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- City’s rating in cleanliness gets ‘buriedunder debris’
Tushar Pawar | TNN | May 21, 2020, 04:40 IST
Nashik: The city’s rating has come down from three stars to one star in the garbage-free cities under Swachh Survekshan 2020, which was declared by the Union ministry of urban and housing affairs on Tuesday.
Dhule and Jalgaon in north Maharashtra have showed improvement this from one star to three stars each.
“We were expecting a better rating this year. We also examined our reports ward-wise and the one on collection and reuse of construction debris has not been accepted,” said a senior civic official while expressing shock.
“The reports are submitted to the Centre via the state government. Incomplete reports may have been submitted. It will take a day or two to know the exact reason,” said the official.
This year, we are yet to receive guidelines by the Centre on Swachh Survekshan, whether it will be quarterly or not, because of coronavirus. We will make our plans accordingly for the next survey, said the official.
NMC officials said they are already in the process of appointing an agency to collect construction debris from across the city and reuse it.
“The agency will have to create the facility for recycling of the construction waste. We have already floated bids in this connection, said an NMC official.
The government has certified six cities under the 5-star category and 65 cities under 3-star. Around 70 cities have got one star ratings, including Nashik city.
- Corporate houses ask landlords to reduce rent
Tushar Pawar | TNN | May 26, 2020, 04:47 IST
Nashik: Corporate houses have started negotiating with their landlords to reduce the rent of the leased properties owing to the economic slowdown caused by the ongoing Covid-19.
According to Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA), 90% of the corporate houses have shown their inability to pay the current rent and have demanded reduction in rent by around 30%.
Some of the corporate houses have demanded waiver of rent for the lockdown period, while some have decided to close their outlets/showrooms to reduce losses.
The lease rates for 1,000 sqft properties in various parts of the city are in the range between Rs 75,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh per month.
“All businesses have been badly affected due to lockdown following outbreak of Covid-19. Hence, they (business houses) have now approached the landlords and started negotiations to reduce the rent,” Umesh Wankhede, chairman of the MACCIA, said.
“Some big brands have also decided to shut down some offices or outlets in the city, while others are insisting waiver of rent for three months at least as they could not do business during lockdown period,” said Wankhede.
An official from a mobile network company said, “We have decided to close one outlet in prime area of the city area of the city due to losses we are incurring daily due to lockdown. The rent of that commercial property is around Rs 1.5 lakh per month.”
- Government order may halt road works worth Rs 75 crore in Nashik
Abhilash Botekar | TNN | Updated: Jun 2, 2020, 04:46 IST
NASHIK: The Government Resolution (GR), dated May 18, asking to stop all road development works is likely to halt projects worth Rs 75 crore in Nashik, a senior officer from the state PWD said.
The state government has decided to cut down on expenses on construction of roads to certain levels in order to bring down the load on budgetary expenses and further help in arranging things required to fight Covid-19.
“Due to this, projects worth Rs 25 crore under Special Repairs (SR) and Flood Damaged Repairs (FDR) will be affected along with budgeted works of around Rs 50 crore,” the official said.
“All the works that were sanctioned before March 2019 and were yet to start or orders still not issued have to be cancelled. Also, all the works under the FDR which have not yet started should be cancelled at once. The order, however, excludes the construction of the bridges,” he added.
The government has at the same time ordered the PWD to stop the works of the construction of the roads under the FDR by ensuring the constructed works are stopped at safe levels to avoid any kinds of accidents.
Similar orders have been issued for the construction of roads being carried out after receiving budgetary allocation.
“Some of the works included in the budgetary allocation will have to be stopped. But they can be resumed later with availability of funds unlike the non-planned works that may not resume any soon,” the officer added.
The total quantum of works in the district is around Rs 300 crore and Covid-19 is likely to affect works worth Rs 75 crore.
- 60% drop in NMC’s water tax collection
Tushar Pawar | TNN | Jun 4, 2020, 04:51 IST
Nashik: The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has registered a 60% drop in water tax collection in the first two months of the current financial year, collecting Rs 2.35 crore as against Rs 6 crore during the corresponding period last year.
Civic officials have attributed the drop in water tax collection to the lockdown imposed in view of Covid-19.
“People’s priorities have changed due to lockdown. They are now giving more priority to saving money as much as possible. Moreover, the lockdown has also resulted in many people facing financial crisis. This has overall led to a drop in water tax collection,” said NMC officials.
The municipal corporation had introduced incentives of up to 5% for prompt property tax payers who pay annual tax in the first four months. As a result, property tax collection of the NMC in April-May increased marginally as compared to the corresponding period last year.
