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- NMC issues Rs 9L property tax notice to BJP MLA Sumita Sarkar | Aug 30, 2018, 21:41 IST
Nashik: The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has issued Rs 9 lakh property tax notice to BJP MLA Balasaheb Sanap for his library and reading room in Panchavati.
The notice has been sent to chairperson of Sant Dnyaneshwar Sanskritik Mandal’s library and reading room.
According to Sanap, it is a charitable trust for needy students. “The second floor of the building has the library and a nominal yearly rent of Rs 500 is being charged. It is functioning since September 11, 2001 and the agreement has not been renewed,” he said.
As per section 79 (d) of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act, if a person charging fees in a municipal corporation property, the rent should not be less than market rate. As per Maharashtra State Town Planning Department’s notification and municipal commissioner’s order no 183 on December 29, 2016 premium rate of 2.5% of the area used has to be paid.
Hence, according to this, the yearly rate comes to about Rs 5,56,640 plus 18% GST. Divisional officer of Panchavati had issued the show cause notice on March 20, but a reply is awaited.
“In 10 days, they have to pay the rent or the NMC will take the property in its possession,” an NMC official said. “The library and reading room are charitable trust. We started it over 20 years back and more than 25,000 needy students have benefitted from it. They are in good position today. We charge a nominal fee of Rs 40 from them. The resolution for the library and reading room was passed 20-25 years ago and the then commissioner had approved of it. Senior citizens also use the facility. I don’t know what happened between NMC corporators and commissioner that notice has been sent to us,” Sanap said.
He added that audit of the charitable commissioner and all necessary documents will be provided after he returns to Nashik. “They charged us rent for four years. I will have to come and check it out,” Sanap said.
- Industrial land rates hiked up to 86% Tushar Pawar
The prospective investors keen on setting up units in various industrial estates in Nashik would have to shell out more as the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has increased the rates of industrial plots.
| TNN | Aug 31, 2018, 12:54 IST
The prospective investors keen on setting up units in various industrial estates in Nashik would have to shell out more as the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has increased the rates of industrial plots.
There has been 41% to 86% hike in the rates in various industrial estates in the district.
While the rates have been increased by 65% in Satpur and Ambad industrial estates, it has been increased by 86.46% in additional industrial estate at Sinnar.
It has also fixed the rate of Rs 3,000 per sq metre at new proposed additional industrial estate at Talegaon-Akrale in Dindori.
The MIDC officials said that the new industrial land rate has come into effect from August 27 and the investors who plan to set up units would have to pay as per the new rates henceforth.
Earlier, the rates for industrial plots in both Satpur and Ambad estates were Rs 2,660 per square metre, which have been increased to Rs 4,400 per sq metre, amounting to 65.41% rise.
The land rates in additional Sinnar industrial estate have been increased by 86.46%, from Rs 665 per sq metre to Rs 1,240 per sq metre.
In old MIDC areas of Sinnar, the land rates have been increased by 41.35%. The rates have been increased from previous Rs 865 per sq metre to Rs 1,240 per sq metre.
In Vinchur, the industrial land rates have been increased by 50%. Now, the land will sell at Rs 135 per sq metre, against earlier Rs 90 per sq metre.
MIDC has developed new industrial estate on 500 acres at Talegaon-Akrale in Dindori taluka of the district. This new estate is located about 19 km away from the Nashik city. The infrastructural works are already in progress there.
Now, the MIDC has fixed the industrial plot rate at Rs 3,000 per sq metre for the Dindori industrial estate there.
Industrial associations have expressed their displeasure describing the quantum of hike as ‘substantial.’
“The new rates are a big disappointment for industries. We are already been taking efforts to attract new investment to the district, but this huge hike in rates of industrial land will badly affect the industrial growth. MIDC is not a commercial organization and it should provide land at marginal rates,” said Manish Rawal, chairman, infrastructure committee of Nashik Industries & Manufacturers’ Association (NIMA).
NIMA has already planned to approach the state government on this issue to request to roll back the hike.
- 60 plot owners surrender land to NMC for road widening The Nashik Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) order to plot owners for surrendering their land partially for widening of smaller roads is receiving good response.
