One of the fastest growing Tier III cities in India -Future IT and Aviation city - Companies like Boeing, Satyam computers, HCL, Dell, Hexaware, DLF, Ascendas etc. has already finalized their projects. Adjacent to IT SEZ(Wardha Road – NH7) is Proposed International Cargo HUB(MIHAN – Multimodal International Hub Airport at Nagpur, ( ), which is first and only such kind of project in the country being developed in Nagpur by a joint venture between Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) and the Airport Authority of India (AAI). Second Capital and third big city in Maharashtra. Nearby is the new VCA cricket stadium.
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  • Poor condition of roads causing vehicle, health damage Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Aug 28, 2018, 03:14 IST

    Nagpur: Who should pay vehicle wear and tear caused by bad roads? If the government collects taxes, it is bound to provide good infrastructure including roads. Why is that roads are ripped off, potholed or tattered after rains? Why the situation repeats itself every year? Who is to blame? Why isn’t any action taken against the contractor or officials for this? The government should either compensate the motorists and recover the amount from contractors and officials. These were issues raised by Nagpurians when asked about condition of roads.

    The pothole-ridden roads in city not only cause inconvenience to motorists but also add to their financial burden. They have to spend more on maintenance of vehicles that get damaged more.

    “There has been an increase in number of customers coming with damaged vehicles. Some vehicles get damaged while driving on bad roads, others get involved in accidents due to potholes,” K Ravi, manager of an automobile workshop, told TOI. Bad roads also increase consumption of fuel, the price of which has already reached sky-high, an anguished motorist told TOI.

    Ashwin Ghate, a state government employee, said number of bad roads had increased manifold. “Maintenance cost of vehicles has gone up," he said claiming that tyres of his four-wheelers got damaged due to frequent punctures while driving on bad patch of Amravati road from Law College square to Wadi checkpost. He added that wear and tear charges were hard on citizen’s pockets.

    Another motorist Prakash Sharma said: “Bad roads have increased our expenses as vehicles either develop technical snag or suffers dents while driving on potholed roads.” He too claimed that in the recent past, his four-wheeler received dents while driving on Hingna, Wardhaman Nagar and Pardi roads.

    Workshop manager at an automobile garage, Umesh Rane, stated the number of vehicles with dent coming for repairs had gone up.

    Bad roads also affect operations of city bus service being run by the NMC through three red bus operators. One of the operators, requesting anonymity, said the wear and tear of tyres had increased manifold. “Due to pothole ridden roads, bus drivers apply brakes more frequently and it increases fuel consumptions,” he said adding the uneven portion of roads for laying cables for smart city works at various junctions is also causing damage to chassis of buses.

    Vijay Tiwari, a resident of Pardi, said: “By driving on bad roads, motorists also develop backaches. The condition of roads is bad in most of the city and has worsened due to poor upkeep.” Ajay Bhalerao, a resident of Nandanwan, said roads in bad shapes are endangering life of many. He further said, "Problem of potholes proves fatal for two wheeler riders as they slip and fall down.” In areas like Hingna, Pardi, Kalamna road, people need to be very cautious while driving because of potholes.

    Traffic cops too admitted there were more violation of traffic rules when roads are in bad shape. They added people should always drive slowly and follow all rules.

  • Swachh Survekshan 2019 brings in new challenges for NMC Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Aug 29, 2018, 03:43 IST

    Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation is likely slip from the current ranking of 55 in Swachh Survekshan 2019. Reason, the ministry of housing and urban affairs has not only increased the total marks by 1,000 from existing 4,000 but also gave more thrust on ratings on service level progress on segregation of waste, door-to-door collection, plastic free city.

    Presently, the NMC is doing 20-25% segregation of dry and wet waste being collected from city limits. “Against the 1,200 metric tonnes (MT) that is generated every day, the NMC manages to segregate only 240-290 MT up to July this year,” confirmed a senior official from solid waste management department.

    “The Swachh Survekshan 2019 survey toolkit, which the NMC received recently, apart from providing 1,250 marks for solid waste management, it also gave additional 1,000 marks on star ratings on door-to-door collection, segregation of dry and wet waste, plastic free city among some new parameters where the civic body may face challenges,” the officer admitted.

    For scoring 1,000 marks under this category or star ratings, NMC will also need to assess its work through a third party agency appointed by the central government.

