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- PIL filed on poor quality, violations in Ring Road concretization project Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Oct 4, 2018, 03:24 IST
Nagpur: Based on TOI reports and RTI information, a criminal public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed on shoddy quality of works, violation of tender norms and loss of revenue in the state public works department’s Rs205 crore Inner Ring Road (IRR) widening and concretization project.
The litigation seeks blacklisting of Mumbai-based RPS Infraprojects Private Ltd that was blacklisted by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for seven years due to inferior quality of works it had carried out.
Judges BP Dharmadhikari and MG Giratkar on Wednesday directed notices to 10 respondents, including state PWD and RPS Ltd. The next hearing has been fixed for October 31 before which the respondents will have to file their replies.
Activist Suraj Lolage has filed the PIL (802/2018) through advocates Nilesh Fulzele and Yogesh Nagpure. The HC also directed the petitioner to submit names of respondents as it was filed as a criminal PIL.
Lolage has referred to TOI’s series of stories highlighting inferior quality of works and violation of tender norms and also information obtained under the RTI Act. He also highlighted the representation made by him before the PWD demanding an inquiry and action.
Along with pictures, TOI had highlighted cement concrete surface of IRR damaged to a great extent within a year of its laying. Also, inferior quality of works done in laying inter-locking tiles, road-divider, approaches etc were also highlighted apart from the RPS’s failure to complete the project within the deadline. RPS also failed to repair the defective panels, complete road-divider work, approaches, footpaths etc in the stretches where concretization work had been completed.
Pointing at the action by the BMC and shabby work in the IRR project, Lolage has prayed, “RPS should be barred from bidding for works of any government departments in the state. PWD should terminate the contract with RPS and get the remaining work done through a new contractor. PWD should also recover entire loss from RPS and action should be taken against all officials who did not act against the contractor company causing loss to the state exchequer.”
Lolage also made QMax Techno Consultants Private Ltd, quality assurance unit in the project, one of the respondents for its failure to monitor the works and ensure quality as per tender norms. Three more private companies — Trident JV, Genesis Realtech and Dristti Structural Engineering Private Ltd — have also been made respondents. In the petition, Lolage alleged that RPS had sublet the work to three private companies despite it not being permissible as per contract’s terms and conditions. The other respondents are PWD chief engineer, executive engineer, DCP (traffic) and collector.
Lolage also said PWD released payments to the tune of Rs100 crore instead of acting against the RPS. “Even PWD officials neglected recovery of royalty for sand and other types of minerals and deposit it with the district administration. The project was supposed to be completed by September 23, 2017. As on May 15 this year, the contractor had completed only 55.75% works prolonging traffic congestion on busy IRR, regular mishaps and various types of inconvenience to the citizens,” he said.
RPS has again sought an extension of 15 months up to November 15, 2019 and an additional cost for completing the project. City MP and Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari had approved the project from the central government’s funds.
- Shoddy patchwork, loose gravel make riding on Amravati Road a daunting task Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Updated: Oct 4, 2018, 13:13 IST
NAGPUR: Until recently, motorists would slow down on Amravati Road from Maharajbagh Square to University Campus and beyond, since the road surfacewas badly damaged due to lack of repairs over many years.
However, recent attempts by the National Highways Authorities of India’s public works department to repair the worst patches have left motorists facing an additional risk — the poor quality of patchwork has led to loose gravel spreading all over the road, especially in front of department of management near Ravi Nagar Square, posing a threat of two-wheelers skidding.
On being informed by some motorists, TOI visited the stretch and while interacting with passer-bys and roadside vendors, it was found that many minor accidents have already occurred due to loose gravel on the road.
The first accident took place when a teenage girl on a two-wheeler coming from Law College turned left towards Tilak Nagar, skidded due to loose gravel. Fortunately, she was not driving fast and narrowly escaped falling down. Barely a few minutes later, a middle-aged man on a motorcycle skidded and fell on the road. The man got up immediately, and fortunately, escaped unhurt. But both riders could have sustained serious injuries had it been a peak traffic hour.
