Sort by :
Filter by :
- Pre-fabricated blocks to be used for Inner Ring Road work Ashish Roy | TNN | Updated: Nov 10, 2018, 14:20 IST
Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari addressing the media about Indian Road Congress on Friday, with his grandson behind him.
NAGPUR: A 300-metre stretch of Inner Ring Road would be made by using pre-fabricated cement blocks. This technology has been tested in Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) campus successfully.
The technology is expensive but the cost will reduce significantly when mass produced, said union transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday. The blocks will be fitted before the Indian Roads Congress (IRC) session between November 22 and 25.
“This and several other innovative technologies would be discussed during the session to held at Mankapur divisional sports complex,” said the minister while addressing a press conference.
He said that the central government had decided to make mixing 10% plastic and waste rubber in bitumen. “This will reduce the cost and help in environment conservation,” he said.
Malaysia has developed a technology wherein steel fibre is used instead of iron in beams. This allows the distance between two columns to be 100 metres. “I have given permission to a committee of experts to go to Malaysia and study this technology. This will reduce the cost of overbridges and flyovers by 30%,” said Gadkari.
Australia has developed a technology of mixing powdered glass in bitumen. “This will also reduce the cost and help in disposal of waste,” the minister said.
“The cost of construction can be brought down by innovative ways if their is a will. Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) had prepared the estimate for constructing houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) at a rate of Rs 2,400 per sq ft. I told them to bring down the cost to Rs 1,200 per sq ft. They have been able to reduce it to Rs 1,700,” he added.
Gadkari announced that a chapter of Indian Academy of Highway Engineers will start in Nagpur shortly.
Ulhas Debadwar, chief engineer of Public Works Department (PWD), told the media about the IRC session. “The exhibition will be inaugurated by MSRDC minister Eknath Shinde and guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule on November 22. The session will be inaugurated the next day by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Gadkari and state PWD minister Chandrakant Patil,” he said.
Eleven technical sessions will be held on November 22 and 24. A panel discussion would be held on November 23. The council meeting of IRC will be organized on November 25. A meeting of state PWD ministers under Gadkari will take place on November 23.
- 650 crore works to transform ill-developed areas to start soon Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Nov 11, 2018, 02:08 IST
Nagpur: Works of 52km tenderSURE at a cost of Rs650 crore to transform underdeveloped Pardi, Bharatwada, Punapur and Bhandewadi in East Nagpur under the Smart City project are set to begin from next month or even before.
Smart City special purpose vehicle — Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL) — has issued work order and also entered into an agreement with Mumbai-based Shapoorji Pallonji Group last month.
To expedite the works, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis approved appointment of an arbitrator, who will look after land acquisition for the project, a couple of days ago. TenderSURE’s commencement will also mark beginning of execution of area-based development (ABD) concept under Smart City Project.
Under tenderSURE, 52km long utility works, including roads, bridges, stormwater drains, drinking water supply pipelines, streetlights, road dividers, footpaths as well as utility ducts for laying power cables and telecommunication companies’ optical fibre cables will be undertaken simultaneously. This will ensure all facilities to the people at a time and a digging-free area.
Another salient feature of tenderSURE will be dedicated bicycle tracks along the roads with a length of 52km. Width of roads varies from 12 to 18m and 24 to 32m.
An NSSCDCL official told TOI that Shapoorji Pallonji Group has been conducting survey of areas for the last one month. “Works at ground level are likely to start within 15 days and will be visible from next month,” he said.
East Nagpur MLA Krishna Khopde told TOI that works will start from whichever area available with NSSCDCL. “It is the first-of-its-kind concept in he country where all the services will be facilitated for the people at the same time. Also, Nagpur is the first among all 99 Smart Cities to take up tenderSURE,” he said.
For tenderSURE, land belonging to 496 people and part of properties of 800 others is needed to be acquired.
The official said arbitrator will issue notices to all project-affected persons (PAPs) immediately after taking charge. “The arbitrator will acquire land land and it over to NSSCDCL. If needed, a tribunal will be appointed for land acquisition. But the works can begin in many parts even before acquiring private properties,” he said.
The arbitrator will also ensure acquisition of land reserved for other utilities like schools, playgrounds, gardens etc.
The PAPs will have no option but to hand over the land as the state government approved town planning scheme (TPS) for the project last month.
The target is to complete tenderSURE in 18 months. It can be possible due to availability of ample funds with NSSCDCL.
- Greens condemn Futala Lake alternate road on PDKV land Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Nov 12, 2018, 03:08 IST
Nagpur: Environmental activists have condemned the decision of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and MahaMetro to develop a new road on lush green land of Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV) for diverting traffic from Futala Road which will be closed for redevelopment. The new road will be constructed by felling over 500 trees on the land which is also home for a large number of birds, monkeys, peacocks etc.
