Mihan is in progress amid election

•June 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Major political parties and its leaders do not seem unduly worried about two reports prepared by separate entities pitching in for New 
Delhi as the most suitable site for an international air cargo hub. They believe that this development would in no way clash with the interests of Multi-Modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (Mihan) for which heavy infrastructure building work is in progress here.

Even the industry bodies and the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), which is building Mihan jointly with the Airport Authority of India AAI), are confident that the Nagpur hub is now here to stay as it has already been given all necessary clearances by the government. About such infrastructure projects, more the merrier is the refrain of all the players. A special committee of the Planning Commission has prepared a report suggesting that New Delhi would be best suited for an international air hub. Consultants Ernst and Young have also given a similar report to the AAI.

“There is no question of Mihan not materialising. We have secured all necessary approvals and investors have committed to set up business at Mihan. What is unique about Mihan is that it is the only cargo and passenger hub airport with a special economic zone (SEZ) attached, said city MP Vilas Muttemwar. “The previous UPA government gave its nod to Mihan only after it was convinced that Nagpur in the heart of the country has several advantages because of its central location. It would be wrong to say that Mihan will be doomed if another such hub comes up in Delhi.”

“If world class infrastructure facilities come up at Mihan, the business will be drawn to it. Like Mumbai which is saturated , Delhi also has logistics bottlenecks. A place like Nagpur from where cargo could be distributed all over the country faster because of its network of road, rail and air connections would be preferred by the business houses. Only those unaware of its benefits would say it is not feasible,” said Muttemwar.

Moreover, he opined that with Indian economy destined to grow in coming days there will be scope for setting up of cargo hubs at several locations across the country. Mihan would be naturally used by those whose cargo is to be moved in central India.

State BJP president Nitin Gadkari, a big supporter of Mihan right from its conception, was also not surprised by the Planning Commission report. “There is no problem. If another hub comes up at Delhi, Mihan will not suffer. Mihan will come up here though global slowdown has hit the pace,” said Gadkari. He has been holding public presentations to spread awareness on how Mihan will open floodgates to prosperity in the industrially backward Vidarbha region which is more in news of late for the spate of suicides among distressed cotton cultivators.

Ramesh Yaul, general manager, MADC, said Delhi being the capital of the country has always been a better option for such activities. However, considering the location and the facilities being offered at Mihan, Nagpur can come up as a successful model too. There can always be a number of such hubs, for instance in Europe there are such facilities in every 200-400 kilometres.

Vilas Kale, president of Vidarbha Economic Development Council said Nagpur would always have an advantage on account of its geographical location. Moreover, it is the government’s mandate to have a balanced development of all the regions. As a result projects like Mihan should be developed to provide an economic boost.


Source: TOI


2 billion Euro Solar Panel project moved away from Nagpur

•June 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

In a major embarrassment for the supporters of Vavasi Group which had planed whopping Rs 50,000 crore investment in Nagpur, Industries Minister Narayan Rane on Monday categorically stated that no concrete proposal was ever received from the Group about its mind-boggling investment at Nagpur.

Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam blamed the Democratic Front Government for neglecting proposal of Vavasi Group and forcing the Group divert its investment of Rs 50,000 crore to Rajasthan. The issue figured during the Question Hour. Making some plain speaking, Rane stated, during early talks, Vavasi Group was offered land at Butibori, but the Group demanded 5000 acres for its Renewable Energy Park at the five star Butibori Industrial Estate to manufacture silicon solar panels and other apparatus. Besides, it had also claimed that Al-Bukhari would invest Euro 6 billion in the process of setting up mono crystalline growing facility having a capacity of 20,000 metric tonnes on 400 hectare land. Since this much land was not available with MIDC, alternate land was offered, but the company never submitted its concrete proposal for the alternate land or complete project details.

