One of the fastest growing Tier III cities in India -Future IT and Aviation city - Companies like Boeing, Satyam computers, HCL, Dell, Hexaware, DLF, Ascendas etc. has already finalized their projects. Adjacent to IT SEZ(Wardha Road – NH7) is Proposed International Cargo HUB(MIHAN – Multimodal International Hub Airport at Nagpur, ( ), which is first and only such kind of project in the country being developed in Nagpur by a joint venture between Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) and the Airport Authority of India (AAI). Second Capital and third big city in Maharashtra. Nearby is the new VCA cricket stadium.
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  • Nagpur civic body starts levying property tax on open spaces
    Under ongoing drive of revaluation of existing properties and assessment of new and left out properties, the NMC property tax department has started to obtain GIS mapping of big open spaces in all parts of the city.Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | February 17, 2019, 13:34 IST

    NAGPUR: In a first for the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), it has started to levy property tax on big open spaces, including gardens and agriculture lands. Government agencies like Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), Nagpur University, etc will have to pay huge property tax as they have sprawling lands in various parts of the city.

    Under ongoing drive of revaluation of existing properties and assessment of new and left out properties, the NMC property tax department has started to obtain geographic information system (GIS) mapping of big open spaces in all parts of the city. They include gardens, agriculture lands, abandoned open lands, private lands where no layouts have been laid etc. Assessment of these lands has started.

    Assistant commissioner of NMC property tax department Milind Meshram told TOI that even NMC gardens are being brought under property tax purview. “Assessment of Dagdi park, Ramdaspeth and Shivaji Nagar garden has been done and demand notes sent to the NMC garden department. Also, assessment of NMC structures, including schools buildings, administrative offices, libraries, community halls etc will be done. Tax on NMC buildings, gardens and open spaces will be a book adjustment.

    “Norms say tax has to be levied on all structures and open lands. NMC will have complete data of all structures and open spaces in the city,” he said.

    NIT is maintaining around 60 gardens and also owns sprawling lands in the city. PDKV also owes big agriculture lands at Bajaj Nagar, Sitabuldi, Telangkhedi, Dabha etc. Nagpur University and other government departments too have some major lands.

    Meshram further said that for the first time sprawling open lands owned by private parties will be brought under tax net. “NMC had not done assessment of private big open lands where layouts are not approved. Many such big spaces are in dispute. Thus, NMC’s revenue will increase to a great extent,” he said.

    Another major advantage is that the NMC can recover tax of last six years from properties that will be assessed now.

    NMC has also completed revaluation of Central government-owned sprawling spaces like Mihan and Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), Ajni and levied tax in crores. As per norms, there is no exemption in general tax for Central agencies that are profit making.

    The revaluation drive was launched in November 2015. In last over three years, the NMC had obtained GIS mapping of structures and brought all under property tax net. Before the drive, there were 4.50 lakh properties. Now, they have increased to around six lakh.

    Already, assessment of 5.70 lakh properties has been completed and demand notes issued to 4.85 lakh properties. After addition of big open spaces, the number of properties under tax will increase further.

  • Nagpur Improvement Trust's affordable houses to cost Rs 5.75 lakh onwards
    Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, NIT chairperson Sheetal Ugale said cost of affordable flats built by the civic agency ranged from Rs8.25 lakh to Rs11.50 lakh, depending on the location. Ashish Roy | TNN | February 21, 2019, 16:00 IST

    NAGPUR: Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had asked Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) to provide affordable houses to poor for Rs3 lakh. However, the minimum cost of such a flat will be Rs5.75 lakh.

    Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, NIT chairperson Sheetal Ugalesaid cost of affordable flats built by the civic agency ranged from Rs8.25 lakh to Rs11.50 lakh, depending on the location. “The beneficiary will get a subsidy of Rs2.5 lakh under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). Thus, (s)he will have to shell out between Rs5.75 lakh and Rs9 lakh. The area of these flats will be between 307 and 325 square feet,” she added.

    The agency is constructing 4,345 flats under PMAY in Wathoda, Tarodi and Wanjri. Around 1,000 flats are ready. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has already invited applications for these houses.

