he said.
NIT assistant engineer Pankaj Ambhorkar denied that the civic agency was soft on Arya. “We are busy with razing illegal religious structures on the directives of Nagpur bench of Bombay high court. We will raze Arya’s shop after this exercise is over. The more he constructs higher is the loss he will suffer,” he told TOI.
The civic agency had issued a notice to Arya on June 18. The notice stated that he was constructing basement, ground floor and first floor without any permission from NIT. “You should raze the illegal construction on your own within thirty days. If this is not done NIT will raze the construction and recover the expenditure from you,” it stated.
Shops on Abhyankar Road do not have parking space and side margins. They were constructed in 1950s and 1960s when town planning rules did not exist. While these shops can’t be razed, any shopkeeper wishing to rebuild his shop has to follow the present development control rules (DCR).
- HC no to staying demolitions, asks objectors to deposit 50k Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Aug 3, 2018, 03:42 IST
Nagpur: Continuing its crackdown against illegal religious structures that have mushroomed all over the city over many years, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to buy any contentions of the trusts operating them to stop the ongoing demolition drive.
Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq directed all of 967 trusts that had submitted objections with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to deposit Rs50,000 each with its registry to prove their bona fide within a week if they wanted to get heard.
“When the action started, they approached HC. We asked them to show bona fides first. It is noted that any intervention by HC at this stage, would wipe out action started in 2014 and it may be a setback to the administration,” the judges noted.
After a request by senior counsel Sunil Manohar appearing for the state government, HC recalled its July 5 orders of deducting Re1 from salaries of chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain, Urban Development Department’s (UDD) principal secretary along with revenue and home secretaries. The court, however, took on record the government’s statement that any illegal structures on public roads and footpaths wouldn’t be considered for regularization.
The judges pointed out that in 2016, the principal bench in Mumbai had taken cognizance of similar situation based on SC’s 2011 verdict and directed the administration to enforce provisions of law. “Nearly three years later, same situation has cropped up before us,” they said
The stringent directives came while hearing a plea (WP No 6177/2006) 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 places.
The HC continued to blast the five interveners/applicants represented by counsel Anil Kilor and others and initially asked them to deposit Rs10 lakh to prove their bona fide. Only after they requested to reduce the amount considering their financial situation the deposit was reduced to Rs50,000.
“History of the matter shows that after Supreme Court’s verdict in 2011, these petitioners/objectors didn’t find it convenient to respond for over seven years. Neither they replied to NMC’s notice nor take timely steps to assist the administration in implementing provisions of law,” the bench observed.
Earlier, NMC commissioner Virendra Singh filed an affidavit stating they received several objections and scores of delegation were meeting them with a request to first decide their case before razing the structures. Till July 17, they received 967 objections of which 112 were having prima facie case, while others failed to submit proper documents. He prayed for permission from HC to hear all objectors and decide their cases (40/week) within a stipulated time without affecting the ongoing demolition drive.
After court’s rap to NMC for creating confusion, another affidavit was filed in afternoon by its estate officer Rajendra Bhute clarifying they had identified 1,521 illegal structures that were classified in ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories. Of them 18 were in first category, while 1,503 in second category would be demolished. In all 475 of them were found to be on road and footpaths.
When hearing started at 10.30am, the courtroom was packed with politicians and their workers. They included ruling party in NMC leader Sandip Joshi, former mayor Pravin Datke and others. Apart from Manohar, two senior counsels Chandrashekhar Kaptan (NMC) and Surendrakumar Mishra (NIT) also made their arguments.
The judges orally slammed NMC and NIT for not being able to assist the court and showing no seriousness on the issue. “Number of years have lost, still the comprehensive list was not prepared. After SC’s 2011 order, NMC issued notices in 2014 and HC issued directives again in 2016. Still no action was taken all these years. These objectors continue to be in slumber for all these years and woke up after NMC started razing structures,” they said.
East Nagpur MLA Krishna Khopde welcomed the high court’s direction to all 967 objectors to deposit Rs50,000 saying it will help devotees to regularize religious structures.
