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- Vacate-hillock notice leaves Kazigadi fuming
NASHIK: The ground beneath their feet had shuddered and a big chunk caved in on the night of November 21, 2013, taking down with it 24 houses. That was a post-monsoon shock for those living atop Kazigadi. Eighteen months have passed since then and with not many changes on the ground, the residents continue to live on the edge and fear a similar disaster anytime.
So firm they are on their demand for a retaining wall that they have again refused to vacate their buildings and move an inch from the hillock, despite receiving notices from the civic authorities on possible disasters this monsoon. The slumdwellers' contention is that the civic authorities have failed to alert them on time and that it was impossible for them to shift to any other place "in such a short notice".
Kazigadi is located at a height of 30 m above the river-level. When 24 houses along the edge of the hillock had come down crashing, the NMC officials identified 60 more such buildings falling in the danger zone. This time, the civic administration sent notices to 210 residents of Kazigadi last week as a precautionary measure against any mishap. But the residents were angry with "the delay" and revived their demand of retaining wall.
"By the time we received the notices from the civic body this year, it had already started raining. They did not even come up to serve the notices. They handed it over to children roaming around on the plains and took their signatures," a resident said.
Another resident said there were around 3,000-4,000 slums in the area and around 200 were on the edge of the hillock and can collapse any moment.
The NMC had floated tenders twice for soil testing of Kazigadi to find out if it was suitable for constructing the retaining wall. But it found no takers. The NMC said it could not rehabilitate the residents because Kazigadi is a private land. The residents have been demanding that their houses and the retaining wall be constructed by the NMC.
"The absence of a retaining wall has nothing to do with the landslide as the foundation is itself weak. That is why we had invited tenders for the soil testing. But we did not receive any response," said an NMC official.
Officials from the civic body's East division said the retaining wall that had been constructed in 1990s behind Gadge Maharaj Dharamshala was 100 m in length and 32 feet in height. It has been constructed at Rs 2 crore. To construct the 300-metre wall at Kazidadi, it will cost around Rs 15-20 crore, an official said.
The proposal to construct a retaining wall along the banks of the river from Tambdya Maruti Temple near Kazigadi, to Sheetaladevi Temple is pending with the civic body for nearly two decades now, the residents alleged. In the past they had said thy would move out from the area once the civic body started constructing the retaining wall.
In the meantime, the civic administration is still undecided about the fate of the Kazigadi residents. The Muslim brethren of the city had visited the place last monsoon and written to the civic body seeking a solution. The hillock houses a 400-year-old mosque and social activists from the community pitched in to help the slum-dwellers. They inspected the place on Wednesday and said that the dilapidated part of the mosque needed to be brought down, taking into consideration the threat to the residents.
Admitting that the slums were encroachments, the social activists said that on humanitarian grounds they would bring down the dilapidated part of the mosque. With the help of the NMC, they even brought down the dilapidated wall and now a new wall stands in place. "We did it out of humanity though this is our place of worship," a social activist said.
Vacate-hillock notice leaves Kazigadi fuming - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote0Flag
- Shetty ups ante against government land acquisition bill
NASHIK: The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) Member of Parliament, Raju Shetty, has decided to intensify his stir against the Centre's Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, saying that his organisation had decided to increase their efforts to get justice for the land owners.
"There have been enough of representations to the government urging it to amend the land acquisition bill which renders the farmers landless. We have now decided to resort to the guerrilla tactics and intensify agitation against the government. We will lock the government offices and the officers without fear of anybody," said Shetty during a day-long visit in Nashik.
After addressing his party members in a programme at Parshuram Saikhedkar, Shetty called upon the members to attend the two-day camp being organised in mid-July at Aurangabad where the action plan of the agitation will be chalked out.
Shetty added,"The call for the agitation will be given any time and any day through any of the means available. The manner in which agitation will be conducted will be conveyed to the members. The same tactics will be used on the day and 'on the word go', the members will storm the offices and lock the government officials in their cabins and offices without allowing them to move," Shetty said.
He also pointed out that the members were told clearly that there will be no law and order situation, and that the members would stage sit-in agitation at the time of the protests. At the time of the call, the farmers should throng to the streets in huge numbers."The government will have to bow to the public pressure," Shetty said.
The MP also spoke on the onion farmers - suffering in Nashik. The government had nothing to do with the current market prices of the onion as they were being transacted at average price with win-win situation for the farmers as well as the consumers.
"We don't understand who suggested the government to increase the minimum export price from 250 dollars per metric tonne to 450 dollars per metric tonne. We want the government to withdraw its latest order on the same," Shetty said.
Shetty also pointed out that he was about to meet the Union Minister for Agriculture and Food and Civil Supplies as well to discuss the issue that could slash the market rates for the farmers.
"The onion farmer has already suffered a lot. There is no situation at present that the prices are sky rocketing. In fact the rise in MEP will create havoc for the farmers as the pile up was likely in the market bringing down the market rates," Shetty feared and demanded that the government should stop unnecessary interference.
Shetty ups ante against government land acquisition bill - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote0Flag
- Industry body wants MIDC meet on land allotment in SEZ
NASHIK: The Nashik Industries & Manufacturers' Association (NIMA) has appealed to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to hold a special meeting on allotment of land in processing areas of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Sinnar, near Nashik.
Speaking to TOI, Ravi Verma, president, NIMA, said, "We want MIDC to hold a meeting over the land allotment to the industries in the processing zone of the Sinnar SEZ. There is also a need to announce the land rates in SEZ as soon as possible. The land should be allotted to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are planning to invest in the processing zone of the SEZ. The MIDC needs to take the industry bodies into confidence while fixing land rates and taking other decisions. We will urge the MIDC to hold a separate meeting with the office-bearers of all the associations."
The multi-product SEZ is being developed by Indiabulls Industrial Infrastructure Ltd (IIL), a joint venture between Indiabulls and the MIDC. The MIDC has up to 26 per cent stakes in the SEZ spread over 2,500 acres, which include non-processing zone of 1,000 acres and processing zone of 1,500 acres.
Verma added, "The MIDC has fixed the land rates at the new additional industrial estate of MIDC coming up at Talegaon-Akrale villages in Dindori tehsil, near Nashik. The rates for industrial plots have been fixed at Rs 2,300 per sq metre for the first six months and Rs 3,000 per sq metre after that. These rates are not affordable to the industries and they need to be reduced to Rs 1,500 per sq metre."
The MIDC is constructing an industrial estate in its Ambad unit through a private firm on a 14,800 sq m plot. The flatted estate project will house 200 galas in different sizes.
The MIDC has fixed the land rates at its new additional industrial estate coming up at Talegaon-Akrale villages in Dindori tehsil, near Nashik. The rates for industrial plots have been fixed at Rs 2,300 per sq metre for the first six months and Rs 3,000 per sq metre after that. These rates are not affordable to the industries and potential investors
Industry body wants MIDC meet on land allotment in SEZ - The Times of IndiaCommentQuote0Flag