TNN | Updated: Sep 6, 2018, 13:00 IST
NASHIK: The Nashik Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) order to plot owners for surrendering their land partially for widening of smaller roads is receiving good response.
In the last three days, around 60 plot owners have surrendered the part of their land to the town planning department of the civic body. The NMC’s plan is to widen the smaller roads — from 6m and 7.5m to 9m.
According to NMC officials, these 60 plot owners have also submitted the agreements to the municipal corporation. On July 27, NMC commissioner Tukaram Mundhe had issued directives to plot owners to surrender part of their land on smaller roads of 6 metre and 7.5 metre.
Such plot holders would get the benefits of TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) and premium FSI (Floor Space Index). Plot-holders on smaller roads with 6 metre have to surrender 1.5 metres of their land and plot holders on 7.5 metres road have to give up 0.75 metre of land on both the sides of roads while submitting the building plans to the NMC for getting their building plan approved.
Prior to submission of their plans, these plot owner will have to submit the land agreement to the NMC for surrendering the land so that it would be recorded on the 7/12 extract.
Then plot-owners would then have to submit the copy of 7/12 extract, while submitting the building plan proposal to the NMC. As per the new DCPR (Development Control and Promotion Regulations), only roads with 9 metre onwards will get TDR and premium FSI.
As per the new DCPR, there is only basic FSI of 1.1 was permissible on the smaller roads, but nine metre roads have benefit of 0.40 TDR and 0.30 of premium FSI. Hence, plot-holders on smaller roads were deprived of this benefit and were unable to do more constructions.
There had been some irregular constructions on smaller roads. Builders with illegal constructions were also unable to regularise their constructions due to lack of premium FSI and TDR on smaller roads.
The NMC administration had sent the proposal to widen the smaller roads to the state government after which they also got the nod from both general body and standing committee.
Mundhe had published the order of 515 about widening of the smaller roads on July 27. “We are receiving good response from plot holders on smaller roads as they are surrendering their land to NMC to widen to 9 metre. Over 60 plot holders have submitted their agreements of surrendering their land to NMC in past three days,” said the sources from NMC.
Over 500 building plan proposals on smaller roads had been rejected by the town planning department in a week after the commissioner’s order which had created panic among the builders and plot holders. But plot-holders on smaller roads have taken this positively and started surrendering their land.
“This is really a good move and we will be able to take benefits of 0.40 TDR and 0.30 premium FSI. I have a 200 sqmt plot on 7.5 metre road and have surrender 0.75 metre land to the NMC,” a plot-owner said.
- Nashik Inc seeks minister's help to roll back land rate hike
TNN | Sep 8, 2018, 10:59 IST
NASHIK: Nashik industrialists have sought intervention of the state industry minister Subhash Desai for rolling back the hike in land rates.
The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) recently increased the rates for renting out land in industrial estate for establishing units. The rates have been hiked in the range of 41% to 86%.
While the rates have been increased by 65% at Satpur and Ambad industrial estates, it has been increased by 86.46% at the additional industrial estate at Sinnar.
Nashik Industries & Manufacturers' Association (NIMA) has sent a letter to Desai stating that the hike could impact the growth of the industries sector and affects their efforts to attract new investments in Nashik.
The association has also sent similar letters to the MIDC CEO Sanjay Sethi and to the office of chief minister. There have been demand from the industries to fix the rate of Rs 2,000 per sqmt at the new industrial estate of MIDC at Talegaon-Akrale in Dindori taluka of the district, but MIDC has fixed the rate of Rs 3,000 per sqmt.
"The hike in land rates is up to 86% in various industrial estates of the district. In fact, we feel that there was no need to hike the rates. The hike will affect the industrial growth of the district. We have been taking efforts to attract new investment in Nashik, but MIDC's move to increase the rates has disappointed us," Manish Rawal, chairman of NIMA's infrastructure committee, said.
He added that the association has requested Desai to roll back hike by MIDC in industrial plot rates in the district. "We have also brought it to his notice that this may hit the new investment here," Rawal said.
