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Latest News In and Around Pune

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  • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

    PMC’s green light to mandatory EVs!

    PMC’s green light to mandatory EVs!
    By PuneMirror BureauSun, 19 Jun 2022

    Most of the delivery boys use their own vehicles. PHOTO: TANMAY THOMBRE

    Civic chief meets industry players; could use battery-run vehicles for e-commerce, food delivery services

    By Avinash Rajput

    The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is all set to implement the mandatory use of electric vehicles (EVs) for all e-commerce and food delivery companies in the near future. After back-to-back meetings regarding setting up of EV charging infrastructure with industry players concerned, municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar convinced the industry players, who require delivery, to opt for EVs in the coming months. Two private banks have come forward to assure a minimal rate of interest for EV buyers, which has already set a high number of bookings. Till date, the city has 11,500 EV two-wheelers registered with the Pune RTO while the number of four-wheelers has crossed the 1,500 mark in this financial year.

    Kumar justified the move saying switching to EVs won’t pinch the e-commerce companies since the expenses, if calculated, would be way less than the current operation cost on deliveries. “We will hold a meeting again and try to understand their financials and also offer them some perks which would encourage them to invest in EVs. We have spoken to manufacturers to offer good deals to all such companies investing in EVs. With the support of the lowest rate of interest and subsidies on the purchase of EVs, the plan will be sustainable and more economical for the players in delivery services. The cost of charging is way cheaper than the ever-rising fuel prices,” Kumar said.

    The PMC has finalised sites for 300 charging stations with five charging points in each. Kumar said once the charging infrastructure is in place, more and more companies will be approached to opt for EVs and perks will be offered to them. “After the awareness campaigns, other firms from the corporate world will be given perks for setting up charging facilities and for encouraging their employees to buy EVs. In the first phase, 300 charging stations will be set up on a PPP basis with no financial implications for the PMC,” Kumar added.

    Ranjit Gadgil, programme director, Parisar, said that the PMC should focus on the parking policy, which was proposed by the administration in 2017. “Now that the municipal commissioner has all the powers to implement the parking policy, he should implement that on priority. I am not sure if he has the powers to enforce any such usage of mandatory e-vehicle use on private players. All they can do is offer them the perks, which would encourage them to buy EVs. Most of the delivery boys use their own vehicles. Hence I doubt all of them will have the financial capacity to invest in EVs, which are costlier than petrol vehicles,” Gadgil told Mirror.


    PMC’s green light to mandatory EVs! (punemirror.com)
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    • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

      About 20,000 housing societies in Maharashtra can gain from cooperative bank funding

      Read more at:
      https://realty.economictimes.indiati...nding/92193838



      The housing finance limit of 5% of the total asset is expected to boost self-development of societies in Pune, Mumbai, and Thane, Maharashtra Housing Federation vice-chairman Suhas Patwardhan said.

      PUNE: Nearly 20,000 housing societies and apartments planning self-redevelopment in the state will benefit from the RBI’s decision to allow cooperative banks to grant finance for the commercial real estate-residential housing segment.

      The housing finance limit of 5% of the total asset is expected to boost self-development of societies in Pune, Mumbai, and Thane, Maharashtra Housing Federation vice-chairman Suhas Patwardhan said.

      “Real estate projects involving redevelopment are key areas in the property market, especially in growing cities.As per the RBI notification, all district cooperative banks and state cooperative bank will be able to grant loans to housing societies for self-redevelopment instead of them handing over the project to a developer for commercial real estate-residential housing according to the notice on June 8,” Patwardhan added.

      The decision is expected to open more liquidity and financing avenues for real estate development. Federation members said that it will help housing societies implement the 2019 GR to promote self-redevelopment.

      Bank manager Shrikant Karegaonkar said that the RBI monetary policy has doubled the limit of housing loan for cooperative banks. “It will help reduce the impact of inflation by pumping more funds into the housing sector and open opportunities to customers with the cooperative sector,” he said.

      Members of housing societies said that while 5% of the total assets looks small compared to the demand, the limit may be extended and it was a good beginning.
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      • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

        CBI books Pune Buildtech and promoters for bank fraud, carries out searches

        CBI conducted searches at three locations in Mumbai after it registered an FIR against Pune Buildtech Private Limited and its directors for alleged bank fraud of Rs 30 crore in PNB

        Topics CBI | Bank fraud

        Press Trust of India | New Delhi Last Updated at June 19, 2022 19:53 IST


        The CBI on Sunday conducted searches at three locations in Mumbai after it registered an FIR against Pune Buildtech Private Limited and its directors for alleged bank fraud of Rs 30 crore in Punjab National Bank during 2013-16, officials said.