The promoter of Vavasi Group, Farid Arifuddin had claimed that he had roped in Al-Bukhari, a Malaysian group, which claimed to have expertise in developing airports as a strategic partner in developing the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for solar energy. Besides Farid had also promised to bring Russian jet manufacturer Sukhoi Company with a whopping investment of Euro 2 billion (Rs 13,600 crore) for manufacturing about 25 to 50 super jets initially and later 100 aircraft at full capacity. The company had also agreed to construct a world-class Airport along with rehabilitation of project affected person. However, the MADC which is handling the MIHAN-SEZ, the project was nothing but a figment of imagination and MADC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director R C Sinha had turned down such a worthless venture. The Group had demanded 700 acre land at negotiated price, but steadfastly refused to disclose planned use of such a huge land. When the Group was asked to make an application and submit documents explaining source of finance, copy of agreement with Sukhoi, expertise in solar energy, experience in construction of airport, it simply vanished into thin air, causing acute embarrassment to its vocal supporters. The Vavasi Group Chief later surfaced before the Nagpur media, a month before the general election and claimed that he had shifted the project to Rajasthan. But on Monday, Industries Minister Narayan Rane made the record straight, by refuting the tall claims made by supporters of this incredible venture.

Nagpur: Tax and Development

•June 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Municipal Commissioner Assem Gupta has proposed to allocate 50 per cent income of the Property Tax to the respective ward committee so that they can develop their area.

Aseem Gupta while talking to mediapersons on Monday, will table this proposal in the meeting of Chairpersons of Ward Committees and Assistant Commissioners slated on Wednesday. In that meeting, they will discuss on various proposals of ward chairpersons and their rights. Gupta has given administrative and technical approval power to Assistant Commissioner. Now, the transfer of employees within particular zone, sanction of leave also delegate to them so that they can easily control over the working of zones, he opined.

Gupta said, Ward committees will take decision regarding repairs, cleaning of nullah, maintenance of road and other emergency work but they will not have power to call tenders. He has delegated power to issue licence, birth and death certificate, assessment of properties to Assistant Commissioners. They will also look after assessment of properties. Outsourcing of maintenance Municipal Commissioner has proposed to give maintenance work to various project management consultants (PMC) firms. He has constituted PMC panel for maintenance works. The PMC will maintain NMC’s building, below 18 mt roads and gardens. The proposal has sent to Standing Committee for approval.

MADC, Nagpur lists in Dubai Airport Expo.

•June 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

WITH that the much-awaited transfer of Nagpur airport being over, the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) Ltd. is now looking for the best bargains to complete the gigantic task of building and operating a truly world-class airport at Nagpur. No wonder, MADC was one of the most sought after client at the Airport Expo held in Dubai from May 19 to 21.

The ‘airport show’, dubbed as one of the largest airport construction, operations, technology and services events in the world, showcased over 500 suppliers from 41 countries, it was learnt. Talking to The Hitavada about the event, Vice Chairman andManaging Director (VC and MD) of MADC R C Sinha said that the show was sponsored by the Government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in which MADC was invited

“We talked to about 70 to 80 vendors regarding our requirements at various airports including Dr Ambedkar International Airport at Nagpur. The best part is that we now know exactly what we can get where,” said Sinha. As MADC is also involved in planning and development of international airports at Shirdi, and Pune and regional airports at Solapur, Amravati, Jalgaon, Gadchiroli, Phaltan and Karad, it would require various equipment’s and machinery for the same, said Sinha. Elaborating on the shopping list for these airports, Sinha said that they would require material handling equipment, cargo systems and equipment’s, sorting systems and automation, aerobridge installations, baggage handling systems, runway lighting systems, visual docking guidance systems, automatic weighing systems, communication towers, indicators, staircases, etc. “These are necessary equipment’s to build and operate airports. Naturally, we will also needed numerous suppliers and consultants for our ongoing projects in Maharashtra for which we were scouting and we are satisfied with the results post Dubai,” said Sinha. “We talked to suppliers and manufacturers of these equipment’s required for running and operating the airport and have also called for their quotations,” said Sinha. The purchases made will not be only for Nagpur airport but for other airports developed by MADC as well, clarified Sinha. Till date about 1600 acres of land has been sold to various companies in the Multi Modal International Passenger and Cargo Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) being developed by MADC. Notable among them are DLF, Satyam, Ascendas, Wipro, TCS, HCL, Land T, etc. Some of them have already begun their work while some are following a wait and watch policy.