According to the local industrialists, no new large industrial project has come to Nashik in past 15 years due to lack of land. "The scarcity of land is one of the major reasons that have affected the industrial growth of the city," Rawal said.
The MIDC has acquired land at some locations and developing infrastructure there. "The new Dindori MIDC is almost ready and we have been demanding to start allotment of land but so far nothing has been done on that front," lamented an industrialist.
- Waste management plant sells 4,500 tonne compost Sumita Sarkar | TNN | Sep 15, 2018, 09:46 IST
Picture for representational purpose only.
NASHIK: The sale of compost to farmers by the civic body has increased from about 30 tonne two years ago to 4,500 tonne so far this year.
The production of compost has gone up due to improved segregation of waste at source, optimum garbage collection, proper management of the plant, among other things, civic officials said.
For the past couple of years, the daily garbage collection is 550-600 tonne. Earlier it was around 350 tonne.
The municipal solid waste management plant has a capacity to process 500 tonne garbage and was not being used to its full capacity due to a number of reasons.
“Now, the plant is operating in full capacity. Earlier, we did not have expert staff to operate the machine. Maintenance was also a problem. Whenever the machine stopped running, we had to make proposals and present it in meetings for approval. Till then we had to keep the machine switched off,” said an NMCengineer.
With privatisation, the machine gets immediate attention in case of maintenance issues as the agency managing the plant is responsible for its operation and maintenance.
“Waste segregation at source has also gone up drastically. Hence, the quality and quantity of compost has increased,” the engineer said.
The NMC’s waste management plant was raging under controversy over issues such as defunct machinery due to lack of skilled manpower and unnecessary purchase of machinery. A former superintending engineer of the maintenance department is facing an inquiry due to these issues.
There were also allegations of garbage collection contractors mixing stones and bricks with the garbage to increase the weight on the basis of which they were paid. This affected the machinery.
All the defunct machinery was made operational in May 2017 by and some new purchases were also made.
“Now the agency operating the plant does not accept garbage containing stones or bricks. In fact, we have independent garbage vans to collect debris,” the engineer said.
- 300 agree to give up land for road widening Sumita Sarkar
More than 300 property owners submitted the agreement to surrender their land to the civic administration for widening six-metre and 7.5-metre roads to nine metres. All city roads in non-core areas are being widened to nine metres.
| TNN | Sep 18, 2018, 11:02 IST
NASHIK: More than 300 property owners submitted the agreement to surrender their land to the civic administration for widening six-metre and 7.5-metre roads to nine metres. All city roads in non-core areas are being widened to nine metres.
The civic administration published a notification on July 30 appealing to developers and property owners to apply for widening of six metre and 7.5 metre roads to nine metres in non-core areas.
As per the new DCPR (development control and promotion regulations), only nine-metre roads will get transfer of developmental rights (TDR) and premium floor space index (FSI). After the decision of the state government to convert the smaller roads into 9 metre roads, all plot owners will get premium FSI and TDR.
To convert smaller roads into nine metres, developers/property owners will have to hand over equal margins on both sides to the Nashik Municipal Corporation, which will take possession of these and widen the roads. Developers/owners can avail of transfer of developmental rights and premium floor space index in lieu of the land handed over to them.
These smaller roads are congested due to development and increasing number of vehicles. To widen these roads to nine metres, NMC will acquire 1.5 metre private land on both sides of buildings adjacent to smaller roads and give premium FSI in return.
“We had appealed to stakeholders to participate in the scheme, through public notification on July 30. Till now more than 300 stakeholders have submitted the agreement declaring that they are ready to surrender the land to us,” an NMC officer said.
- Officials preventing illegal sand trafficking attacked Two government officers of two different departments – revenue and forest – were attacked by sand traffickers in 24 hours in Nashik district. While in one case tahsildar SM Awalkanthe was threatened with dire consequences as he caught a sand-laden truck passing through Nashik district, in the second case forest guard Dnyaneshwar Wagh and his colleague were targeted by illegal sand traffickers.