        The searches were conducted at the premises of promoters Ishaq Yusuf Balwa and Javardhan Vinod Goenka and Pune Buildtech Private Limited, earlier known as Dynamix Balwas Resorts Private Limited, in Mumbai, they said.

        The Dynamix Balwas Group had faced a CBI probe in the 2G spectrum allocation case, but all the accused were acquitted by a special court.

        The fresh case pertains to Pune Buildtech Private Limited, which was set up in 1997 to build five-star hotels and resorts. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DB Hospitality Pvt. Ltd., which is promoted by the Balwas Group and the Dynamix Group, Punjab National Bank had said in its complaint, which is now part of the FIR.

        It had planned a five-star hotel in Yerwada, Pune which was financed by PNB (Rs 102 crore) and Allahabad Bank (now Indian Bank) (Rs 102 crore).

        PNB had disbursed Rs 30.50 crore till 2011 after which further disbursement was stopped.

        "Thereafter the project has been delayed due delay in obtaining clearance from Pune Municipal Corporation and also the promoters of the company were allegedly involved in 2G spectrum case. Further disbursement was stopped by the bank. There has been no construction activities in progress since 2011," the bank alleged.

        The project was scrapped and later converted into a residential tower project for which the company approached Bank of India in 2013 and loans were issued.

        PNB did not take any additional exposure but adjusted old account for residential building.

        The account again turned non-performing asset (NPA) in 2016 as it failed to implement the project.

        The bank then declared the account as fraud and gave the complaint to the CBI, which has registered the FIR.









        CBI books Pune Buildtech and promoters for bank fraud, carries out searches | Business Standard News (business-standard.com)


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        • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

          Pune: Outstation students feel pinch of rising living costs as they return to campus life after Covid-19 break

          From shutting down of a few budget hostels to higher rent at paying-guest (PG) flats to mess facilities becoming costlier to more out-of-pocket expenses, the living budgets of outstation students have shot up considerably after the pandemic.

          Pune |
          Updated: June 23, 2022 1:16:52 am

          From shutting down of a few budget hostels to higher rent at paying-guest (PG) flats to mess facilities becoming costlier to more out-of-pocket expenses, the living budgets of outstation students have shot up considerably after the pandemic. (File)

          Written by Vrinda Rawal

          As college admissions have started for under-graduate and post-graduate courses and with students set to return to campus life once again, the bigger challenge is for outstation students who have stayed away from the city for the past two years.

          From shutting down of a few budget hostels to increased rent in PG flats, mess facilities becoming costlier to more out-of-pocket expenses for students, post pandemic, the living budgets of outstation students has shot up quite considerably.

          Nagpur resident, Srishti Wahie, a third-year student pursuing B Com (honours) from BMCC lives within the college hostel and eats meals there as well. Before the pandemic struck, the hostel and mess fees were Rs 6,670 and Rs 2,500 per month, which has been revised to Rs 7,100 and Rs 3,000 per month. “It may seem nominal but actually all other costs have gone up. After the pandemic, even eating one meal outside in a restaurant is so expensive. Even travelling by cab or auto is costly. Earlier, I used to manage on a monthly allowance of Rs 3,000, now my parents have to send Rs 4,500 to manage same expenses.”

          Shruti Surve, a BTech (Computer Science) student who graduated in 2022 from MKSSS Cummins College for Women said,
          “Our hostel stopped providing breakfast after the pandemic. Hence I had to go outside every day. Outside, breakfasts cost ?20/day. The cost of my personal expenses also increased.”

          Latur resident, Isha Ayachit, who graduated in B Tech (IT) from MKSSS Cummins College for Women, Karve Road said, “Before Covid-19, it was relatively easy for us to manage monthly expenses. But things changed for the worse after the pandemic broke out because a lot of families faced financial losses. At the same time, small businesses like street food joints faced major losses too. They increased their prices too. For example, snacks which used to cost ?15, now cost ?20. It may seem like a minor increase, but after Covid-19, many people lost their parents. It was hard for them to ask for money from their families. Especially the third and fourth-year students, who now faced the pressure to work hard and support their families. The college fees too weren’t reduced for us. People who are already struggling to pay fees found it extremely hard to manage the increased living costs.”