However, the NMC did not introduce any incentive schemes for water tax collection. “We are working out the possibilities whether such incentives can be introduced. We will also submit a proposal in this regard to municipal commissioner,” said NMC sources.
- Deconcretisation of Godavari riverbed begins in Nashik
Tushar Pawar | TNN | Jun 9, 2020, 04:59 IST
Nashik: Under the smart city project, the Nashik Municipal Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (NMSCDCL) on Friday started deconcretisation of the Godavari riverbed to allow free flow of water in the river.
“We have started deconcretisation of the inner side of the riverbed. We have started work from Dutondya Maruti in Godavari,” said Prakash Thavil, the CEO of NMSCDCL. The 500m riverbed in a stretch between Dutondya Maruti and Gadge Maharaj bridge, in Godavari river, is to be deconcretised. “This is a part of Godavari beautification project under the smart city project. We are removing the concrete that obstructs the free flow of the water in the river. We will also take a call on reviving the old kunds in the river after seeing the results,” said Thavil.
“Earlier, Godavari was self-reliant and used to flow around the year. But it became dependent on the Godavari dam as its natural springs were buried due to the concretisation,” said environmentalist Devang Jani, who was also a part of a team that conducted a survey for mapping ancient kunds.
“There are 17 ancient kunds with several natural springs in the Godavari. All the kunds are within 1 km of the river from Ahilyabai Holkar bridge to Mukteshwar temple, but these kunds with natural springs will be revived once the concretisations are removed,” said Jani.
Jani had also filed a PIL in the Bombay high court seeking the removal of concrete in Godavari in 2015. The high court in its judgement had said that it is the right of the people to get clean water and it is the civic body’s responsibility to make it available.
- PWD seeks funds for DPR of flyover project
TNN | Jun 12, 2020, 04:10 IST
Nashik: The state public works department (national highways division) has sought funds from the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) to prepare the detailed project report of the proposed elevated flyover between Sarda Circle and Datta Mandir near Nashik Road railway station.
Sources in the state PWD (NH div) told TOI that the department has sent a written request to MoRTH for a budgetary provision to make the DPR for the project.
We will need about Rs 1.5 crore to hire a consultant to prepare the entire DPR for the project. If the ministry makes the provision in its annual plan, we will immediately start the groundwork to make the DPR, said the department officials.
The estimated project cost of the 6 km long flyover is about Rs 1,000 crore. Apart from the elevated four-lane corridor, there would be service roads.The state PWD cannot start the work as the funding of such megaprojects is done by MoRTH. Hemant Godse, the Shiv Sena MP from Nashik city, said that he is pursuing the matter with the Union minister, Nitin Gadkari and MoRTH. Godse said this project will ease the traffic congestion.
In 2016, Gadkari had announced the project and state PWD (NH division) was assigned the work. But two years later, on the request of Godse, Gadkari had directed National Highways Authority of India to take over the project and implement it. In January this year, the Nashik unit of NHAI asked the state PWD (NH) to take over the project due to financial reasons.
- Nashik: Standing panel members allege financial irregularities in TDR scam They alleged that the TDR had been given by the civic body for acquisition of 50,000 sq m land for various railway proposals though the authority for land acquisition was the railway department.
Updated: June 13, 2020, 19:38 IST
NASHIK: Members of the standing committee of the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) on Friday alleged financial irregularities in the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) during land acquisition.
They alleged that the TDR had been given by the civic body for acquisition of 50,000 sq m land for various railway proposals though the authority for land acquisition was the railway department.
Shiv Sena’s Sudhakar Badgujar raised the issue during the meeting. Standing committee chairman Ganesh Gite directed the civic administration to submit details about the issue in the next meeting.
In 2011, the NMC had given TDR to land owners for acquisition of land for Railway projects. “Now, the civic administration has tabled the proposals to cancel the land acquisition. What about the TDR already given by the civic body? There have been financial irregularities and an enquiry should be made into the matter,” said Badgujar.
The panel member Kalpana Pande also urged the standing committee chairperson Ganesh Gite to probe into the issue before giving approval to the proposals of cancellation of proposals of land acquisitions.
The allegations come at a time when district guardian minister Chhagan Bhujbal has urged state urban develop minister Eknath Shinde to probe another TDR allotment for land in Deolali that was expected to be given free of cost to NMC as per the directive of the state urban development department in 2014.
- Text alerts to remind citizens about tax payment
Tushar Pawar | TNN | Jun 15, 2020, 04:34 IST
Nashik: The civic administration has decided to send text alerts to citizens on their mobile phones reminding them to clear their property tax dues.