TNN | Sep 18, 2018, 10:59 IST
NASHIK: Two government officers of two different departments – revenue and forest – were attacked by sand traffickers in 24 hours in Nashik district. While in one case tahsildar SM Awalkanthe was threatened with dire consequences as he caught a sand-laden truck passing through Nashik district, in the second case forest guard Dnyaneshwar Wagh and his colleague were targeted by illegal sand traffickers.
Tahsildar of Nashik, Awalkanthe, has registered a case against two persons allegedly engaged in illegal sand trafficking for their act as well as threatening the government officer who was at work.
Police said Tushar Uttam Sanap, a resident of Karhe, Sinnar taluka, and owner of the truck, and an unidentified person who drove the truck, allegedly dared the tahsildar and his team of circle officers and talathis, saying that they would face consequences if they acted against the illegal trafficking of sand.
Awalkanthe and his team had laid a trap near Chandori at 3.30 pm to catch the truck, which was moving a consignment of sand illegally from Kopargaon to Mumbai.
“After the truck approached, we asked the driver to stop. He did not heed us and we gave him chase in our car,” Awalkanthe, who was in a private car on Sunday, with no police protection at the time of the chase, said. The truck driver drove the truck into Ashwini Colony, near Govt Polytechnic, and stopped.
“We asked for documents. He had none. After a few minutes, Tushar Sanap came to the spot and claimed to be the owner of the truck. He dared us to take action against him. He pulled out an iron rod from his cabin and opened the gates of the truck, unloaded the sand on the road, and fled the scene,” the officer said.
In another incident, a forest guard and his colleague were attacked in the night, sometime late Sunday or early Monday.
- Water audit to guide all civic supply linked work Sumita Sarkar | Sep 22, 2018, 21:42 IST
Nashik: The Nashik Municipal Corporation has decided to undertake all works related to water supply as per the audit.
Municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe informed about it to the standing committee members when they complained of various issues relating to water supply in their wards.
Corporators complained that many people were not getting proper water supply since 20 years, while some got connections but had not paid the water tax. They also spoke about water theft. Corporator Dinkar Patil said that the NMC was planning 24x7 water supply, but the existing supply system was not proper.
Corporator Mushir Sayyed complained about the delay in building the water storage tank in old city that was to be completed by last December. Corporator Pushpa Avhad said there were two water tanks in her ward but one was leaking, while corporator Pravin Tidme complained that old water pipelines were not replaced and the timing of water supply was also not fixed in New Nashik area.
Corporator Shanta Hiray said slumdwellers in her ward had not paid property tax for 20-25 years and hence were unable to get water. “They are ready to pay the tax with the fine for all these years in instalments but want water supply,” she said.
Giving an example from the area of his residence, Mundhe said he also faces a problem due to the water filtration plant. “There is a problem in distribution not in availability of water. The distribution network facility should be connected in a loop. We prepared a hydraulic mobility plan that gives exact idea of the number of tanks needed, the network, etc. Also, till old pipelines are replaced, the water supply issues will persist.”
He said that water supply pipelines will be laid across the city for about Rs 350 crore. “If we can make provision of Rs 250 crore then in next six months water supply problem will be resolved. From now onwards, no work will be done without water audit, whether it is scada water meter or 24x7 supply,” Mundhe explained.
- Nashik-Pune rail link DPR to be revised Abhilash Botekar | Sep 24, 2018, 22:08 IST
Nashik: The Maharashtra Railway Infrastructure Development Limited (MRIDL) is currently revising the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Pune–Nashik rail link that will link both the stations with a new 248-km railway link.
“The DPR made earlier is being revised by MRIDL and it proposes a 248-km link, promising tracks from Nashik Road Railway station to Pune Railway station instead of the 214-km track as proposed by the Indian Railways earlier. That track started from Talegaon till Nashik Road station,” a senior official from MRIDL — a joint venture between Govt of Maharashtra and Ministry of Railways, started in August 2017 — said
The MRIDL plans to construct double line with speed potential of up to 200 km instead of 120 km. “The new proposal is not only likely to draw more number of trains to the shorter route between North and South, but at the same time high speed travel will also attract more number of passengers to the route,” the official said, adding that the Engineering and Traffic Survey is being carried out which will contribute for significant change in the DPR.
