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- Cancelled receipts suggest property tax scam in NMC Ashish Roy | TNN | Updated: Sep 22, 2018, 10:58 IST
Picture used for representational purpose only
NAGPUR: A shocking fact has come to light wherein staffers of property taxdepartment of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) cancel the receipts after taking cash from taxpayers. Shankar Gulani, who has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Nagpur bench of Bombay high court, has charged that this amount was pocketed by the employees.
Gulani had obtained information under Right to Information (RTI) Act in this regard. He was shocked to learn that between April 1, 2014, and September 6, 2016, some 14,000 receipts had been cancelled whose total comes to Rs28.56 crore. He was provided a list of taxpayers who were issued tax receipts after taking cash from them but the NMC’s copy of receipt was cancelled.
“NMC officials have no explanation as to why these receipts were cancelled. This is a financial crime and criminal cases should be lodged against all concerned employees. I have obtained information only for two and a half years. This practice has been going on since years. Think of the amount of money embezzled,” he said.
As NMC staffers destroyed the receipts, taxpayers got next fiscal’s demand along with arrears. The taxpayer then had to go to NMC zonal offices along with his copy of receipt and get the tax demand corrected. Many times NMC employees at zone office counters ask the tax payer to bring the copy of the last tax receipt. In spite of large number of such cases, NMC officials did not bother to find reason for the cancellations.
Some NMC employees do not pocket the money but put it in suspense account. Some Rs1.75 crore is lying in it and nobody knows whose tax money is lying in the account. “As per accounting norms, money lying in suspense account has to be reconciled at the end of every financial year but this has not happened since years,” said Jatin Kumar, Gulani’s counsel.
“We have demanded an enquiry by the accountant general of Maharashtra into working of NMC’s property tax department. The office should not only conduct a probe but suggest remedial measures so that such practices stop,” added Kumar.
The PIL states that the civic administration does not even have ledger records of property tax owners, let alone maintain online data. It has suggested that the entire system needs to be overhauled by information technology (IT) initiatives and digitalization as mandated by policy initiatives of the state government. National Informatics Centre (NIC) has been made a respondent in the petition and it has been asked to set up a proper digital system for the property tax department.
At a time when NMC is facing difficulty in meeting day-to-day expenses lack of efforts to plug revenue leaks reflect poorly on its officers and office-bearers.
- City bus service comes to a grinding halt Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Sep 23, 2018, 03:17 IST
Nagpur: Thousands of commuters faced severe inconvenience on Saturday as the three Aapli Bus operators kept all 320 buses off the roads protesting the non-payment of dues of Rs15crore to each of them by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). Though the operators had announced the plan on Friday, the commuters were caught unawares.
The NMC’s transport department offered Rs50 lakh to each of the operators hoping they would restart the services. But they refused to budge and demanded release of at least half of their outstanding payments. This is the third time this year that the operators have gone on strike.
The total dues of the three Red bus operators have already crossed Rs45 crore. Apart from this, the NMC has also defaulted payments to Green bus operator, transport manager Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd (DIMTS), and two other private agencies supplying conductors. Their dues are over Rs18 crore.
The main bus stands — Mor Bhavan and Maharajbagh Road — wore a deserted look on Saturday. Those commuting from the suburbs and rural areas to the city for work were stranded at several places. They had to find alternative modes of transport, resort to hitchhiking or take the day off.
In the absence of city buses, private vehicles, including autorickshaws plying in the city, reportedly charged higher fares. App-based cabs too were in great demand.
“Autorickshaw drivers doubled the fares even for short distances,” said Rakesh Phale, a resident of Sadar. He pointed out that generally share autos charge Rs10 from Sitabuldi to Sadar. “But, today, I had to pay Rs20 for the same distance.”
“Every fortnight, city buses stop plying. Students, people from low income group and labourers travel in these buses every day. What about pass holders who’ve paid the fare in advance? Will the NMC compensate,” asked P Rajiv, a commuter.
Officials from the NMC’s transport department pointed out that the impact of the strike was not fully visible as it was the fourth Saturday and many educational institutions were closed. “The problem may aggravate from Monday if the operators stick to their demand,” they said.
Transport committee chairman Bunty Kukde claimed that he tried his best to clear the dues. “But the administration cited fund crunch and turned down the request,” he said.