An official from Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) said, “We have already started updating mobile phone numbers of property tax payers for the past two years. So far, we have updated mobile phone numbers of over 3 lakh of the 4.5 lakh property tax payers in the city.”
“In the first phase, we have sent SMS alerts to over 1 lakh tax payers on their mobile phones. We will send SMS alerts to the remaining tax payers shortly,” said the official.
“Our objective is to increase property tax collection. This initiative is one of the many measures being implemented to increase NMC’s revenue collection,” he said.
“This year, the concession of upto 5% that is offered to those who clear the property tax dues within the first quarter of the fiscal year will be extended to those who clear the payments by July 31 because of the Covid-19 outbreak,” said the official.
- Notices served to occupants of 1,032 dilapidated wadas
Tushar Pawar | TNN | Jun 30, 2020, 04:55 IST
Nashik: As a monsoon-related safety measure, the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has served notices to the occupants of 1,032 unsafe wadas and structures across the city, asking them to vacate the buildings.
Last year, during the monsoon, over a dozen wadas had collapsed. Then too, the NMC had asked all occupants to vacate the old dilapidated structures, but most did not heed the warning.
Last month, the civic body issued notices to the owners of 1,032 dilapidated wadas and structures in the city, including 508 in Nashik West, 83 in Kazigadi, 180 in Panchavati, 128 in Nashik Road area, 105 in Nashik East, 70 in Satpur and 41 in Cidco. The NMC has also decided to display boards saying unsafe structure at all the dilapidated wadas.
Some tenants have disputes with the wada owners and, therefore, do not want to leave, said the NMC officials.
In May this year, we issued a public notice to the owners and tenants of the old dangerous wadas across the city, asking them to relocate. Otherwise, the NMC administration would forcibly evict them with the help of police machinery, they added.
- Nashik civic body offers 5% rebate on property tax paid by June 30 Those who clear the property tax by July will get a 3% concession while those who pay the property tax by August 31 will get a concession upto 2%.
NASHIK: Property tax payers will get up to 5% concession, as against the 3% concession offered by the civic administration earlier, if they clear the tax dues by Tuesday. Those who pay the property tax online will get 1% more concession apart from the 5% already in the offing.
Those who clear the property tax by July will get a 3% concession while those who pay the property tax by August 31 will get a concession upto 2%.
Earlier, the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) had introduced concession in annual property tax if the payment was made between April and July. But now, the concession in property tax payment has been extended till August 31.
Civic officials said, “We have already sent reminders to all the taxpayers to clear the tax dues at the earliest and avail the concession. Extending the concession benefit by another month will help us generate more revenue.”
“Last year too, we had floated amnesty schemes twice for property tax defaulters and had collected dues amounting to Rs 50 crore,” said the officials.
- Dindori MIDC area picked for plug-&-play infra project
Tushar Pawar | TNN | Jul 6, 2020, 04:41 IST
Nashik: The state government is planning to rent out industrial plots with ready sheds to industries in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) areas. The project is named ‘Plug & Play Infrastructure’.
The state government has identified new industrial areas of the MIDC at Talegaon-Akrale in Dindori taluka of the district. The state government is in the process of finalising various aspects of the project, said an MIDC official.
As a part of the project, industries will not need to spend on buying land and putting up sheds or structures. They will get sheds already developed by the MIDC on rent. The industries will only have to set up the machinery and start operations. Industrial plots of around 1 acre or more will be rented out to industries looking to start manufacturing units, said the officials.
Initially, the project will be started in some locations, including one at Dindori.
The new industrial estate at Talegaon-Akrale has been set up on 500 acres, which is just 7 km away from the Nashik airport. MIDC has already created infrastructures like internal roads, approach roads, water supply, streetlight and other facilities here.
“This is a good policy. Usually, industrialists have to spend a lot on buying land and developing infrastructure. They then face scarcity of funds for production and marketing. But such investment-friendly measures will attract more investment, said Manish Rawal, a senior member of Nashik Industries & Manufacturers’ Association.
- NMC’s town planning dept nets Rs 20 crore in 1st quarter
Tushar Pawar | TNN | Jul 11, 2020, 04:59 IST
Nashik: With the easing of many restrictions and construction activities picking up momentum in the city, the town planning department has been able to fill up the civic administration’s coffers through various taxes.
The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has earned Rs 20 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal, of which Rs 11 crore has been netted in June alone. The revenue earned by the town planning department in the first quarter of this fiscal stands in stark contrast to the Rs 60 crore that was netted during the corresponding period last year.
