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Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

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  • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

    ‘Metro has already earned Rs100cr’

    Ashish Roy| TNN | Jun 20, 2018, 17:27 IST

    Nagpur: Even though Nagpur Metro is yet to begin commercial operations, MahaMetro has already earned Rs100 crore from commercial operations. MahaMetro managing director Brijesh Dixit told Rotarians that the money had been earned through 1% surcharge on stamp duty, premium of extra floor to space index (FSI) under transit oriented development (TOD) policy, supervision charges paid by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and 4% testing charges at MahaMetro’s quality testing laboratory. Dixit was conferred the Rotary Vocational Excellence Award on Sunday.

    “We are trying to find other sources of revenue so that Metro fares are on the lower side,” added Dixit.

    The MD further said that MahaMetro was using 5D BIM technology, which had led to a saving of Rs800 crore. “There are many unique features of Nagpur Metro. It is the first one to have a TOD policy before beginning commercial operations. We have gone in for solar energy at the initial stage itself. Solar power is costing us Rs 3.50 per unit while MSEDCL power is Rs 9.50 per unit. This huge difference will bring down the operational cost. We have provided special facilities for senior citizens and physically handicapped persons.” he added.

    “The work on at grade section of Nagpur Metro was completed in record time and currently MahaMetro is organizing free joyrides for Nagpurians. Our aim is to make citizens acquainted with the Metro,” he said.

    According to Dixit, MahaMetro is in the process of providing high quality mass transit system to Nagpur and its environs. “The work of phase I is 65% complete while the detailed project report (DPR) of phase II has been submitted to us by the consultant,” said the MD.

    Annarupa Chandak, Mangesh Joshi, Rajender Singh Khurana, Dr Vinay Tule, Shashank Vishwarupe, Madhavendra Jain, Raghuvir Singha and Anil Kokate were prominently present in the award function.








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    • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

      Unused in city, Neeri’s floating cycle catches other states’ attention

      Manka Behl| TNN | Jun 20, 2018, 17:28 IST


      Nagpur: The floating cycle, developed by Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) to rejuvenate water bodies, has caught the attention of other states. The institute is now developing modified and more user-friendly cycles, which are being manufactured by NGO Swacch Nagpur.

      In April, Neeri director Rakesh Kumar had handed over the first floating cycle to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) for cleaning Futala Lake. The cycle would not only help clean but also increase the dissolved oxygen level of a water body.

      Now, Neeri is developing a similar but modified cycles for the states that have shown interest. Atya Kapley, senior principal scientist and head of director’s research cell at Neeri, said that currently three cycles are being prepared.

      “One will be sent to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation which wants to use it for cleaning Dal Lake. The Udaipur Municipal Corporation has also sought a cycle,” said Kapley. Apart from this, a citizens’ organization based in Durg plans to buy the cycle and present it to the local civic body.

      Neeri is reportedly receiving inquires from other states too.

      However, the cycle which Neeri presented to NMC is presently lying at Futala and not used much. In the last few days, citizens shared pictures with TOI which showed that the cycle is lying unused and can get damaged or stolen. “If NMC is facing any problems with the cycle, it should communicate it to Neeri which can make necessary changes. Futala is highly polluted as it bore the brunt of idol immersion and needs proper cleaning,” they said.

      NMC health officer Dr Pradip Dasarwar said that a few zonal staffers are being trained to use the cycle. “We have used the cycle few times and will put it to continuous use soon,” he said.

      As part of the modifications, Neeri is converting the new floating cycles into two-seater vehicles. “When two people will pedal, it will ensure more safety and coverage of a larger area. Continuous pedalling becomes exhausting for one person,” said Kapley.

      Neeri envisages community participation in cleaning of water bodies. “The idea is to involve citizens who can enjoy the experience of boating and also contribute in cleaning their lakes,” said Atya Kapley, senior principal scientist and head of director’s research cell at Neeri.

      Apart from this, the design of the basket which collects the floating waste has also been improved upon. “In the earlier version, the basket was unidirectional. But now we are incorporating a mechanism which can make the basket turn in any direction. This will make waste collection easier,” added Kapley.

      The waste can be stored in a collection unit which is attached to the floating cycle, the wheels of which are being made bigger to achieve more aeration.