The activists have also warned of agitation and public interest litigation (PIL) if the authorities go ahead with the proposed road by destroying the dense flora and fauna.
Jaydeep Das, livelihood expert with tiger reserve foundations of forest department, on Saturday filed a complaint with MoEFCC minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, mayor Nanda Jichkar, managing director of MahaMetro Brijesh Dixit, vice-chancellor of PDKV VM Bhale and DCP (traffic) Raj Tilak Roushan while demanding that the plan for the new road be put off.
“Over 500 trees will be killed for the road which will be in use only temporarily. Traffic on Futala lake stretch will resume once the redevelopment project is completed in a year. Also, there are various other existing roads from Ravi Nagar, Law College Square, CP Club lawns etc to divert the traffic. There is no need for a new road,” he said.
Also a honorary wildlife warden, Das added that no study like environmental impact assessment, traffic movement etc was done before proposing the road.
Das, along with Ravi Waghmare, has also launched a campaign to garner support to save the trees.
Another activist Shrikant Deshpande lodged a complaint with NMC chief engineer Ulhas Debadwar a couple of days ago. “Apart from trees, the PDKV land is a home for schedule-I monkeys, peacocks and various types of birds, including Grey Hornbill, an endangered bird. They will be rendered homeless just to save a distance of 500 metres for motorists,” he said.
Revealing his PIL plan, Deshpande said monkey menace will increase in residential localities if authorities continue to destroy such afforestations. “Instead the road connecting Ravi Nagar Square with Telangkhedi Hanuman Mandir road should be widened. Also, there are roads from MLA Hostel Square, CP Club Lawns Square, HC Square and Japanese Garden Square to approach Futala lake from Law College Square,” he said.
Activist Ashish Kumar Ghosh said felling of trees will increase temperature in and around PDKV land. “In areas with greenery temperature is 3 or more degrees less as compared to other areas — the stretch near NEERI is an example. It is called as micro climatic effect. It will also effect other parts of the city,” he said.
The activists have also condemned PDKV’s decision to hand over the land. “Flora and fauna in other parts of the land will be under threat after development of the road. PDKV did not hand the land for other purposes but now it is ready to give it without doing any investigation,” they said.
- Over 1,000 illegal shrines on open spaces likely to be regularized Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Nov 13, 2018, 16:52 IST
Nagpur: Over a 1,000 illegal religious structures currently slated for demolition are likely to be regularized, with only around 200 remaining in the list for demolition.
The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court had on September 19 directed Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to conduct a fresh survey and prepare list of unauthorized religious structures in three categories: A, B and C. Category A will comprise illegal shrines that can be regularized. The illegal shrines that deserve to be demolished are in category B, and those that can be rehabilitated in category C.
Accordingly, NMC has prepared fresh list of 1,235 illegal religious structures. Of them, 1,049 are in category A and remaining 186 in category B. It means 1,049 shrines are eligible for regularization and 186 will have to be demolished.
NMC has submitted the list to 15 members of city-level committee to verify and revert with their opinion. The committee is headed by municipal commissioner. The members are representatives of various departments like NIT, police, traffic police, state PWD, nazul department, MHADA etc. These departments will verify the structures on their properties and give opinion. Then, the committee will take final decision and issue notification for suggestions and objections from the public.
A NMC official told TOI a number of structures in category A are situated on public utility (PU), open and recreational spaces. “Some structures in category B have cropped up after the Supreme Court judgement dated September 29, 2009, and remaining encroaching on footpath plus open spaces but not obstructing traffic,” he said.
After receiving suggestions and objections from the public, the committee will prepare list of structures in category C that can be relocated.
As of now, NMC, NIT and couple of other government departments have demolished around 600 illegal religious structures, most located on roads, footpaths and road dividers.
NMC has also prepared a list of 110 structures that are standing on roads, footpaths and road dividers. NMC and NIT will demolish these structures.
The HC will next hear the case on January 3. NMC is likely to issue notification for suggestions and objections, and submit it at the hearing. The HC has given a month for suggestions and objections, and another three months for preparing the final list.
Meanwhile, the state government is likely to approve NMC general body’s decision dated August 10 for regularization of illegal shrines on public utility (PU) lands, open and recreational spaces. If approved as it is, the illegal shrines will be regularized without any hefty charges or penalties.
