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Latest News In and Around Pune

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Latest News In and Around Pune

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  • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

    No data on tree tax utilisation

    PUNE: A right to information act (RTI) query has revealed that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) doesn't have information as to where the money earned from tree tax has been spent.

    "The civic administration charges 1% tree cess in the property tax bill, for conservation of trees. The money thus collected is supposed to be used for tree plantation and conservation," said activist Vinod Jain, while addressing a news conference here on Wednesday.

    Jain, who filed the RTI application, said that the PMC has collected around Rs 33 crore from tree cess in the last ten years.

    "We asked the PMC as to where has it utilized this money. We also asked for a map of locations where tree conservation/plantation was taken up and had sought the information in the form of a soft copy. The civic officials said that they didn't have any idea about the locations," he said.

    When contacted, Ashok Ghorpade, garden superintendent said, "The matter is in the court. So, I will have to look into the data to check what information was sought and what information was given in response to the RTI application."

    No data on tree tax utilisation - The Times of India
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    • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

      Tree tax,green tax for 15 year old vehicles

      Lot of tax money has been collected from public on these heads.Sad to note that the administration has not utilised it for what it has collected it for.If they really had planted trees and shrubs,Pune would have been greener.Responsibility is lacking.Proposal to tax gets implemented but utilization for the bettering ecology suffers.That makes it doubtful whether only lip service is being paid to ecology,greenery etc.


      • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

        Now, apply for power connection online

        PUNE: The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd has announced a new facility that will enable the consumers from all categories (domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural and others) to apply online for new connection.

        The consumer will also be provided with a computer generated estimate. This will make it easier for the consumer to complete the procedure without visiting the local office, a statement issued by the MSEDCL said.

        As part of creating consumer awareness, the power distribution company has recently put posters with connection estimate chart at all sub-division offices, which gives details of new connection charges, security deposit, etc.

        Any consumer willing to apply for new connection online will just have to register by providing his contact number and email address, the statement said. An executive from the company's centralized call centre would call back the consumer and collect all the details, which will be forwarded to the respective local offices. After this, the local sub-division office will contact the consumer within seven days in urban and 10 days in rural areas. The officers will inspect the location and will collect all the required documents from the consumer, along with his signatures on the form (A-1). The local office will do the remaining procedure for new connection.

        In case of any discrepancy in getting the connection, consumers can contact on toll-free numbers 18002-333435/18002-003435. Consumers can check their application's status online.
        Now, apply for power connection online - The Times of India
        .Good for Pune.This will reduce time and leave clear audit trail of paper work and improve accountability.


        • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

          Installation of push taps to save water

          UNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to curb water wastage at public taps. As per the civic body's estimate, nearly 2.3 lakhlitres of water are wasted at these taps every day. The PMC has started a drive to curb the water wastage by around 60 per cent by installing push taps.

          "PMC officials have conducted a survey on wastage of water through public taps. On an average, one tap wastes around 700 litres of water each day. In Swargate zone, total wastage of water through all the public tabs is around 1.17 lakh litres per day. There are three such zones in the city. The number of taps are less in other zones, so water wastage is lesser in those areas," said Mehboob Patel, superintendent engineer of Swargate zone. Patel said there are more slums in Swargate zone so it has 168 public water taps, which is maximum in a civic zone.

          "Efforts were taken to create awareness about the wastage of water but the drives did not yield expected results as people using the taps continued to waste water. So the PMC has decided to introduce push taps at public stand posts. These taps will control water wastage, as they will be automatically switched off after the user releases the lever. The civic body started the drive eight days ago," Patel said. After installation of the push taps, the water wastage per tap will go down by around 500 litres per day.

          The second biggest zone is the Cantonment zone, which has around 125 public taps. "The officials removed unwanted taps so the number has reduced," said Narenda Saluke, executive engineer of the Cantonment zone. He said the administration has asked local people not to tamper with the push taps. The officials have been monitoring the areas where new push taps were installed. If any tampering is reported, the PMC will uninstall those public taps.