    Ugale said the aspirants would have to apply again to the NIT. “The application to the NMC did not mention the site. We have recently decided to provide reservation to SC, ST, handicapped persons and government employees. The relevant category was not mentioned in the NMC application. Aspirants will have to pay Rs10,550 again. If they don’t get a house, Rs10,000 will be refunded as rest is the GST amount,” she added.

    The lottery for the 1,000 houses will be held after Lok Sabha elections. “We will publicize the availability of these houses by month-end. The aspirants will be given a month to submit the applications,” said the NIT chief.

    NIT has tied up with an agency that holds lottery for Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada). “We have signed a tripartite agreement,” Ugale said.

    On development of metro region, she said, “We are building a Rs18.5 crore road from Jamtha to Parsodi in our mega township. We will ask the people owning land along the road to agree for land pooling. Other than this, the agency has collected Rs50 crore as development charges in the metro region which will be spent in areas where people have paid.”

  • Metro gets RDSO certificate, commercial run soon Ashish Roy | TNN | Feb 25, 2019, 06:02 IST

    NAGPUR: City Metro’s commercial operation has received a big shot in the arm with Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) issuing a speed certificate in record time. An 11-member RDSO team had conducted an inspection from February 16 to 19 and the certificate was received by MahaMetro through e-mail on Saturday evening.

    The certificate is for the coaches that had been recently imported from China. MahaMetro had already got the certificate for coaches rented from Hyderabad Metro. It already has got the design certificate from Railway Board.

    Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) is now expected to conduct an inspection this week. A source in MahaMetro said that as soon as the agency received the certificate a senior official left for Mumbai to hand over a copy to the commissioner’s office.

    “CMRS office is closed on Saturday and Sunday but we have informed the commissioner on telephone regarding the certificate,” said the source. MahaMetro will also send the RDSO certificate to Railway Board for approval and is expected to get its seal in a day or two.

    Metro will be able to begin commercial operation after receiving CMRS certificate. Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis want to get the first Metro train flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Unless general elections are declared in February end, Modi will come to the city in the first week of March. He will also perform the bhoomipuja of Nagpur-Mumbai Super Expressway.

    The source said that the credit for RDSO issuing the certificate in record time went to Gadkari. “He had requested railway minister Piyush Goyal to expedite the issuance of the document. RDSO had provided us the certificate for at grade section after over two months,” he added.

    According to the official, CMRS would also issue its certificate within two to three days so that commercial run of Nagpur Metro could begin before election code of conduct comes into force.

    During its visit, the RDSO team had monitored the train movement for some of the major safety parameters including emergency brake distance (EBD) system, acceleration and deceleration of the train, oscillation etc. Sand bags were kept in the train, as part of the various tests conducted by RDSO.

    The tests were conducted under dry and weight conditions. Sand bags weighing 64 tons were kept in the train as part of the oscillation trials and all the results of the tests were monitored and recorded by the team.

  • GST rate cut on homes will boost housing projects: Nagpur builders Shishir Arya | TNN | Feb 25, 2019, 06:03 IST

    Representative image

    NAGPUR: The decision to bring down rates of goods and services tax (GST) on homes will boost affordable housing projects, said builders reacting to the GST council’s move on Sunday.

    The tax rates on affordable homes have been brought down to 1%, and it is 5% on non-affordable housing. At the same time, no input tax credit (ITC) will be available to the developer in both the categories.

    Homes priced within Rs45 lakh and having size up to 60 square metres in metros, and 90 square meters in non-metro cities like Nagpur are taken as affordable housing.

    President of the Nagpur Metro region of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) Anil Nair, said the classification of affordable and non-affordable homes in terms of cost and size brings clarity.

    “CREDAI had made relentless efforts at the ministry of finance for clearing the proposal on tax cuts. This is a welcome move and would boost affordable housing projects across the country. However, at the same time, the transition policy for all the ongoing projects should also be simplified for the benefit of consumers,” said Nair.

    “Bringing the GST on affordable homes to 1% will take the tax component to negligible level in this segment and ultimately prompting builders to come up with more projects in the segment,” he said.

    Tejinder Singh Renu, also a builder, said the government should bring the entire real estate sector into composition scheme. This means having a reduced rate without ITC. Under the present scheme, calculations may be difficult for projects having housing as well as commercial units in the same structure

    “In any case, it was a long-pending demand from the construction industry to bring the sector under composition scheme. This is because construction is a continuous process and it is difficult to keep a track on the tax paid on material used over a period of time and get input credit on it,” said Renu.