    “The toolkit contains the detailed survey methodology and component indicators with scores to help cities prepare themselves for taking the survey, ODF plus and ODF plus protocol focuses on sustaining ODF tag by ensuring toilet functionality, cleanliness and maintenance and fecal sludge management,” the officer revealed.

    The cleanliness survey is expected to begin from January 4, 2019 and will continue till January 31, 2019.

    As per the methodology, the NMC has been directed to submit ward wise staff deployment plan for segregated waste collection from commercial areas and residential areas from September 2018 onwards. The NMC will also have to submit the documents comprising progress report of November-December this year mandatorily.

    Though started from June 2018, the NMC’s has focused its drive in a few residential localities and slums in Laxmi Nagar, Dharampeth and Mangalwari zones. It has not even been able to achieve 50% of waste segregation. However, the segregated waste, the private agency is collecting from door-to-door is being dumped at a common site in Bhandewadi dumping yard thus proving a futile exercise for residents, pointed out a civic activist. Hence the response in segregation of waste is very minimal, she added.

    The officer, however, admitted that NMC was going slow on waste segregation and claimed the process to improve the target is on.

    According to him, the NMC in association with a city based NGO Centre For Sustainable Development is organizing awareness camps on waste segregation in both residential and slum areas. “Besides this, the private firm engaged in collecting and transporting garbage to dumping yard has converted its vehicles by providing two separate chambers for dry and wet waste,” he said, adding the NMC has also already placed 1,200 separate bins in commercial areas.

    The officer, however, said the civic body is also planning to rope in self-help groups and waste pickers in the city for better collection and segregation of waste.

  • NMC plans to reclaim Ambazari garden from MTDC Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Aug 29, 2018, 03:44 IST

    Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has planned to take back Ambazari garden and its adjacent 42.42 acre land from Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). Reason cited is MTDC’s failure to take physical possession of the land as well as its development in seven months.

    Following the civic body’s failure to develop the land, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led cabinet had allotted the land, including the garden, to MTDC on July 3, 2017. Accordingly, the NMC had handed over possession of the land on papers to MTDC on January 30 this year.

    NMC’s garden department has tabled a proposal to take back the land before the general body. The GB is likely to approve it in the meeting to be held on September 5.

    NMC sources told TOI that city MP and Union minister Nitin Gadkari had suggested the civic body to take back land from MTDC in a meeting organized on August 12.

    After approval of general body, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh will send the proposal to the state government seeking lease of the land.

    Interestingly, though MTDC has not initiated any works on the said land, it has appointed a consultant and preparing detailed project report.

    In October 2015, the NMC had taken a decision to hand over 19 acres of the total 42.42 acres land to the MTDC for development. This land is situated on north side of the garden and lying abandoned for years.

    Earlier, the NMC, on the suggestion of Gadkari, had planned to develop the entire land into a project on the lines of Shegaon’s Anandsagar but miserably failed to find a private operator.

    The general body will also take decision on a proposal to reserve 15 metres land on both sides of Nag river for development. The river’s length in the city from Ambazari Lake to Punapur is 16.73km. All types of reservations and usages within 15 metre radius from the river will be changed once the proposal gets final approval from the state government. The general body will also decide the fate of Congress corporator Bunty Shelke, who was caught on wrong foot for disrupting general body meeting last year. Another proposal is to develop night shelter with 50 beds each for women and men at Namdeo Vikramji Lade Hindi School situated in Mohan Nagar. Yet another proposal is to change reservation from public, semi-public to residential for regularization of Ajni slum existing on 0.498 hectare land.

  • AFD, EU to help in city’s mobility plan Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Aug 29, 2018, 03:48 IST

    Nagpur: French Development Agency (AFD) and European Union (EU) have launched MobiliseYourCity (MYC) project in Nagpur to reduce urban greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The two organizations will prepare a plan and also give Rs8.20 crore grant for promoting sustainable urban mobility in the city. Smart City SPV Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL) will implement the project for two years.

    As part of MYC, a two-day workshop was inaugurated at NMC on Tuesday. AFD and EU teams will take suggestions from NMC office bearers, officials and various other stakeholders during the course of the workshop.

    Lead transport specialist of AFD Arnaud Dauphin told reporters that three cities — Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad — were selected for pilot project. “MYC has been launched first in Nagpur. Already, we are financing Metro Rail, preparing plan for Nag river and giving technical assistance to Smart City project here,” he said.