The fresh list of 1,235 structures proves the number of illegal shrines has increased. After the SC order dated September 29, 2009, NMC had identified 1,521 illegal religious structures between 2011 and 2013. Only 18 were regularized citing heritage significance. List of 175 structures was forwarded to the state-level committee, as they were constructed before 1960. Of remaining 1,328 structures, the NMC had received objections related to 80 in 2014. Therefore, the NMC finalized the list of 1,248 and started demolition.
Now, total number of structures goes up to 1,945 if one sees fresh list of 1,235, the 110 slated for demolition, and 600 already razed.
- NMC apathy ensures city slides to 506th spot on Swachh App Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Nov 15, 2018, 03:46 IST
Nagpur: Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s efforts to improve its rank in the ongoing Swachh Survekshan seem to have taken a severe beating given the steady drop in civic body’s popularity. The performance report in Union government’s Swachhata App and Swachh City ranking dashboard give city a disappointing 506th spot among 4,000-odd cities.
Mul town in Chandrapur district has topped Swachhata App rankings this year. According to Swachh Bharat Mission, Mul was followed by Than Khamaria in neighbouring Chhattisgarh. Four other cities from Maharashtra figure among the top ten on the App dashboard including Mahabaleshwar, Mangalwedha, Panchgani and Karad.
Despite several initiatives, NMC is continuously getting poor response from citizens, which is one of the major parameters to do well in the survey. The urban development ministry began monitoring Swachhata app from September this year.
Last year, NMC under the leadership of the then municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal and former additional commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare fared well and scored 125 points. The city was then ranked 55 overall. Usage of the App improves dynamic ranking of cities. Now, the overall position will further decline.
Civic officials should have done something similar or better to make citizens aware about opting for good sanitation practices, said Nagpurians.
With a population of over 24 lakh, only 54,924 have downloaded the app. It is actually the best way to draw administration’s attention to cleanliness issues. Through the Swachhata app, so far the civic body has received only 840 responses from the citizens. It attended to only 142 complaints showing great apathy.
The city’s poor performance was due to the lack of initiative on part of the NMC. The download of the app has been static since last year, said sources and blamed the lackadaisical attitude of civic body’s sanitation department for not responding to complaints lodged through the app.
To foster competition and maintain cleanliness, the state government had asked the NMC to conduct various focused prabhag-wise cleanliness drives. Last year, the NMC conducted the competition after the survey. Sources said the civic body should conduct the contest before the Swachh Survekshan slated for early next year.
The civic body is also likely to lose marks for solid waste management since it is yet to achieve segregation of dry and wet waste in entire city, set up waste-to-energy and composting plants.
Green activist Surbhi Jaiswal said city’s status has been standstill since last six months. Transfer of then municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal has badly affected the progress of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, she said, adding: “Nagpur’s position was never so low. All efforts made last year have gone in vain. We have to start again from scratch. Garbage has started piling up across city. Uphill task ahead for Swachh Survekshan 2019,” she said.
Mayor Nanda Jichkar said with new municipal commissioner Abhijeet Bangar all set to join, we would see an improvement in city’s ranking. “I have already planned a meeting this week to review civic body’s preparedness,” she said.
- No water in reservoirs but over 50% supply being lost Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Nov 16, 2018, 02:41 IST
Nagpur: Despite low availability of water in Pench reservoirs, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and private water operator — Orange City Water Private Limited (OCW) — have failed to control the over 50% water losses.
Data from NMC’s special purpose vehicle for water works — Nagpur Environmental Services Limited (NESL) — shows water billing is 325 million litres per day (MLD) (48.50%) as against average water supply of 670 MLD. It means there is no trace where 345 MLD (51.50%) water goes. This quantum is sufficient to meet the requirements of 25.50 lakh population, which means one more city like Nagpur, or seven cities like Chandrapur.
As reported by TOI on Monday, Pench reservoirs — Totladoh and Kamptee Khairi — have storage of 197 million meter cube (MMC). After evaporation of around 60 MMC, 137 MMC will be left in the two reservoirs by June-end. To meet city’s drinking water requirement, NMC needs 136 MMC up to June-end. However, Kalmeshwar, Parsheoni, Koradi and Khaparkheda power plants need over 22 MMC.
NMC and OCW have failed to control high water losses despite orders of Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA). As per MWRRA norms, water resources department (WRD) is considering water losses at only 15% while allocating water to the city.
Also, the target for OCW was to reduce water losses to 40% by March 1, 2017, as per the agreement executed by the civic body. While approving water development projects of over Rs1,000 crore under JNNURM, the central and state government’s target was also 15%.
Despite less storage in reservoirs, the water crisis in the city, especially during summer, could have been less if water losses had been under control.