Removal of Electric Poles may cost huge

•May 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

There is something to cheer for the local people as General Body of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has passed the proposal to remove the electric poles and Distribution Boxes (DBs) standing tall on the roads and creating severe problems to the vehicular traffic and posing a great threat to the life of local citizens.

This decision was taken in the special meeting held on Friday afternoon at Raje Raghojirao Bhonsle Nagar Bhavan, Mahal. Total 13 proposals including three old and 10 new proposals were placed in the meeting. Of total 10 new proposals, seven were passed while two were reserved for the consent of Mayor and one for Hearing Committee. The three old proposals were kept unheard.

The proposal to remove Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited’s electric poles and DBs standing tall on roads was among the seven proposals passed by the General Body. With the consent of General Body, NMC will raise funds of Rs 100 crore. The work will be done immediately as per the directives of High Court. NMC will pay Rs 15 crore per year for the debt of Rs 100 crore. The other six proposals passed by the General Body include to change the reservation of seven acres land located in Jaitala for crematorium and send the proposal for the approval of State Government, to demolish the lavatory located in the ground in front of Siddharth Library in Ward no-52, to change the reservation of Dispensary and Maternity Home to residential purpose on 0.5760 hectare land located in Parsodi, to constitute selection committee for taking personal interview for the 10 posts of Food Inspectors under Health Department, to promote 18 persons for the post of Junior Health Inspectors as per the Promotion Committee report (with couple of corrections) and to demolish the dilapidated building of NMC Marathi Primary School located in Ward no-70, Mahal. The two proposals that have been reserved for the consent of Mayor include Divisional Committee Report on Abdul Nazir Khan, Assistant Teacher, Tajbag Urdu Primary School, to freeze his pension and recruitment of four family members of deceased NMC employees as per their educational qualification. The one proposal that has been reserved for the consent of Hearing Committee include Divisional Committee Report to dismiss P B Gosh, Malaria Worker, Malaria Department.

The three old proposals that were unheard include to increase the rates of Yeshwant Stadium ground, to develop the roads with the help of local citizens, and to develop NMC owned roads. It may be mentioned here that, the special meeting that started about three hours late from scheduled time came to an end in meager 10 minutes. There were no discussions on the proposals and Mayor Maya Iwnate read the proposals as passed. Visnupad Bute, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Kishor Kumeriya, Deputy Mayor and other office bearers and officials of NMC were present. Aseem Gupta, Municipal Commissioner, who is on Mumbai tour was not present in the meeting.

Metro development plan, Nagpur included

•May 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India, has suggested that the Metropolitan Area Planning Committee (MAPC) should prepare a draft development plan for metropolitan areas.

Dr M Ramachandran, Secretary of Ministry of Urban Development, in a letter to the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, stated that the MAPC should co-ordinate with plans prepared by municipal councils and Panchayats in the metro area including co-ordinated spatial planning of the area.

It may be mentioned here that as per the Constitution 74th Amendment Act, 1992, Maharashtra Government has constituted MAPC for Nagpur, Mumbai and Pune districts. Ramachandran suggested that the MAPC should co-ordinate and sort out common issues involving Panchayats and municipal councils in the metro areas including sharing of water and other physical and natural resources. He suggested allocation of resources made available by the State and Central governments to local level institutions. It should be phasing and prioritising development works involving number of Panchayats or urban areas. The committee would advise and assist local bodies in preparation of development plans and serving as a link to disseminate development objectives, policies and priorities of Central and State governments among various local bodies by formulation of operational guidelines so that the same may be considered while preparing plans of respective local bodies. He suggested that the committee should resolve conflicts and avoid areas of overlapping between different agencies operating in metro areas. The meeting of MAPC may be held at least once in every quarter of the financial year. The committee may invite experts to attend its meeting.