    AFD deputy director to India Clemence Vidal De La Blache said plan would be ready by October and an AFD team will be in city to and assist NSSCDCL for its execution for two years.

    NSSCDCL CEO Ramnath Sonawane said plan will comprise short-term as well as long-term measures for the city. Probable works under MYC will be e-bicycling, e-biking, redevelopment of footpaths, squares, digitalization of entire city’s mobility etc.

    In the workshop, AFD’s consultant Mathieu Arndt discussed the concept of ‘Dream Nagpur of 2030’ and noted down suggestions from around 60 participants.

    Municipal commissioner Virendra Singh stressed upon the need for awareness among the people about advantages of using public transportation. “Metro Rail is being built at full speed but there is not much awareness among citizens,” he said.

    Mayor Nanda Jichkar, municipal commissioner Virendra Singh, representatives of NMC, NIT, VNIT, NEERI, MahaMetro, NGO etc were present. Senior project manager of EU Smita Singh, Jatin Arora, Rajnish Ahuja from AFD, Rajesh Dupare from NSSCDCL were also present.

  • NIT razes five illegal religious structures Anjaya Anparthi | tnn | Aug 29, 2018, 03:52 IST

    Nagpur: The Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) has resumed the drive to demolish illegal religious structures. The civic agency demolished five illegal religious structures on Monday and Tuesday.

    As per orders of the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court, the NIT team under the guidance of chairman and superintending engineer demolished three illegal religious structures — Radhakrishna temple at Panchvati Nagar, a masjid at Indiramata Nagar, Binaki slum and Hanuman temple at Anand Nagar, Binaki, on Monday, a temple in Sanjay Gandhi Nagar on Ring Road and Hanuman temple at Kukde Layout on Tuesday.

    The NIT team carried out the demolition drive in association with the police department. The team included Rajesh Meghrajni, Anil Rathod, Sudhir Rathod, Manohar Patil, Sanjay Chimukrkar, Avinash Badge, Mahesh Chaudhary, Vinod Kulge etc.

  • NU to issue legal notice to Khandelwal trust to vacate premises Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Updated: Aug 29, 2018, 13:31 IST

    Representative image

    NAGPUR: Despite pressure from top politicians, Nagpur University on Tuesday finally decided to take back its 11.86 acre land at Kamptee, which had been leased out to Biharilal Khandelwal Trust about 45 years back, in July 1973.

    Over the years, NU administrators had extended undue favours to the trust, ignoring the fact that it had constructed a multi-storey building on the land without its approval. This was done despite stiff opposition from all quarters, and a policy decision to not lease out any of its land to private parties. Recently, guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule had also written to vice chancellor SP Kane to extend the lease of the trust, which was running a school.

    The decision to issue legal notice was taken during a marathon meeting of newly-constituted Management Council (MC). It was also the first full meeting of the highest decision making body, which opposed any plans to extend the trust’s lease, despite the VC being in favour. While talking to TOI recently, Kane had said he was personally in favour of extending the trust’s lease, since schoolchildren would be adversely affected if the land was taken back.

    TOI, which had been reporting on NU’s largesse to Khandelwal trust over the years, had exposed the trust chairman’s letter of December 9, 2015, to ex-registrar Ashok Gomashe, where he had clarified that the trust was not ready to handover the land. Then MC under VC Vilas Sapkal had taken a decision on July 15, 2013, to extend its lease by five years.

    “We would abide by the members’ decision and issue a notice to it to vacate the premises and search for alternative land. We would grant them time till the end of an academic year. We’re aware that the trust members would file litigation against us, questioning the urgency of taking back the land. But we’ve prepared a detailed plan on why we want it back,” Kane said after the MC meeting.

    He further pointed out that the trust has also failed to pay the lease amount, which is about Rs6 lakh, for over five years, and NU had categorically asked it to pay arrears as per prevailing PWD rates. Out of total land, NU has already allotted 2.5-3 acres to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for road expansion.

    “Since the land is close to a water body, we plan to shift some of our Sericulture Department’s programmes there. Similarly, some biotechnology courses would also be shifted. We actually plan to turn the premises into a skill development centre. The trust has not only failed to pay the rent, but also illegally constructed a building,” Kane said.

  • NMC studies Indore municipal corporation’s cleanliness measures Proshun Chakraborty | tnn | Aug 30, 2018, 00:55 IST

    Nagpur: Aiming to study measures adopted by Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) — the city which retained the first position in Swachh Bharat Survey in 2017 and 2018 — a team of standing and health committee members and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) officials visited the city on Tuesday.