Due to high water losses, NMC is also incurring huge financial loss for last many years. NMC budget shows total expenditure on water works is around Rs200 crore per annum and revenue at around Rs140 crore per annum, a direct loss of Rs60 crore per annum.
The high water losses could not come down despite execution of over Rs1,000 crore works, including Rs387.86 crore 24X7 Water Supply Project under JNNURM and appointment of private water operator six-and-a-half-years ago.
NMC and OCW officials told TOI they need to replace entire old water network to reduce high water loss. “Total water network in the city is 2,200km, of which only 611km has been replaced,” they said.
OCW said special drive was undertaken and completed to stop water leakages at seven locations. “Lakhs of litres of water was going waste from seven locations for years. But OCW succeeded in tapping the leakages,” the operator said.
OCW also said a special team was in place to spread awareness about judicial utilization of water and tapping leakages. “Stress is also being given on guiding citizens to identify leakages at their households. Over 75% of the people taught by OCW have checked network at their households,” the operator said.
- Sewer lines choked, people forced to defecate in open Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | Nov 16, 2018, 02:55 IST
Nagpur: ‘Open defecation free’ status for the city notwithstanding, at least 50 families in Dhammadip Nagar are forced to defecate in the open. Reason? The main sewer line in the locality is choked for over six months.
“It has been over six months that toilets in our homes are flooded with sewage water. The sewer lines are choked and our complaint about the overflowing drains with the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s Satranjipura zone have fallen on deaf ears,” residents told TOI.
On Thursday, TOI visited the locality and witnessed the unhygienic conditions in the area. According to the residents, at least 50 houses of the area are affected. Backyards of many houses were submerged in overflowing sewage water. “Every time we use the toilet or wash clothes and utensils, the water starts overflowing,” they said. Now, “we all have stopped using the toilets and bathrooms,” they added.
The poorly maintained sewage system is also giving health scare to the residents. Recently, 49-year-old Laxmibai Jambhulkar’s relative slipped and injured his leg. “The area outside the toilet remains flooded with dirty water,” pointed out Laxmibai. Many residents claimed that due to unhygienic surroundings, outbreak of diseases like malaria, cholera and dengue is common in the area.
Residents complained that the stagnant contaminated water attracts mosquitoes and fleas. “In the last couple of months, many residents were hospitalized due to vector-borne diseases,” said Sheikh Shanawaz, a resident and general secretary of Youth Congress North Nagpur.
With no action from the NMC, residents also alleged that the drinking water is getting contaminated due to leakage in sewer lines. “The water has an unbearable, filthy stink and we have to boil it and add chlorine before using it,” said Shehzad Khan, a resident. “Now, groundwater of the area is highly polluted. We can’t use water from our wells,” said Vimal Madavi.
According to the residents, their efforts to solve the problem have gone down the drain with the NMC not taking any action. Displaying copies of many letters of complaint addressed to the zone, the residents said, “Over the months, we have approached every official — right from corporator to assistant municipal commissioner and even the north Nagpur MLA Dr Milind Mane. But no one paid heed to our problem.”
The residents also blamed the corporators for ignoring their plight. They claimed that in the coming civic elections, they will not vote for these candidates.
Corporator Sanjay Chawre confirmed about the choking complaints and claimed that work cannot be carried out due to lack of labour force. He, however, assured that it will be resolved within a week. When contacted by TOI, zone officials assured to look into the problem.
- Govt turning blind eye to encroachments on PDKV area, but eyes its land in Dabha Ashish Roy and Vaibhav Ganjapure | tnn | Nov 16, 2018, 03:15 IST
Nagpur: Land belonging to College of Agriculture, affiliated to Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), is not only used for research purpose but also is the green lungs of the Orange City. However, most city politicians cutting across party lines want the land for various non-agricultural projects.
Of late, whenever the state government wants to construct some mega project it eyes PDKV land. Now a case has come to light where government instead of helping PDKV in removing encroachments from a land reserved for farmers’ convention centre wants another piece of land in Dabha for building the centre.
A demand has been raised for acquiring 9.77 hectares land at Dabha for the centre. This land is currently being used for agroforestry by the university. The encroached land in Kachipura is already reserved for such a centre in development plan of the city.
Out of the 26.78 hectares PDKV land in Kachipura, 19.50 hectares has been encroached by those hailing from the Kachhi community, which basically engages in farming. A source in PDKV said, “Cases are going on in the lower court since 1970s. The Kachhi community has got stays on the eviction notices. We are thinking of hiring a big lawyer and approaching the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court to get these stays vacated. However, the government is showing no interest in the land and instead wants our land in Dabha.”
