Trees to be axed by PMC reduced to 35

Pune Municipal Corporation announced its decision to reduce the number of trees to be cut to 35 for re-designing of Rajbhavan road that comes under Smart City Mission’s Urban Street Design policy. The project would have initially required felling of 105 trees from Savitribai Phule Pune University road till Bremen road and Aundh. The green activists, however, are still not happy as they believe that the number can be reduced further.

The pilot project of Smart City mission involving renovation and widening of Jangali Maharaj Road began followed by PMC’s announcement similar renovations for 15 other roads in the city.

Rajendra Raut, Chief Superintendent Engineer of the PMC road department said, “We earlier faced a similar issue with the removal of 105 existing trees on the stretch in question for road widening. After reworking the project, adjusting utilities and pedestrian pathways, we started work and reduced the number of trees to be cut. A proposal has also been submitted to the tree authority for approval.”

Ironically, these very roads also came under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) improvements and PMC has already spent Rs 72 crores since 2008. Despite heavy finances, the roads and pavements are still encroached by hawkers, cycle tracks are in pathetic condition and regular digging work for utility services disrupts traffic leading to congestion.

When questioned about the difference between JNNURM and Smart City roads project, Raut defended that the aim is to make them pedestrian friendly this time. Hence, the components would be almost the same, but redesigning will be done within the available width of roads.

News Source: Pune Mirror

Image Source: Times Of India



NCP and BJP candidates enters into violent clashes

Pune: Chinchwad area of Pune saw election campaign turn unruly after candidates of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) got into clashes with one another, resulting in complaints filed from both ends.

A BJP worker complained that he and his fellow party workers were assaulted by NCP workers in the Anandnagar slums at around 10.45 on Saturday night, reported TOI .

According to the complaint filed at the Chichwad Police station, the members of BJP reached Anandnagar after learning that the NCP workers were distributing cash in order to buy votes for the elections. Four persons from the NCP were booked under the case, Vitthal Kaubade of the Chichwad police told TOI.

In another instance, the sitting woman NCP corporator from Chichwad registered a complaint with the police stating that 15-20 BJP workers hurled stones at her apartment in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

According to the complaint lodged, the BJP workers forced themselves into the house and assaulted the women of the family. They allegedly broke the window panes by hurling stones before leaving the housing complex premises.

The two parties are strong contenders in the Pune Municipal Corporation elections. Chichwad area is set to for the polls on February 21.



Four new shelters approved for PMPML buses

The Pune Municipal Corporation on Wednesday approved four sites which total up to 21 acres for the parking of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) buses. The depots will be constructed in different parts of the city.

Kunal Kumar, Municipal Commissioner said that around 1,000 buses can be parked in a 21-acre spread land. Adding to this, he said that this project will resolve the issue of buses being parked on the road side which caused high breakdown of buses.

Shewalewadi, Bhekrai Nagar, Shindewadi, Balewadi and Bhugaon are the allotted areas, which will be given on a lease for 30 years.

“The bus depot would be world class where parking as well as workshop for maintenance would be created. This would help in reducing the number of buses that break down every day,” Kumar reportedly said. He also added PMPML should start working on this as soon as possible so that the sites become operational within a year.

The city’s waste disposal issue has also been addressed in another significant decision. The general body approved the PMC to develop a waste processing unit and means for its transportation to control the 100 ton of construction waste which is generated every day. The project majorly aims at recycling the produced waste.

The PMC will also ensure that the real estate developers transport the construction waste generated at their project sites to the waste processing unit.

“The PMC would seek in writing detailed information from real estate developers on the estimate construction waste, likely to be generated during the construction work. A fee for transportation of the debris from the construction site to processing plant would be collected from the developers during the approval of the building plan,” Kumar added.

Sources: The Indian Express, Pune Mirror

Pune Metro Project gets the final approval from the PM

The Metro project in Pune was approved in October by the Public Investment Board (PIB) of the Union Finance Ministry. On Monday this week the project was placed before PMO and the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it received approval for initiation of the Phase-I of the project on December 7,2016.