    During the daylong study tour, the officials from IMC appraised the NMC delegation how residents are playing a major role in keeping the city clean.

    “Every household segregates garbage at source. Despite having 19 zones with 85 wards, the IMC has adopted best practice in solid waste management from source to the dumping yard,” said health officer (sanitation) Dr Pradip . The NMC team also interacted with Indore residents.

    As per the delegation’s observation, the IMC collects garbage from market areas thrice a day. The IMC runs 12 city buses on CNG gas generated from the waste and plans to run all city buses on CNG by 2019, the IMC officials said.

    The IMC also collects usage charges for door-to-door garbage collection from residential and commercial establishments. Besides, it also uses 12 sweeping machines to clean major roads in the city.

    The NMC delegation comprised of standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreka, health committee chairman Manoj Chafle, additional municipal commissioner Aziz Sheikh, deputy commissioner Nitin Kapadnis, Dasarwar and assistant municipal commissioners Prakash Warhade and Suvarna Dakhane.

  • Only 368 illegal structures deposit money in HC Vaibhav Ganjapure | tnn | Aug 30, 2018, 03:08 IST

    Nagpur: Out of the over 1,800 illegal religious structures across the city, only 368 have so far managed to prove their bona fides by depositing money till Wednesday. Of them, 278 deposited Rs50,000 with the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court’s registry, while 87 handed over Rs60,000, as they failed to complete formalities before the due date.

    It indicates that only 20% of trusts owners were serious in saving their illegal structures, constructed sans sanctioned plans and building permits from the NMC. Despite HC’s directives, the coroporators and other politicians were putting immense pressure on civic officials to stop demolitions.

    The PIL by Gajanan Khorgade would be heard on Thursday where the NMC will have to inform about the number of trusts depositing money, according to its officials. The civic body assured HC to demolish five illegal structures per day on roads and PU lands and open spaces.

    HC asks DBA to inform on parking space creation

    Peeved over District Bar Association’s (DBA) failure to create parking space at ASI’s ‘Old HC building’, despite specific directives, the HC asked it to clear stand within two weeks. The directives came while hearing a PIL (No 67/2015) by Manoj Sable through counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar, praying for directives to PWD for construction of additional infrastructure like courts and bar rooms for convenience of lawyers and litigants.

    Earlier, Bhandarkar orally demanded contempt action against DBA president Prakash Jaiswal and secretary Nitin Telgote for not acting on HC’s orders since over months. Thousands of lawyers and litigants literally scramble for parking in the overcrowded ‘Nagpur District and Sessions Court’ premises everyday.

    HC notice to state, power utilities over electric poles

    Taking a cognisance of TOI reports on electric poles standing right in the middle of roads, due to expansion, the HC issued notices to secretaries of state urban development and labour and energy departments. All respondents, including MSEDCL, Mahatransco and Spanco, were told to file reply within four weeks.

    TOI on June 25, had exposed how NMC’s failure to remove these polls, despite HC’s clear orders in 2012, proving deadly to the motorists and claimed many lives. Shreerang Bhandarkar is appointed as amicus curiae, who prayed for directives to MSEDCL and NMC for relocating the poles and transformers by using the budget, sanctioned way back in 2001.

    HC calls for tagging stray cattle

    Expressing concern over menace of stray cattle on roads, the HC directed respondents, including regional dairy development officer to conduct tagging of such animals in six months. They were also directed to capture unregistered cattle and keep them in their custody.

    The orders came while hearing a suo motu PIL (No. 5/2016) where it had taken cognisance of a fatal accident involving a 15 years-old boy, who dashed off against a middle aged lady, who suffered serious head injuries. Last year on August 17, HC asked NMC to submit names of cattle owners who’re often found on roads posing grave risk to the motorists and led to traffic congestion.

  • NMC conducts workshop on sustainable urban mobility

    TNN | Aug 30, 2018, 03:21 IST

    Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), in collaboration with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and European Union, had organized a two-day workshop for ‘Promoting Sustainable Urban Mobility in Nagpur City’.