          Meanwhile, business owners said they have no choice but to pass the burden on to students to manage costs.









          Pune: Outstation students feel pinch of rising living costs as they return to campus life after Covid-19 break | Cities News,The Indian Express
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          • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

            Ashiana Housing & Lohia Jain Group join hands to develop residential project in Pune

            Read more at:
            https://realty.economictimes.indiati...-pune/92414596



            Spread over 11.33 acres, the project will be developed by Ashiana Housing and will offer a total of 990 residential units. Phase I of the project will comprise 224 units.

            NEW DELHI: Ashiana Housing and Lohia Jain Group have joined hands to come up with a residential project-Ashiana Malhar in Pune's Hinjawadi region.

            Ankur Gupta, JMD, Ashiana Housing said, “With the launch of ‘Ashiana Malhar’ we are expanding our footprint and presence in metro city Pune."

            Spread over 11.33 acres, the project will be developed by Ashiana Housing and will offer a total of 990 residential units. Phase I of the project will comprise 224 units.

            The project will offer two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, where the usable carpet area ranges from 733 sq ft to 1045 sq ft. Each tower will have 14 floors.
            Last edited 1 week ago.
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            • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

              Activists show telltale signs of river project


              By PuneMirror BureauWed, 22 Jun 2022


              The river channel is wide, shallow and home to several species.

              PMC begins work on RFD, despite stay order from water resource dept

              By Salonee Mistry

              Environmental activists in the city are protesting against the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for starting work on the Riverfront Development Project (RFD) despite there being a stay order on the same from the water resource department (WRD). Citing irreversible damage to the river and the environment over the 44 km Mula-Mutha stretch, activists have, for several months now, been agitating.

              A resident living near the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary area, where activists claim work has begun, told Mirror on the condition of anonymity that the activity started in May. “Everyday, the number of people and JCB machines on this patch increases. Now, there is a whole 40-feet stretch and it looks like a road construction will happen there. Despite there being a stay order, it is disappointing to see that the work is continuing,” the resident told Mirror.

              The river channel between Koregaon park Smashan Bhoomi and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary area near Bund Garden is wide, shallow and is home to several species, said Shailaja Deshpande, Jeevitnadi founder-director.

              “The variety of habitats like marshes, braiding of channels, rocky outcrops, etc, are all part of the unique biodiversity of that region. There also exists a dense natural riparian zone with specific trees like Salix, climbers, grasses, herbs, shrubs.” Deshpande said. “The banks of Mula-Mutha also have several discharge points of shallow aquifers. The RFD project will hamper the groundwater permanently, posing an irreversible risk to the entire city and all its inhabitants. The activists have asked the PMC to answer the questions and have agreed to give a go-ahead for the project only when they get satisfactory answers for the same.”

              Environmentalist Sarang Yadvadkar, who has been in constant touch with WRD officials, said, “They have clearly told me that they have not given any permission for the work to be started. They had also issued a notice to PMC and a committee was supposed to be set up who would scientifically evaluate the merits of the RFD project.” Yadvadkar has not only sent complaints to the WRD, but approached ministers, including Aditya Thackeray.

              Mangesh Dighe, environment conservation officer, said, “The road being laid out right now is not a permanent one, but just temporary for us to be able to collect soil samples. Once we have the samples, the access road will be taken down. We have an NOC letter from the water resource department for the project.”







              Activists show telltale signs of river project (punemirror.com)

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              • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                Metro ridership reaches 10L, more passengers to be wooed

                By PuneMirror BureauThu, 23 Jun 2022

                The ridership peaked at 5.19 lakh in March but took a severe dip in June.

                Celebration on Wheels initiative launched after drop in commuters; will rent out bogie at `5K to generate more revenue

                By Avinash Rajput

                MahaMetro’s Pune Metro railway service has achieved the milestone of ferrying 10 lakh passengers in over three-and-a-half months on Sunday.

                However, the monthly statistics of the total number of passengers show a drastically declining trend.

                In order to address the concern, the public transport body launched a new initiative — Celebration on Wheels. However, the scheme received no response till Tuesday.