      The institute has tied up with NGO Swaccha Nagpur which will be manufacturing the cycles. “We have started the manufacturing process and are also focusing at citizen outreach. Using the cycle can be a good recreational activity,” said Anasuya Kale Chhabrani, president of Swaccha Nagpur.








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      • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

        A cautious drive through the problem stretches around Tadoba

        Vijay Pinjarkar| tnn | Jun 20, 2018, 20:14 IST

        Time: 12 midnight. Place: Nagbhid. The first sign of monsoon is here and the rains have followed us all the way from Nagpur. We are driving cautiously peeking through the furiously moving wipers. There are dense forest patches on both sides, the monotony occasionally broken by paddy fields.

        We are on the Nagbhid-Brahmapuri Road and later on the Nagbhid-Sindewahi-Mul-Chandrapur Road. These stretches fall on the east and south, respectively, of the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) where road widening is triggering wild animal deaths with shocking frequency. The public works department (PWD) started upgradation work of Mul-Chandrapur road a couple of months ago without taking any mitigation measures.

        From Nagbhid junction, we move towards Brahmapuri to check out the 3km thin forest connectivity near Saighata Temple. Bandu Dhotre, of NGO Ecopro, says this is a regular crossing point of tigers from Brahmapuri to Nagbhid-Umred-Karhandla and vice versa. It has also been recorded by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) from telemetry data of migrating tigers.

        At Saighata, which is 12km from Nagbhid junction, the road has already been four-laned with cement. Work is being done in a haphazard manner. There are no animal signages too. Pointing to a bridge extension work, Dhotre says the PWD claims it is an underpass for the animals.

        “The height of the upgraded road has increased and I doubt if tigers will be able to cross this corridor patch post widening. There is every possibility of animals being knocked down by speeding vehicles. The remaining stretch on this road has agriculture fields and human settlements. It is disaster waiting to happen,” says Dhotre.

        To back his argument, Bandu displays a list of 34 animals dying in road hits in and around Brahmapuri in the last few years. “The number appears too few but it consists of every species including tiger, leopard, wild boar, nilgai, deer, sambar, gaurs, python and even the elusive hyena,” he says.

        At 1.30am, we are on Nagbhid-Chandrapur road and stop at Ghodazari Wildlife Sanctuary entry gate, 5km from Nagbhid. According to PWD, the patch between Nagbhid and Mul is also going to be widened in near future increasing threat to the wild animals.

        The silence of the forest is intermittently broken by reckless speeding of heavily loaded trucks. “They come from Chhattisgarh and, instead of going towards Nagpur, take a short cut via Bhandara-Paoni and from Nilaj junction enter the forested route of Nagbhid-Chandrapur. This saves them toll tax, distance and time too. But this short cut is also cutting short the life of many animals.”

        The proposed widening of Nagbhid-Sindewahi road is more frightening, says Dhotre as “several patches fall in Tadoba’s eco-sensitive zone (ESZ)”. “The most crucial thoroughfare from Ghodazari to Talodhi at the sanctuary’s edge has a huge canopy of trees. The stretch is also used by tigers (T1 & T10) to cross the road as identified by WII,” says Dhotre.

        Nine kilometres from Sindewahi, a jungle cat was waiting to cross the road. Near Rajoli village, a board reads ‘Wagh Vaachwa, Tadobachi Shaan Vaachwa (Save Tiger, Save Tadoba’s Pride)’. “The message goes unheeded,” says Dhotre.

        Around 3am, we reach the start of the most dangerous 42km Mul-Chandrapur road. 30km is under dense reserve forest. It starts from Buddhagiri on the outskirts of Mul and ends at Lohara near Chandrapur. 20km falls in the eco-sensitive zone of Tadoba. Yet, it is to be transferred to NHAI and will be four-laned (Chandrapur-Murumgaon — 150km).

        “Though the road is being widened under the garb of promoting tourism, the hidden agenda of NHAI is to boost logistics to transport minerals from Gadchiroli,” reveals Dhotre.

        At Mul, we are joined by wildlife lovers Nikhil Tambekar and Nitin Buradkar, Eco-Pro’s wildlife wing chief, both from Chandrapur. Buddhagiri is the spot from where 50 volunteers had started a 40-km-long march on May 31 to draw attention of the authorities.

