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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  • 2 grounds may turn into residential plots Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Feb 3, 2018, 03:30 IST

    Nagpur: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has started the process to convert two playgrounds into residential areas, at Samata Layout in mouza Ambazari, and Friends Colony in mouza Borgaon in West Nagpur. Total area of the two playgrounds is 3,990 sq m (42,932.40 sq ft), almost as large as Abhyankar Nagar garden.

    The NMC general body will discuss and take a decision on the proposal for the playground at Friends Colony on Saturday. The proposal says NMC town planning department had sanctioned building plan for commercial purpose on this playground measuring 1,289.48 sq m on March 31, 1984, though reservation was for play ground in city's development plan.

    Friends Sahakari Gruh Nirman Sanstha had got sanction for the layout in 1,21,856.60 sq m. Residential use was approved in 70,000 sq m, roads on 30,585 sq m and open space 21,280.60 sq m on December 7, 1981. Open spaces were marked at six places in the layout. One of the open spaces with reservation of playground was 1,289.48 sq m land. After getting sanction of building plan for commercial purpose, the society sold the land to Tekchand Waswani on December 2, 1989.

    Waswani had submitted revision in building plan on August 24, 2007. NMC town planning department rejected the application citing land was reserved for playground on September 21, 2007. Claiming the same department had sanctioned building plan in 1981, Waswani submitted an appeal to the state's urban development department. In its order dated April 24, 2015, minister of state for urban development Ranjit Patil stressed the need for an inquiry for sanction given to commercial building on land reserved for playground. He also asked for change in the reservation.

    NMC records show no inquiry was conducted done into the case. However, the town planning department started the process, including public suggestions and objections, on proposal to change reservation. NMC said there were no suggestions or objections received. Then, the department tabled a proposal before the general body, which will be submitted to the government for consent, if approved by the general body.

    In Samata Society case, the land measuring 2,700 sq m is reserved as existing open space. NMC has issued notification on January 24 inviting suggestions and objections on the proposal to change reservation to residential.

    The proposal says Dr Ambedkar Housing Sahakari Gruh Nirman Sanstha had got approved layout from Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) on 12,828 sq m land in 1973. The society had complained that NIT reserved 5,224 sq m (40.72%) as open space instead of 25% as per norms. The society had filed an appeal with the UDD, requesting permission to bring into residential use 2,700 sq m land. UDD order dated September 10, 2001 had asked NMC to begin process to change reservation.

    An NMC official told TOI the UDD order with map was not found in the records with NIT or UDD, so the process was delayed. "The society had filed writ petition in the HC that directed NMC to follow the UDD order. Therefore, we invited suggestions and objections. We will submit the proposal before the general body and then UDD after completing the process. It is up to UDD to take a final decision on changing reservation or not," he said.

  • Nagpur: Now, pay property tax on mobile app NAGPUR: Enthused by the growing response to its online facility of paying property tax, Nagpur Municipal Corporation(NMC) will soon launch its mobile app to further speed up the process and encourage more people to carry out online transactions with the civic body.

    According to tax department data, online payment is gradually getting popular. In 2016-17, the NMC received Rs 7.06 crore property tax through online payment mode. In this fiscal till February 5, it has received Rs 7.59 crore.

    The NMC wants to encourage more people to pay property tax online. An NMC officer said, “The work on the mobile app for payment of property tax is nearing completion. It will be launched soon. This will enable locals to pay taxes with ease and also reduce the transaction time.” A demonstration of the app will be held on February 8, the officer said.

    “Another major advantage of the app will be that the property owner can do self-assessment of his or her properties and cross-check with the assessment done by the NMC,” a senior official from the tax department told TOI.

    The app will have features like calculate property assessment, compare the assessment with the property assessed by the NMC, pay property tax and history. If the owner spots any error or difference in the property tax assessed by the NMC and his/her assessment, one can also generate an online complaint.

    On being asked about the modes of payment through the application, the officer said, bills can be paid through netbanking, credit cards, debit cards and immediate payment service (IMPS).

  • Nagpur civic body set to miss property tax target of Rs 566 crore NAGPUR: M/s Cybertech Systems and Software Limited’s (private firm entrusted with the job of creating a comprehensive computerized geo-enabled property database of 5,31,453 properties to support assessment and consolidation of all revenues for NMC) assessed 2.43 lakh of the 6 lakh properties till the time its tender period was completed in December 2017.