Sources claimed that BJP, which is the ruling party, was not serious about the city bus operations. Mayor Nanda Jichkar, ruling party leader Sandip Joshi and standing committee chairman Virendra Kukreja have never spoken about the transport problems.
Senior Congress corporator Praful Gudadhe pointed out the BJP has failed to prioritize works and the non-operation of buses is the best example of this. Stating that the civic body has no fund to clear dues of bus operators, Gudadhe said the NMC should make its financial condition public.
“I have already demanded adjournment motion over the financial condition of the civic body in the general body meeting schedule for Monday,” the senior Congress corporator said.
- Plea before heritage panel to save Gujar Wada on Kelibagh Rd Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Sep 23, 2018, 03:15 IST
Nagpur: Pratibha Mane, a member of one of city’s royal families, has sought heritage status for the 300-year-old Gujar Wada in Mahal to save it from demolition for Kelibagh Road widening project.
The Heritage Conservation Committee will discuss and take decision on Mane’s application, which was submitted on September 6, at a meeting organized on September 25 at the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) head office.
Mane is a resident of Gujar Wada situated on the left side of Kelibagh Road stretch between CP & Berar College and Matru Sewa Sangh hospital.
The wada is one of the 157 properties facing demolition for widening and concretization of Kelibagh Road. TOI on July 6 had reported about NMC’s notice to Mane for acquisition of a major part of Gujar Wada.
Mane had told TOI that the entire structure will collapse if the part is razed. “Gujar Wada plays significant role in city’s history and needs to be preserved,” she said.
However, it will be an uphill task for Mane to get heritage status for Gujar Wada. If it gets heritage tag, the NMC cannot demolish the wada as it will affect the project. City MP and union minister Nitin Gadkari, and all NMC office bearers, especially former mayor and corporator Pravin Datke, are ensuring that there no more hurdles in executing the project.
Also, the Heritage Conservation Committee on May 11 had refused to include 49 structures, including Gujar Wada, in the heritage list. The Supreme Court had directed the committee to give its opinion following a petition filed by Vidarbha Heritage Society.
In another application before the heritage committee, Ravindra Sadhu has sought removal of Sadhuncha Mut (Gopal Krishna Mandir) on Ruikar road in Mahal from heritage list. Sadhu wants to demolish the existing structure citing its dilapidated condition and wants to build a new structure. Guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule and NMC Gandhibag Zone too have recommended demolition of the structure.
The committee will also decide about action against RBI for construction done on main entrance gate without its consent. The MahaMeto has submitted an application seeking the committee’s permission for Futala Lake re-development project, including construction of a tunnel.
The committee has received five applications for holding events at Kasturchand Park, a grade-I heritage open space. The applicants include NMC which has sought permission for its women entrepreneur convention and exhibition, India Handicraft Board for its exhibition, Nagpur District Softball Association for its national event, Gurudwara Shri Gurusingh Sabha for a programme to mark Guru Nanak Jayanti and Bahujan Aghadi for a public meet.
- Don’t allow sand mining without dist survey report: NGT Vijay Pinjarkar | TNN | Sep 25, 2018, 03:42 IST
Nagpur: The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Principal Bench, Delhi, has ordered that Maharashtra should strictly follow Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines of 2016 framed by the MoEFCC in the Akola illegal mining case where sand ghats were auctioned without preparing district survey repot (DSR).
The full bench NGT orders by justices Adarsh Kumar Goel, chairperson, SP Wangdi, judicial member, Dr Nagin Nanda, expert member, and Raghvendra Rathore and Dr SS Gabryal come in wake of a petition filed by Akot-based wildlife and environment lawyer Manish Jeswani and Dr Sarvabhoum Bagali against rampant illegal sand mining in Maharashtra and Akola in particular.
In March, the Akola district collectorate auctioned 58 sand ghats for Rs4.85 crore without a mandatory DSR. The grant of environment clearance (EC) without DSR was challenged by the petitioner before the NGT.
Jeswani had alleged that sand mining in Akola district was in blatant violation of state’s revised Sand Mining Policy-2018 declared on January 3. On September 19 and 20, the bench, in its extensive order on sand mining, said MoEFCC guidelines of 2016 should be followed in toto.
These guidelines call for preparation of DSR and management plan and envisage mapping of the resources at district level, identification of appropriate sites for extraction, appraisal of the extraction process etc. Mining can be allowed manually and only up to the depth of 3 metres. “There can be no two views that an effective institutional monitoring mechanism is required not only at the stage when environmental clearance (EC) is granted but also at subsequent stages. The object should be to maintain and restore ecology of rivers,” said NGT.