    Chartered accountant Pritam Mahure said, “If GST credits are not available to developers, it can promote unorganized or un-registered players. This is because a developer who will not be getting ITC any more may not buy inputs from a GST registered vendor. Clarity is also needed on the impact of proposed changes on credits for the transitional period.”

  • Experts say Supreme Court order on FRA will put brakes on new encroachments Vijay Pinjarkar | TNN | Feb 25, 2019, 06:20 IST

    Supreme Court

    NAGPUR: The Supreme Court decision asking states to free vast tracts of forest land in possession of people whose claims have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, has been welcomed by experts.

    “I welcome the SC interim order. Hopefully, it will put a brake on the massive, ongoing, and apparently perpetual process of creation of new encroachments under the guise of implementing this poorly conceived and drafted FRA,” said Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) director K Ullas Karanth.

    Karanth said less than 10% of the country’s land now has reasonably intact legal forest area and ecological security, and considerations of future conservation demand that this process of massive land conversion and fragmentation must stop. “When elected representatives and officials have failed to act for years, because of short-term electoral considerations, the highest court had to step in to take care of nation’s long-term interests,” he added.

    “Even as tribal activists are making loud noises about the SC ruling, the court has not directed any action against lakhs of claimants who have been granted titles over a whopping 72.23 lakh hectares. Over 14.77 lakh claims have been rejected at the gram sabha level. The so-called opposition shows that activists are not even honouring the gram sabha, which is itself a powerful decision-making body,” said Prafulla Bhamburkar of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), one of the NGO petitioners.

    Bhamburkar said before the formation of Maharashtra, Vidarbha was part of Central Province. In 1912-17, land record was properly prepared and revenue collection rights were given to zamindars for agriculture and forest.

    This continued till the Madhya Pradesh Abolition of Proprietary Rights (Estates, Mahal, Alienated Lands) Act 1950 came into force in 1951. After that, all forests were recoded as protected forest (PF) and handed over to the government for management in 1955.

    Most of these PFs were declared as reserve forest (RF) from time to time. During 1964-66, as part of Acharya Vinoba Bhave’s Bhudan Movement, big landlords donated lands which were distributed among landless. After Land Ceiling Act, excess land of big landlords was also taken and distributed to landless. “Though there were nistar rights and right to collect forest produce, there was no right of agriculture on forest land. So, where is the question of pre-existing rights on forest land,” asked Bhamburkar.

    Even as bodies working for tribal welfare are crying foul, Suryabhan Khobragade of Krishak Jagriti Mandal, Saighata (Chandrapur), says FRA is being misused and has its own weaknesses.

    “We have put Saighata into livelihood mission mode. Villagers here are against FRA, as individual rights will not help. I’ve been working with communities since 1979, even before joint forest management (JFM) came into being. People opposed FRA in cluster of villagers here, as it would have eaten into their share of livelihood,” says Khobragade. Communities in Saighata have been bestowed with 272 hectare forest land from where they earn livelihood by way of mahua, tendu and bamboo collection. Saighata, near Nagbhid, is a model village now. Here locals are opposed to FRA as they feel it will eat into people’s share of livelihood.

    Khobragade said it is true that most encroachments on protected forest land under FRA are by a section of influential farmers under the garb of getting pattas. These lands are extended to existing farm lands.

  • Raze encroachments at Bezonbagh: Bombay HC

    Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Feb 27, 2019, 06:18 IST

    NAGPUR: Over eight years after a PIL was filed against encroachments at Bezonbagh, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Tuesday paved the way for their removal by vacating its interim stay on demolition.

    A division bench comprising justices Ravi Deshpande and Vinay Joshi also slapped Rs25,000 cost on former divisional commissioner Anoop Kumar Shrivastav for failure to remove the encroachments and thus engaging in contempt.

    “The respondents are directed to demolish encroachments with structures standing on 54,437.19 square meters. However, Plot No. 27 in the sanctioned layout and another 280 square meters occupied by Buddha Vihar, which is one of the reservations, should be exempted,” the judges said, while allowing a PIL filed by late Atmaram Uke through counsel Firdos Mirza.