Used by thousands of vehicles every day, this busy road was last asphalted in 2015. After protests from residents, the NHAI decided to undertake some patchwork using gravel mixed with tar earlier this week. But after the shoddy repair work, being carried out by PMA Constructions entrusted by NHAI, black metal has started peeling off, leaving gravel scattered on the road.
Motorist Rohit Deshpande pointed out that the worst patch is just 300 meters away from the residence of Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari and few meters away from the municipal commissioner’s residence.
Half of the road width is being re-carpeted again by the authorities but the bitumen gravel has started coming off within hours after being re-carpeted.
Deshpande also challenged the city’s ministers to drive across the city on a two wheeler and get a first-hand experience of the pain and suffering motorists face due to shabby road work. “It is dangerous for motorists. The poor quality of work compromises safety of road users,” said motorist Gajanan Nagare. “The NHAI should be held accountable for accidents on this stretch,” he demanded.
Many people have sustained injuries when two-wheelers slipped on gravel or stones were thrown up by other vehicles, said roadside shopkeepers. “The stones often ricochet when cars and other four-wheelers pass over them. These cause injuries to not only two-wheeler riders but pedestrians too,” said a roadside tea vendor. Roads across the city have gone from bad to worse due to bad patchworks by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation, Nagpur Improvement Trust. At some places, the patchwork has started peeling off within days.
Despite repeated attempts, NHAI superintendent B D Thenge was not available for comments. An official from the office, however, assured to look into the matter. The officer said the department has already prepared a proposal to asphalt the Amravati road from Maharajbagh square to Wadi octroi post.
- Kamptee Rd flyover: NMC to pay for land Ashish Roy | TNN | Oct 5, 2018, 02:55 IST
Nagpur: A major hurdle has been cleared in way of Kamptee Road double decker flyover, being built by MahaMetro, with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) agreeing to bear the cost of land acquisition. The civic agency will get a grant from state government to pay the amount. However, the issue of cost of the flyover remains to be sorted out between National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and MahaMetro.
The length of the flyover is 5.3 kilometres. It begins from Patni Automobiles near LIC Square and ends at Automotive Square. Earlier, it was 3.5km long and MahaMetro has NHAI nod for this length. The Metro agency is working on this length but work on the remaining 1.8km has not begun. This has raised doubts whether MahaMetro will be able to complete the Sitabuldi-Automotive Square stretch by December 2019.
A source in NHAI said that the land would have to be acquired on Kamptee Road on LIC Square end. “The road is too narrow to accommodate the ramp as well as the normal road. However, as per our norms, we can’t acquire land within municipal limits. MahaMetro also does not have money for land acquisition. Fortunately, NMC agreed to bear the cost as it will be reimbursed by state government,” he added.
The flyover is being built by MahaMetro on behalf of NHAI. Some technical issues remain to be cleared by NHAI head office. MahaMetro officials are regularly visiting Delhi to get the green signal.
A MahaMetro official, commenting on the costing, said that the Metro agency had used the same formula used for Wardha Road double decker flyover. “NHAI technical member, who had recently visited Nagpur, had given us the go ahead but we are yet to get the nod in writing,” he further said. The cost of the structure is estimated to be around Rs500 crore.
The flyover will be 26 metre high. The elevated road will be on first level and Metro on second level. It will have four levels at Gaddigodam railway bridge — road on the first level, railway at the second level, elevated road on the third and Metro on the fourth.
- Over 86% land acquired for Samruddhi corridor project Ashish Roy | tnn | Oct 5, 2018, 05:18 IST
Nagpur: Land acquisition woes for the ambitious Nagpur-Mumbai communication super expressway, also known as Samruddhi corridor, seem to be over. Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has acquired 86.46% land, which includes both government and private.
The rest of it will be compulsorily acquired under Maharashtra Highways Act, 1955.
MSRDC chief Radheshyam Mopalwar said all the private land that could be acquired through consent has been acquired. “We have also acquired government land required for the project and executed sale deeds,” he added.
An MSRDC official explained that 13.54% land was being acquired under Highways Act as most of it was disputed. “In several cases, there is no clarity regarding share of legal heirs and in many there is dispute over legal heirs. Under such circumstances, sale deeds can’t be executed. We will, therefore, deposit the compensation amount in court and the heirs will take their share when dispute among them is resolved. In some cases, owners of the land live abroad and are not ready to come to India for executing the sale deed. Such lands will also be compulsorily acquired,” he said.