The total cost of the project will be Rs 11,420 crore and construction of two corridors: Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to Swargate (16.589 km) and Vanaz to Ramwadi (14.665 km) is planned.

World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank gave its support through the approval for a loan of Rs 6,325 crore. 13.5 per cent of the remaining cost will be paid by Union and State government and the rest of the funds will be obtained from local civic bodies.

Pune Metro Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MAHA-METRO) will implement the project, which is scheduled to be completed in five years from the date of start of the work.

Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar said, “The Union cabinet has approved the Pune Metro rail project. It would be now discussed in the state cabinet to plan its implementation”.

But Pune Mayor, Prashant Jagtap, said that the reason for approval of this project is the forthcoming civic elections.

The groundbreaking ceremony of Pune Metro project is held on December 24th which will be performed by either the Nationalist Congress Party chief, Sharad Pawar or the Prime Minister.

SOURCES : Money Control, The Indian Express

Image Source : Hillpost

Maratha Kranti Morcha holds silent march in Pune

The Maratha Kranti Morcha was started a month ago and in this small span of time, it has managed to gather a mammoth of 15 lakh Marathas from all walks of life. The Maratha front has followers from across 20 cities of Maharashtra including Aurangabad, Usmanabad, Jalgaon , Beed , Parbhani , Hingoli, Nanded, Jalna, Akola , Latur, Navi Mumbai, Solapur, Ahmednagar  and Nasik. And now, they have set foot in the cultural capital, the education centre and one of the important IT hubs of the state—Pune.

The Maratha Kranti Morcha is holding a silent mach in the city today which will conclude by submitting a memorandum of requests to the District Collector. The demands put forth through the silent agitation are three-fold— 1. Seeking to punish the culprits of Kopardi minor girl gang rape and murder at the earliest; 2. Amendment of the Prevention of Atrocities Act so as to check its misuse; 3. Petitioning for reservations of the Maratha community, seeking a quick redressal of the issue.

The Maratha front will commence the march after paying homage to the great Maratha warrior Raja Sambhaji Maharaj’s statue at the Deccan Square. The march will proceed through Laxmi Road and end at the Council Hall, where a delegation of five girls will present the memorandum to the district collector. The nitty gritties of planning and organising the march are being taken care of at the Marathon Bhavan lent to the front by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Several IT professionals have volunteered to design and manage the social media, seeking people’s support through Facebook and Twitter mass messages. A missed call service has also been subscribed for in case people want to extend their support but are unable to attend the march.

One of the most appreciating aspects of the march being organised by the Maratha Kranti Morcha is that there is no political inclination to it. Even if a political member wishes to extend support, he might do so as an ordinary person—without branding his political party, carrying propagandistic banners or delivering speeches. It is a voluntary initiative, raised suo moto by the Maratha community to seek a resolution to problems faced by them on a daily basis.  There is no single leader who is managing the show, and absolutely no outsourced cash funding. People from the Maratha community have lent their services in managing the event in whatever capacity that they can—be it printing, arrangement of food, banners, SMS service, et al. To make things even better, the Maratha front has also organised a cleanliness drive after the march is over.

The Maratha community hopes that through the march, the Central Government is forced to intervene and pay heed to their issues, which have been earlier ignored by the Congress-NCP Alliance.

PMC Toilet Plan: Too good to be true

A few months ago, 14-year old Priyanka shinde had to wake up at 6 am only to join the queue leading up to the community toilet of Pune’s Ambedkar Nagar slum. That reality has changed now. She has a toilet inside her house now.

Like her, hundreds of other slum dwellers now have personal toilets due to PMC’s individual toilet plan as a part of the Swachch Bharat or Clean India Mission. In order to eradicate open defecation by October 2, 2019, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the civic body has expedited the drive by already constructing almost 12,000 individual toilets across several parts of the city. The target set by PMC Commissioner, Kunal Kumar is 19,845 individual toilets by October and around 800 community toilets by December end.