    The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) was told to take possession of encroached land 54,437.19 square meters after it’s vacated, and develop it for the purpose for which it is reserved in the sanctioned plan on June 22, 1979. “We further direct the government and NMC to take steps to prevent repeated encroachments,” the judges added, while directing respondents to comply with its orders within eight weeks.

    The 22 encroachers, whose pleas for regularization of encroachments were dismissed by the HC, then requested for extension of the interim stay on demolition, with a view to move the Supreme Court. Earlier, the apex court had granted them liberty to move again, if their grievances were not redressed.

    “This matter is pending since 2008. We are conscious of the fact that on earlier occasion, HC had decided the encroachers’ claims. However, keeping in view that the HC’s interim stay to the demolition is operating till this date, we stay today’s decision for four weeks. After end of this period, the interim order would stand vacated automatically without HC’s reference, and the respondents would be at liberty to remove encroachments,” the judges stated, while disposing of related civil applications filed by different parties.

    Earlier, while accepting Kumar’s apology, the judges told him to deposit Rs25,000 fine with Juvenile Justice Fund. They pointed out that he failed to explain violation of HC orders and his affidavit lacks repentance or contrition necessary to meet the standard expected.

    “Which compelling reasons refrained the contemner from executing the orders, is also not made clear. We know that he’s highly qualified officer, holding responsible and respectable position. Therefore, our expectations were much more than those from the other officials. With the expectation that the contemner would realize his responsibilities and be efficient in future in implementing HC’s orders, we dropped contempt proceedings against him,” they tersely noted.

  • Bombay HC stays trees felling on proposed road in Bharat Nagar Vaibhav Ganjapure | TNN | Mar 1, 2019, 12:54 IST

    Representative image

    NAGPUR: In some solace for greens, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Thursday, prohibited the respondents from felling over 500 trees for constructing a temporary road from Bharat Nagar to Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran’s (MJP) office near Telangkhedi Hanuman Temple.

    A division bench comprising justices Ravi Deshpande and Vinay Joshi made it clear that no tree should be felled without its permission. “The petitioners and respondents agreed that the process of obtaining permission from tree authority is going on. Till then, none of the trees shall be cut or any damage shall be caused to them without our permission,” the judges said, before adjourning the hearing till March 28.

    The directives came while hearing a suo motu PIL (No 148/2018) based on letter by environmental activist Jaydeep Das, who cited TOI’s report of November 7. Kartik Shukul was appointed as amicus curiae for pleading the case.

    The newspaper had highlighted Maha Metro and NMC’s plans to construct a temporary road which would pass through a lush green patch on the Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth’s (PDKV) land, which would involve unnecessary felling of over 500 fully grown up trees. The decision was taken as regular road would be closed or about a year would be closed for traffic to pave way for the construction of amphitheatre on Telangkhedi lake.

    Earlier, Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) counsel Gemini Kasat informed that they had already moved an application to its tree authority and it would take a minimum of 60 days for any decision.

    “In view of this, the matter can be posted after four weeks, so that this court gets a report from the tree authority. The parties shall be at liberty to move this court, if such contingency arises prior to the next date,” the judges said.

    The amicus prayed for appointing National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) or any other competent agency, to study the impact of infrastructure works being undertaken around the Telangkhedi Lake and give a report regarding environmental impact of these projects. He also demanded stay on the tender notice of January 1, issued by the NMC for beautification of Telangkhedi lake and restraining it from felling the trees on road from Bharat Nagar.

    Shukul pointed out that the city had at one point nine large waterbodies or lakes that serviced the water needs of the residents. Over the years, this number has drastically fallen and as on today, there are only three lakes that cater to the needs of the citizens.

    They are — Gorewada, Telangkhedi and Ambazari lakes. The remaining — Pandharabodi, Sonegaon, Sakkardara, Shukrawari, Naik and Lendi lakes — have either been converted into residential areas or have shrunk down to the size of ponds due to activities in catchment areas.

    The road in question is being constructed on a piece of land which is near the Telangkhedi Lake, which is one of the last three major reservoirs in the city.

  • Fallen trees on PDKV land cut, Nagpur civic body probing Manka Behl | TNN | Mar 2, 2019, 06:54 IST

    NAGPUR: Photographs of chopped trees at the controversial Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV) land created a flutter on Friday morning, a day after the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court prohibited civic agencies from felling trees in the premises.