                The ridership peaked at 5.19 lakh in March but took a severe dip in June, which recorded 87,000 passengers in three weeks. In its second month in April, the number of passengers decreased to 2.23 lakh, followed by 1.88 lakh in May on both routes.

                The two routes were flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 6 this year. The combined length of 12 km of both the routes, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to Phugewadi and Vanaz to Garware College, of the Pune Metro have completed 10 lakh passenger ticket sales.

                However, with the diminishing number of daily passengers, the Pune Metro has planned to introduce the Celebration on Wheels initiative, wherein a bogie can be booked for a celebration like a gettogether or a birthday party. The rent for booking a bogie is Rs 5,000 and has been introduced to generate additional revenue on both routes.

                Hemant Sonawane, general manager (PR), MahaMetro, said that generating revenue was not the sole purpose of introducing the initiative. “A total of 5,581 round trips were made on both the routes, 2,283 on the PCMC-Phugewadi route and 3,098 rounds on the Vanaz-Garware College route. Through the Celebration on Wheels initiative, we want citizens to experience the Metro more closely. We have launched this initiative since we have a spare capacity that can be used for citizens to have fond memories and experience the Metro experience. Revenue is also an area which we are looking at, but that is not the only focus,” Sonawane said.

                City-based activist and Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Pravasi Manch president Jugal Rathi said the Metro railway has got its basics wrong as the whole project has been sanctioned just for gaining political mileage on the pretext of development.

                “This was bound to happen. The graph in the earlier month showed a rise since people wanted to have firsthand experience. Who would want to use Metro which has not even been completed and covers just 12 km in bits and pieces on two different routes? We had raised our concern whether Pune really needed a Metro, but we were tagged as anti-development.”

                “The Metro project has defaced the whole city. No citizen is benefitting due to the existing setup. There was no need to inaugurate the project in a hurry, eying gains in the civic elections. The Celebration on Wheels, too, won’t have any takers in the long run. It will not even help the revenue they are looking at,” Rathi added.









                Metro ridership reaches 10L, more passengers to be wooed (punemirror.com)
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                • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                  Paud Road residents send SOS to cops over dangerous manhole

                  By PuneMirror BureauFri, 24 Jun 2022

                  The telecom company, which owns the manhole, has been named in the application to the police

                  PMC not taking issue seriously, accidents waiting to happen, especially with the rains, say citizens

                  By Vicky Pathare

                  Frustrated with the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) alleged indifferent attitude towards a broken manhole in the Paud Road area despite repeated pleas, the residents and an activist of the area have reached out to the police now.

                  The written application against the civic body was handed over to the Kothrud police, wherein a telecom company has been named. The letter states that the manhole near Aaykar Society is dangerous and may cause accidents. “The manhole has been lying broken since June 1. A complaint in this regard was given to the PMC, but to no avail. The manhole belongs to a telecom company and the civic body has informed the company about it. The company should also be held responsible in case an accident happens due to the manhole, ” said the residents in their application to the police.

                  Civic activist Amol Kale said, “I came to know that the manhole belongs to a telecom company and the PMC has informed it about the same. Providing good and safe roads is the responsibility of the civic body, and it is expected to use its authority and get the broken manhole repaired on priority. Looking at the situation, it seems that the municipal corporation is not taking the issue seriously. This can lead to accidents as its cover can fall any time.”

                  Kale pointed to the rainy season and said if the lights go off and people don’t see the broken manhole they can meet with an accident. “Now, the traffic police have put up a barricade to warn commuters about the impending danger. The barricade is eating up the space. Thousands of commuters travel on this busy road,” he said.

                  Kedar Vaze, assistant commissioner, Kothrud-Bavdhan ward office, said the main department of the PMC has been informed about the issue and they have forwarded it to the telecom company. “However, the company is taking the issue lightly. It was expected that they would repair the manhole on priority,” he said.

                  Vaze said the PMC would have repaired the manhole, but the cover is of a duct that is of an odd size, which the civic body does not have,” he added.

                  Senior inspector Mahendra Jagtap of the Kothrud police station said, “I will look into the issue and the citizens’ complaint will be forwarded to the respective officials. The repair work is the responsibility of that department and will be done by them.”