        Tambekar, a regular night traveller on the road since 2012, has been recording road hits of wild animals and even cattle on the 30km patch. “Morning walkers from Mul sight wildlife here. Male tiger Shivaji of Kolsa was sighted by people even during day time,” he says.

        Being a tiger corridor to south, apprehensions of NGOs and activists about Mul-Lohara road upgradation cutting tiger corridor were found to be true. Tambekar and Bandu showed critical spots near dense Keslaghat, Chichpalli, Janala, Fulzari, Ghantachowki and Walni patches where animals cross the road and deaths have occurred. “These are some patches where tigers are found throughout the year. Fulzari is known to be home to even breeding tigresses,” he adds.

        “Earlier animals had ample space to wait, watch and cross cautiously. But, now, with mud being dumped on the margins there will be wild growth of vegetation which will prevent animals getting a clear sight of speeding vehicles,” says Dhotre.

        Handing over an official list of animal deaths, Bandu said from February 2, 2012 to April 4, 2016, 3 tigers and 5 leopards died in road hits on this stretch, not to mention the latest case of leopard hit by a vehicle and got injured. Its video too went viral over social media. The leopard is recuperating at Gorewada in Nagpur.

        “These deaths are just tip of the iceberg as many times road kills go unrecorded as locals remove carcasses of wild animals for meat. I’ve seen at times even leopards, hyenas, jackals, wildcats turn out to be scavengers on the dead carcasses risking lives,” says Tambekar.

        Buradkar cautioned if PWD has its way, more animals will die as bottlenecks will be created when in certain sections road will four-laned and in areas falling in ESZ, PWD says there will be no widening. “This will create bottlenecks and there will be more casualties. It is just a repeat of NH7 (Pench-Kanha) corridor where NGOs had to move court to get mitigation measures. The arrogance of NHAI had not only delayed the road work but also escalated the cost. This should not happen here,” the Eco-Pro office-bearer warned.

        Tarring of existing roads has increased the speed of vehicles. There are no temporary deterrents like rumblers or speed breakers at existing crossings. Bandu says only recently, after protests by NGOs, some radium display boards cautioning drivers have been put up.

        We recorded death of 17 snakes and many frogs during our night journey. “The forest patches of Nagbhid-Sindewahi-Mul-Lohara are crucial in ensuring survival of tigers. As tiger numbers rise, natural habitats will continue to shrink. Hence, these patches are vital to maintain the ecological integrity of the landscape,” say the activists.







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        • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

          HC disposes off petition against First City project

          Vaibhav Ganjapure| tnn | Jun 21, 2018, 03:40 IST

          Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court disposed of the plea against First City project after its builder agreed to complete the construction of Symphony 1 and 2 residential towers within two years.

          It was filed by First City Flat Owners Welfare Association through secretary Vijay Orkay and Rasik Fulzele who sought directives to be given to MADC to complete the project and hand over the flats to them as early as possible or refund their entire loan amount with 25% interest. Through their counsels — Firdos Mirza and Tejas Deshpande — they also demanded to stay or quash the e-auction notice issued by Vijaya Bank.

          MADC invited offers for development of modern township on 31 acres of land at Khapri (Rly) in Hingna. Reatox was selected after the bidding process on September 22, 2005, and land was handed over to it on June 6, 2006. MADC and Reatox entered into a pact on June 22, 2006, where the latter agreed to finance the project and complete construction within two years. Considering the development activity in Mihan, the petitioners entered into a tripartite agreement with MADC and SBI on July 3, 2008.

          The petitioners were expecting that respondents would complete the project, but they received a shock after coming across MADC’s communication of July 16, 2012, to Reatox, for terminating their agreement. They hoped that MADC would float fresh advertisement for completion of remaining work of the township, but nothing moved further.







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          • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

            HC summons NMC, NIT chiefs for failure to remove illegal structures

            Vaibhav Ganjapure| TNN | Jun 21, 2018, 03:57 IST

            Nagpur: Peeved over continuous failure of authorities to remove illegal religious structures from the city limits despite several directives over the years, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court summoned chiefs of civic bodies on Thursday.

