Pune welcomes Republic Day with 150 WiFi Hotspots

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in collaboration with Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL), is set to inaugurate 150 free WiFi hotspots across the city on the occasion of Republic Day. Pune residents will now be able to access free internet facility in 199 locations. According to reports from Sakal Times, Google for the first time has tied by with a municipal body like PMC to enable them to set up ‘Google Stations’ that offer free WiFi service.

The citizens will be provided with 50MB data free of cost in hotspot areas at a speed of 512 kbps. Usage above the given limit will be charged with a certain amount for surfing private websites, while usage of government portals will remain free. The users within the network range will have to log-in to the WiFi using a One Time Password (OTP) that will be sent to their registered mobile numbers. This plan is aimed towards the ‘Pune Smart City’ project.

In their statement to the media, PMC said that they wish to reach out to the entire city with their free WiFi connectivity plan and wish to make Pune a digital city by 2020. The locations that are covered in the current plan include public places like hospitals, bus stops, gardens, police stations and government offices.

The current project will require the Smart City Corporation to spend around Rs 110 crore for setting up the infrastructure for the system and an additional of Rs 35 crore towards operational costs. Reports from Pune Mirror state that PMC plans to set up around 400-500 hotspot zones in the coming future. This is a major initiative of the Smart City policy that also includes provisions like emergency call boxes, public announcement systems, environmental and flood sensors.

Sources: Pune Mirror, Sakal Times

Pune floods as Dams fill up

The incessant heavy downpour highly  affected Pune and the Konkan region, as public transport came to a halt.

Pune has received 55% more rainfall than the average this monsoon according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The average annual rainfall figure for the city is 497mm but Pune has received rains exceeding 630mm this year, which is significantly higher.

Trains from Pune to Mumbai along the Manmad- Daund route have been cancelled. The Deccan Express, Singhad Express and the Manmad Express too have been cancelled because of the heavy rains.

The bridge on the Mutha river which connects Deccan with the city’s Peth area, was submerged in water as Khadakwasla Dam released a huge volume of water.

No damage to life and property have been reported yet , said the Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC) officials. But a number of tress have fallen due to the rains in certain parts of the city.

The continuous rainfall since Tuesday, September 19,  has filled the major dams around the state to its capacity. 23 dams out of 37 in the state had to release the excess water.

The intensity of the rainfall is  expected to reduce after Wednesday as per the IMD.

Sources: The Hindu

Image Source: The Hindu

PMC set to rehabilitate 1,000 hawkers in city areas

Pune Municipal Corporation(PMC) will now rehabilitate hawkers and vendors at 330 places around the city. This decision has been taken in the meeting of hawker co-ordination committee.

According to the city mayor, Mukta Tilak the corporation has fixed different charges for different parts of the city. It ranges from Rs.25 to Rs.200 per day. However, rates of places like Nagar Road and Dhankwadi have not been fixed.

On September 9 the Supreme Court had issued an order regarding the rehabilitation of hawkers.  It had stated that the process of registration must be completed by the municipal corporation. The next year the civic body registered around 22,000 licenses for hawkers. However, at the same the PMC had announced no hawker zones in 45 areas. They included JM Road and FC Road.

Even though the anti-encroachment department had proposed fine to stop unauthorized stalls or hawkers, they still continued to grow are an unmonitored space. With rehabilitation, the civic body hopes to curb these unauthorised lot.  Madhav Jagtap, head of PMC’s anti-encroachment department said that spots for rehabilitation were decided upon after surveying the open areas.

However, Janeev Hawkers Union believes that the step of rehabilitation has been delayed. The corporation has taken a lot of time to relocate areas for rehabilitation.

News Source: Pune Mirror

Image Source: Dhananjay Helwade

PMC decides to clear waste

Pune Municipal Corporation has decided to intervene and off load a large heap of construction materials dumped on the footpath near Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC). It came as a major relief to pedestrians who traverse in Agharkar Road in Deccan. 

Pune Mirror had reported on September about the filthy condition the pavement is in and the problems which people are facing as a result of that. They attributed to the construction of new buildings and business establishments as the main reason why waste was hugely dumped in that area.

Ravi Pawar, the assistant commissioner of Ghole Road ward office, said, “The construction material was dumped by nearby business establishments without PMC permission. I ordered my ward officials to visit the spot and clear the pavement for walking. The person responsible agreed that it was an illegal act of dumping when we spoke to him. The heaps were cleared immediately, so we will avoid action.”