          There are around 50 stand posts in the SNDT zone. "The area is developed and most of the houses have individual water connections. So the number of public taps is less," said Madan Aadhari, superintending engineer of the SNDT zone.

          Controlling wastage of water has become significant as there has been a 10 per cent water cut in the city. The city was getting 1,000 million litres per day (MLD) water since March 2012 and was facing a 20 per cent water cut. The water supply was increased to 1,100 MLD after the monsoon last year and the water cut was reduced to 10 per cent. Currently, the PMC provides water once a day.
          PMC installs push taps to curb water wastage - The Times of India
          While water does get wasted in slums,societies,government offices and pipeline leakages also result in unaccounted water losses.People should be made to pay by meter measurement to know exact quantity of water used by each household,office.Water is precious and needs to be conserved and usage paid for.


          • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

            Pune Municipal Corporation collects Rs 608 crore in property tax

            The Pune Municipal Corporation's property tax department has collected Rs 608 crore through the property tax till March 21, said a press statement issued by the department.

            "A number of initiatives have been taken to recover property tax. Special drives for recovery were carried out. The department had deployed dedicated squads for the recovery from the big defaulters," said civic officials.

            The PMC Property tax is one of the main sources of revenue for the PMC. The department handles the billing and collection of property tax on residential, commercial, plots and other types of properties - held privately or by government (state and central) - within the PMC limits.

            Property tax is the tax charged on immovable or tangible real property, such as land, buildings and permanent improvements. Based on assessments, all property holders are expected to pay the tax. PMC assesses all residential and commercial properties situated within its limits. Property tax may also include basic house/building tax plus service taxes such as street tax, and conservancy/scavenging tax. It is collected either half yearly or annually.

            There are around 6 lakh residential properties and 75,000 non residential properties, and around 24,000 open plots.

            PMC had offered 10% discount if the tax is Rs 25,000 or less, while a 5% discount is offered if the amount is more than Rs 25,001 for those who paid tax before May 31.
            Links:Pune Municipal Corporation collects Rs 608 crore in property tax - The Times of India
            If administrators in both PMC and PCMC become strict the collection can be much higher.Make the process of name change from builder to flat owner easier.Make the process of paying tax user friendly by positioning vehicles and officials at prominent places who can help citizens.
            Reports of illegal constructions are so many that our budget need not run in deficit if a serious drive to collect tax is launched.
            PCMC is tougher on illegal construction, News - City - Pune Mirror,Pune Mirror
            PCMC is tougher on illegal construction
            Statistics reveal that the city’s civic body has a more relaxed stand against encroachment.
            In the two months since the new commissioner of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC),i took charge, his officials have issued notices to 66,324 out the 1.10 lakh illegal constructions identified in the 171 square kilometres that come under the civic body.

            District administration to list illegal buildings in fringe areas - Times Of India
            All these show scope for increasing revenue collection is vast.


            • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

              Regulator for real estate likely soon

              NEW DELHI: Undeterred by stiff opposition from private developers and builders, the housing ministry is pushing hard to bring the real estate regulator bill, aiming to protect home buyers, in the current session of Parliament.

              Housing minister Ajay Maken on Sunday said the bill was expected to be brought up for consideration of the Cabinet soon before being introduced in Parliament.

              The government is looking to set up a tough regulator for the realty sector with provisions of even jail term for developers for putting out misleading advertisements about projects.

              Will regulator be set up by 2014?

              However, it will be interesting to see if the legislation, which has been pending since 2009, becomes a reality before the 2014 general elections.

              The consumer-friendly legislation was once returned from the Cabinet after objections were raised by some senior ministers.

              The legislation will clearly define 'carpet area', and private developers will not be allowed to sell houses or flats on the basis of ambiguous 'super area'.

              A real estate regulator in every state will ensure that private developers get all projects registered before sale of property and after getting all necessary clearances — addressing a major concern of buyers about incomplete or fraudulent land acquisition and pending clearances.