    MahaMetro has proposed to construct an alternate road connecting Bharat Nagar to Telangkhedi which would pass through a lush green patch on PDKV land and would involve felling of hundreds of age-old trees. While hearing a suo motu petition based on a letter filed by environmental activist Jaydeep Das, HC directed that none of the trees would be cut or damaged without permission.

    Spot inspections carried out by Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s garden department officials and green activists revealed that some of the trees were already fallen but chopped without permission. “Prima facie investigation indicates that some of the trees must have got uprooted during storm. Few were completely dried up. However, no permission was taken before axing them,” said a NMC official.

    There is no clarity yet whether PDKV got the trees felled or it was done by outside elements. NMC officials, who have conducted a spot panchnama, will be taking official statements from PDKV authorities on Saturday. “The trees have been cut either by PDKV or fallen due to its negligence. The patch witnesses immense trespassing,” said residents of Bharat Nagar.

    When TOI visited the spot, slum dwellers were sene collecting timber of the fallen trees. “As per the amended Maharashtra (Urban Trees) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, the local body’s permit is needed even to cut a single branch. Even if someone wanted to cut these dried up or felled trees, NMC’s permission was needed,” said members of Green Vigil Foundation who conducted a spot inspection.

    They demanded stringent action against the offenders. “Just doing a panchnama is not enough. NMC should immediately identify and punish the culprits. The security of the land should also be increased,” they said.

    MahaMetro has clarified that it was not responsible for cutting the trees. “We don’t have permission from NMC yet to fell the trees. Hence, we have no role in it,” a spokesperson said.

  • Greens, Bharat Nagar residents question need for road after Metro revises Futala plan Ashish Roy, Manka Behl | TNN | Mar 3, 2019, 04:42 IST

    Nagpur: With MahaMetro revising its plan for the Futala lake beautification project and dropping the tunnel-under-the-gallery project, environment activists and residents of Bharat Nagar have questioned the need of the proposed alternative road which is set to exterminate not just hundreds of age-old trees but also one of the few significant biodiversity hotspots remaining in the city.

    In October last year, TOI had reported that Metro, along with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) was planning a new road connecting Bharat Nagar Square on Amravati Road with Telangkhedi Hanuman temple road near the office of Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP).

    At that time, MahaMetro officials, who did not want to be named, had told TOI that the stretch along Futala lake will be “closed for redevelopment for around a year”. The agency had planned to construct a 12-metre-wide road tunnel beneath a proposed spectator gallery along Futala waterfront. The new road, which is to come up on the lush green land of Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), was to be used for diverting traffic during construction of the project.

    During a TOI debate held on December 5, 2018, PWD’s sub-divisional engineer Atul Gote had also said that the proposed road was an effort to avoid traffic congestion during Futala’s redevelopment work.

    However as per latest developments, MahaMetro has not only dropped plans for the tunnel but has also said that the stretch along the lake will not be closed for vehicular traffic. It will now construct an 18-metre-wide road behind the gallery with parking space created in between.

    Sunil Gujjelwar, superintending engineer of Nagpur Improvement Trust which is developing a laser and sound show in Futala lake, said that the tunnel plan was scrapped as the laser show consultant recommended that it would affect the quality of the show.

    Earlier, the spectator gallery was to begin midway from the Futala promenade and extend up to the other end of the existing road. Now it will begin from the water edge and extend up to middle of the existing road. The seating capacity of the gallery will not be reduced. The gallery will be 500m long and will stretch across the Futala waterfront.

    MahaMetro director (project) Mahesh Kumar on Saturday told TOI that the alternative route had nothing to do with Futala Road and it was a development plan (DP) road in city development plan finalized in 2000. “Public Works Department (PWD) has asked us to build the road,” he said.

    Confirming that it is a DP road, PWD chief engineer Ulhas Debalwar said, “As MahaMetro was building the Futala project, we decided to club the work.” Kumar further informed that the tender for Futala beautification work and the proposed road has been awarded to the same company.