(With inputs from Ritika Gupta)
- BJP corporators stop NMC from demolishing five temples Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Aug 3, 2018, 03:48 IST
Nagpur: BJP corporators, led by Dharampeth zone committee chairperson Roopa Rai, prevented the NMC team to demolish five religious structures in different areas in Dharampeth and Kachipura.
Rai, who was accompanied by senior BJP corporators Sanjay Bangale, Varsha Thakre and others, said they were ready to face disqualification as NMC House members but will not allow demolition of any religious structure in open spaces and on public utility lands.
On Thursday morning, NMC anti-encroachment department planned to raze six illegal religious structures across the city, of which five were in Dharampeth zone and one in Dhantoli zone.
The NMC squad first reached Narendra Nagar railway overbridge to demolish a Hanuman temple on a public utility land of Vijayanand Society. According to the residents, first the temple was situated on the road. However, while constructing the railway overbridge connecting Wardha Road with Narendra Nagar ring road, it was shifted to society’s public utility land.
However, NMC issued a notice to demolish the temple. Earlier on Saturday, the NMC squad could not demolish the temple following protest by the residents backed by Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal. On Thursday too, the residents performed bhajan and also staged rasta roko disrupting traffic on this busy ring road for almost half an hour.
Dharampeth zone team, led by assistant municipal commissioner Mahesh Moroney, too witnessed huge protest in their drive to demolish five temples in Kachipura, North Ambazari road and at Ravi Nagar Square.
Armed with an excavator and handful of police personnel, the squad first went to Ravi Nagar Square to demolish the Hanuman temple on the road, which was obstructing traffic. However, before the squad reached there, local residents along with local corporator Varsha Thakre were already gathered there. They prevented the squad from carrying out demolition.
The squad then went to Kachipura where too they faced opposition. Here, the slum dwellers blocked the road to temples by placing handcarts. BJP corporators Roopa Rai, Sanjay Bangale, Sunil Hiranwar, Ujjwala Sharma, Varsha Thakre along with local slum-dwellers prevented the demolition squad to enter in the locality. They also shouted anti-NMC slogans and forced the squad to go back.
Similar situation was there behind Dharampeth College, North Ambazari road. Senior zone official said the squad failed to carry out demolition due to public opposition. He said the police personnel present were not sufficient. Meanwhile, NMC will continue its drive of demolition on roads and footpaths, said a senior official from estate department.
- 782 high-rises in city unsafe: NMC’s fire dept Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Aug 3, 2018, 03:52 IST
Nagpur: Your life is at risk while visiting malls, marriage halls and other high-rise buildings in the city, as per the latest inspection report of the fire and emergency services department (FESD) of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). The report tagged 782 of the 1,759 such high-rises (over 15 meters high) in the city as ‘unsafe’, in the absence of adequate firefighting equipment and advised occupants to vacate them immediately. The inspection was carried out from April 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
The department has also instructed NMC’s water works department and Orange City Water Limited to disconnect water supply to 372 buildings. It has also issued a similar directive to the Maharashtra State Electricity Development Corporation and SNDL Limited, to snap power supply to these structures.
TOI has been highlighting on many occasions how firefighting arrangements are not in place in most high-rise and commercial buildings. As per the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006, owners and builders violating the norms could be jailed for six months to a year.
Though the fire department has informed MSEDCL and OCW of the status of such buildings, both the agencies continue to supply power and water to them. Now, the fire department has approached municipal commissioner Virendra Singh to convene a meeting in the coming days.
Most such high-rises are yet to even install firefighting systems. As per the report, many residential and commercial high-rises fall under the ‘unsafe’ category.
According to a senior official, these over 15-meter-high buildings lack appropriate side margin, have no emergency staircases, and the main staircase is not free of obstructions. Besides, firefighting installations like wet riser, hose reel and sprinkler system were missing. Most buildings were also not constructed as per national building code, the fire department official said.
These buildings have been declared unsafe under Maharashtra Fire Safety and Prevention Act, 2006. A senior official from the department said notices were issued to all property owners, for failure to comply with the fire safety norms, and directing them to undertake measures regarding fire prevention and life safety.
The apathetic bureaucratic machinery means that even though all 782 buildings were declared unsafe, they continue to be functional with people living or working in them.