              No ad before plan approval

              The bill has proposed that private developers and builders would not advertise or start a housing project before getting all necessary clearances and reporting before a real estate regulator. The developers cannot collect any money from buyers before completing all necessary permits to start construction on the project.

              Maken said builders wouldn't be allowed to use pictures of housing projects in foreign countries to lure buyers while advertising a project. They will have to use pictures reflecting the actual project which will be delivered to homebuyers.

              The developers will have to maintain a separate bank account for a particular project and will not be allowed to divert the money for other projects.

              "Many developers use funds collected from buyers for a particular project to buy land for another project. This result in delays and innocent buyers are forced to bear the additional cost," Maken said. "Salaried people usually spend all their savings on buying an apartment but often suffer delays and cost escalation."

              Before launching a project, developers will have to submit all necessary clearances to the regulator which will be displayed on the regulator's website. Failure to do so for the first time would attract a penalty which may be up to 10% of the project cost; a repeat offence could land the developer in jail, Maken said.

              The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, which seeks to provide a uniform regulatory environment to the sector, was opposed by private developers in totality but the ministry has stuck to it, saying the basic tenet of the legislation is based on voluntary disclosure which will infuse transparency.

              As per the legislation, realty players will have to voluntarily disclose project details, including carpet area and open space and contractual obligations on the regulator's website to ensure transparent, fair and ethical business practices.

              The regulator will act only if there is complaint of any deviation from the project details disclosed by a developer on the regulator's website.

              Under the bill, there will be a model builder-buyer agreement which is expected to reduce ambiguities in real estate transactions that not many buyers are familiar with.

              Real estate agents will also be asked to register with the regulator. Agents, an important link between the promoter and buyer, have been an unregulated lot till now. Once they are registered, it will be help in curbing money laundering.


              • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                Water being diverted to Lavasa, alleges Patkar

                "Puneites are facing water scarcity at the cost of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and his family members including State Irrigation Minister Ajit Pawar who have conveniently diverted water from Warasgaon dam to Lavasa Corporation Limited," said social activist Medha Patkar on Tuesday.
                "Pune population requires about 11.5 TMC water and the capacity of Warasgaon dam is also about 11.5 TMC. While Lavasa Corporation has illegally acquired permissions to get 1.5 TMC water (10 percent) from Warasgaon dam, it is unclear whether this water will be used for the 5,000 acres of presently approved project or for the 25,000 acres of the total hill city area of Lavasa," she said.
                Patkar, who is also the head of National Alliance for People's Movements (NAPM), was speaking at a press meet held here. She said that Lavasa Lake City is expected to have 1.5 lakh residents for whom water will be needed. "Other than that, the project also includes hotels, recreation and water sports as well as large amount of Ayurevdic plans and herbs plantation, as claimed on Lavasa website, that will need water. Considering this, acquiring permission for diverting 1.5 TMC water seems just the beginning," Patkar said.
                She went on to say that eight dams are being constructed at the source of Warasgaon dam, while two smaller dams in the backwaters. Also, about 90 small streams have been diverted and are being projected as tourist attraction. Patkar also said, "While the government had the largest share in Lavasa, in terms of not only money but also the land and water, Ajit Gulabchand, chairman and managing director, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) has about 65 percent stake in the project."
                "It is time that Puneites understand that on one hand is their need of drinking, domestic and irrigation water, while on the other is the requirement of water for international hotels and recreation sports that are being planned in Lavasa," she said. Activist from Maval Maruti Bhapkar too said that when Puneites raised their voice to save their hills, they must show similar aggression to ensure that water meant for them will not be diverted for the profit of a handful and businessmen and politicians.
                Patkar referred to the inquiry report on land deals in Pune prepared by People's Commission of inquiry led by NAPM and said that Lavasa project is not just exploiting water meant for Puneites, but also the land, flora and fauna. NAPM pointed out that about one crore trees were cut down for the purpose of the project. "There have been instances where the project got permissions from the irrigation department within just two days," .
                Patkar said, "We have submitted the report to the government and as of now, we are politely requesting them to start inquiry about the wrongdoings of this project. We will have to take to other measures if the government continues to remain silent," she said.