    Green lovers, who have been up in arms against the road construction and also knocked the doors of judiciary, have slammed the civic authorities for the new road which “is completely uncalled for”. “Now that Futala stretch will not be closed, what is the need of making this road by destroying hundreds of trees? The move seems to be politically motivated,” said livelihood expert Jaydeep Das on whose letter the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court had taken suo motu cognisance of the issue.

    Das added that constructing a road only because it was marked in a 19-year-old DP was unjustified. “The area does not witness much traffic and, even if does, there are alternate routes available. Rather than wasting money on an unneeded project, the civic agencies should use the same amount for cleaning Futala lake and its catchment area. The groundwater table of surrounding areas is already depleting,” he said.

    Even if the traffic flow increases, the alternative route will not be required, said green activist Shrikant Deshpande. “How can the local bodies go ahead with the road plan when no traffic survey has been done. The road is mentioned in the DP and needs to be built only when traffic becomes unmanageable. To do so, should a dense patch of forest be destroyed,” he questioned.

    Stating that the area remains deserted throughout the day, Bharat Nagar resident Shashirekha Kanoria said that the need of this road is unlikely to arise in near future. “Now, with MahaMetro deciding not to close the Futala road, the alternative route is all the more not essential. Nagpur Metro is expected to reduce the traffic and there is absolutely no question of the area witnessing more traffic flow and needing an additional road,” she said.

    Adding that the city has undergone an immense change, Kanoria said that the DP is not relevant to today’s times. “The plan does not take into consideration the coming up of Metro, concretization of roads and numerous other projects. The city’s environment is already in grave danger and keeping in mind the present circumstances, the authorities should just let this road remain on paper,” she said.

  • Gandhibagh zone goes in for auction, defaulters clear dues TNN | Mar 3, 2019, 04:56 IST

    Nagpur: The Gandhibagh zone of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Saturday recovered Rs4,50,082 property tax outstanding dues from 11 defaulters. The property owners turned up to clear their dues only after the NMC has issued auction notices against their properties situated in Ward number 30 of Gandhibagh zone.

    The NMC, however, took possession of Rukhmabai Khaparde’s property, who had Rs1.85 lakh as outstanding tax, property of ground plus one storey building in Ward number 32. Following non-payment of tax, the zone office invited bidders for the auction. “As no bidder came forward, the zone officer took possession of the premises in the name of NMC commissioner by declaring the property purchased for a token Re1,” said a senior official from the zone.

  • Relief all around as flyover ramp is shifted Abhishek Choudhari | TNN | Mar 3, 2019, 09:45 IST

    NAGPUR: The decision of MahaMetro to shift the flyover ramp to LIC Square has been welcomed by those who have shops, residences, schools and religious structures between Gaddigodam square and SFS church gate. The original plan had the flyover ramp near SFS church gate which was opposed strongly by many people living in vicinity. A delegation led by Nagpur Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporation (NRCDC) had also met the authorities.

    Father Patrick, who led the delegation that met Union minister Nitin Gadkari, said, “We are very happy that the Nagpur MP kept his word. During our meeting itself he had said that residents should not worry and he will solve the problem. Gadkari's positive response gave us confidence and now that he has followed through on the promise, we are extremely grateful.”

    Father Patrick stressed that residents near SFS Church and Gaddigodam are not opposed to development. “In fact we welcome it. It's an honour that Nagpur is developing so fast. The only concern was the safety of about thousands of school kids. We only opposed the ramp location and not the flyover,” he said.

    Fr Prashant, principal of SFS High School, is the most relieved person because the ramp would have affected traffic movement for his 3,000 students. “I am very happy to hear this news and thankful to Gadkari and MahaMetro,” he said.

    Deva Usre, former corporator of Gaddigodam, also heaved a sigh of relief as many shops in his neighbourhood would have been affected. “People’s wish has been respected. This is how democracy should work. Put people first, projects second,” he said.

    Abhay Vairagade owns a commercial establishment near the SFS gate and said shifting of flyover has actually saved jobs. “If the building had to demolished or shifted it would have led to many families being affected,” he said.

  • Freehold policy to cover NMC, NIT leasehold plots too Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Mar 6, 2019, 13:08 IST

    Representative image

    NAGPUR: The state government has allowed freehold (occupant class-I) policy also for leasehold plots of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). The policy will come into effect after approval of the state’s urban development department, NMC and the NIT.