    NMC is yet to make new plans for appointing private party for assessment of remaining properties and the delay will further worsen its financial condition.

    The NMC had entrusted the job to the private firm — M/s Cybertech Systems and Software Ltd — in 2015 for the door-to-door assessment of properties and deadline for the firm was of two years. The civic body had also extended its deadline till December end 2017. The motive for the move is Geographic Information system (GIS) base mapping to increase its revenue and to calibrate the identified unassessed properties.

    The NMC has also completed the integration of 2.43 lakh properties surveyed by the agency.

    With just 53 days left for financial year to end, the department has generated only 2.16 lakh property tax invoices and of them, it had printed only 1.39 lakh invoices. Until the NMC completes the assessment of remaining properties it will not be able to generate more invoices.

    Even after 10 months of the current fiscal, the NMC has failed to generate invoices for the current fiscal and this delay would hit its property tax revenue collection target of Rs566 crore.

    Till February 3, 2018, the tax department has recovered Rs129.04 crore tax. According to data procured from the tax department, the Laxmi Nagar zone has recovered Rs17.98 crore against a target of Rs133.20 crore. Similarly, Dharampeth zone recovered Rs14.22 crore against Rs71.73 crore, Hanuman Nagar zone recovered Rs13.84 crore (against Rs56.02 crore), Dhantoli 10.81 crore (Rs41.82 crore), Nehru Nagar Rs9.99 crore (Rs38.35 crore), Gandhibagh Rs6.70 crore (Rs21.72 crore), Satranjipura Rs8.30 crore (18.15 crore), Lakadganj Rs13.95 crore (Rs72.70 crore), Ashi Nagar Rs9.66 crore (Rs47.45 crore) and Mangalwari Rs15.35 crore (Rs65.11 crore).

    Standing committee chairman Sandip Jadhav said he has already issued directions in this regard. He, however, failed to reply how the NMC will complete the remaining survey of properties in less than 53 days period for the current financial year to end.

  • Decide on Sonegaon lake user in 2 months Vaibhav Ganjapure| TNN | Updated: Feb 8, 2018, 10:50 IST During last hearing, the court had asked corporation to decide the mode of compensation to be granted to the owners of water body

    NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday granted two months to the Maharashtra government to take a decision on change of user of Sonegaon lake. It also directed the state urban development secretary to grant hearing to all the parties concerned, including the petitioners Prashant Pawarand Toran Harikumar Naidu before arriving at a conclusion. Other parties included lake owners Dr Rekharani Bhiwapurkar and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC).

    The court's directives came while hearing a PIL (No 71/2015) on civic body splurging crores on beautification and maintenance of the historic lake, despite it being a private property. The petitioners objected to NMC's move to provide compensation to the owners — Dr Rekharani Bhiwapurkar (late Dr Sudha Sutaria was other owner) — based on TDR. In October last year, the NMC's general body passed a resolution for changing lake's reservation, as TDR can't be granted on water body.

    During last hearing, the court had asked corporation to decide the mode of compensation to be granted to the owners of water body.

    The petitioners through counsel Avdhesh Kesari prayed for acquisition and conservation of the historic lake citing support from nearby residents of Sonegaonand Sahakar Nagar.

  • Metro region’s maiden budget of Rs 1759 crore gets approval Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Feb 7, 2018, 09:47 IST
    NAGPUR: The Nagpur Metropolitan Region Development Authority (NMRDA) will begin regularization of unauthorized plots and constructions in the Metro region spread over 3,567 sqm in 721 villages of nine tehsils in the district.

    The executive committee of NMRDA on Tuesday approved the proposal along with its maiden budget for 2018-19.

    The NMRDA's executive committee, headed by additional chief secretary (home) Sudeep Shrivastav, held its second meeting at Mantralaya in Mumbai on Tuesday. NMRDA commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar tabled a budget of Rs 1,759 crore, which was approved by the committee. Now, the budget will be presented before NMRDA's governing body headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

    Principal secretary (urban development) Nitin Karir, municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal, NMRDA chief engineer Sunil Gujjalwar, chief accounts and finance officer Hemant Thakre and other officials of NMRDA were present at the meeting.