    CEO of Nagpur Smart & Sustainable City Development Corporation Ltd (NSSCDCL) Ramnath Sonawane, AFD lead transport specialist Arnaud Dauphin, AFD consultant Mathieu Arndt, AFD grants officer Jatin Arora, AFD project officer Rajnish Ahuja, joint general manager of MahaMetro Mahesh Gupta along with the officials of NIT and Neeri were present for the concluding ceremony held on Wednesday.

    On first day, Mathieu Arndt gave information about the ‘Mobilize Your City’ initiative and the developments that will take place in the city under this project. Sonawane apprised the participants of the Smart City initiatives in the city. Gupta spoke about the comprehensive mobility plan of Nagpur Metro and connectivity with Metro lines.
  • Two decades on, residents’ fight to save Pohra river goes down the drain TNN | Aug 30, 2018, 03:31 IST

    Nagpur: For the last two decades, residents of Shastri Layout in Laxmi Nagar zone are running from pillar to post to stop flowing of sewage in Pohra river.

    In the absence of water flow, sewage could be seen stagnant on many stretches, especially in Shastri Layout. Plastic and other solid wastes are afloat, making the canal not only an eyesore but also a health hazard, complain local residents.

    R S Khurana, a resident of the locality, had first lodged a complaint about sewage water polluting the Pohra River in 1999. Even in a RTI reply, the NMC had informed Khurana that this nullah is meant for rain water only. Since then, Khurana along with other residents are fighting to save the Pohra river from pollution.

    “Erstwhile known as Pohra river, it is now flowing as an open sewerage network, polluting the big river ahead,” Khurana said.

    The river’s origin is somewhere in Jaitala and passes through Swavalambi Nagar, Ravindra Nagar, Shastri Layout, Shahakar Nagar, Jaiprakash Nagar on way to Beltarodi side.

    “During my fight for last two decades I tried to get the problem solved through the corporators including ex-corporator Girish Deshmukh and chief minister MLA Devendra Fadnavis, who also happened to be MLA from this part of the city,” he claimed.

    Subsequently, the state government had made a provision of Rs27 crore to lay sewerage pipeline in the river bed itself, which is almost 8km stretch, admitted the former corporator, while talking to TOI. But later the design had been altered to benefit more citizens. Now the sewerage line will be passing through many localities and will benefit at last 2 lakh residents of this part of the city, he claimed.

    Though the NMC is claiming that the new sewerage network will curb pollution, residents do not agree with the civic body’s statement. However, the contractor started damaging the good roads of this locality and started putting big pipes for the new trunk line whereas our demand was to deepen the river and put the pipes through it’s basement where natural slope was available and the cost could have been less and time consumed shall have been less too, pointed out Khurana and Dr Mohan Deshpande, another resident.

    Besides polluting the nearby wells due to the polluted river, residents are fed up of mosquito menace and stinking as well. Now, another problem seems to be coming up. NMC has started planting bamboo and other trees inside the nullah thereby decreasing the water flow area which would further stuck garbage in these trees and bushes in the nullah in coming days and result in floods, feared another resident Dr Vijay Upadhayay.

    Residents of the localities also demanded that before any such developmental works, the NMC should involve citizens’ committee for better planning.

    A senior official from the NMC’s public works department said the work is almost in last stage and will be completed within a month.

  • HC panel to check illegal use of generators at Empress Mall Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Aug 30, 2018, 03:34 IST

    Nagpur: After it was pointed out that Empress Mall authorities are using generators to supply power to shops, following the disconnection of supply, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday constituted a panel to inspect the premises.

    The panel comprising MSEDCL chief engineer, PWD inspector, and chief controller of explosives inspection officer will visit the premises and verify the petitioner’s claims about threat to the entire structure due to use of diesel generators.

    A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Murlidhar Giratkar directed the panel to submit report by September 5.

    The court was hearing a PIL by social workers Chandu Lade and Rakesh Naidu through Vivek Bharadwaj, alleging that Empress Mall promoters had failed to comply with norms of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), Central Ground Water Board, Bombay Shop and Establishment Act, labour Act, and Provident Fund.

    The revelation regarding illegal use of generators by KSL and Industries, which manages the popular mall, was made by petitioners in an affidavit based on their visit to the mall with NMC assistant director. They found five electrical generators along with five diesel storage tanks of 1,000 litre capacity in the basement, which makes the building a fire hazard and unapproachable in times of emergency. Even the fire exit staircase is only from fourth floor to the basement, making the construction illegal and fire prone.