MSRDC has done a phenomenal task in acquiring land in problem districts of Nashik, Thane, Aurangabad and Jalna. Until a few months ago, less than 70% of the land had been acquired. Now, the figure stands over 80% with rest to be compulsorily acquired.
The MSRDC official said that five state PSUs — MIDC, MHADA, SRA, MMRDA and CIDCO — have sanctioned Rs 4,700 crore against their target of Rs 5,500 crore. In addition, MSRDC has chipped in with an equity of Rs1,111 crore. The agency thus has Rs5,811 crore available with it.
Mopalwar said that State Bank of India had been asked to arrange finance for the project. “Banks have agreed, in principle, to provide Rs 30,000 crore to us. We need only Rs 28,000 crore in this financial year. Rest of the banks had told us that they would provide us the money after concession agreement between MSRDC and state government was signed. The agreement was signed on Wednesday and so rest of the loans would be sanctioned soon,” added the official.
- 10 shopkeepers fined for keeping plastic products tnn | Oct 5, 2018, 05:23 IST
Nagpur: After a brief lull, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) nuisance detection squad and officials from Maharashtra Pollution Control Board on Thursday raided city’s commercial areas and caught 10 shopkeepers for keeping banned plastic products.
The team also recovered Rs50,000 fine from errant shopkeepers by seizing 28,245 kg plastic products.
According to NDS official, the joint team caught two shopkeepers each in Laxmi Nagar, Mangalwari and Ashi Nagar zones for keeping banned products. However, the squad found no shops in Dharampeth, Hanuman Nagar and Nehru Nagar zones for keeping plastic products.
“Since the ban was enforced, the NDS had penalized 311 shopkeepers and collected a fine of Rs14.87 lakh fine,” the NDS official said.
- HC asks dargahs to remove structures in 2 days Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Oct 5, 2018, 02:57 IST
Nagpur: Refusing any leniency to illegal religious structures on roads and footpaths, Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Thursday sternly directed two dargahs to initiate process of removing their structures within 48 hours.
A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Murlidhar Giratkar asked their respective trustees to complete formalities within a week. If they failed to start removing their structures, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) was told to demolish them.
While adjourning the hearing till October 15, the judges told NMC to take steps to restore road and footpath after both dargahs remove their structures, which came in middle of road after expansion.
The court also vacated an interim stay on demolition of Baba Haider Ali Shah dargah on Old Bhandara Road in Lakadganj granted by Wakf board against NMC’s notice. The court let off the board clarifying that it was not a respondent in the case. In one such case earlier, the HC censured Wakf board for overreaching its jurisdiction by granting the stay when the case was being heard by the HC.
Along with Baba Haider Ali Shah dargah, Azam Shah Panch Committee located at Chandrashekhar Azad Chowk at Central Avenue also moved the judiciary through counsel Shreerang Bhandarkar, praying for stopping NMC from carrying out its demolition. They requested court to grant time for relocation to nearby dargahs which was allowed with a rider of 48 hours.
Earlier, the petitioners contended that the land on which their structures were built were private ones and therefore those couldn’t be termed as illegal. Appearing for NMC, lawyer Sudhir Puranik however pointed out that the NIT had already took possession of their lands and even made full payment to the petitioners.
Despite opposition from their community, the petitioners informed that they would shift the holy remnants to a nearby Muslim Kabrastan in Lakadganj. They also requested to stay any action against holy shrines controlled by the Wakfs/Trusts. Dargah secretary Mehboob Ismail Sheikh contended that its structure is located in small area of 15x15 sqft and was in existence from nearly 150 years.
After HC’s ultimatum, the NMC anti-encroachment squad planned to raze seven religious structures in both Lakadganj and Gandhibagh zones, including that of petitioners. They also reached venue on Saturday with excavators and huge police posse. However, assistant municipal commissioner of Lakadganj zone Rajesh Karade allegedly extended undue favours by granting two more days by stalling the demolition drive, which was reported by TOI.