            While passing strictures, a division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq asked the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner Virendra Singh and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) chairman Ashwin Mudgal to remain present with their respective affidavits at 2.30pm, explaining about their inaction to comply with the HC’s orders.

            The judges also censured NMC and NIT officials for demanding police security for removal of such structures even before finalizing the action. “The NMC and NIT are unwilling to take action and will not act unless the court asks to do so. We know that both authorities would remove encroachments for the time being to please the court,” the judges orally stated.

            The censuring came while hearing of 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.

            Earlier, chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain filed an affidavit stating that about 1,521 illegal structures were in existence before September 29, 2009, under the NMC’s limits. Of them, 18 are classified as ‘A’ category which are to be regularized while those coming under ‘B’ category are to be demolished. Out of 1,503 structures in second category, 54 are already razed. Out of 55 illegal religious structures which came into existence after September 2009, 51 were already demolished.

            Quoting a policy decision taken via May 5, 2011, GR, Jain said illegal structures coming under ‘B’ category, which are in existence before May 1, 1960, are to be demolished with the State Level Committee’s prior approval. “Proposal of about 115 such structures is submitted by the NMC for panel’s approval through April 21 letter and it’s under the scrutiny of Urban Development Department (UDD).”

            The secretary added that as per November 18, 2015, GR, the responsibility of taking necessary action against such structures is cast upon the concerned municipal commissioner and collector. “It was brought to the notice of all commissioners via circular of November 5, 2016, by the UDD, to take action in time regarding regularization/demolition/shifting of such illegal structures.”

            Even NMC filed its affidavit through additional commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare stating that they had convened a meeting of all senior officers along with those from Central Railways, South Eastern railways, PWD, MSEDCL, MHADA, MIDC, defence, and police officials from Zone 2 and 5 on June 15, under Singh for encroachment removal.

            “Before May 01, 1960, there were 175 illegal structures on NMC land which needs to be removed as per May 5, 2011 GR, and a proposal was forwarded to the government. The UDD has asked for further details which is being collected from NMC’s ten zones. The commissioner has directed officers to submit plan for demolition of 1,194 structures coming ‘B’ category in June 25 meeting,” he said.

            (With inputs from Abhishek Pratap)







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            • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

              HC summons NMC, NIT chiefs for failure to remove illegal structures

              Vaibhav Ganjapure| TNN | Updated: Jun 21, 2018, 11:32 IST

              NAGPUR: Peeved over continuous failure of authorities to remove illegal religious structures from the city limits despite several directives over the years, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court summoned chiefs of civic bodies on Thursday.

              While passing strictures, a division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq asked the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner Virendra Singh and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) chairman Ashwin Mudgal to remain present with their respective affidavits at 2.30pm, explaining about their inaction to comply with the HC’s orders.

              The judges also censured NMC and NIT officials for demanding police security for removal of such structures even before finalizing the action. “The NMC and NIT are unwilling to take action and will not act unless the court asks to do so. We know that both authorities would remove encroachments for the time being to please the court,” the judges orally stated.

              The censuring came while hearing of 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.

              Earlier, chief secretary Dinesh Kumar Jain filed an affidavit stating that about 1,521 illegal structures were in existence before September 29, 2009, under the NMC’s limits. Of them, 18 are classified as ‘A’ category which are to be regularized while those coming under ‘B’ category are to be demolished. Out of 1,503 structures in second category, 54 are already razed. Out of 55 illegal religious structures which came into existence after September 2009, 51 were already demolished.

              Quoting a policy decision taken via May 5, 2011, GR, Jain said illegal structures coming under ‘B’ category, which are in existence before May 1, 1960, are to be demolished with the State Level Committee’s prior approval. “Proposal of about 115 such structures is submitted by the NMC for panel’s approval through April 21 letter and it’s under the scrutiny of Urban Development Department (UDD).”

              The secretary added that as per November 18, 2015, GR, the responsibility of taking necessary action against such structures is cast upon the concerned municipal commissioner and collector. “It was brought to the notice of all commissioners via circular of November 5, 2016, by the UDD, to take action in time regarding regularization/demolition/shifting of such illegal structures.”