    When the mall’s electricity bills were checked, it was discovered that they were only paying for power on Plots No 1, 2 and 5. The petitioners accused KSL of stealing electricity, by using generator without required license, and further transmitting and distributing it to shopkeepers at a high premium, causing a loss of crores to the exchequer.

    They further accused the mall owners of illegal constructions in the basement, where 6640.15 sq metre area is used for purposes other than parking, by enclosing a portion on all four sides with a wall. This has led to traffic snarls due to inadequate parking space. Same point was mentioned in the inspection report by ACP Traffic on August 4, 2013.

    The petitioners further pointed out that all floors of the mall are used for commercial purposes and showrooms instead of AC plants. KSL completely undermined the fire safety rules, making the building a potential danger in case of a fire, said the PIL. The owners also evaded question over 44 encroachments and kiosks at the entrance and exit of the lobby, even after repeated directives by the civic body for their removal. Instead, KSL filed appeals which have been time and again granted stay and relief.

    (With inputs from Ritika Gupta)
  • Activist moves HC against projects blocking Tipeshwar tiger corridor Vijay Pinjarkar and Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Aug 30, 2018, 03:45 IST

    Nagpur: In a big blow to those violating wildlife and environment protection laws around Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday issued notices to 16 respondents, including NTCA, MoEFCC, Telangana state, and others.

    A division bench of justices BP Dharmadhikari and MG Giradkar issued notices on a PIL by agriculturist and social worker Wasudeo Laxmanrao Vidhate (47) of Zari in Yavatmal district. The PIL makes specific mention of TOI reports published after spot visits in May and June. The PIL has been tagged with two more petitions being heard against shooting of problem tigers in Pandharkawda.

    The petitioner, through counsels Avinash Kapgate and Vandan Gadkari, has submitted that mining, highways, resorts, and a barrage constructed without valid permissions in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) of 148 sqkm Tipeshwar threaten the tiger corridor to Tadoba-Andhari in Maharashtra, and Kawal tiger reserve in Telangana.

    The PIL has urged a stop to all illegal mining, construction of resorts close to the park, and action against officials not acting against violators.

    The petitioner has alleged there are four stone quarries at Kopamandvi, 400 metres from the sanctuary. These are operating even during night, blasting and extracting stone material, and damaging the ecosystem.

    The PIL also submitted that commercial resorts have started huge construction activities for which over 1,000 trees were felled illegally. Besides, the inter-state Channaka-Korata Barrage work involving Maharashtra and Telangana states, 3.5km from Tipeshwar, has started without Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

    Importantly, no permission from National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has been taken, which is mandatory since the barrage project is an inter-state project. On the other hand, NHAI is four-laning NH-44 (earlier NH-7) passing through Tipeshwar ESZ. No EIA has been done nor any mitigation measures, like underpasses, have been constructed.

    “Even as highway widening is close to Tipeshwar boundary, no NBWL permission has been taken. Because of all these infrastructure projects, all tiger corridors will be blocked increasing man-animal conflict. Already 15 people have died in tiger attacks in Tipeshwar landscape,” says the PIL.

    The PIL demanded directions to the respondents to stop illegal stone quarrying, crushers, mining activities within 1km of Tipeshwar, or in the area of adverse impact, whichever is larger.

    It has also demanded stop to illegal construction of resorts at Sunna gate and at Marathwakadi in ESZ. Action should be taken against officers and persons concerned for allowing laws to be violated. It says government officials as well as private parties should be held responsible for starting work on the Channaka-Korata inter-state barrage without any EIA.

    NHAI should also not be allowed to proceed with work till NBWL permission is sought, and mitigation measures are taken. It has also been requested to appoint Neeri to assess environment damage caused by all these projects.

    The respondents have also been directed to complete mapping and digitization of corridors for identifying threats, and enlist remedial measures to neutralize these threats. The court has been urged to direct respondent project proponents to stop work.
  • Rejuvenate uprooted tree, HC asks NMC, Tekdi temple trust Vaibhav Ganjapure | tnn | Aug 30, 2018, 05:26 IST

    Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Tuesday took cognisance of uprooting of a 100-year-old pipal tree at Tekdi Ganesh Temple that is lying there since August 20.

    Acting on a letter, written by devotees Girdhar Sharma and others, which highlighted that the contractor engaged in renovation of the temple had deliberately cut the roots of the tree to weaken it, the division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Murlidhar Giratkar directed the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and temple trust to take steps to rejuvenate the tree in its original condition.