    Mhaisekar told TOI that NMRDA has proposed to develop logistics park at Gondkhairi as well as the Sumthana-Jamtha improvement scheme in 2018-19. "NMRDA also proposed to develop waste-to-fuel project at the dumping yard near Hingna MIDC. We are expecting to generate 50-60 metric tonnes of garbage from nine urban sectors situated within the Outer Ring Road. We will be producing bio-diesel and other types of fuels from garbage that can be used in vehicles. Hence, there will be no pollution issue. Also, it will be developed as a beautiful garden," he said.

    The logistics park at Gondkhairi will be on the intersection of Outer Ring Road and Amravati national highway. It will be developed on 20 sqkm and will comprise godowns, offices, banks, hospitals and other amenities needed by the transport industry.

    The Sumthana-Jamtha improvement scheme will cover Sumthana, Kotewada, Sondapar, Jamtha and Parsodi villages in Hingna tehsil. It will be a 2,318-acre mega residential township.

    Mhaisekar said all the government projects of Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) will be transferred to NMRDA. "An estimated revenue of Rs1,367 crore will come from government projects and the remaining through revenue sources of NMRDA. The government projects also include the proposed Buddhist Circuit, which will come to NMRDA for sure," he said.

    Mhaisekar said NMRDA has also proposed to develop market, godown and cold storages for agriculture produce in association with the agriculture department. "NMRDA has already written a letter to the agriculture department and will finalize the number of centres and locations. It has also proposed to build housing schemes with 6,000 flats under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana. Sulabh shauchalayas will be constructed, a few specially for women, in the Metro region," he said.

    NMRDA will regularize unauthorized plots and constructions as per recent notification of the state government. It will prepare a list of all compoundable unauthorized plots and constructions cropped up till December 31, 2015, and start regularization. Unauthorized plots and constructions in nine urban sectors and 750-1,000m from gaothan areas will be eligible for the scheme.

    NMRDA's budget is almost double than NIT's last year budget of Rs959.40 crore. If NIT is not abolished before April, the civic agency will also have to present a separate budget covering seven schemes and Gunthewari areas within the city limits.

  • Nagpur civic body to regularize illegal houses in Smart City area Earlier, NIT had refused to regularize constructions on agricultural land under the Gunthewari Act. Now, NMC has been empowered to undertake town planning of the area on its own and regularize constructions.Ashish Roy | TNN | February 09, 2018, 13:00 IST

    NAGPUR: The residents of Pardi, Bharatwada and Punapur can heave a sigh of relief as Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has promised to regularize illegal constructions coming under the Smart City project. Earlier, Nagpur Improvement Trust(NIT) had refused to regularize constructions on agricultural land under the Gunthewari Act. Now, NMC has been empowered to undertake town planning of the area on its own and regularize constructions.

    Addressing land owners of the Smart City area at Bhawani Mata Mandir, Pardi, municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal said the development of Pardi, Bharatwada and Punapur was very haphazard, and NMC would do it in a planned manner and make it a model zone. NMC had organized a meeting with land owners on Thursday afternoon.

    The commissioner said that use of 51% of land in the three areas was agricultural. “We will change the land use and make it available for development, public as well as private,” he added.

    Mudgal further said that Hinjewadi, Baner and Aundh areas of Pune had become the new business district of the city due to their proximity to Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Similarly, areas coming under Smart City project would attract new businesses due to planned development and excellent infrastructure. The commissioner also promised to provide skill development training to youths living in Smart City area.

    Nagpur East MLA Krishna Khopade told the gathering that if any person’s house was acquired by NMC, he would get a new house of bigger size. “We will given equal area of land even if a single square foot is acquired. Land owners should not bother about acquisition,” he added.

    Ramnath Sonawane, head of NMC’s Smart City project, said that earlier 951 acre were to be taken up under the area based development scheme. “However, due to request from residents and public representatives, we have increased the scope to 1,730 acre,” he added.

    Explaining the Smart City project, Sonawane said, “We will provide you world class basic amenities and enable you to get civic services through information technology.” Ganesh Ahire of NMC’s consultant HCP gave a detailed presentation on the project. NMC zone chairman Dipak Wadibhasme demanded that a post office, digital library and police station be started in the area.

  • General property tax will not rise for 5 years: Thakre Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Feb 10, 2018, 07:04 IST
    Representative image

    NAGPUR: Chairman of tax consultative committee Avinash Thakre said the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will not increase general tax (annual letting value) component of property tax for next five years. Thus, there would be no change in property tax for next five years, if there is no revision in the 14 other components added on to the general tax by the state government and civic body.