Even as the guidelines call for preparation of DSR, it was not done in Akola and fabricated DSR was made by the district mining officer (DMO). For this, the NGT has given liberty to the petitioner Jeswani to move before the MoEFCC high-powered committee for illegalities by Akola and legal action.
The NGT has also asked to demarcate mining area with pillars and geo-referencing should be done prior to start of mining. The project proponents (tehsildars) must ensure that the CCTV cameras, personal computer, Internet connection, power back up, access control of mine lease site; and arrangement for weight or approximation of weight of mined out mineral on basis of volume of the trailer of vehicle used at mine lease site are available.
“They should also ensure the scanning of transport permit and uploading on server against the mine lease area. Each receipt should be preferably with pre-fixed quantity, so the total quantity gets determined for the receipts issued. The state needs to establish a call centre and go for radio-frequency identification and GPS tracking of sand vehicles,” said NGT.
The bench said the system shall enable the authorities to develop periodic report on different parameters like daily lifting report, vehicle log/history, lifting against allocation, and total lifting. This will enable the district collector to get all the relevant details and will enable the authority to block the scanning facility of any site found to be indulged in irregularity.
“Whenever any authority intercepts any vehicle transporting illegal sand, it shall get registered on the server and shall be mandatory for the officer to fill in the report on action taken. Every intercepted vehicle should be tracked,” it said.
- Even after 24x7, millions of litres of water will be lost daily to leakage Ashish Roy | TNN | Sep 26, 2018, 04:09 IST
Nagpur: The ruling BJP in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has been claiming that water leakages in the city will be curbed completely once the 24x7 water supply project is completed. However, the reality is completely different. Even after the project is complete millions of litres of water will continue to go waste.
A source in Orange City Water Ltd (OCW) said that total length of water pipelines in the city was around 2,200km. “We are only replacing 670km pipelines. Water will continue to leak from the remaining 1,530km. It will take additional hundreds of crore rupees to replace the entire pipeline network of the city,” he added.
NMC water works official PS Rajgire confirmed only a third of the water pipelines were being replaced under 24x7 project.
The source said that before OCW had taken over the water distribution system of the city, the billing was 209 million litres per day (MLD). “We have increased it to 311 MLD but there is not much scope for improvement. The total raw water supply is between 650 and 700 MLD. We have already replaced 611km out of 670km of our target. However, there are about 2 lakh illegal connections and we are regularizing them on a priority. This can increase billing but not reduce leakage,” he added.
Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) has asked NMC to reduce its water leakage to reduce raw water intake from Totladoh dam. Due to construction of Chourai dam upstream on Pench river, the Totladoh reservoir does not get filled up and farmers of Nagpur and Bhandara districts do not get sufficient water for irrigation.
NMC had set a target of completing the 24x7 project by December 2018. This seems to be a tall task. Out of the 3.25 lakh target for service connections, OCW has managed to provide only 1.71 lakh. It will have to provide 1.54 lakh connections in just over three months.
OCW has to renovate 18 overhead water tanks. So far it has only managed to attend to 12 tanks. Only half of the Seminary Hills main balancing reservoir (MBR) has been renovated.
OCW officials, however, said that a lot of work had been done under the project. “A lot of localities that were not getting water at all are now getting water daily. Those getting water on alternate days are also getting water daily. The problem of low pressure has also been solved in many areas. People in most areas are not getting polluted water anymore,” they said.
The water company has identified 12 areas for 24x7 water supply and an announcement would be made when these areas start getting round the clock water, the officials added.
- NMC’s fresh list has 250 new shrines on roads, footpaths Vaibhav Ganjapure and Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Sep 28, 2018, 03:11 IST
Nagpur: After Nagpur bench of Bombay high court’s latest orders to prepare fresh list of illegal religious structures, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) found 250 more such shrines on roads and footpaths. A list of newly added structures would be submitted in the HC during hearing on Friday, according to NMC officials who refused to share the names with TOI.
While quashing the old list of over 1,500 structures prepared by NMC and NIT in 2014, a division bench comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Sunil Shukre, on Wednesday last, directed the civic bodies to prepare a fresh list, invite objections, and grant them hearing before demolishing them.