    The HC also directed the respondents to file a detailed affidavit on the steps taken in this regard within three days. The temple trust was further told to submit the names of trustees and contractors engaged in the renovation work of the historic temple, visited by lakhs of devotees every year.

    After receiving Sharma’s letter and supporting evidence in the form of photographs, the HC had sought information from the NMC’s standing counsel Jemini Kasat. Accordingly, NMC’s garden superintendent Amol Chorpagar inspected the site and confirmed that the tree was uprooted as its roots were cut by the workers engaged in the renovation work.

    Earlier, Sharma and others accused the current body governing the trust of misleading the civic officials on the issue. Terming the entire temple body as “illegal”, they demanded suspension of the current office-bearers and thorough probe into the incident.

    On Thursday, the HC had taken suo motu cognisance of the proposed felling of big banyan tree near Ghate Dugdha Mandir restaurant at Ambazari T-point and appointed Kalyani Marpakwar-Deshpande as amicus curiae in the PIL (No 107/2018). The HC also pointed out that some idols of gods lying at the base of the tree were also removed for the purpose.

    On Friday, the HC had directed NMC’s tree officer to file appropriate affidavit pointing out the trees standing in front of such commercial premises or structures being constructed in city within two weeks. HC also permitted the citizens to place on record photograph of trees if some are cut illegally for appropriate consideration in the PIL.

    “It has been brought to our notice that huge tamarind trees standing near Central Mall on North Ambazari Road are also completely removed. Similarly, citizens have pointed out that tamarind and other trees on road proceeding from Ladies Club to JOTI office have also been cut/removed,” the HC said.

  • Residents stop NIT from razing temple

    tnn | Aug 30, 2018, 05:29 IST

    Nagpur: Residents of Vinoba Bhave Nagar in North Nagpur, led by Bajrang Dal activists, prevented Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) team from demolishing a Vitthal-Rukmini temple constructed on a ground.

    The NIT team, however, succeeded in demolishing one religious structure in Dayanand Park, while Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) razed six temples situated in various localities in Lakadganj and Dharampeth zones.

    On Wednesday, the NIT squad armed with an excavator and a tipper reached Vinoba Bhave Nagar to raze the Vitthal-Rukmini temple. As residents were aware of the team reaching there, they gathered in large numbers on the temple premises and performed special puja to oppose the drive. “Residents and Bajrang Dal activists also started singing bhajans preventing the team from carrying out the demolition,” said an NIT official.

    Though NIT team tried to convince the residents by apprising the high court order, the residents remained firm on their decision not to allow demolition of the temple. After waiting for almost two to three hours, the team left the place and moved towards Jaripatka.

    Gaining confidence of nearby residents, the team there demolished a Hanuman temple situated in Dayanand Park.

    Similarly, the NMC’s enforcement squad, also armed with excavators and police protection, razed five temples in Satnami Nagar, Patri area, Trimurti Nagar and Juna Bagadganj localities.

    Dharampeth zone too demolished one Bhairavnath temple situated in Bharat Nagar on Wadi Road.

  • MSRDC to plant 8L trees along Samruddhi e-way tnn | Aug 30, 2018, 05:39 IST

    Nagpur: Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) will be planting eight lakh trees along the proposed Nagpur-Mumbai Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg (MSM).

    MSRDC, as the implementing authority for the proposed 701km Mumbai-Nagpur super communication expressway, will embark on the tree plantation drive in partnership with National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) to provide a green cover aimed at protecting environment . It plans to plant 1,326 trees each kilometre stretch. Thus almost eight lakh trees will be planted along the expressway.

    “MSRDC is committed to conservation of environment while developing the Samruddhi Mahamarg. We will plant maximum trees during the construction of the expressway. As per rules laid down by Indian Roads Council, 583 trees need to be planted per kilometre, but we are going to plant more than double the number,” vice-chairman and managing director Radheshyam Mopalwar said in a press release.

    Trees will also be planted along interchanges, rest areas, wayside amenities coming up along the arterial road. Lucknow-based National Botanical Research Institute has agreed to guide the workforce in achieving the target. The expressway will pass through 10 districts, 26 talukas and 390 villages.

    NBRI will determine the trees to be planted after studying the soil, air, water, rainfall and weather condition of every area. According to the recommendations made by the organization, a nursery will be developed first for the purpose. tnn