Of late, many from the Kachhi community have sublet the land to various eateries, marriage lawns, garages and other shops. As per an RTI reply, these include Vishnuji ki Rasoi, Farmhouse Kitchen, Samadhan Saoji, a Hyundai service centre and even office of a politician Prashant Pawar, who often flays the government for violating rules.
PDKV sources said that government was not interested in removing the encroachments as many of the encroachers were influential persons.
PDKV officials said already there are three farmers’ convention centres in the city. “Central for Citrus Research Institute (CCRI), Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) and Veterinary College have shetkari bhavans which have lodging facilities as well as canteens. We are also building a convention centre on our land in Maharajbagh. So, why does the city needs another shetkari bhavan,” asked a PDKV official.
The Dabha land is not the only land under threat. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has sent a proposal to acquire PDKV land along VIP Road for constructing a cycling and walking track. It also wants land along Wardha Road for a mega parking plaza.
A 500-metre long and 18 metre wide road has been planned from Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) land on Telangkhedi Hanuman Temple Road to Bharat Nagar. Another road has been proposed for linking Central Bazar Road with South Ambazari Road. Both these roads will pass through PDKV land.
Earlier, during Congress-NCP rule the government had demanded the Wardha Road land for a convention centre.
In 1950s, College of Agriculture had 410.20 hectares land in the city but lost 59.48 hectares over the decades to various state and central departments. Now, it has 350.72 hectares in its direct possession. Of this recently some land along North Ambazari Road has been given to MahaMetro.
The source in PDKV said, “If we yield to demands of various agencies and give away our land then we will not be able to meet the criteria of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and lose our recognition. The politicians must realize this. Moreover, the open spaces are green lungs of the city.”
- Palm Road, which is in good shape, gets a makeover Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Nov 17, 2018, 03:07 IST
Nagpur: The state public works department (PWD) has started to asphalt Palm Road in Civil Lines apparently to put up a good show for the delegates coming for the Indian Road Congress (IRC) convention to be held between November 22 and 25. The road is in a good condition after being repaired by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) four months ago ahead of the state legislature’s monsoon session held here in July.
The IRC convention, which will be attended by around 3,000 engineers and officials, is being organized at the Divisional Sports Complex at Mankapur. The participants will stay at government rest houses — Ravi Bhavan, Nag Bhavan, MLA hostel, Sahyog rest house, among others, in Civil Lines. Most of the these rest houses are located on Palm Road.
The PWD is asphalting both sides of the road from its regional office to Ladies Club Lawns Square, Akashwani Square to Vidhan Bhavan Square and GPO square. As of Friday, asphalting on one side is complete and work has started on the other side.
As Palm Road is the main approach road for Vidhan Bhavan, the NMC had repaired all bad patches on this road in July. The defect liability period of the repairing works is two years as per the civic body. Yet, the PWD is asphalting the road.
Similarly, the PWD started to asphalt VIP Road between Deekshabhoomi Square and Alankar Square a few days ago. TOI on November 5 had highlighted about the good condition of the road.
Also, the stretch is proposed to be converted into cement concrete under a NMC project. After asphalting one side of the road between Deekshabhoomi Square and Kachipura Square, the PWD seemed to have abandoned the plan to do it on the other side.
A PWD official told TOI that the road was being asphalted as a routine work and not for IRC. “We sanctioned Rs7 crore for repairing of seven roads which includes Palm Road. The NMC had done only patchwork but we are completely asphalting the road,” he said.
However, TOI has learnt that the PWD has never repaired Palm Road ever.
Activist Anil Wadpalliwar, who informed TOI about the works, said it was sheer wastage of public money. “There are many roads in the city that in a poor condition. Even the roads under PWD are crying for repair works. The stretch between Ambazari Garden and University Campus Square is a classic example. It is like rubbing salt on the local residents’ wounds as roads in good condition are being asphalted. The same happens always before the state legislature’s session here,” he said.
Wadpalliwar added that PWD is also undertaking other types of works for IRC that is not necessary. “IRC is a private body of engineers. But the funds of the government are being spent for the event despite there being a financial crisis,” he said.
- Nag river project work may start in mid-2019 TNN | Nov 17, 2018, 03:22 IST
Nagpur: The commencement of work on the Nag river pollution abatement project is likely to miss Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s deadline of February.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding the project, has told Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) that a technical team will visit the city in December and it will take four months to appraise the project. On the positive side, Japanese government has approved the project.
After the team approves the project, a loan agreement will be signed between JICA, state government and central government in Delhi. Then NMC will float tenders and work order will be issued after that. These processes will also take some time and it unlikely that the work will start before code of conduct for general elections in 2019 comes into force. The likely date is mid-2019.