A vigilant citizen, SN Deshpande, also wrote a letter to NMC commissioner Virendra Singh, government pleader Sumant Deopujari and petitioner’s counsel Firdos Mirza, pointing out omission of several structures from the NMC/NIT lists, which are on public streets/roads and footpaths. He claimed that the civic officials acted under pressure of local politicians while preparing the old list and deliberately dropped many of these shrines.
He specifically named Sheetla Mata and Hanuman temples on the road towards Khamla that are major bottlenecks in the smooth flow of traffic. Due to both the temples, the width of road is reduced significantly leading to severe congestion in the area, particularly during office hours. Illegal markets thriving there makes matters worst for the passers-by while the civic officials and cops remained mute spectators.
The NIT razed Hanuman temple on Thursday itself after warning from the HC to complete formalities or face music. On other hand, the trustees of a temple in Mohan Nagar in Sadar devised a unique strategy to avoid demolition of a Ganesha temple. They removed the temple board and replaced it with NMC’s community centre board.
Deshpande also named a Ram Mandir and Buddha Vihar in Kamgar Colony slums alleging that both the structures are being constructed illegally. Another Sheetla Mata temple at Subhash Nagar is also on road and ongoing Metro rail work in the vicinity is creating traffic snarls on the ever-busy road. He further named a Gajanan temple near Vivekanand statue at Ambazari Flow Point, which he claimed to be illegal and still standing tall due to political backing.
The letter further mentioned that those who illegally constructed such structures were reconstructing them at many places, after they were razed by the NMC and NIT, due to negligence of both agencies. He pointed out that all these was happening in clear contempt of court’s orders and requested the NMC and NIT to take necessary action in larger public interest.
During one of hearings on August 30, Mirza himself pointed out that trustees had begun reconstruction of those structures which were flattened by the civic agencies, in areas like Sadar. The HC then asked the authorities to find out such places and submit their names and details in the court in the same affidavit.
On Wednesday, Mirza expressed surprise over NMC and NIT’s claims that very few such structures on roads and footpaths remain to be removed. He informed that he was receiving several requests from the citizens on social media platforms where they were sending pictures of many such illegal shrines lying right in the middle of roads/footpaths.
- HC asks NHAI to complete Kamptee-Kanhan Rd in 6 months Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Sep 28, 2018, 03:13 IST
Nagpur: In a relief to harried residents of Kamptee and Kanhan, Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Thursday directed National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to complete the widening and concretizing of road (NH-44) between Nagpur and Kanhan within six months.
While disposing of PIL (No 2/2018), a division bench of justices Bhushan Gavai and Rohit Deo also asked NHAI to complete a railway under bridge (RUB) at Uppalwadi, a component of this road, in nine months. NHAI regional officer M Chandrashekhar was present in the court and assisted it when the verdict was being pronounced.
Petitioner Chandrabhan Singh and three others had challenged NHAI and Kanhan Municipal Council’s move to remove encroachments in the way of road widening, through counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar. As NHAI issued notices for eviction of illegal houses, the petitioner approached the judiciary praying for a stay on their action. Another plea was filed by Shivshankar Halmare and others through counsels Tushar Mandlekar and Rohan Malviya, challenging NHAI’s notice to them for eviction for proposed widening.
The judges directed district collector to ask the tehsil Inspector of Land Records to earmark encroachments on both sides of the road and issue notice to encroachers, granting them a month’s time to withdraw. Thereafter, the collector along with with NHAI would take steps to remove encroachments in 15 days. “Accidents are taking place on this stretch frequently leading to many deaths and grievous injuries. NHAI should complete the road at the earliest in the interest of public at large,” the judges said.
The bench pointed out that the proposed widening of road at a cost of Rs250 crore was a one time measure by NHAI after it was handed over to the state. “Any delay in project would deprive the Kamptee Kanhan residents of good road, which is being constructed from Union of India’s funds. The petitioners are not opposing the development but had contentions regarding its width. Now, their prayers stand satisfied,” the judges said.
They refused demand for expanding width of the road to 45 metres, stating it would then have to maintain same width at places like Dhule, Jalgaon, Malkapur, and Amravati and others, which will lead to demolition of many houses. To avoid this problem, a bypass was constructed.
NHAI so far has completed 50% work of the road, proposed to be developed into a six-lane carriageway but petitioners claimed NHAI was reducing its width under pressure from encroachers.