“The travel time will be cut down by 2 hours and it will bring in more trains, thus more revenue to the region. The new route will bring the north-south link even closer,” Member of Parliament from Junnar Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil said.
Currently the cost of construction of the single track Talegaon-Nashik Road 214-km-link is estimated at the cost of Rs 4,100 crore. Instead, the link till Pune railway station is likely to cost Rs 5,300 crore and the double-line link is estimated to cost Rs 6,700 crore.
Over the need to re-survey the project, sources said, “The re-survey, taking into consideration higher speed and double-line, is likely to push up the rate of returns (RoR) from 4.11% to 12% taking into consideration development of station areas, solar energy generation, reduction in travel time, carbon credit. Besides, the Economic Internal Rate of Return (EIRR) will also be more than 12% considering the saving in time, vehicle cost, reduction in pollution, accidents, saving greenhouse gas emissions, etc.”
He added, “The MRIDL will carry out the project with funds from Railways and government of Maharashtra along with debt component from domestic and international financial institutions. Local beneficiaries desirous to participate in the project through equity were also being considered. The better rate of returns, the better will be the investment prospects.”
After financial closure, the project will be completed and commissioned in the three and half years of time. “At this point of time we feel the project is likely to be commissioned in the year 2021,” the officer said.
- NMC to give facelift to traffic islands, road dividers Sumita Sarkar | Sep 27, 2018, 22:21 IST
Nashik: The civic administration has planned a fresh coat of paints, flowering plants and fountains at the existing and new traffic islands across the city and at several road dividers under its beautification project.
Officials of the Nashik Municipal Corporation said the project would be implemented by private parties and it has sought expression of interest from architects, engineers, architectural consultancy firms, private companies, corporations, NGOs and individuals.
“The private party will be responsible for design, construction, operation and maintenance in lieu of advertisement rights. The plan is for around 140 traffic islands and road dividers of 50m to 100m along the islands,” said a civic official.
The beautification plan includes civil work, horticulture work, road work and electrical work. Fountains on traffic islands are also likely at some places.
In April last year, the NMC had demolished a few traffic islands for erecting traffic signals. The move had raised questions about the poor planning of the administration since these traffic islands got a facelift from business houses that volunteered to beautify them. There were discussions about if both traffic islands and signals could co-exist.
Two major traffic islands were demolished last year – Jehan Circle on Gangapur Road and ABB Circle on Trimbak Road. Both were constructed around 15 years ago. The ABB Circle was beautified recently. Some beautification has been done at the divider of ABB signal and a small traffic island on the road to City Centre Mall.
“We haven’t stop development of islands or road dividers. We will be doing it where it will be feasible in every way. Traffic islands and well-maintained road dividers add to the beauty of the city and the roads. Traffic issues will also be taken into consideration. We will see to it that the roads look vibrant and at the same time traffic islands do not cause hindrance to traffic or obstruction of view,” said an NMC official.
- Corporators oppose devpt of greenfield during key talks Sumita Sarkar | Sep 28, 2018, 22:02 IST
Nashik: The elected representatives opposed the Greenfield development project on the grounds that farmers are against handing over their land, during a meeting of the board of directors of Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation Ltd on Friday.
A special general body meeting will be held soon to decide about the fate of the project in the Makhmalabad area.
The meeting was chaired by principal secretary, planning department, Sitaram Kunte. A presentation of the ongoing and proposed projects was made before the board of directors.
Mayor Ranjana Bhansi, leader of the house Dinkar Patil, leader of opposition Ajay Boraste, independent corporator Gurmeet Bagga and group leader of Congress, Shahu Khaire, were among the elected representatives who opposed the project.
Patil said that when Praveen Gedam was the municipal commissioner, the city got selected for smart city scheme, but farmers had opposed the project that time too.
Boraste said that they did not have any information about the project and neither did the farmers, and demanded that the information should be shared before bringing the topic for discussions in meetings.
Khaire said that Kalidas Kala Mandir was renovated but unless programmes are conducted in it, people will not know about it.