NMC has requested JICA to complete the appraisal in a month or two but this difficult. “All the documentation will be done in Japanese language and this will involve translating a huge amount of paperwork,” said a source in NMC.
JICA will provide Rs1,064.48 crore or 85% while NMC will provide around Rs189.84 crore or 15% of the total project cost of Rs1,252.33 crore. The funding agency will not provide money directly to NMC. Total 60% of the money would be released by the Centre and 25% by the state government.
The river is almost 68km long and 18km of it flows through the city. As per the earlier DPR cost of Rs1252.33 crore, NMC has proposed expenditure of Rs681.4 crore for comprehensive sewerage system, Rs216.8 crore for interception and diversion works of 107 incoming polluting streams, Rs156.2 crore for land acquisition, Rs131.2 crore for sewage treatment plants, Rs13.1 crore for solar photovoltaic energy generation and Rs5.8 crore for non-sewerage works, including community toilet blocks, riverfront development, electric crematoria and cattle washing centre.
The project had been conceived when Congress-NCP government was in power in the state. NMC got the detailed project report (DPR) prepared but it had to be revised several times to get approval of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee. The process of getting in principle approval from JICA for the loan also took months in spite of interest shown by Gadkari.
- City faces water cut next summer Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Nov 17, 2018, 03:27 IST
Nagpur: City is likely to get drinking water on alternate days as against every day in the coming summer months. Guardian minister Chandrashekar Bawankule on Friday directed the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to apply a cut in city’s water supply in the wake of poor storage in Pench reservoirs.
The District Water Reservation Committee headed by Bawankule met on Friday to decide water allocation for drinking purposes to the city and other towns in the district. Based on water resources department’s (WRD) calculations, the committee made an allocation of 155 million meter cube (MMC) water to the NMC for a year starting from November 1. The NMC’s demand was 195.43 MMC.
The allocation was reduced done due to less storage in Pench reservoirs — Totladoh and Kamptee Khairi.
As on Monday, Totladoh was having storage of 138 MMC (13.53%) as against the total capacity of 1,017 MMC and Kamptee Khairi had 59 MMC (41.23%) as against total capacity of 140 MMC for a total of 197 MMC. The city’s demand up to next monsoon (June end) is 136 MMC.
The demand of Mahagenco’s Koradi and Khaparkheda thermal power stations is 20 MMC. Kalmeshwar, Parseoni, fisheries departments too rely on these reservoirs and their collective demand is around 10 MMC. Thus, the NMC will not get water as per its requirement unless and until the Madhya Pradesh government releases water into Pench reservoirs from its Chaurai dam that has 93% water as on date.
Bawankule directed the NMC to submit a proposal to utilize at least 10 million litres per day (MLD) water from Ambazari Lake or Suragondi lake situated in Hingna tehsil. “NMC needs to to find alternate sources of water and also judiciously use water from the Pench reservoirs. A special meeting will be organized to chalk out plans for reduction in water losses in the city,” he said.
NMC sources told TOI that Bawankule was upset over the absence of officials from private water operator Orange City Water Private Limited (OCW).
Bawankule also warned of action against heads of all municipal bodies if water losses are over 15%. The NMC’s water losses are over 52%. The NMC is not aware of 345 MLD water that is sufficient to meet the requirements of 25.50 lakh population, which means one more city like Nagpur, or seven cities like Chandrapur.
Bawankule directed the revenue officials, and not those from WRD, to plan allocation of water for drinking. “Water storage is 39.40% in seven projects — Wadgaon-Nand, Chandrabaga, Bordham, Umri, Lokar, Khekranala and Jamb. Therefore, all municipal bodies should utilize the water judiciously from now,” he said.
Mayor Nanda Jichkar, ZP president Nisha Sawarkar, collector Ashwin Mudgal, legislators, office bearers and officials of NMC and other municipal councils were present at the meeting.
- Metro reaches from Buldi to Mihan, Hingna Road to be complete by March Ashish Roy | TNN | Nov 19, 2018, 02:44 IST
Nagpur: Work on two reaches of Nagpur Metro — Sitabuldi to Mihan (reach 1) and Sitabuldi to Lokmanya Nagar, Hingna Road (reach 3) — is progressing as per schedule and will be complete by March 2019.
According to MahaMetro officials, the entire project will be ready by December 2019. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had set a target of completing the Nagpur Metro by December 2018. While Metro officials did not counter him publicly, they submitted December 2019 as the date of completion to union ministry of housing and urban affairs (MoHUA).
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had told TOI that the Metro would roll out by November 2017. However, the at grade section of the Metro got Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) certification in April 2018.
A source in MahaMetro said that there were five components of the Metro work — Viaduct, stations, electrical, information technology (IT) and telecommunications and signalling.