(With inputs from Abhijeet Tiwari)
- SBI Colony residents complain of sewage in drinking water pipeline TNN | Sep 28, 2018, 03:18 IST
Nagpur: Residents of SBI Colony on Hingna Road are living under fear of falling prey to waterborne ailments as several buildings in the area have been getting contaminated water since last one month. Despite repeated complaints to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), there has not been much improvement in the last 30 days, they said.
On being informed, TOI visited the locality on Thursday and found that residents are getting contaminated water in their taps.
According to residents, they have been getting contaminated water since August end. Anand Bais, a resident of the locality, told TOI that their complaints have fallen on deaf ears and over 3,000-4,000 families continue to receive contaminated water.
Residents claim that it all started after Mahametro started work near Subhash Nagar T-point. “During the work, the water pipeline to this locality might have got damaged,” said another resident Ravi Agnihotri.
Even sewage line had been broken, he said and added that as a result the locality started receiving water which contained mud and other substances. “The water is also stinking,” said Agnihotri.
After complaints by residents, the civic body did small works like flushing out water from some places but that was not sufficient to decontaminate the water being supplied to the locality.
“After we lodged a complaint with the Laxmi Nagar zone, civic workers come every morning and flush out some water from the pipeline which mainly contains mud and other substances. But this does not make water free from contamination,” said Deepak Kale, another resident.
“The locality has 100 hundreds of residential apartments and individual houses, whose residents have been forced to buy water cans which are expensive,” said Bais.
Many residents also complained about rise in waterborne diseases in the locality.
When contacted, spokesperson from Orange City Water admitted that the pipeline supplying water to the locality is carrying contaminated water. He further said that the technical team found out that the pipeline got damaged due to ongoing Metro work on Hingna Road.
“To plug the leakage, the OCW team needs to block traffic on the road. We sought permission from the traffic police and as per their consent OCW will carry out the work on September 30,” he said and added, “Till the leakage is plugged, we are supplying water to the locality through tankers.”
- Khamla residents help raze decades old Shitla Mata temple Proshun Chakraborty and Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Sep 29, 2018, 03:08 IST
Nagpur: Setting an example for others to emulate, the residents of Khamla on Friday volunteered to remove the idols of Shitla Mata, Shiva, Ganpati, Saibaba and Rama installed at a decades old temple known as Shitla Mata mandir situated on busy Khamla-Sahakar Nagar road even before the anti-encroachment squad reached the spot.
Following the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court’s directive, the anti-encroachment squad of the collectorate along with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) and city police had planned to demolish Shitla Mata mandir on Friday. Anticipating trouble during the demolition drive, a joint team of senior officials held a meeting with former local corporator from the area Prakash Totwani and temple trust’s office-bearer Panju Totwani.
On Friday when the joint squad, armed with an excavator and police posse, reached the spot at around 9am, to its surprise, it found the office-bearers of the temple had already removed all the idols from the temple.
Many residents welcomed the peaceful removal of the 50-60 years old shrine on the road.
NIT squad also demolished a Hanuman temple on the same road.
On Saturday too, illegal religious structures from Central Avenue and Old Bhandara Road will be razed.
Murlidhar Budhrani, a resident of Khamla and a shop owner said, “Shitla Mata mandir was one of the oldest temples in South-West Nagpur. But it was on a major bottleneck causing frequent traffic jams and accidents on the road to Sahakar Nagar.”
Assistant municipal commissioner Suvarna Dakhane told TOI that along with this temple, the zone also removed four other temples obstructing vehicular movement. Similarly, Dharampeth zone too removed a temple.
In reality, temples like Shitla Mata and Hanuman mandir were in the list of 70 religious structures trustees of which had raised objection to the demolition order.
“These structures were not ignored or omitted from the list, while decision on a few temples, that came into existence before 1960, is pending with the state government,” said enforcement department’s assistant municipal commissioner Ashok Patil.
Patil, however, swiftly added that as per recent HC’s directives, all structures coming on roads and footpaths will be removed.
- HC forms panel to monitor demolition drive of illegal structures Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Sep 29, 2018, 03:09 IST
Nagpur: Continuing its tough stance against illegal religious structures on public streets/roads and footpaths, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Thursday constituted a panel to monitor the entire activity, right from identifying such shrines to their demolition.