- NMC sanctions wide road, building a narrow one Ashish Roy | TNN | Aug 4, 2018, 03:46 IST
Nagpur: Directives of Supreme Court seem to hold no importance for Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). Even though the apex court had asked the civic agency to raze encroachments and widen the road to 18 metre (60 feet), NMC is building a cement road in Jaripatka whose width varies between just 9 metre and 15 metre.
Moreover, there is no coordination between different departments of the NMC. While public works department (PWD) is building a narrow road, the Mangalwari zone has issued notices to shopkeepers to raze their illegal construction so that the road can be 18m wide. The road in question is from Anandashram to Advani Square to Shree Vasan Shah Square to MG College Road.
Dilip Santwani, who has been pursuing this issue for over a decade, said that NMC was not acting against the shopkeepers under pressure from politicians of all parties. “To save the illegal constructions of a few shopkeepers, NMC is causing inconvenience to thousands of Jaripatka residents. The number of vehicles has increased manifold over the years and traffic jams have become a regular occurrence,” he told TOI.
Santwani had filed a petition in Nagpur bench of Bombay high court urging it to direct the NMC to maintain the width of the road at 60 feet instead of 40 feet planned by the civic body. The HC ruled that NMC might construct a 40 feet road but should leave 10 feet on either side for future widening. Affected shopkeepers moved the Supreme Court, which ruled in April 2008 that if the government proposed to construct a 60 feet wide road it was permitted to remove the encroachments.
NMC’s records show that the width of the road in the development plan is 60 feet. In spite of this, civic officials ignored SC directives and did not remove the encroachments.
Another Jaripatka resident Ashok Bajaj said that he had pursued the matter with the NMC ever since the SC order, but in vain. “We became alarmed when the NMC floated a tender for constructing a cement road on this stretch. The width was 9m, 12m and 15m. Which other road in the city has varying width,” he asked.
Chetwani issued a legal notice to the municipal commissioner on May 25, 2018, pointing out that NMC was committing contempt of SC by not constructing a 60 feet wide road. This unnerved the NMC officials and they started issuing notices to shopkeepers to raze their encroachments. Even though the deadline of the notices has lapsed, no action has been taken.
Executive engineer Aniruddha Chauganjkar said the NMC was not constructing a 18m road as it was checking whether any shopkeeper was the legal owner of land in question.
- Rs660 crore default by NMC,NIT may derail Metro project Ashish Roy | TNN | Aug 4, 2018, 03:43 IST
Nagpur: Faced with reluctance of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) to pay their contribution for Nagpur Metro, MahaMetro has urged the state government to pay their share. The two agencies collectively owe Rs660 crore to MahaMetro. Unless MahaMetro gets this amount on time, it will miss the deadline of completing the project by December 2019.
Sources in MahaMetro said that it had requested the urban development department to hold a joint meeting of NMC, NIT and MahaMetro during the monsoon session of the state legislature on this issue. However, the department did not oblige.
NMC’s share in the project is Rs434 crore. So far, it has paid only Rs66.63 crore and the balance is Rs367.37 crore. “Of this, Rs73 crore is grant while Rs294.37 crore is contribution for acquisition of private land,” said the source.
NIT’s share in Nagpur Metro is also Rs434 crore. Its record is better than NMC and it has paid Rs140.62 crore. “Of the remaining Rs293.38 crore, Rs73 crore is grant, Rs76 crore is grant for state taxes while Rs283 crore is for private land acquisition,” he further said.
“As NMC and NIT have not paid their share, we have used funds provided by the central and state governments and foreign lending agencies for paying compensation to private land owners. This money was meant for paying our contractors. If we don’t get it back, how will we clear our bills,” said the source.
NMC has categorically refused to pay a single penny to MahaMetro citing its poor financial condition and had told the Metro agency that its land should be considered as its contribution. A proposal in this regard was unanimously passed by the general body.
Although NIT has not refused to pay up, the allocation in its successive budgets for Nagpur Metro has not been adequate. “In fact, NIT has asked us to pay back Rs6 crore paid to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for preparing the detailed project report (DPR). We have asked the civic agency to seek the amount from central government,” the Metro official said.