              Even NMC filed its affidavit through additional commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare stating that they had convened a meeting of all senior officers along with those from Central Railways, South Eastern railways, PWD, MSEDCL, MHADA, MIDC, defence, and police officials from Zone 2 and 5 on June 15, under Singh for encroachment removal.

              “Before May 01, 1960, there were 175 illegal structures on NMC land which needs to be removed as per May 5, 2011 GR, and a proposal was forwarded to the government. The UDD has asked for further details which is being collected from NMC’s ten zones. The commissioner has directed officers to submit plan for demolition of 1,194 structures coming ‘B’ category in June 25 meeting,” he said.







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              • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                NMC & NIT officials misleading judiciary on illegal religious structures: HC

                Vaibhav Ganjapure| TNN | Jun 22, 2018, 03:03 IST

                Nagpur: Continuing its tough stand against the illegal religious structures that mushroomed all over the city due to miserable failure of civic agencies, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Thursday warned respective chiefs to issue contempt notices.

                The court, however, took a lenient view against Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner Virendra Singh and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) chairman Ashwin Mudgal on the context that they had recently joined their respective offices.

                While granting them the last chance, a division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Zaka Haq directed the duo to prove their bona fides by filing a comprehensive affidavit on action to be taken against over 1,500 illegal structures in the city limits within a week. Both honchos were present in the court in the afternoon after being summoned by the court for their inaction against the such structures over the years, despite repeated directives.

                The judges also censured Singh and Mudgal for “irresponsible affidavits” filed by their subordinates on Wednesday. “Our intent was to issue contempt notices to them for not complying with our directives and misleading the court. They should have ideally implemented the orders. However, they joined recently and we keep this aspect in mind,” the judges said.

                Earlier, senior counsel Surendra Kumar Mishra, pleading of NIT, requested the court to grant some time to take action against such structures and file detailed affidavit in this regard. While seeking apologies for delay in complying with HC’s orders, he stated that the NIT had already started razing such structures and would continue it till July 4, prior to start of the Maharashtra assembly session. Endorsing him, NMC counsel Sudhir Puranik informed that they too would start razing structures from Friday.

                The judges, however, made it clear that monsoon session has nothing to do with the court matters and authorities are bound to comply with the court’s orders by removing such structures. “All your officers are very well aware of HC’s orders and its deadline. Still, you seek adjournments. We find this as deliberate,” they stated.

                Petitioner’s counsel Firdos Mirza pointed out one notice of NIT, issued in 2008, stating that they had identified about 226 such structures in area under their jurisdiction. All of them were issued notices and hearing were conducted, but ten years down the line, nothing moved.

                When judges came to know that their hearing was conducted by former NMC commissioner Shyam Wardhane, they expressed willingness to issue contempt notice to him by adding him as respondents. But Puranik informed that he was retired and now settled in Mumbai.

                The court was hearing a plea (WP No 6177/2006) by Dr Gajanan Zade and Manohar Khorgade, praying for removal of encroachments, including religious structures, pandals, stages, statues and others from roads, pavements and public utility places. Citing Bombay Police Act, where the cops can take cognisable action against the illegal encroachments like pandals for religious festivities, the petitioners claimed the police are doing nothing.










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                • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                  Lawyer moves HC over LED bulbs scam in NMC

                  Vaibhav Ganjapure| TNN | Jun 22, 2018, 03:04 IST


                  Nagpur: A day after TOI exposed the alleged LED lamps scam in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) quoting RTI reply, a lawyer knocked judiciary’s doors, pointing out the flagrant misuse of public money by the respondents in connivance and collusion with the eight private companies. The PIL would come up for hearing next Wednesday.

                  While attaching TOI news published on Thursday, Abhiyan Barahate filed a PIL through lawyer Shashibhushan Wahane praying for directives to respondents to place all relevant records regarding the procedure before the court. He also insisted on conducting the quality comparison of LED bulbs installed by NMC with other products in the market from the experts.

                  The petitioner, who claims to be a social worker, demanded to stop payments to the private contractors engaged by the corporation for installing LED lamps till pendency of the petition. He also sought directives to respondents to initiate legal and penal action against the concerned officials and contractors and recover entire swindled amount from them.