It would be headed by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner and would have Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) chairman and joint commissioner of police as its members. The members were told to publish helpline and WhatsApp numbers in newspapers, so that the common citizens can inform them about presence of any such structures or any attempts made to rebuild those already demolished by the civic agencies.
“Wherever citizens notice illegal acts of unauthorized structures on roads/footpaths, they can notify through these numbers and can even upload their photos on WhatsApp, so that steps could be taken against them,” a division bench comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Rohit Deo said.
The bench directed city police to provide adequate police protection to demolition squads of both agencies to ensure that no illegal structure should stand on the roads or footpaths. Before adjourning the plea by Dr Gajanan Zade and Manohar Khorgade, through counsel Firdos Mirza, till January 3 next year, the judges asked respondents, including the state government, NMC and NIT, to strictly adhere to the timelines set by them on September 19 for preparing fresh list of the illegal shrines. They further indicated that HC would regularly monitor the issue as directed by the Supreme Court.
Earlier, senior counsel SK Mishra appearing for NIT, quoted TOI’s Friday’s report titled ‘NMC’s fresh list has 250 new shrines on roads, footpaths’ stating that names of illegal structures mentioned in it were removed by them in morning. TOI had reported that the Shitla Mata Mandir is creating several obstructions in smooth flow of traffic on Khamla Road.
Additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Thakre filed an affidavit through counsel Sudhir Puranik on progress made in demolition drive against such structures. He informed that before September 25, only 12 such shrines were remaining and after that only one — Shiv Temple near Kaka Hardware Shop in Navi Shukrawari — was pending. It was flattened on Thursday along with partial demolition of Taj O Raza Masjid located on Panchpaoli Road.
The NMC also started removing structures on roads and footpaths, prior to May 1, 1960, after HC’s orders on September 19 and razed five of them in Dharampeth zone. Thakre had requested DCP special branch for adequate police force to remove seven sensitive structures from Gandhibagh and Lakadganj zones. But the cops were busy with NIT and Nazul’s demolition drives. Now, they promised to extend help on Saturday and therefore all these illegal structures along with two in Hanuman Nagar Zone would be razed on same day.
- GMR, GVK bid for Nagpur airport Shishir Arya | tnn | Sep 29, 2018, 05:42 IST
Nagpur: Two private infrastructure players — GMR and GVK — have tendered bids for investing in the Nagpur airport. The bids were opened by Mihan India Limited (MIL) on Friday and it has been reliability learnt that GMR has quoted a higher amount than the other.
Six players were qualified to take part in the airport privatization process. These include GVK, GMR, Ideal Road Builders (IRB), Tata Group, PNC Infrastructure and Essel Group. Out of these, IRB had backed off at the initial stage itself. Other companies, except Tatas, took part in most of the pre-bid talks. Finally, only two companies have bid now.
The companies had to quote a percentage of revenue to be shared with MIL, the current operator. It has been learnt that both the participants have quoted a single digit percentage share, even as a higher share was expected to be quoted. Sources said if it is to be compared with the larger airports, the private parties have quoted revenue share ranging from 30% to 35%. A number of conditions were eased at the insistence of the private players.
The successful bidder will have to pump in Rs 1,685 crore as 74% equity for development of Nagpur airport infrastructure. During pre-bid negotiations, the bidders successfully bargained for increasing the timeline for constructing a second runway. The second runway will be built four years later instead of soon after the takeover by the private company.
The time frame for city side real estate development too has been reduced to two years as against six earlier. This will help the bidders unlock the real estate potential of the area around airport. Delaying the second runway construction will save an expenditure of around Rs 300 crore for the private partner, said sources.
The successful bidder will be acting as strategic partner along with MIL, which is a joint venture between the state government’s Maharashtra Airport Development Company and Airports Authority of India.
- Massive crackdown on sand mafia, 13 trucks detained tnn | Sep 29, 2018, 05:41 IST
Nagpur: In a joint operation, police, Regional Transport Office (RTO) and tehsil office cracked down on the sand mafia and detained 13 trucks ferrying sand illegally on Friday morning near Dighori Naka. The drivers of two trucks reportedly fled the spot along with the vehicle keys, while the other drivers were arrested.
Trucks are said to be rampantly transporting sand illegally, raising questions about the functioning of mining department in district collectorate. “It is the duty of the mining department to monitor excavation of sand from ghats,” said sources. However, the department seems to be turning a blind eye to the activities.