- In a first, Tadoba tiger reserve to run e-vehicles for safari Vijay Pinjarkar | tnn | Oct 5, 2018, 05:20 IST
Nagpur: The premium Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district will perhaps be the first in the country to run electric safari vehicles.
Forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar was long craving for introducing these vehicles in TATR for safari. Sources said these vehicles will be a reality this month itself and the minister is expected to launch them.
A private lodge in Kolara has procured two customized vehicles from Mahindra & Mahindra Electric called Supro Van, especially designed for jungle safari. These vehicles will be handed over to two village eco-development committees (EDCs) near Kolara, which will operate them as part of employment generation initiative.
Talking to TOI, conservator of forests & field director NR Praveen confirmed trials of these electric vehicles were conducted on September 9, 10, and 11. “We have submitted a report to PCCF (wildlife) after successful trials,” he said.
Praveen said these vehicles have been registered as safari vehicles by Chandrapur RTO. “During trials we found that even after running for four hours in the forest, it had 20% charge in the battery. It also has a reserve capacity and when the vehicle reaches reserve stage it has to be charged for eight hours or else the battery gets fully recharged in three hours before that stage,” said Praveen.
The electric vehicle is similar to Gypsy and can comfortably accommodate six persons. The safari charges for these vehicles will be Rs 2,200, like what Gypsies charge.
There will be no guaranteed entry for these vehicles as according to the tiger conservation plan (TCP) the carrying capacity of Tadoba has already been fixed at 125 vehicles per day by the NTCA. TATR will be first to introduce these vehicles for safari. Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan too is procuring two such vehicles for Rs 12-13 lakh each.
According to PCCF (wildlife) of Rajasthan GV Reddy, “We did not procure these vehicles earlier as there was registration issue. Now, the problem has been sorted out. We are buying these vehicles in next 15 days. However, we will not use them for safari as operating tourist vehicles is not our job. We will utilize them for patrolling and for staff entering the park for official work.”
- Potholes before cement roads not allowing smooth sailing Ashish Roy | TNN | Oct 6, 2018, 03:54 IST
Nagpur: State government and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) have claimed that cement roads will end the menace of potholes in the city. However, not only the construction is taking months, they are being constructed without taking inconvenience to citizens into account.
Many intersections are also full of potholes. Thus the motorists ride a patch of smooth cement road then faces a bumpy ride and then again has a smooth ride. NMC has made no effort to tar the intersections too.
At some places tiles have been fitted on cement road approaches but there is a small trench between the tiles and the adjoining tar roads. The NMC contractors have executed the work extremely unscientifically. Such shoddy works are however, absent in VIP areas.
Many approaches to the completed cement roads have potholes and are full of steep bumps. This defeats the very purpose of providing a smooth ride to motorists.
Vijay Talewar, acting chief engineer of NMC, said that tarring would be done after Navratri festival. “The hotmix plants were closed due to monsoon. They will restart after Dussehra. We will tar all the approaches,” he told TOI.
However, the fact is that the approaches have been in a bad shape since months and have nothing to do with hotmix plants not functioning due to rains.
Ramdaspeth resident Anil Wadpalliwar slammed the NMC for its shoddy planning. “What is the point of spending Rs300 crore on cement roads if motorists don’t get a smooth ride. The approaches are full of potholes and have steep bumps. The suspension of vehicles is getting damaged and more importantly the spine of riders is receiving jerks. Will NMC compensate for these damages,” he said.
Wadpalliwar further said that as per NMC rules, the name of the contractor and engineer in-charge should be displayed on a board near the road under construction. “Not a single cement road has such boards. How will citizens complain about the poor condition of roads to the authorities,” he added.
Even NMC contractors are critical of the unscientific construction of cement roads. Vijay Naidu said that instead of starting work on a new cement road the approaches and the intersections should be first smoothened. “Chief engineer Ulhas Debadwar has rejoined NMC. We hope he will fix the problem,” he added.
- Post ban, 4.71 tonne plastic seized, Rs15.17L fine collected TNN | Oct 6, 2018, 05:31 IST
Nagpur: Continuing its crackdown on plastic ban violators, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has recovered Rs15.17 lakh as fine and seized 4.71 tonne banned material between June 23 and October 5.