                  Paud Road residents send SOS to cops over dangerous manhole (punemirror.com)
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                  • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                    Broken manhole repaired, debris is removed from near Vanaz corner

                    By PuneMirror BureauSat, 25 Jun 2022

                    The broken manhole near the Aayakar society. PHOTO: NIKHIL GHORPADE

                    By Vicky Pathare

                    In a huge relief to thousands of citizens and commuters under the Kothrud-Bavdhan ward-office jurisdiction, civic officials have repaired the broken manhole near the Aayakar society and cleared the debris near Vanaz corner on Paud road.

                    Mirror had reported the issue on June 12. The denizens have been urging the PMC to deal with issues like broken manhole covers, unattended debris and dilapidated roads — before the rain unleashes its fury. While the debris was cleared by the civic authorities recently, the broken manhole near the Aayakar society remained unattended.

                    Later, annoyed with the alleged indifferent attitude of PMC towards the broken manhole despite repeated pleas, the residents and an activist of the area reached out to the police. A news report was published by Mirror in the title named ‘Paud Road residents send SOS to cops over dangerous manhole’ on June 24 about the same. Finally, the authorities have cleared both the issues in a big relief to citizens and commuters.

                    Taking cognisance of Mirror reports, Kedar Vaze, assistant municipal commissioner, Kothrud-Bavdhan ward office, took swift action and fixed the problems on priority. “The debris was cleared on the road and the stretch was cleaned. However, as the manhole cover is of an odd size, it took time to get it repaired. Our team has been following up on the issue with the telecom company to get the cover replaced. We are happy that there would be no more risk to citizens,” he said.

                    Amol Kale, civic activist and area resident, thanked the officials for solving the issue that would have led to accidents and even loss of life. “The PMC had cleared the debris from the road earlier this week and the citizens are happy about it. However, the work to replace the broken manhole cover was delayed, due to which I even complained to the police,” he said.

                    Kale said the manhole belongs to a telecom company and PMC had informed the respective company about the same but the firm was not taking action. Now, the issue has been solved and this has ended the risk of accidents to the area residents and commuters using Paud road, he said.

                    Shrimant Nevase, a local, shared that there should be a system in place and the PMC officials should conduct a regular round of their area to check such civic issues. “Why should there be a need for the citizens to come forward and complain to the civic body. Finally, it’s their duty and the action should be proactive and not after the citizens complain and face hardship,” he said.







                    Broken manhole repaired, debris is removed from near Vanaz corner (punemirror.com)
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                    • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                      Citizens force stop work in riverbed

                      By PuneMirror BureauSun, 26 Jun 2022

                      Activists were accompanied by Vandana Chavan & Rajendra Singh. KP residents, environmental activists raise voice against RFD

                      By Mayur Bhave

                      Koregaon Park residents and environmental activists raised their voices against the ongoing riverfront development (RFD) work in the riverbed near the crematorium and brought it to a halt on Saturday. Taking cognisance of the matter, they have also handed over a letter to the police. The cops have promised to take appropriate action after discussing it with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Sarang Yadwadkar, the environmental activist, alleged that the PMC is trying to use the river water for commercial purposes by adding space to the water body under the RFD.

                      He said, “This will destroy the ecosystems of the riparian wetlands and endanger the aquatic life of the river. Building walls in the river bed will reduce the width of the river and increase the risk of floods.” The protest included various residents of Koregaon Park and other areas. Shalvi Pawar, a resident, and researcher said, “Recently I got in touch with other residents who are actively participating in this movement. This work will have adverse effects on citizens living near the river as there are strong chances of flooding due to ongoing work.” Vandana Chavan, a member of Rajya Sabha, was also present on the occasion. She said, “The ongoing work under the name of RFD is going to create a high risk of flooding. Such a project will put Punekars’ life at risk. There are orders to not start work.”

                      Rajendra Singh, an environmentalist, popularly known as a waterman, is a senior social worker who was also present when the letter was given to the police. He made the residents aware of the ill effects of the project. “The river is our mother but is not treated like one. The tendency is to call the river Mai but the actual aim is to earn money. I salute all the Punekars who are coming forward so that the Mula-Mutha can breathe freely and the city is not endangered. Encroachment on rivers should be stopped in time.” Mangesh Dighe, environment officer, PMC said, “Geotechnical investigation is now underway. Some of the machines have been lowered into the river basin to take soil samples.” Vinayak Vetal, senior police inspector, Koregaon Park said that they had accepted the letter from the citizens and would talk to the PMC officials regarding it.







                      Citizens force stop work in riverbed (punemirror.com)
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