The special squad of Zonal DCP Nilesh Bharne, along with squad of Hudkeshwar police, intercepted the trucks and then informed RTO and tehsil office, who rushed to the spot to investigate the matter.
RTO Nagpur city inspector Shyam Kasar said, “We have detained 11 trucks, of which six were overloaded. The others failed to produce documents. We will act against all the truck owners.” The six overloaded trucks will be fined Rs 70,000 on average, while the others will be fined as per the irregularities in their documents.
“If the trucks owners want to pay the fine, they can approach us, or go to court in this regard. Meanwhile, we are also demanding no objection certificates from the revenue department before releasing the trucks,” said Kasar.
Each 10-wheeler truck is allowed to carry 28 tonne load, but the six detained trucks were carrying more than this limit.
Tehsildar (Nagpur rural) Mohan Tikale said, “Among the detained trucks, three had paid proper government royalty. However, the others had a time difference on their Transport Permit (TP), which is why we will be sending the details of their TPs to the respective ghat officials from where they loaded the sand.”
“After verification of TPs and documents of royalty, we will take further action against the truck owners. If they are found guilty, Rs2 lakh per truck fine will be imposed on them as per government resolution,” said Tikale.
Tehsil office will also send a letter to the police department after the verification of documents. Senior PI of Hudkeshwar police station said, “We will act after the revenue department gives us documents implicating the accused.”
- HC slams govt for delay in Sonegaon lake TDR order Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Sep 29, 2018, 03:46 IST
Lake: Sonegaon Nagpur
Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has expressed concern over delay by the state government in submitting an order in Sonegaon lake transferable development right (TDR) case. The government order dated August 2 is termed as unsatisfactory.
In the PIL filed by a RTI activist and president of an NGO, through advocate Avdesh Kesari, the HC on February 7 had directed the government to conduct hearing of petitioners, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation, and owners of the lake, and submit its order on whether TDR can be granted or not for the water body. The government was directed to submit the order by May 2.
After a delay of four months, the state’s urban development department had reportedly served a copy of its order to the petitioners on September 5.
Judges BP Dharmadhikari and MG Giratkar in their order dated September 26 said, “Kesari states that the government’s communication does not contain a decision which should have been reached after hearing the parties and after perusal of records. The said communication dated August 2 was sent by the government to NMC. The learnt counsel representing the planning authority has received it in the court only. It is filed on record of court with pursis on August 30. We place on record our concern about the delay and non cooperation from the government in the matter. As the counsel for NMC and the petitioners have some objections about communication, we are refraining from making further observations.”.
The justices have set next date of hearing on October 17.
In another development, Dr Sadanand Thote has been added to the list of respondents in the case. “Applicant, prime facie, appears to be part owner of the lake. In this situation, without prejudice to the contentions of the petitioners and other respondents in the matter, we allow civil application,” the order said.
Thote had reportedly purchased a part of the lake from one of the two owners — Dr Sudha Sutariya.
Sidelining process to pay compensation to owners for lake’s acquisition, NMC had proposed to give TDR creating controversy. The petitioners had raised an objection on planning TDR for water body’s acquisition.
- Rly stn flyover demolition cleared despite adverse technical opinions Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Sep 30, 2018, 03:24 IST
Nagpur: Taking advantage of its strength in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) general body, the ruling BJP on Saturday approved a proposal in a meeting to demolish the flyover in front of railway station despite strong opposition from the Congress and the BSP, and an adverse technical opinion from VNIT. Demolition of the seven-year-old flyover will take time as the proposal cleared with a rider to rehabilitate 164 shops situated below the flyover to the land under possession of MSRTC and located adjacent to the railway station.
Amid demonstration by Aam Admi Party (AAP) activists along with few shopkeepers outside Town Hall, the general body witnessed voting on the proposal. Ninety two corporators of BJP supported the proposal while only 23 of Congress and BSP opposed it.
Many of the corporators were absent. Of total 156 members in the house, BJP is having a clear majority with 112 followed by Congress 30, BSP 10, Shiv Sena 2, and NCP and Independent with 1 each.
Leader of opposition Tanaji Wanve said BJP was taking undue advantage of clear majority in the house. “There is no technical backing for demolition of the flyover. It is being demolished only to satisfy Union minister Nitin Gadkari. BJP cannot do anything as per its wish and in the name of development. Ruling party is handing over all market places of the city including Cotton market, Gol bazaar, Netaji market, Khoa, Santra market to MahaMetro. Hundreds of people are set to become income less. Civic body should take decisions in the larger interest of public, not one person,” he said.