On Friday, the NMC’s nuisance detection squad seized 204kg plastic from six shops of which four, including a wine shop, were from Laxmi Nagar Zone, and one each from Dharampeth and Dhantoli zones. A fine of Rs30,000 was also recovered from the six violators.
The squad comprising 44 personnel and headed by Virsen Tambe had began the drive from June 23. The drive was discontinued during Ganeshotsav. The drive resumed from Thursday.
The squad has checked 18,530 shops till date. Penalty has been recovered from 317 shops, notices have been issued to 94 establishments and FIR lodged against one shop.
The drive will continue as plastic with banned parameters is still being used in many parts of the city.
- Unauthorized structures in metro region razed Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Oct 6, 2018, 04:48 IST
On Friday, NMRDA team demolished part of an under-construction godown at mouza Surabuldi
Nagpur: The Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) has started demolishing unauthorized structures in metro region area. The drive was started as many of the violators did not submit an application for regularization of structures under the state government’s special scheme that would end on October 30.
On Friday, NMRDA team led by executive engineer BP Meshram demolished part of an under-construction godown of Rakesh Baid at mouza Surabuldi. The action was stopped after Baid assured the team of submitting an application for regularization. A fine of Rs3 lakh was levied on Baid.
NMRDA engineers RP Chaurasia, Manohar Patil, AH Mahule, Vijayshri Vaidya, DL Mour, Mukund Nakwade and others were present.
On Thursday, the NMRDA team demolished scrap godown of Altaf Sheikh in mouza Bhilgaon and part of Siddhivinayak Novelty Celebration lawn at mouza Gorhi Sim. A fine of Rs6 lakh was slapped on the two violators.
On Wednesday, parts of an unauthorized industrial unit in mouza Beltarodi and Adwani Dabha in mouza Panchgaon were demolished. A fine of Rs8.50 lakh was levied on the two violators.
The government had offered various types of relaxations under the special scheme. Still, many of the violators have not turned up for compounding of unauthorized constructions, especially in the metro region which covers major part of the district.
- City needs buses more than extended Metro line Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Oct 7, 2018, 03:53 IST
Nagpur: The Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) prepared by the MahaMetro has suggested the penetration of more city buses than Metro Rail in the city. It says the city does not need more Metro Rail after the completion of the construction of phase-I and proposed phase-II plan but it has to increase the fleet of city buses to 6,827 from he existing 350 and also a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) to regulate the traffic by 2041.
The MahaMetro has prepared the CMP through urban mass transit company (UMTC) — India’s leading urban transport consultancy.
The CMP has also suggested various ways, including PPP projects, viability gap funding by the central and the state governments, anticipated purchase of land, introducing betterment tax, land value tax and revenue from advertisements, to meet its requirement of Rs41,964 crore.
The expense also includes Rs8,680 crore for Metro Rail phase-I and Rs,10,640 crore for phase-II. The phase-I is already approved and under construction.
Anticipating the population to grow to 50.35 lakh from the existing 34.30 lakh in the city and outer towns — Kamptee, Kalmeshwar, Hingna etc — by 2041, the CMP has recommended BRTS with a length of 22.5km at a cost of Rs450 crore on Amravati, Katol, Koradi and Umrer roads.
BRTS is recommended on 8.2km on Amravati road, 5.5km on Umrer road, 5.8km on Katol road and 2.6km on Koradi road. These roads are not covered under Metro Rail phase-I and II.
However, CMP did not suggest linking Outer Ring Road with various parts of the city especially Inner Ring Road and major roads using Metro Rail or BRTS.
Four new roads in the form of major rings are recommended with a length of 50km and cost of Rs500 crore for linking the city areas with Outer Ring Road. The CMP suggests major rings from Chandrapur road to Tekdi road, WHC road to Mecosabagh-Ambedkar-Ajni road, links to Inner and Outer Ring roads.
The mobility plan has also come up with various types of goals to increase usage of public transport to 60%. As per study conducted for CMP, only 15.60% of total population are using city buses, 42.60% use two-wheelers, auto-rickshaws- 19.80%, cars- 5.70, pedestrians- 9.50%, cycle and rickshaws- 6.40% etc.