                Water being diverted to Lavasa, alleges Patkar - Indian Express
                Earlier reports on such type of diversion
                Leaders in Pune view Lavasa water offer as eyewash - Pune - DNA
                'Lavasa will put strain on Pune water supply to Pune'-India News - IBNLive Mobile
                These reports make sad reading even if they had little bit of truth in them. One side people struggle for water but some have water sports.


                • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                  There was an article about sr. pawar exhorting people to save every drop of water that they can. Ironic would be an understatement.


                  • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                    Now, register water complaints online

                    All your water supply related problems can now be addressed by just sending an SMS. The civic water supply department has started a system which uses internet, helpline and technology to register people's complaints about leakage, supply, contamination, tankers, etc.

                    "People send complaints to different water supply departments located in separate parts of the city. Sometimes senior officials are not aware of the complaints and so the problems remain unattended. So, the department has decided to come up with a centralised computer-based system to monitor people's grievances," said V G Kulkarni, head of the PMC's water supply department.

                    Kulkarni said the PMC's internet-based system also helps take stock of leakages. A citizen, who wishes to register a complaint, is required to know the name of the panel where he lives or the name of the local corporator. The system will forward the complaint to the concerned office. The complainant will be able to keep track of the status of the complaint.

                    The information related to the problem will have to be filed in the online system ( The system will give reply to the complainant via SMS, Kulkarni said.

                    Problems like leakage, no water or supply at low pressure, contaminated water, request for tanker, illegal water connection, wastage, inflated bills etc can be addressed through the system.

                    A complainant can call from on helpline number (25508171). The system will reply to the complainant via SMS.

                    The complainant will have to follow a specific format to register grievance via SMS (SMS number 8308895656). Different number codes have been given for different types of complaints. The citizen will have to write the panel number followed by # tag then complaint code with # tag name followed by # and address. The system will reply through an SMS.BOX

                    How to register a complaint?

                    1) Helpline: 25508171

                    2) Send SMS to 8308895656

                    Format of SMS

                    Panel number # complaint code # name # address

                    Log in to
                    Now, register water complaints online - The Times of India

                    I hope the system works.With water being diverted for water sports as alleged in Indian express,the situation can become grim.We really don't know how to conserve water.Sugar cane is grown in an area where we have water shortage,when all know it is indeed water intensive.
                    Drinking water should be given top priority.


                    • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                      Quality of air is worst in Shivajinagar, Pashan & Nigdi’

                      If you have a headache or breathing problems and frequently travel in Shivajinagar, Pashan or Nigdi areas, it could well be due to rising air pollution in view of high vehicular activity.

                      The latest air quality data generated under the System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR-Pune), developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), has shown high levels of PM 2.5, which can penetrate deep into the lungs, in Shivajinagar. In addition, Ozone (O3) concentrations have crossed the permissible limit for most of the days during March 8 to 17 in Pashan.

                      The 10-day data shows the deteriorating air quality of the city because of PM 2.5, especially because it affects health and environment. Short exposures to PM 2.5 and Ozone can produce coughing, irritation, breathing problems and bronchial inflammation, say experts.

                      The PM 2.5 levels have crossed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) of 60 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) on most days in Shivajinagar during the 10-day period. For instance, the 24-hour average of PM 2.5 levels in Shivajinagar were more than 80 ug/m3 on March 8, around 65 ug/m3 in Pashan and a little over 60 ug/m3 in Nigdi on the same day.
                      ​‘Quality of air is worst in Shivajinagar, Pashan & Nigdi’ - The Times of India
                      Well people must keep this input in mind while buying flats in these areas.


                      Have any questions or thoughts about this?