    The standing committee headed by Sandip Jadhav on Friday approved the NMC property tax department's proposal not to increase 14 components levied on general tax for 2018-19. Thus, there would be no rise in property tax in next fiscal. If a similar decision is taken over next four years, there would be no increase in property tax till 2021-22.

    The standing committee also decided to complete revaluation of remaining 42% properties through two private agencies. "Cybertech Softwares was supposed to complete revaluation of 5.36 lakh properties by December 30, 2017, but could finish only 58% properties. We want to complete revaluation of all properties by March 31, so Anant Technology will also be roped in for the work along with Cybertech," Jadhav said.

    Asked whether Cybertech would face a penalty of Rs10,000 per day as decided by the general body last month, for its failure to complete the work in prescribed time period, Jadhav said they needed to take legal opinion on it. "NMC can levy penalty of Rs500 per day as per the work order," he said.

    Jadhav also refused to comment whether NMC can impose new condition of penalty on Cybertech with retrospective effect, as work order came to an end on December 30 last year.

    Thakre said the department has been directed to launch a system where property tax amount will be deducted from accounts of taxpayers automatically every month. "Recovery of tax is very poor due to negligence of department. Taxpayers will pay tax regularly if they know their due amount and get the facilities. We are about to launch an app for paying tax. On the lines of MSEDCL, tax amount will be deducted from bank accounts every month in case consent is given by taxpayer. Directives have also been given to send messages through SMS and WhatsApp to inform taxpayers about their dues, due date etc," he said.

    Water works department's proposal to undertake works worth Rs5.35 crore for tackling water crisis during upcoming summer was also approved. Jadhav said he slammed department officials for delay in beginning process. "This proposal should have come in December, so that works can commence before summer. Now, works will not be finished during summer. Also, a proposal seeking Rs6.73 crore from the government for more works will take a long time," he said.


    * Construction of 13-room Night Shelter at Indora

    * Service by 20 retired fire tender drivers for 11 months

    * Appointment of 141 private computer operators at Rs24,124/month each

    * Public toilets at Mayo hospital, Yadav Nagar, Indora

  • Nagpur civic body issues notices to over 20,000 homeowners for property tax arrears “Arrears of 20,823 properties was Rs6.79 crore. NMC has recovered Rs2.33 crore from 5,878 properties after notices,” said Avinash Thakre, chairman of tax consultative committee.Anjaya Anparthi | TNN | February 10, 2018, 14:00 IST

    NAGPUR: The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has slapped notices on 20,823 property owners for arrears and warned of attachment followed by public auction. Following notices, 5,878 taxpayers cleared part or total dues.

    After completing zone-wise review meetings, chairman of tax consultative committee Avinash Thakre held a press conference on Friday and said that public auction of properties owing arrears will continue by the civic body. “Arrears of 20,823 properties was Rs6.79 crore. NMC has recovered Rs2.33 crore from 5,878 properties after notices,” he said.

    Thakre added that 9,125 taxpayers lodged complaints of high property tax bills of which 2,674 cases solved for a balance of 6,451. “484 cases are pending in various courts. 328 cases are pending for some controversies.”

    Thakre also said that property tax of Rs10.77 crore was due on government properties. “Property tax of Rs24.25 crore was due on government properties of which Rs13.48 crore was paid. Directives have been given to the officials for recovering arrears from government properties by March 31,” he said.

    Thakre said that action wss taken against six staffers of property tax department for negligence towards recovery of property tax.

  • Rs 7cr okayed for forest-fire control centre at Chanda tnn | Feb 11, 2018, 03:07 IST
    Nagpur: The state government has given administrative approval for sanctioning Rs 7.23 crore for the building construction of the proposed forest-fire and natural disasters control centre at Chandrapur. The centre will come up at the Chandrapur Forest Academy.

    A government order issued by the state forest and revenue department on Thursday said Rs 7,23,27000 was approved on the basis of estimate prepared for the basic infrastructure for the proposed control centre. Incidentally, Chandrapur is the home turf of state finance and forest minister Sudhir Munatiwar. He had taken an initiative for proposing the project. "I am confident the state-of -the-art centre will be first of its kind in Asia," he said.

    The centre could be a great help for the Vidarbha region housing most of the forest cover of the state. The famous Tadoba tiger reserve is located nearby. Forest fires are a major cause of concern as losing acres of green cover every year besides imperilling precious wildlife.