The CMP, citing thumbrule of 60 buses per lakh population, says there should have been 2,058 city buses in current condition. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is operating only 350 of proposed fleet of 487 buses. 2,068 city buses are suggested for 2021 followed by 2,601 for 2031 and 3,021 for 2041. Thus, there will be a need of procuring 6,827 buses at a cost of Rs20,480 crore.
Along with non-motorized transport systems, the CMP has suggested for construction of five more railway overbridges, 10 foot overbridges, nine multimodal hubs, five freight terminals, nine bike sharing projects, four bus depots and workshops, five off-street parking plazas, four bus terminals etc
As per data in CMP, number of vehicles registered in the city and outer towns are 14.75 lakh. Total 5,018 accidents were recorded in last four years of which 1,083 were fatal. Therefore, CMP has recommended development of pedestrian zones at Sitabuldi, Sadar, Mahal and Itwari.
Traffic engineering measures have been suggested 10 major junctions — Shankar Nagar, Golibar, Indora, Chhatrapati, Variety, Cotton Market, Ashok, RBI, Medical and Jaistambh.
- Floating solar plant at Irai may be dropped Ashish Roy | TNN | Oct 7, 2018, 03:58 IST
Nagpur: Mahagenco, which had decided to set up a floating solar plant at Irai dam is now having second thoughts about it. According to Mahagenco officials, there are several reasons for it.
“We are already setting two solar plants in Chandrapur district having total capacity of 245MW. New solar plants should therefore be set up in other districts,” said a genco official.
“Another problem with Irai dam is that a power evacuation system some 10 to 15 kilometres long will have to be set up to transmit the reservoir power to the grid,” he said.
“Another major factor is that cost of floating solar panels is higher than ground based ones. New technologies are coming in the market that are reducing cost of floating panels. It makes sense to go for such projects after some time,” said the official.
The official however, further said that Irai plant had not been dropped altogether. “We are surveying three dams — Irai, Bhatsa and Dhamni — for a floating plant. A final decision will be taken only after the report is available,” he added.
In India, a floating solar power plant exists only in Kerala. A 500kW plant was recently inaugurated in Banasura Sagar at the cost of Rs9.25 crore. In Gujarat solar panels have been installed to cover canals but they are not floating.
A private solar energy agency — Gensol — had been asked to conduct a feasibility study for Irai but the report was not very favourable. A ballpark calculation had estimated that 250MW could be generated through floating solar panels.
The state government has set a target of increasing solar power generation by another 7,500MW by 2020. Mahagenco will execute projects for generating 2,500MW while Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) will contribute the remaining 5,000MW. Of this 2,500MW, the generation company plans to add 500MW on its own land and using its own money.
- Govt sits over HC’s annex building proposal for 5 months Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Oct 8, 2018, 03:49 IST
Nagpur: Strange though it may sound, it is a fact. The high powered committee (HPC) of the state government even after a directive from the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has been sitting on a proposal to sanction an annexure building in the city for the last five months.
TOI in its September 12 edition reported extensively about the new complex that would house administrative offices and lawyers chambers.
The state-of-the-art building, according to members of High Court Bar Association (HCBA), is cleared by the HC’s building committee after receiving directives from the judiciary while hearing a PIL. Later, it was cleared by the state law and judiciary department headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and finally by public works department (PWD) under minister Chandrakant Patil.
The proposal requires a nod from the HPC, headed by the chief secretary, comprising secretaries of department like law and judiciary, and PWD. Law and judiciary department’s principal secretary N J Jamadar, is one of the HPC members, ignored repeated calls made by TOI.
The HCBA members said, “Once, the HPC clears the proposal, the PWD can move ahead with its construction plan. Though we have not set any particular deadline, it would be completed in a couple of years.”
They further said the HC itself expedited the process of land acquisition of PWD chief engineer’s bungalow, opposite the court’s exit gate. The palatial bungalow is spread over a huge area of six acres of which two acres were provided for the new building.
“Even the land was transferred by the government on the HC registry’s name instead of HCBA, which is fighting the long legal battle for various facilities to the lawyers and litigants in courts. Earlier, the government opposed this move, clarifying that a resolution of 1990 prohibits it from selling its land to private parties. But after HC’s censuring, it agreed to hand over the land,” the members said.