As per records till today, that is August 18, we have built 12,362 toilets across several parts of the city. And, they are being built free of cost. The beneficiaries only have to fill the forms and the rest is taken care of by us. By far, we have received some 23,000 forms”, said Alice Pore, Assistant Joint Commissioner, Solid Waste Department of PMC.

For funds, Rs.18, 000 has been allocated to the construction of each toilet, with the Centre providing Rs.4000, Rs.8000 by the state and Rs.6000 by PMC, confirms Pore.

To further scale up in numbers, the civic body has joined hands with an NGO, Shelter Associates and the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ (CREDAI).The former provides sustainable sanitation solutions through its slum mapping survey, and the latter has undertaken the construction work.

Project Director,Shelter Associates, Anita Deshmukh revealed, “There are three models under this scheme.In one money is deposited in the person’s account, which he or she can get in installments of Rs.8000 after first half of the work is completed. The other,is assigning the job to a contractor. We however, only provide the material and give them the guidance for proper drainage and piping. Sometimes they use it to renovate their kitchen, also”.

Although on paper, the records show progress, on-ground reality is not so rosy.

Priya Shinde’s mother, Daivasharda Shinde is one among many ‘beneficiaries’ to spend extra money to construct properly functional toilets. They were given the construction material according to the standard design of 3-feet tiling. However, the construction cost and their preference to have a 6-feet tiling, brought up the expenditure to around 20,000 more. Although, they could still afford it, their neighbor who opted for the usual, is still struggling.

The ‘usual’, as per PMC should be free, with the family receiving the material for the contractor to build it. However, in reality none of the families in Ambedkar Nagar slum availed this benefit for free. Most had to pay over Rs.3000, as per contractor’s demands.

65-year old, Bhamapandrinath Shendge, one the residents who opted for the usual,claimed to have received no plausible help. Her 3-feet tiled toilet cost her more than expected due to the shoddy construction by the contractor. “We were given 230 bricks and 4 sacks of cement to construct this toilet. The man used only one sack, and took away the rest with him. He did not even finish the piping work. I had to hire another person to get it done, all with my money”, she complained.

While the numbers keep increasing by the day, the bigger concern is the implementation.Such lack of awareness and the state-citizen communication gap could be a backstep for the scheme. “I am a fighter, but I don’t know where to go and who to tell about this cheating.So,now I’m helpless”, voiced Shendge.


PMC inaugurates Multipurpose Garbage Processing Plant

PUNE: On Monday, a multipurpose garbage processing plant in the Koregaon park (KP) areas was inaugurated by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The plant will be disposing different types of wastes. It has been named ‘Avani Navanirmiti Kendra’.

The corporator of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) from this locality, Vanita Wagaskar said, “This is one of the steps for making a garbage free ward. The plant can process wet garbage and dry garbage in the same premises. It houses unit for compost generation from wet garbage, sanitary napkins disposal facilities, garden waste shredders and unit for brick making from garden waste”.

The plant which houses two huge processing units bearing the capacity of 6 tonne each had been laid out, on Monday in panel number 21.

Last year in January, Uruli-Phursungi’s villagers had taken up the responsibility and stopped the garbage dumps. The further carried out protests against the improper garbage management. This was followed by the state government’s order to PMC to stop the garbage dumping. A ‘special action plan to mitigate the garbage problem’ was introduced by PMC during meetings with several associations. A plan to increase the decentralised garbage processing facilities, had been obtained by the civic administration. And, the unit at KP is one of those steps.

Nearly 1,600 metric tonne of garbage is generated in Pune every day. This includes nearly 850 tonnes of dry garbage , 250 tonne of wet, and 500 tonnes of  mixed garbage.

According to the civic officials, in the total garbage generated in Pune 15% is plastic. With the population growth, its quantity is increasing as well. Due to non-availability of land, processing of garbage is becoming a menace.

Source-  Times Of India