    The centre will be in accordance with the disaster management plan of the Union government and proposal for it was prepared and submitted to the government by Principal chief conservator of forest (training and research). It was planned after high-level consultations with disaster management institute , Delhi , its executive director Anil Gupta, disaster control centre at Yashda and Fire Service college in Nagpur. The centre will be equipped with equipment for forest fires and also protecting wildlife from fires , floods and rescuing wild animals straying in human habitats. It will also monitor biodiversity on the verge of extinction affected by climate change.

  • Metro Rail phase-I extended, 2 new stations added Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Feb 11, 2018, 03:38 IST
    Nagpur: In a big boost for the proposed Smart City area and also the Metro Rail's ridership, the Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (Mahametro) has taken a decision to extend East-West corridor on two ends in phase-I and develop two new stations, Pardi and Hingna Mount View. This was decided at a meeting of the Mahametro's board of directors on Friday.

    The corridor will be extended up to Pardi towards the east from where the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has proposed to take up the Smart City project and Rajiv Nagar on Hingna Road towards the west. The estimated cost of the expansion is Rs218.89 crore which Mahametro will manage from its approved cost of Rs8,680 crore itself.

    As per the proposal, the expansion is likely to increase estimated ridership by 50,000 per day and financial internal rate of return (FIRR) by 1.25% from 10.35% (as per approved detailed project report) to 11.60%. Now, the total number of Metro stations in phase-I will increase to 42 as against 36 approved in detailed project report (DPR).

    As per the existing DPR, the Prajapati Nagar Metro station was the last one towards the east. Now, Pardi Metro station, which will come up some distance before Nag river bridge on Bhandara road, will be the last one. The Hingna Mount View station will be the last one in the west corridor instead of Lokmanya Nagar station.

    The Metro rail corridor will increase by 895 meter towards the east and 521 meter towards the west for a total rise of 1,416 meter. "The estimated cost of Rs218.89 crore will be met within the approved cost of Rs8,680 crore as the same shall be charged to the savings in the sanctioned cost of the project. There will not be any impact on headway of existing train movement," the Mahametro said.

    The Mahametro plans to develop the Pardi Metro station as multi-model integrated facilities due to proximity of road junction, residences, bus stand, taxi stand and auto stand. "Pardi, situated on Bhandara-Raipur national highway, is a big transport hub and commuters coming from Bhandara side will find this station very convenient to use. Therefore, the station will increase footfall and also fare box revenue," the Mahametro said.

    The Mahametro is also eyeing a large number of students' footfall at Rajiv Nagar where three educational institutions, YCCE, Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering and Datta Meghe College of Engineering, are situated. "Hingna has been developed around proposed Hingna Mount View station and area around Hingna depot is being developed as a big residential hub. The station will also cater to Wanadongri residents and other industrial units. Therefore, this station will increase ridership and also fare box revenue," the Mahametro said.

  • Rooftop restaurants boom in city Anjaya Anparthi| tnn | Feb 11, 2018, 03:01 IST
    Nagpur: After Mumbai's Kamala Mills building fire killed 14, municipal corporations of Mumbai and Pune started taking action against unauthorized eateries, especially those on rooftops and in residential buildings. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation, however, seems to be waiting for a tragedy to happen before taking its action.

    No action has been taken against even a single restaurant despite many unauthorized ones operating on rooftops and in residential buildings. Three news rooftop restaurants have started in the city in the last few days and despite complaints by citizens, the civic body has remained silent.

    The three new restaurants are at Seven Suites Apartment in Abhyankar Nagar, Gokul Roshan in Zenda Chowk, Dharampeth, and in another building at Abhayankar Nagar. The unnamed one and Gokul Roshan are new buildings while Seven Suites Apartment is an old one. The roofs of all three buildings have been covered from the top.

    Though TOI knows the name of the second restaurant in Abhyankar Nagar, we have chosen not to name it after the owner of the building said that he doesn't run it. The space had been given out on rent and the owner says he will ask the tenant to dismantle the rooftop restaurant.

    RTI activist TH Naidu told TOI that terraces cannot be used for any purpose, let alone commercial use. "To do so is violation of Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act and also city's development control regulations (DCR)," he said.

    Officials from NMC Dharampeth Zone and fire and emergency services department confirmed no sanction was given to the three restaurants.

    All three buildings are mercantile (residential-cum-commercial) with residential on top floors. Yet, restaurants started functioning there. There is also no provision for parking in all the three buildings.