    The state cabinet on February 12 had approved freehold policy for nazul plots at a premium of 5% for residential and 10% for commercial and industrial use. To implement the policy, the state’s revenue and forest department had issued a notification on March 2.

    The policy is applicable for 11 districts of Vidarbha. Citizens, who have been granted lease of nazul plots through auction or by paying ready reckoner value from the collector’s office, can submit an application with the respective collectorate and avail the benefit.

    There are over 25,000 nazul plots in Vidarbha of which around 11,000 fall in posh city localities like Dhantoli, Ramdaspeth, Kachipura, Gadga, Dharampeth, Shivaji Nagar, Indora, Jaripatka etc. Flat schemes, commercial complexes, hospitals, individual houses etc have come up on these plots.

    As per terms and conditions prescribed in the notification, the leaseholders will have to first regularize violations, if any, including sale deeds without permission, change in user, division of plots etc. They will also have to clear dues of ground rent. Without clearing all these issues, the leaseholders cannot avail the benefit.

    The policy will, however, not be applicable for nazul lands which were leased out to trusts, sports, cultural and educational bodies at a nominal rate.

    The notification says, “Urban development department should carry out necessary process to make applicable the freehold policy for nazul plots leased out by the NMC and NIT also.” An official from the collector’s office said, “It is clear from the notification that the government has made freehold policy applicable for NMC and NIT leasehold plots too.”

    There are over 60,000 NIT leasehold plots and flats across the city. The leaseholders had received the plots by paying ready reckoner value. Yet, they did not get freehold and have been paying ground rent of 2% every year.

    Similarly, there are over 5,000 NMC leasehold plots of which most are in Congress Nagar.

    The government on March 2 issued another notification reducing unearned income for regularization of violations of nazul plots. In case of sale deeds without permission, change in user, division of plots etc, the leaseholders were supposed to pay 10-25% of ready reckoner value for regularization. Now, unearned income has been reduced to 2.5% to 5%.

  • City loses yet another land reserved for playground Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | Updated: Mar 8, 2019, 12:09 IST

    NAGPUR: City has lost yet another sprawling land reserved for playground. In the latest case, state government has deleted reservation of playground and replaced it with residential and educational purpose on two parcels of land situated at mouza Ajni.

    The state’s urban development department on February 22 issued a notification making amendments in the city’s development plan.

    As per the notification, land bearing khasra nos 36 and 37 in mouza Ajni was reserved for playground in development plan. The Nagpur Improvement Trust(NIT) had approved 22 plots on the land with khasra no. 36 in 1964. Though not clear in the notification, land with khasra no. 37 comprises an educational institution.

    Reservation on the land with khasra no.36 has been changed to residential and khasra no. 37 to public, semi-public (educational).

    The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) general body had taken a decision to this effect in a meeting held on July 20, 2016 and submitted it to the government for final approval.

    Now, the residential buildings on 22 plots and educational institution will be regularized.

    The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court had imposed a stay on deletion of reservations of playgrounds in the development plan, regularization of unauthorized constructions cropped up on playgrounds and also its utilization for any other purposes. The stay was granted in three cases.

    A few days ago, the HC had passed strictures on government as well as NMC, NIT for regularizing structures on playgrounds as well as public utility (PU) lands.

    On January 8, the state cabinet had approved conversion of reservation of playground to residential on land situated at Friends Colony in mouza Borgaon.

    The NMC general body on January 29 took a decision to regularize 17 residential buildings constructed on land reserved for playground in Deo Nagar Co-operative Housing Society, mouza Ajni. A resolution was also passed to regularize all structures that have cropped up on playgrounds, open spaces and PU lands across the city.

  • Nagpur civic body slaps Rs 7 crore property tax notice on RTO's building
    Now, the NMC’s tax department has asked the RTO (Nagpur rural), Teka Naka, to clear the dues before March 31 this year.Proshun Chakraborty | TNN | March 08, 2019, 16:00 IST

    NAGPUR: Even though the rural RTO is yet to occupy its office in the new under construction ground plus three-stories building worth Rs15 crore, it has already defaulted property tax of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to the tune of Rs7 crore.

    Now, the NMC’s tax department has asked the RTO (Nagpur rural), Teka Naka, to clear the dues before March 31 this year.