Officials from the civic administration said, “There has been a slight improvement in realty sectors as builders have started submitting building plans. Initially, the revenue earned by the town planning department was dismal during the lockdown. The revenue earned in the first quarter is quite satisfactory given the lockdown and the Covid-19 outbreak is still prevailing in the city.”
The town planning department earns revenue through building permission fees, layout fees, development charges and fees through unauthorized constructions like closure of balcony, plinth settlement etc.
“The real estate scenario in the city is improving gradually. We are closing many deals for ready-to-occupy flats. However, there is no booking for the projects under construction,” said Umesh Wankhede, chairman of real estate committee of Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MCCIA) and senior member of Credai, Nashik.
Wankhede said though builders were submitting building plans to the municipal corporation for approval, most of them were planning to launch new projects during the festive season that would beging with the onset of Ganesh Chaturthi in August. “We hope the Covid-19 outbreak comes under control by that time,” he said.
- Nashik civic body's property tax collection falls by 32% in Q1 FY21 According to an NMC official, the property tax collection for the first quarter of the current financial year stands at Rs 31 crore, while it was Rs 46 crore during the corresponding period last financial year.
NASHIK: The property tax collection of Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) has declined by 32% during the first quarter (April-June) of the current financial year as compared to the same period in the previous year owing to the Covid-19 outbreak.
According to an NMC official, the property tax collection for the first quarter of the current financial year stands at Rs 31 crore, while it was Rs 46 crore during the corresponding period last financial year.
“The Covid-19 outbreak has led to the drop in property tax collection. The citizens are focusing more on saving the money instead of spending or paying the taxes,” the official said.
In order to increase the collection the NMC even started offering 5% concession to those paying the annual property tax in one go. The concession was introduced for the first three months of the financial year, but now has been extended till August.
“The civic body’s property tax collection in the first two months of the current financial year (April-May) was Rs 12 crore only, but we collected Rs 19 crore in the month of June alone due to the 5% concession scheme,” the official said.
At Rs 141 crore, the NMC had for the first time recorded an all-time high collection of property tax during the last financial year 2019-20. The previous year (2018-19) the collection stood at Rs 113 crore. For the current financial year, the property tax collection target has been set at Rs 150 crore.
There are over 4.5 lakh property tax payers across six divisions of the municipal corporation.
- 11 shops seized for defaulting on Rs 25L rent
Tushar Pawar | TNN | Jul 16, 2020, 04:47 IST
Nashik: The Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC), in the first phase, has seized 11 shops (galas) in commercial complexes across Satpur division for defaulting on rent payment of Rs 25 lakh.
The NMC has started taking action against the shopholders in commercial complexes in the city for defaulting rents.
Show-cause notice and final notices were sent to the defaulters by the NMC, but there were no replies. Hence, the NMC seized the shops.
Now, the NMC has issued a public notice to these 11 defaulters, asking them to pay the rent amount within 14 days, by July 28. Otherwise, legal action will be taken against them, said NMC officials.
The shops are given through auction for a period of three years and the shopholders have to renew after that. Rent is charged as per the Ready Reckoner (RR) rates.
The NMC officials said, “Some of the shopholders do not pay rent to the municipal corporation. So, we have started taking action against the defaulters division-wise. We will seize shops of the defaulters in other divisions and allot the shops to other parties.”
“We are making new agreements as per the RR rates and conducting a survey of all the shops in various commercial complexes in the city to find out the sub-tenants. Action will be taken against the shopholders if sub-tenants are found there,” said NMC officials.
- Housing societies requested to set up Covid care centres
Tushar Pawar | TNN | Jul 22, 2020, 04:43 IST
Nashik: Large residential societies and social organisations have been requested by the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) to set up Covid care centres (CCCs) within the housing societies for the isolation of patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms by adhering to all government norms.
Such Covid care centres, however, will not be allowed to isolate the senior citizens, children below 10 years of age and patients with comorbid conditions. The NMC has taken this decision as per government guidelines.
Social organisations and big residential societies that choose to set up these CCCs will have to appoint a caretaker at the centre, said the NMC officials.
Around 85% of all Covid-19 patients are asymptomatic and get cured without requiring medical assistance. Only 15% of the patients need hospitalisation and just 5% of them need ventilator support.
As per the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), asymptomatic patients can stay at their homes provided they have adequate space and facilities.
“We have already started home isolation facilities for asymptomatic patients in the city,” the officials said. However, asymptomatic patients who don’t have facilities at their homes are being treated in Covid care centres of the municipal corporation.
Around 250 asymptomatic patients are currently recuperating at their homes, said the officials.