                  NMC commissioner Virendra Singh, city mayor Nanda Jichkar, NMC’s Purchasing and Standing committee chairmen, and its executive engineer with Electricity Department, Sanjay Jaiswal, among others are made respondents in the PIL.

                  Quoting news item titled “LED lamps cost Rs 3,400 in market, NMC pays Rs. 9,900”, the petitioner accused the civic body of purchasing inferior product which is much cheaper than international quality products available in markets. Corporator Sandeep Sahare, who had filed an RTI in this regard, was also added as a respondent.

                  He also verified the TOI news from his own sources in the market and found that cost of LED lights purchased by NMC through their contracts/supplier companies is much costlier. The first five respondents had not only indulged into corrupt practices, but also cheated the taxpayers. This is nothing but misuse and abuse of power which isn’t in the interest of society, he claimed.







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                  • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                    NMC to raze illegal religious structures from today

                    TNN | Jun 22, 2018, 03:24 IST action after HC rap

                    Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation will start demolition of illegal religious structuresfrom Friday.

                    After the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court flayed the NMC for its inaction to remove illegal religious structures, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh on Thursday convened a meeting of all the 10 assistant municipal commissioners along with deputy commissioner of police (special branch) Smartana Patil.

                    It was decided in the meeting that the NMC will start demolition of all the illegal structures from June 22 itself. “On very first day, 12 structures will be removed from the areas in Laxmi Nagar, Dharampeth and Hanuman Nagar,” said a senior official from the civic body.

                    This time, the official explained, even on fourth Saturday (June 23) and on Sunday (June 24), the civic body will demolish the illegal structures. According to the official, the NMC’s estate department along with traffic police had conducted a survey of religious structures in the city and found 1,521 structures.

                    The civic body divided the figures into two categories A and B. Citing heritage value, NMC legalized 18 religious structures, while under Category B, it had identified 1,503 illegal structures that pose law and order problem or obstruct flow of traffic and which cannot be regularized.

                    The NMC had also received 80 objections and also found 175 structures of before May 1, 1960. So, now it will target the remaining 1,248. Most of these structures came up on government lands. As many as 553 such structures come up on the NMC land. There were 564 structures on NIT land, 92 on the plots belonging to nazul department, 28 on agriculture college properties and 22 on PWD-owned land.











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                    • Re : Nagpur Best place for Real Estate Investment

                      LED scam: NMC cleared bid 80% over cost estimate

                      Proshun Chakraborty| TNN | Jun 22, 2018, 03:27 IST


                      New LED lights installed on an electric pole near Mithakhali in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. March 28, 2012. Photo : Bhadresh Gajjar.

                      Nagpur: More skeletons are likely to tumble out of the closet in the LED lamp purchase scam. TOI has accessed more documents proving NMC electricity department’s complicity in framing terms and conditions in the tender documents, allegedly to favour contractors.

                      In one case, the lowest bid was 80% above the estimate while another one was 70% more. Such high bids were cleared by the civic administration as well as NMC standing committee in 2016. No efforts were made to negotiate with the bidders.

                      Senior Congress corporator Sandip Sahare has questioned how the standing committee passed the proposal when the department proposed to pay 80% above the estimated cost. It is complete loot of taxpayers’ money, he said, adding he will be meeting mayor Nanda Jichkar in a couple of days to demand a high-level inquiry into the ‘scam’.

                      Currently, mayor Nanda Jichkar is in Montreal, Canada, to attend a three-day International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) World Congress. ICLEI is an international organization of local governments, and national and regional local government organizations that have made a commitment to sustainable development.

                      Sahare said the cost of other lights, like flood lights of various wattage too were quoted higher than the market rates. Citing an example, he said NMC is procuring 100 watt floodlights for Rs26,880 while they are available in the open market for Rs6,000.

                      According to him, the department implementing the LED street light project, whose main objective was to save power consumption amounting to crores of taxpayers money, is yet to submit any information about the amount of electricity saved as a result of using the LEDs.

                      “The corporation will shell out Rs470 crore for the project claiming that it would save energy. However, till date it has not conducted audit of even a single stretch on the savings, though the department is claiming that it has installed 33,000 LEDs,” Sahare said. The deadline to replace all 1.38 lakh street lights is December 2018.










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