Patil said that new smart city projects were being discussed but existing projects and basic infrastructure should be taken care of first. “Nehru Garden has been renovated but the locals have knocked the doors of the court as the compound wall has been extended on the road. Issues such as water supply, road construction and stray dogs have not been addressed. Under such circumstances, how can we have smart city?”
Bagga raised the issue of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) funds. “The state government wants to divert the funds to Maharashtra IT but the central government has said that Smart City funds should not be diverted.”
Khaire said that smart road was not completed even one-fourth and commuters and students were facing problems. He also demanded that all the stones of Sundarnarayan temple should be replaced rather than only the damaged ones.
Total funds of Smart City has been slashed from Rs 1120 crore to Rs 1020 crore. Smart parking and solar projects are being done through PPP, due to which Rs 4.52 crore and Rs 4.74 crore respectively have been saved.
- EOW to begin procedure for seizing suspect’s property Santosh Sonawane | Sep 28, 2018, 22:04 IST
Nashik: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) would soon begin the procedure of seizing the property of Harshal Naik — one of the main suspects in cheating hundreds of people through his city-based jewellery stores.
Around 850 people from across the district have approached the police to lodge complaints against the directors and staff of the jewellery stores through which lucrative schemes were offered for investors. The scam through the two city-based jewellery stores has gone above Rs 26 crore.
A team of EOW of Nashik city recently visited Chitagoppa in Karnataka where they traced property owned by Naik. The suspect has constructed a complex of 16 shops and offices over there.
ACP Bhagwat Sonawane of EOW said, “Our team came back from Chitagoppa a couple of days back. The shops were closed when the team was in Chitagoppa. However, we would take up the next procedure of seizing that property. It will be investigated if the property was constructed by Naik from the money of the investors.”
The scam came to light in July when Pallavi Ugaonkar lodged a complaint against Mirajkar Saraf and Trisha Gems alleging that she had been duped of Rs 22 lakh by the directors of the organisation.
The directors have been booked under sections of Maharashtra Protection of Interest and Depositors (MPID) Act, apart from other section of IPC including cheating. Senior officials of the EOW said investors, who have lost money in the schemes floated by the jewelers and their staff, continue to come to the EOW to give their statements.
“So far, 850 people have come forward to give their statements in the cheating case and have reported cheating to the tune of Rs 26.50 crore,” an EOW official said.
Naik, who had sent a letter to the police that he was going to an undisclosed location given the rising debt on him, continues to be at large.
- Samruddhi will propel Nashik’s growth, says CM Sumita Sarkar | Sep 29, 2018, 21:56 IST
Ozar: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said the seamless connectivity offered by Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi corridor would boost the industrial growth in Nashik district.
“The state government is formulating different policies and Nashik district is very important in industrialisation. Infrastructure like Samruddhi corridor will provide seamless connectivity between Nashik and Mumbai. With such kind of connectivity, industries that went to Pune until now, can come to Nashik,” Fadnavis said while addressing a gathering here.
He inaugurated the mega job fair, Balasaheb Thackeray employment fair, organised by the state industries department at the community hall of HAL Ozar township on Saturday.
“Nashik district has the opportunity to grow in the industrial sector. Due to high speed connectivity, agriculture and industry sector in Nashik will benefit. The district is getting connected to Mumbai due to dry port,” Fadnavis assured.
He also claimed that Maharashtra has generated the highest number of employment in the country. Citing the EPFI (employees provident fund of India) figures, he said that eight lakh new employment has been generated in last six months in the state.
“There are vacancies in the industries and they are saying that they are not getting people. On the other hand, youth are complaining that they are not getting jobs. The industry and skill development department is trying to fill up the gap,” he said.
The CM added that state stands first in industrial sector. Job fairs prove beneficial to give employment to skilled youth and provide manpower to industrial sector.
“With changing times, skill development has gained a lot of importance. Along with education having skill is very important. The government is providing various schemes for skill development,” Fadnavis said.
He said that late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray strove hard to give employment to Marathi youth. Through job fairs the government is striving for the same.
MLA Anil Kadam said there are many job opportunities in the state and state government is implementing various schemes for this purpose. Around 12,000 youth have registered for the job fair.