    Naidu added that the NMC's Dharampeth Zone and fire department did not take any action on the unnamed restaurant despite complaining on September 5, 2017. "I had written to the authorities pointing out that there are no fire safety norms in the building," he said.

    Dharampeth resident Narhari Joshi lodged complaint against Gokul Roshan building around six months ago for building and fire violations. He also lodged a complaint about the rooftop restaurant that was to start on the building a few days ago. "The restaurant has started serving customers from Thursday," he said.

    NMC sources told TOI that Dhananjay Munde, the leader of opposition in legislative council, has submitted an LAQ on rooftop restaurants of the city for the budget session that is set to commence in Mumbai this month. "Munde learnt about many unauthorized restaurants in the city and has sought information in the wake of the Mumbai fire incident," the sources said.

    Assistant commissioner of Dharampeth Zone Mahesh Moroney and chief fire officer Rajendra Uchake told TOI that action will be taken against the three restaurants. "Directives have been issued to station officers to seal the restaurants that have been declared unsafe. We will begin action soon," said Uchake without giving a timeline.

  • Use underground water sources sparingly: Expert Mohnish Nelarwar| TNN | Updated: Feb 11, 2018, 09:00 IST Laxman Jungari (right) speaks on rainwater harvesting, on Friday

    NAGPUR: Digging a hole just a few feet deep at home is a good start in harvesting rainwater, said Laxman Jungari, retired executive engineer of the state's irrigation department. He was speaking at a lecture organized by Sarwadhar Jyeshtha Nagarik Mandal at Pawanbhoomi Ground on Friday.

    "Water situation in the city is grim. We are unable to harness usable water mainly due to large scale constructions and concretization, coupled with irregular rainfall pattern. We keep digging wells and extract groundwater without realizing that we're depleting the source. Therefore, water should be used sparingly," said Jungari.

    According to Jungari, in natural conditions, out of the total water received during monsoon, 55% flows into sewage lines, 35% evaporates and only 10% seeps below the ground, recharging underground water source. "However, in the city where there are lot of concrete structures, only 3-4% of rainwater seeps into the ground," he said.

    Pockets of water found a few metres below the surface are called aquifers. "The water here is soaked by permeable rocks usually found just below the ground and is easily accessible. Water is being collected there since ages. When a well is dug, water in the aquifer is concentrated in it," he said.

    However, continuous exploitation of aquifers depletes the water inside which results into wells drying out. "We must realize that there is a finite amount of water available in these aquifers. The water here is pH neutral which makes it fit for drinking. So we must use rainwater, which is also pH neutral, to recharge its sources," said Jungari.

    He said that the ground surface at places where rivers flow is saturated with water. Excess water percolates further down the surface and forms aquifers over thousands of years. "Water found 100 metres below the surface in Arunachal Pradesh is 2,700 years old which the scientists found through carbon dating. Water 130 metres below the surface in Gujarat is 3,400 years old," he added.

    "In 1972, we faced severe water crisis which led to famine. We had to import foodgrains from the USA because we didn't have the technology to find water sources. Now we have it, but we need to be economical in using water," Jungari said.

  • Bhandewadi dumpyard fire brought under control Manka Behl| TNN | Updated: Feb 12, 2018, 06:52 IST
    Bhandewadi dumpyard fire

    NAGPUR: After almost four days, the fire at Bhandewadidumping ground was controlled on Sunday, with the unseasonal rainfall helping in dousing it.

    The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC)'s fire department staffers were constantly on their toes to control the fire that broke out on Thursday on the side of Bidgaon Road. NMC's chief fire officer Rajendra Uchakeinformed that six fire tenders were engaged in firefighting operations for the entire night on Friday. "On Saturday, four tenders were deployed. The roots of the fire are deep inside the heaps of solid waste and due to presence of methane gas, fire is breaking out at different pockets," he said adding that two tenders are still present at the spot.

    While earlier the cause of fire was ascertained to be natural, officials now suspect involvement of some miscreants. "On the night we doused the fire and returned, we got to know that a blazing fire had broke out again within an hour. It can either be the ragpickers or some aggrieved residents who want the dumping yard to be shifted," said some NMC staffers.

    While fires at the dump yard in summers were common, this is the fourth fire of this winter. In December, the dumping yard had caught fire twice in a span of 20 days. NMC officials said that they are planning to increase the security of the yard to avoid entry of outsiders.