    Confirming this, a senior official from NMC’s tax department said the department has calculated the outstanding property tax of the RTO since 2012.

    While RTO Shripad Wadekar was not available for comment, a senior official from his office said the department has already approached the transport commissioner’s office in Mumbai for making financial provision to clear the tax dues.

    The officer expressed concern over tardy progress of the new premises. He pointed out that with no faults of theirs, it is being forced to pay property tax of two premises the existing Lalgodam office and of the new under construction building.

    At present, the rural RTO is operating from Food Corporation of India (FCI) godown in Teka Naka area on a monthly rent of Rs25,000. The office was shifted to FCI godown in 2008.

    So far the transport department has paid over Rs40 lakh as rent to the FCI. Besides this, the transport department is also paying Rs70,000 property tax per annum of the said premises.

    Sources said, after much delay, in 2014 the government sanctioned the proposal to construct own building for rural RTO.

    The project cost has already gone up from Rs5.13 crore to Rs15 crore now. The deadline for completing the three-storey building was October 2015 but it is still not completed.

    The building is almost ready only electrification and installation of escalator works are pending.

    Rural RTO office, which is also a regional head office in Vidarbha, not only caters to motorists of 13 tehsil places of the district including Hingna, Saoner, Parsheoni, Mouda, Ramtek, Umred, Bhiwapur, Katol and Butibori, but also covers Gondia, Bhandara, Chandrapur, and Gadchiroli districts.

    People visiting the office face a lot of problems. Right from proper counters to basic facilities like lavatories and drinking water, the current premises of FCI godown lacks all these infrastructures.

  • Maharasthra pushes for green energy on spinning mills’ surplus land Shishir Arya, Chaitanya Deshpande | TNN | Updated: Mar 9, 2019, 11:40 IST

    NAGPUR: The state government is seeing surplus land available with spinning cooperatives spread throughout Maharasthra as a potential source for developing renewable energy plants.

    On Friday a government resolution (GR) was issued which called for setting up a green energy cell in the textile department, under the ministry of cooperatives.

    According to estimates drawn by the department, all 59 spinning cooperatives in the state can set up green energy plants with a total capacity of 321.71MW. The estimates have been drawn by taking into account land available with the cooperatives and their current electricity consumption.

    If all the cooperatives instal a power plant, the subsidy outflow from the state’s side comes at Rs300 crore. Spinning mills too are keen to sell their land to get much-needed cash for revival.

    The green cell to be based in the city will be headed by director, textiles. It would examine proposals by spinning mills for setting up power plants and forward the cases for subsidy entitlement from state government side.

    The cooperative spinning mills are sitting on huge unused land. A policy is being worked to allow the cooperatives to sell off the excess land if they give an undertaking to set up a green energy plant on the remaining area. There are 59 spinning cooperatives in the state and the surplus land with these stands at over 1,200 acre in all. In Vidarbha, there are close to a dozen cooperatives having excess land to the tune of 177 acre.

    The cooperatives had purchased huge tracts of land at the time of formation, even though not more than 15 acre of area is required for a spinning mill. Now, as majority of the mills are in losses, the management is keen to sell off the land for modernization.

    The state government, as a majority shareholder in the cooperatives, is planning to put in a condition that part of the proceeds of sale of land should be invested in renewable energy plant. Even this is being pushed as a modernization initiative. As one-time investment, the move would ultimately save considerably on the power cost, said a source.

    During a recent exercise, data related to power consumed by the cooperatives, land in use and surplus area available was collected. While calculating the surplus land, the area required for setting up the power plant was set aside. Even the space available for rooftop plants has been calculated.

    It was found during the excise that spinning mills consume power ranging from 50,000 units to even three crore units in a given year. This can be replaced with green energy plants with a capacity from 1MW to 23MW.

    Meanwhile, the GR issued on Friday says the cooperatives will get technical help from IITs, IIMs, SASMIRA, WRA, CITRA and other reputed organizations to set up the power plants. The renewable development cell constituted under the chairmanship of director, textile, will meet once in a month to examine the proposals. The cell may invite experts in the field of solar and wind energy for their opinion. The committee will present the proposals passed in this meeting to the state government.

    The five-member committee has director (sericulture), managing director of Handloom Corporation, a representative from MEDA and representative from Wool Research Institute as members.