There are reports about the waste being lying over there for the past couple of days as a result of which the pedestrians had to divert from their usual way and take to another path which already has a number of bikes and bicycles parked. This mainly happened due to the rubbish lying near Symbiosis College Chowk.

Even though people are relieved about the fact that PMC has taken the matter seriously but they are irked by the delay in handling it.

“PMC finally stepped in and got the debris cleared soon, heralding good news for us. But, it should be more vigilant about similar incidents and do such work before it is reported by the media and shames officials,” said Student Utkarsh Panpule. 


Pune to go dry on Thursday

Some of the significant commercially as well as residentially areas in Pune will face water supply problem on Thursdayas Pune Municipal Corporation has panned to carry out repair work in the water work stations. According to a press release issued by the civic body, water supply will continue to start at a low pressure from Friday morning. The press release has also stated the names of the areas which will be affected the most. 

The areas under Under Warje/SNDT water works are Bhusari Colony, Shastrinagar, Bavdhan, Bhugaon Road, Sus Road, Baner, Balewadi, Pashan, Warje, Karvenagar, Erandwane, Sutardara, Dahanukar Colony, Gandhi Bhavan, Model Colony, Law College Road, Gokhalenagar, Bhosalenagar, Aundh, Bopodi and Khadki.

Under Wadgaon water works the areas which will be affected are Sinhagad Road, Hingne, Wadgaon, Dhayari, Dhankawdi, Katraj, Aanandnagar, Ambegaon Pathar and Santoshnagar.Under Parvati water works: Peth areas, Dattawadi, Rajendranagar, Lokmanyanagar, Swargate, Parvati Darshan, Mukundnagar, Parvati village, Sahakarnagar, Bibvewadi and Taljai.

Finally, under Cantonment water works Pune Cantonment, Pune station, Koregaon Park, Tadiwala Road will be affected. 

Sources: TOI, Nyooz.com

Ganesh Pandals still on Pune roads; Citizens face trouble

It has been almost two weeks that Ganesh Utsav has ended in the city, still, the pandals have not been dismantled. Pedestrians have been facing trouble in walking on the footpaths along JM Road, Pune.  Pandals have restricted the space and pits, which were dug to plant poles still remain.

According to the Times of India, citizens of the city reported that footpaths have been suffering for about 20 days because the construction of pandals began a full 10 days before the festival this year. People have started seeking actions and they believe it’s time authorities initiate some strong legal action.
According to this year festival guidelines, the organisations are supposed to complete the permissions process four to five days before the start of the Ganesh Festival. The municipal corporation own records reveal that less than 50% of organisers have completed the formalities to construct pandals. Moreover, it is estimated that nearly, 1000 Ganesh organisations applied for permission this year, and rest 1500 mandalas, ran without permission. However, the civic administration has not taken any step against them.
Image and news source – TOI 

Dengue hits Pune city fringes

Dengue virus is on the prowl on the city fringes. Almost 60% of dengue cases reported this year have been detected among residents living in areas falling under the city’s four ward offices.

A total 147 out of the 248 patients, who tested positive for dengue, are from Dhankawadi Sahakarnagar, Hadapsar Mundhwa, Ahmednagar Road-Vadgaonsheri and Bhavani Peth ward office areas.

The latest report of the Pune Municipal Corporation’s insect control department reveals that the mosquito-borne disease has covered all the 15 ward offices in Pune city. But compared to the fringe areas, city’s core areas falling in Kothrud, Karvenagar -Warje, Tilak road-Sinhagad road and Aundh-Baner ward office areas have reported lesser number of dengue cases.

The objective of mapping of dengue cases is to intensify surveillance and containment of activities in the identified high risk areas so that the situation does not spiral out of control. The report takes into account only confirmed cases of dengue tested at government designated sentinel centres.

“We have already intensified measures to contain the spread of dengue in the identified areas. The multi-pronged approach will help rein in cases in the next few days,”  Vaishali Jadhav , assistant medical officer of health (AMoH), PMC told TOI.

TOI quoted Kalpana Baliwant, head of the insect control department, PMC saying, “We have pressed into service three high capacity vehicle mounted fogging machines in these areas. The highly concentrated fogging that covers around half a kilometre area will kill the infected adult mosquitoes and help contain the disease. Besides, the civic health department has roped in additional 300 contractual health workers, increasing the existing strength to 600 workers. These workers have been deployed mainly for house to house surveys for destroying mosquito larvae”

Source: The Times of India