The judges then came out in support of lawyers clarifying that they were an integral part of the justice dispensation system and their grievances must be addressed. They suggested to the government to transfer the land to its registry which would allot it to the HCBA. Later, the HC asked a specially constituted panel to prepare plans for construction of annexe building having bar rooms for lawyers. It comprises — Registrar (Administration), HCBA president, PWD executive engineers, and its deputy chief architect.
The HCBA members had even submitted a detailed representation for grant of additional land to the CM on December 12, 2014. They said if proposal wasn’t cleared before next month assembly session, the government wouldn’t make budgetary allocation for it and it would again get delayed till March, when next session was scheduled.
- Govt to move SC over zudpi jungles Ashish Roy | TNN | Oct 8, 2018, 03:53 IST
Nagpur: State government has decided to move the Supreme Court over the problem of zudpi jungles in Nagpur revenue division. Guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule had convened a meeting of forest officials to discuss the dereservation of 86,409 hectare zudpi jungle. Nagpur district has 17,399 hectare of zudpi jungle.
Forest officials told the minister that the department was of the view that land unfit for afforestation should be deserved. The department will tell the same to SC.
The officials said that of the 17,399 zudpi jungle land in the district, about 6,000 hectare had area of less than 3 hectare and whole of it was under encroachment. The remaining 10,000 hectare was being used for purposes other than forestry.
Wardha district had 11,000 hectare zudpi jungle land fit for dereservation, Gadchiroli — 7,402 hectare, Bhandara and Gondia districts — 35,831 Ha and Chandrapur — 14,606 Ha.
The officials told Bawankule that these lands were covered with shrubs and were hence unfit for afforestation. A committee under additional forest chief inspector of central government had been constituted for finding a solution to the zudpi jungle problem. The divisional commissioner of Nagpur and joint secretary of forest ministry, government of Maharashtra are members of this committee.
This committee has determined 92,116 hectares zudpi jungle as fit for afforestation. This has been declared as reserved forest land.
- ‘Self-sanction a non-starter as architects fear violations’ TNN | Oct 8, 2018, 04:56 IST
Nagpur: The self-sanction building plan scheme for plots under 200 sqm has found no takers as the architects “aren’t ready to take responsibility and risk their reputation and licence” in case violations are committed by the applicants at any stage.
The scheme was rolled out in August 2017 for all registered architects and licence surveyors under Centre’s ‘Ease of doing business’ to speed up the sanctioning process and thereby boost development.
The scheme would have also made easier job of architects who are finding uploading plans in the new Building Plan Management System (BPMS) quite tedious. The system has been implemented at Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) and Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA).
According to authorities, professionals are not ready to take responsibility. “Architects don’t want to take responsibility of sanctioning the building plan as in case any violations are found, their licences can be revoked,” said superintendent engineer of NIT Sunil Gujjelwar.
Interestingly, almost 50% of building plans coming to NIT for sanction in a month are for plots under 200 sqm. Under the self-sanction scheme, architects could have cleared each such plan in a day but NIT is taking over 60 days for the same.
NMRDA joint director of town planning RD Lande said there are no takers for this policy and the building plans under 200 sqm are still being sanctioned by the authority.
Another NMRDA official on condition of anonymity told TOI that this scheme was best suited for owners of plots under NMRDA as it has a widespread area and people could have saved a lot of time spent visiting its offices. “They should definitely avail it,” the official said.
“However good the scheme is, nobody wants to avail it. Situation is not likely to change in future because it is not a compulsion,” said executive engineer, building plan sanction authority of North division of NIT Shriram Kashyap.
NMC officials had a similar view. They said there is no possibility of it getting availed, because complete responsibility of the project — from sanctioning to providing occupancy certificate — is on shoulders of the architects.
Architect Paramjeet Singh Ahuja, chairman of Indian Institute of Architects, Nagpur chapter, however, said, “We are not shirking from our responsibilities, but there are other aspects too. If clients do encroachments, authorities will sack architects for it. There can be miscommunication and misinterpretation of guidelines, which would later turn out problematic. Hence, architects are refraining from taking advantage of the scheme.”