It may be added, in Nagpur, MAPC was constituted last year but not a single meeting of the committee was held during the year. Chief Minister is the chairperson of the committee and he has no time to conduct even first meeting of Nagpur MAPC. Ramachandran stated that as per the Constitution 74th Amendment Act, 1992, there is a mandatory provision for constitution of Metropolitan Planning Committee in all metropolitan areas by State governments. As per the Constitution Amendment Act, metropolitan area means an area having a population of ten lakh or more comprised in one or more districts and consisting of two or more municipalities or Panchayats or other contiguous areas specified and notified by the State Government to be a metropolitan area for this purpose. According to 2001 Census, there are 35 metropolitan cities having a population of ten lakh and above spread over 15 states and Union territories. The Ministry of Urban Development is the nodal ministry to oversee implementation of the Constitution 74th Amendment Act in the states and Union territories. Although 17 years have passed by since the Act was enacted, only West Bengal and Maharashtra have constituted Metropolitan Area Planning Committees, while two states namely Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat have enacted enabling legislation to constitute MAPCs. Other States having metropolitan cities are yet to take any action in this regard.

He said, metropolitan areas, having 38 per cent of the urban population, are the engines of economic growth in the country. They are generally composed of several local bodies comprising municipal corporations, municipalities, nagar panchayats and rural areas as well. Development Authorities created in these metropolitan areas are not in a position to bring all stakeholders on a single platform. He said, MAPC for metropolitan areas will play an important role as an inter-governmental, inter-organisational, politically representative forum. Under the JNNURM also, implementation of decentralisation measures as envisaged in the Constitution 74th Amendment Act is one of the mandatory reforms which among others include constitution and setting up of the MAPC in metropolitan areas. It has specified constitution of the MAPC for every metropolitan area consisting of 45 members to prepare draft development plan for the metropolitan area as a whole. Ramachandran suggested that the MAPC should also have representatives of Government of India particularly from Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Surface Transport, Ministry of Telecommunication and others.

New traffic Signal in Nagpur

•May 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has established a dedicated Urban Transport Fund of Rs 25 crore on the directions of Urban Development Department of Central Government. NMC will install new traffic signals and construct foot over bridges.

Central Government has sanctioned funds for purchasing 300 buses under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The Central Government has released the first instalment for purchasing buses. Meanwhile, Central Government has directed all mission cities to set up dedicated Urban Transport Fund (UTF) at city level in accordance with which Municipal Commissioner Aseem Gupta also proposed the same in his budget presented to the Standing Committee. Now, Standing Committee will take decision on his proposal.

The fund will generate income of Rs 4.5 crore from Motor Vehicle tax, Rs 10,000 from accident claims, Rs 75 lakh from Pay and Park scheme and Bicycle Stands, Rs 20,000 from rickshaw tax, Rs 10 lakh from encroachment removal, Rs 10 crore from advertisement rights, Rs 60,000 from other advertisement fees, Rs 80 lakh from stocking of building materials, Rs 5 crore from city bus services and advertisements, and Rs 3.57 crore from road-marking reserved funds. NMC will thus generate Rs 25 crore from various sources. Municipal Commissioner has proposed expenditure of Rs 24 crore on various works like Rs 30 lakh on traffic signal controls and blinkers maintenance, Rs 50 lakh on channeliser and road-divider repairs, Rs 10 lakh on Mass Rapid Transport System and Bus Rapid Transport System, Rs 50 lakh on Children’s Traffic Park, Rs 2.50 crore on widening of square, Rs 2.5 crore on square development project, Rs 2 crore on traffic development, Rs 3.5 crore on installation of new traffic signals and controllers, Rs 2 crore on improvement of parking system, Rs 2 crore on signage system control, Rs 3.85 crore on area traffic control system and CCTV installation and Rs 4 crore on construction of foot over bridges.

Sources informed that Nagpur city has around 310 kms of road and 250 squares. The number of accidents are increasing on these roads and the civic body is taking various measures to control these accidents. Urban Development Department has suggested NMC to prepare parking policy wherein parking fee represents true value of the land occupied, which is used to make public transport more attractive, banning of parking on arterial and ring roads, multi-level parking centres in City Centres with park-and-ride facility etc. It has also suggested to set up a Traffic Information Management Control Centre for effective monitoring and enforcement of traffic as well as data-generation and data-collection for future planning.

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