Industry development commissioner Harshdeep Kamble said that through Magnetic Maharashtra and Make in India, Rs 12 lakh crore has been invested in the state and special efforts are being taken to encourage women in the industrial field.
- Tributaries of Godavari, new ghats in deplorable condition Sumita Sarkar | TNN | Oct 2, 2018, 12:12 IST
Picture for representational purpose only.
NASHIK: The deplorable state of the tributaries of the Godavari in the city limits and the new ghats constructed for Kumbh Mela 2015-2016 highlights the negligence by the civic administration towards them.
Even as the focus is on making the Godavari pollution-free, environment activists do not find these attempts satisfactory; they say these are superficial cleanliness. The new ghats, which were supposed to be recreational places for locals are in a shambles due to lack of upkeep.
“The tributaries that are seen now are Varuna or Waghadi and Nandini or Nasardi. But these also have become nullahs. Nothing is being done for the tributaries of Godavari. As per the high court directions the tributaries also need to be conserved,” said Devang Jani, petitioner in the Godavari pollution case, who has been insisting on removal of concrete from the riverbed and river banks.
He said Aruna river was completely concretised and was supposed to be rejuvenated under Project Goda.
“As per the directions of the high court, we had given representation to the former commissioner about the concretisation. We asked how the river could be rejuvenated if it was under concrete. He gave us in writing that there was no change in the composition of the river below and hence it could be rejuvenated,” Jani said.
“The Kapila river is not seen at all as untreated sewage from treatment plants mixes with it. The NMC gave us in writing in 2017 that it had spent around Rs 1,100 crore for the STPs. Then why do they have to upgrade the STPs again. Recently, I went to Nandur and the condition of the river is worse there,” he added.
Seven new concrete bathing ghats, one kilometre each, were constructed for Rs 35 crore for Kumbh Mela. Additional Rs 5 crore was estimated for beautification. At present they are covered with filth, moss, garbage, and broken paver blocks.
“We were told that beautification will now be done under the smart city project with landscaping, pagodas, umbrellas, plantation, etc. For two-and-a-half years these have been neglected. When they were new we used to see families enjoying there. Beautification was to be done to prevent encroachments and nuisance elements, promote tourism and convert it as a recreational spot for the local people,” said Paresh Gamne, a social activist.
“Once Project Goda is implemented, most of these issues will be taken care of. We are also going to upgrade the STPs. The Gangapur STP is complete and one at Pimpalgaon Khamb will come up soon,” an NMC official said.
- Dwelling of Peshwa’s wife Gopika lying neglected Sumita Sarkar | Oct 3, 2018, 21:59 IST
Nashik: The dwelling of Gopika, the wife of Nanasaheb Peshwa, is lying in a shambles near Ahilyabai Holkar bridge on the bank of the Godavari at Panchavati.
The local residents have demanded that the house be declared as heritage structure.
As per history, from 1761 to 1778 Gopika lived at this place in a small stone house, now referred to as bungalow in city survey district land record.
The walls of the dwelling have crumbled. All that is seen now is a dilapidated plinth, the steps that lead to the river and a single wall where an idol of Lord Hanuman is carved. Many local residents and pilgrims worship this small idol.
Local resident Jayant Jani said the house got destroyed to some extent in the 1969 floods. Again, in 1991-92, it got damaged due to some Kumbh Mela work by the municipal corporation.
“This structure has been mentioned in the city survey DLR map as a bungalow used by Gopikabai. Various history books have a mention of Gopikabai migrating here from Pune with her husband Nanasaheb Peshwa soon after the battle of Panipat,” said another local resident, Devang Jani.
He added that she led the life of a ‘bhikshuk’ (holy beggar) as per history and bathed in the river.
“It is also said that she was cremated at a cremation ground near Ramkund. She had constructed the Ganga-Godavari temple on the river bank near Ramkund which is opened once a year. She also constructed the Gopikabai Taas,” Devang said.
He said the local residents have spoken to the smart city mission officials and appealed to them to restore the house. “The restoration/development of this heritage structure can be done through smart city, since many projects are being undertaken in Project Goda. We will also communicate with the archaeology department since it is a heritage structure.”