Alleging the opposition parties are against development, ruling party leader Sandip Joshi said entire area in front of railway station, road from KP to Ramjhula, road connecting Manas square with Jaistambh square and Loha Pool will be transformed into a well-planned public amenity. “There is no doubt that the flyover is causing traffic congestion. There are 174 shops below the flyover of which 164 have been given on lease but only 72 are in operation. The shops will first be rehabilitated on temporary manner in MSRTC land, then the flyover will be demolished. Later, permanent shops will be constructed on MPSRTC land,” he said.
Though MahaMetro asked civic body to spend on shops’ rehabilitation, Joshi said MahaMetro will bear the cost of temporary and also permanent arrangements of shopkeepers. Gadkari had approved Rs234.21 crore for the new project excluding the rehabilitation of shops.
Congress corporator Praful Gudadhe said it will be a wrong decision if flyover demolished without any technical study. “NMC asked VNIT to study the case but latter said the study is possible only after completion of Ramjhula. Moreover, neither the traffic police nor the NMC has ever said that the flyover causing traffic congestion and accidents took place due to the flyover.”
Gudadhe further said the NMC general body lost its significance as Gadkari has already taken decision to demolish the flyover and approved funds for the new project. “Demolition of flyover will be wastage of taxpayers’ and shopkeepers’ money,” he said.
Former mayor and BJP corporator Pravin Datke said the NMC administration tabled the proposal after going through all aspects. “Shopkeepers too are convinced with Gadkari’s plan to rehabilitate them,” he said.
Officiating municipal commissioner Ravindra Thakre said MahaMetro submitted its detailed technical report suggesting demolition of flyover and development of entire area for smooth traffic flow.
Another congress corporator Manoj Sangole said NMC should first fix responsibility on whoever approved and constructed flyover before taking decision to demolish it. “If government giving funds, then it should be utilized to improve financial situation of NMC and not razing existing infrastructure,” he said.
Corporator Dinesh Yadav of Congress said on one hand a dilapidated bridge in his ward was closed for traffic for lack of funds for new one and on the other, decision to demolish strong flyover was being taken.
BSP group leader Mohammed Jamal said many areas especially Kamptee road required flyovers but BJP only targeting existing flyover situated in front of the railway station.
A heated discussion held between Gudadhe and Joshi when a proposal to approve city’s revised comprehensive mobility plan prepared by MahaMetro tabled in the meeting. Gudadhe condemned the tabling of such a crucial report without any discussion. Joshi asked mayor Nanda Jichkar to approve the report and also table it in next meeting for discussion.
- NMC to get Rs357cr for Kelibag, Old Bhandara rd projects Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Sep 30, 2018, 03:25 IST
Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) projects to widen and concretize Kelibag Road and Old Bhandara Road in Central Nagpur are likely to sail smooth as far as funding is concerned. The central and state governments are likely to approve funds worth Rs357.41 crore for the two projects.
The general body on Saturday approved a proposal to seek funds of Rs137.41 crore for Kelibag Road project from the state government under the Maharashtra Golden Jubilee Urban Renewal Mega Mission. The administration sought 70% of Rs122.14 crore needed for land acquisition and shifting utilities.
Former mayor and BJP corporator Pravin Datke said NMC will seek total funds for the project and that CM Devendra Fadnavis has assured to sanction it. “The project will face no bottlenecks if we get total funds from the government,” he said.
As per the proposal, the NMC will require Rs116.81 crore for land acquisition, Rs5.33 crore for shifting drinking water and electricity networks and Rs15.27 crore for civil works. Under the project, the road with a length of 1,030m from Central Avenue to CP and Berar College will be widened to 24m, followed by concretization.
Datke also said that Union minister Nitin Gadkari sanctioned funds worth Rs220 crore for land acquisition, widening and concretization of Old Bhandara Road. “Gadkari had sanctioned funds from the Union government’s central road fund (CRF). In all, he had sanctioned Rs1,000 crore from CRF for various projects of the city,” he said.
A proposal to allow transfer of NMC workers to other districts was forwarded to the legal consultative committee for verification. Another proposal to hand over Bhapkar garden spread over 2,272.14 sqm in mouza Nagpur and market place of 49.40 sqm at Santra Market to MahaMetro was sent back to the administration.