“Work on viaduct of reach 3 is about 95% complete while stations are 40% complete. Of these, Lokmanya Nagar, Subhash Nagar and Institution of Engineers are 75% complete,” he said.
“The viaduct of reach 1 is around 95% complete while stations are 60% complete. The construction of National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) double decker flyover is, however, less than 95% complete,” said the source.
According to the official, electrical work on both reaches is about 45% complete. Electrical work consists of erecting poles to support the power cable which supplies power to the coaches and laying the cable.
“As for IT and telecom work, it is complete on at grade section (Khapri to Airport South station). It is progressing at full speed on both reaches. All materials are available and installation work is in progress according to station civil work hand over. So far as the stations are concerned work has started in Airport, Jaiprakash Nagar, Institute of Engineers, Subhash Nagar, Lokmanaya Nagar, Vasudev Nagar and Bansi Nagar Metro stations,” said the source.
MahaMetro officials could however, not provide the percentage of signalling work completed saying that it was in advanced stages.
MahaMetro may complete all works by March 2019 but it will not be able to start commercial operations until it gets certification from Research Development and Standards Organization (RDSO) and CMRS.
- Gilani panel unearths violations on 48 more PU lands Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Nov 19, 2018, 02:45 IST
Nagpur: The High Court-appointed Gilani Committee has unearthed commercial utilization and other violations in 133 of the total 335 public utility (PU) lands allotted to government departments and private institutions. The number is 48 more than that reported by the state government-appointed Navin Kumar Committee.
The Gilani Committee has unearthed commercial utilization in 113 PU lands while other types of violations in 20 PU lands.
The Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) had allotted 335 PU lands to 30 government departments and remaining to private institutions between 1960 and 2004. Alleging various types of irregularities in allotment and utilization, a writ petition was filed in the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court in 2004.
The state government on April 30, 2005, had appointed the then additional chief secretary Navin Kumar for conducting an inquiry into allotment and utilization of all PU lands. The committee in its report submitted on August 31, 2005, and September 5, 2005, had reported commercial use and violations in 85 PU lands.
Following questions on the report of Navin Kumar Committee and demand for third party inquiry, the HC had appointed Gilani Committee on December 6, 2017, for the same purpose.
In the report submitted with the HC last month, Gilani Committee observed the NIT allotted most of the PU lands to influential politicians and institutions. The committee also said PU lands were allotted violating norms and by not following transparent and proper procedure.
Apart from these findings, the committee pointed at commercial utilization and other types of violations. “The scenario, which emerges is that consideration of allotment of PU plots were not for the benefit of common person dwelling in a particular locality who should be the real beneficiary. The plots were allotted just for asking without scrutinizing the credentials and antecedents of the trustees.
“The choice of the purpose, for which, the allotment was made, was left to the allottee. This is the grey area in the process of allotment. This is a reason for mushrooming marriage halls. The purpose, behind allotment of a particular plot has to be decided by the authority and not by the allottee,” the committee said.
The committee has found that some allottees constructed commercial shops and sold or rented them, allowing their commercial use by other institutions and individuals for marriage halls, lawns, gymnasium, bar, restaurants, clubs etc.
As the lands were allotted at nominal rent, the committee suggested the NIT to make it mandatory for the allottees to reserve 10% of beds in hospitals and 5% of seats in educational institutions for economic weaker section (EWS). “20 PU lands are vacant, of which some for last 50 years. NIT took possession of only four such PU lands. It should take over all 20 PU lands as allottees were supposed to utilize them for given purposes within three years,” the committee said.
In respect of commercial use, the committee suggested stringent action and stopping utilization for purpose other than allotment.
The committee also pointed out that Royal Club is operating bar and restaurant on 25,824 sqft land for playground in mouza Hiwari to Eastern Sports Club.
- Open garbage dumping back at half of vulnerable points TNN | Nov 21, 2018, 03:38 IST
Nagpur: Elimination of garbage vulnerable points (GVPs) in Nagpur Municipal Corporation limits has gone for a toss. About 50% of GVPs which were eradicated a few months ago have resurfaced as people continue to dump the garbage at these spots. Even half of the 1,200 spots where the NMC had installed dry and wet bins too have been turned into GVPs.
GVPs are essentially the points where people are habituated to dump garbage though there were no bins. The open dumping of garbage also points to the lack of civic responsibility by the locals.
Earlier this year, NMC had claimed to have eliminated over 50 such points in the city. Several initiatives including beautification of these spots were also taken up by the civic body but since a couple of months, people have once again started dumping garbage at about 34 such locations.