  • Maharashtra metro’s paid-up capital rises to Rs1,049 cr Anjaya Anparthi| TNN | Updated: Feb 12, 2018, 06:28 IST Representative image

    NAGPUR: The Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited's (Mahametro) paid up capital has increased to Rs1,049 crore, with central and state governments each being allotted 50% of the equity shares. Nagpur and Pune's civic bodies have no equity shares in the company as of now though they are bearing some cost of the Metro Rail projects.

    The Mahametro's board of directors in a meeting held on Friday decided to allot equity shares of Rs80 crore each to President of India (central government) and Governor of Maharashtra (state government).

    As per the proposal, Rs460.52 crore was lying under share application money account, of which Rs380.52 crore pertain to the central and Rs80 crore to the state. "Mahametro's authorized share capital is Rs5,000 crore. Face value of one share is Rs10. Company had allotted equity shares of Rs888.90 crore to the central and state. Share application money of Nagpur Metro is Rs80.52 crore and Pune Metro's Rs300 crore. Therefore, it is proposed to allot equity shares worth Rs80 crore each to President of India and Governor of Maharashtra," the proposal said.

    In Nagpur Metro project, the central and state are each bearing 20% of total project's cost of Rs8,680 crore. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) are sharing 5% each (Rs434 crore each). Remaining 50% will come through loans. The NIT is giving funds and also land from its share while the NMC only land.

    Similar pattern has been followed in Pune Metro rail project. Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporations are bearing 10% of total project's cost of Rs11,420 crore.

    The board also approved its Risk Management Policy to complete Nagpur and Pune metro rail projects in prescribed time period, to avoid extra cost, reduce project cost, and to ensure quality and safety in the works.

    It is also mentioned in the policy that the Mahametro shall explore possibilities of domestic loans or other avenues in case the central and state governments do not infuse fresh equity in the project. "To mitigate the risk, the company may frame a hedging policy and also consider factoring the additional loan burden in the costing model submitted to the fare fixation committee. This will make the system financially viable without the dependence on external cash subsidy for its operation from stakeholders," the policy said.

    As per the policy, Risk Management Committee will be formed for framing policies and ensuring implementation. "Committee shall nominate Risk Managers who will be responsible for ensuring adoption of structured and consistent risk management approach through out the company," it stated.

  • Metro has saved Rs600 crore of original project cost Ashish Roy| TNN | Feb 13, 2018, 02:47 IST
    Nagpur: The cost of Nagpur Metro Rail project has reduced further due to various measures taken by executing agency Mahametro. The cost is now Rs600 crore less than the detailed project report (DPR) estimate of Rs8,680 crore. A year ago, the saving was Rs400 crore. The money thus saved will be used to extend the existing routes and construct six new stations.

    The cost saving has not been done by compromising with the quality of work or safety standards. Except Nagpur Metro, the cost of most major projects has only gone up due to delays. The burden is ultimately borne by the taxpayer. Other agencies have not even made an effort to reduce the project cost, claimed sources in Mahametro.

    A source in Mahametro said the agency had set a target of 10% cost reduction. “We have almost achieved it, because Rs2,000 crore is fixed component — taxes and land acquisition. This means the project cost for us is Rs6,680 crore, and 10% comes to Rs668 crore,” he added.

    While exact break up of cost saving is not available, 70% of it is in the systems — signalling, telecommunications, rolling stock, automatic fare collection (AFC) etc, and 30% is in civil work.

    The reduction in construction cost is on three counts. The width of the viaduct has been reduced by doing away with side set off. “We have central evacuation system instead of side one. This means that if something untoward happens on the viaduct, people will get down from front and back instead of the sides,” the source said.

    The area of the depots too has been reduced as many trains will be parked at stations at night. The DPR envisaged parking all trains in the two depots. The DPR had also envisaged long platforms to cater to six-coach trains. “We have designed the platforms for three-coach trains and kept space for extending them when we use six-coach trains. Even otherwise, we believe in increasing the frequency rather than number of coaches,” the official said.

    Due to international competitive bidding, the cost of coaches is also less as compared to that envisaged in the DPR. Mahametro decided to use communication based train control (CBTC) signalling system instead of the conventional one, which led to further savings. Mahametro will also not spend a single penny on automatic fare collection (AFC) system as the same is being borne by State Bank of India. The cost of AFC was Rs280 crore. In addition, SBI will pay a royalty of Rs30 crore.