The fact came to light during a spot survey carried out by TOI at most GVPs. Actually, the NMC had performed well in elimination of GVPs and carried out beautification works before the Swachhata Survey early this year.
After identifying the points, the civic body officials talked to the residents and owners of commercial establishments in the neighbourhood to ensure that they did not indiscriminately dump garbage and asked them to handover the garbage to sanitary workers during the daily door-to-door collection.
However, due to lackadaisical attitude of the civic body’s sanitation department and irregular garbage collection, residents of these localities have once against started dumping garbage at these points.
Even the NMC’s efforts to keep commercial areas clean too have taken a hit. NMC has put up almost 1,200 twin bins mainly in commercial areas across the city in accordance with the Swachh Survekshan 2018 guidelines. They were installed for the use of shoppers and pedestrians in congested commercial areas.
But today, almost 50% of the bins were damaged or stolen. As a result, most spots where these bins were installed have converted into GVPs as nearby residents and commercial establishments have started throwing garbage at these places.
Rohini Sahare, a resident of Indora alleged that as the door-to-door collection in their locality is irregular they are forced to dump garbage in front of ITI ground near Indora square.
TOI found that at most places, these bins have been pulled down and as a result, garbage is found strewn all over the place. A pair of stolen bin near Bole petrol pump, on the busy Amravati road, has been converted into a dump yard.
Civic activist and director of Centre for Sustainable Development Leena Buddhe said casual approach of the NMC to address the issue is increasing the garbage vulnerable points. She also pointed out the NMC should focus on GVPs in bylanes and residential localities. Buddhe, however, too blamed the citizens for the mess. According to her, the civic body has provided door-to-door garbage collection facility and citizens should ensure garbage is not thrown in open places.
President of a city based NGO Swachh Nagpur and civic activist Anusaya Chhabrani blamed the civic body for the mess. According to her, the decision to install bins was wrong and it backfire NMC’s bin free city project. Now, not only citizens’ even owners of commercial establishments dump garbage there.
Even city’s waterbodies too have turned into a garbage dumping points. Futala and Sakkardara lakes are the fine examples, said Chhabrani.
New municipal commissioner Abhijeet Bangar said he has already asked the department to address the issue by improving door-to-door garbage collection and penalizing people if found throwing garbage in open.
- 12k pleas of unauthorized constructions in limbo Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Nov 21, 2018, 03:07 IST
Nagpur: Fate of around 12,000 applications seeking regularization of unauthorized constructions hangs in balance. Bombay bench of Bombay high court has reportedly set aside the state government’s compounding scheme under which the applications were received.
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) and Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) have reportedly received a letter from the state’s urban development department directing them not to continue with the compounding scheme till further orders.
Under the scheme launched on October 7, 2017, the NMRDA received over 11,000 applications from Metro region. The NIT received 540 while NMC got 363 applications. All the applicants have deposited application charges with the three planning authorities.
All the three planning authorities were expecting to earn over Rs250 crore from regularization of unauthorized constructions. Under the scheme, the government had offered various types of relaxations to the unauthorized constructions.
After inviting applications for 12 months, the NMRDA has even begun verifying the applications. The NMRDA has reportedly even regularized some unauthorized constructions under the scheme. The NIT was about to begin the hregularisation.
As it received fewer applications, the NMC, in its general body on October 20, had decided to extend the scheme by six more months up to April 4, 2019. Now, the civic body has stopped the process of extension.
The officials from NMRDA, NMC and NIT told TOI the unauthorized constructions that can be compoundable under the existing development control regulations (DCR) and the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act will be regularized. “HC set aside the compounding scheme and the cleared unauthorized constructions can be regularized if fit into DCR,” they said.
RTI activist TH Naidu said that NMRDA, NMC and NIT should issue notices to these unauthorized constructions under section 53 of the MRTP Act and initiate action. “The authorities are known for protecting unauthorized constructions and hence their number is on rise. Now, the authorities cannot cite any reason for inaction as applicants have themselves submitted applications under the scheme proving their structures are unauthorized, be it totally or partly,” he said.
The HC passed the order on November 2 in the PIL filed by Rajiv Mohan Mishra in 2013. Sources from the NMC said the government is likely to file an appeal against the HC order in the Supreme Court. “The authorities will not reject the applications and will wait for the government’s further orders,” the sources said.
The bench, comprising AK Menon and AS Oka, in the order said, “As far as the issue of tolerating the illegal constructions is concerned, we have already summarized the law on the point. As held by the apex court, the planning authorities and the state will have to show zero tolerance to illegal constructions and it is the duty of the planning authority to take immediate steps for demolition of illegal developments. It is also their duty to ensure that such illegal developments are prevented,” the judges observed.