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

Maharashtra schools gets no fund from Govt under EWS scheme

Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, which has two schools in the city suffered the total loss of Rs 5 crore after the introduction of the mandatory 25 percent quota admission for children of the economically weaker sections (EWS) under the Right to Education (RTE) Act.

There are many other schools in the state that have been suffering losses due to no compensation from the government.

“I have a total of 600 seats, adding both my schools and their shifts together. We give admission to 150 RTE students every year since 2013. However, we haven’t received a single penny in terms of reimbursement from the government towards these admissions, which means we are bearing the entire cost of their education. We are a school, not a profit-making business and our fees are anyway not that high,” Nandkumar Kakirde, secretary of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, said.

Bharat Bhendarge who is a school owner from Aurangabad, sat on a protest about a fortnight ago outside the office of Director of Education in Pune because his school had lost Rs 37.5 lakh because of non-collection of fees from the 25 percent reserved seats for RTE admissions.

“I have 50 seats under RTE. Most of the time they are not filled, but the government does not allow us to take admissions on the vacant seats. They can be wasted, but not filled through regular admissions,” he claimed.

Jagrutti Dharmadhikari, president of the Independent English Schools Association (IESA) had organised a strike to demand the payment of EWS dues.  Jagrutti told to Indian Express, “We had given it in writing that we will not take EWS quota admissions from next academic year if our dues are not cleared by September 30”.

Sources: Indian Express

 

7 stray forts given ‘protection status’

The seven stray forts in Maharashtra have been granted ‘protection status’ by the State Archaeology department. Under this, the forts are –  Sangram Durg or Chakan fort in Pune, Yashwantgad (Redi) fort in Sindhudurg and Bandkot in Ratnagiri, among others, with plans to protect 48 more.

These forts are built by the Marathas in the 18th century, many of these forts are a part of over 56 stray monuments in the State that neither come under the state archaeology department nor the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Currently, there are 400 forts in the State, with only 90 under protection.
According to the Times of India, Tejas Garge, director, state department of Archaeology and Museums, told that with the help of Maharashtra’s Fort Conservation Committee, the department had proposed protection to close to 56 forts and temples, which are currently neither under it nor the ASI. He also added, “Of the 56 monuments, seven have been granted protection status, while the remaining 48 may also get this status in future.”

Garge said that the procedure to get protection for monuments as long as revenue recorded from the concerned district collectorates have to be obtained. He said, “In most cases, the monuments are under the ownership of the government. But there are some cases in which we need the transfer of ownership”.

Sources – Times of India

Demonetisation fails to affect tax collection in Pune

After Centre’s claims of significant rise in the tax collection after demonetisation, the tax collection data for the Pune region shows that there has been no significant change in the tax buoyancy in Pune area. Jurisdiction of Pune region includes the whole of Maharashtra, excluding Mumbai and 11 districts of Nagpur.

It is recorded that between April 1 and September 1 2017, the tax collection increase to 20.34%, which is 4 % less than last year for the corresponding period in 2016.

However, on the other side, before comparing it to individual taxpayers, there has been a rise in corporate tax collected. According to the Times of India, a senior tax official said, “

“This could be possibly because some corporates were underpaying taxes. Also, it could be attributed to the government’s push to net advance taxes this year”.

Tax collection from individuals till September 12 this year is 17%, lesser compared to the same period in last year. Tax data from April 1 to September 12, 2016 was about 28% of the tax collection for the entire fiscal.
Nonetheless, the data is yet needed some minor corrections, as tax officials said. They also added, tax collection is still going on and people have claimed returns in the deposited amount.

News Sources- Times of India

Dengue becomes severe in Pune

According to the state health department, Pune city is recorded with 1,047 dengue cases and 5 deaths. As the dengue sting gets lethal but the state health department has refused on spread of the disease “officials blamed the prevailing weather conditions for the rise in dengue cases.”

M S Diggikar, joint director (vector-borne diseases) of the state health department, said, “ “The intermittent drizzles followed by sunny days as seen during August and September created conducive breeding grounds for Aedes Aegypti — the mosquito that causes dengue”.

Moreover, when it comes to counting number of diseases, pune city continues to be first in rank with 320 cases, followed by Bombay 295. Activists working on the issue have said that the health department does not take the necessary steps and as a result people suffer.

Health activists, Abhijit More said, “During the Ganesh festival, the health authorities could have used audio-visual and other mass media tools to reach a large number of the population. Besides, municipal corporations need to set up dedicated fever clinics, especially during the monsoon, to identify patients suffering from the disease at early stage. Early detection and treatment hold the key to ward off the menace that dengue has become.”

News Sources- Times of India

Sewage worker dies after inhaling poisonous gas

In an unfortunate incident on Wednesday, Bharat Dhaokar, a 43-year-old sewage worker died after inhaling poisonous gas while cleaning a drainage chamber in the Kalewadi area of Pimpri-Chinchwad. The incident poses questions on the attitude of the civic authorities towards their staff.

Seema Savale, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Standing committee chairperson ensured that the contractor will have to pay Rs5 lakh as assistance to the family of the deceased.

Another worker employed with Dhaokar was rushed to the hospital, and is now out of danger. The PCMC administration has appointed a two-member committee of Joint Commissioner Dilip Gawde and Joint City Engineer Ravindra Dudhekar to probe the incident and take corrective measure to avoid recurrence.

According to Shravan Hardikar, the Municipal Commissioner, both the workers were trying to drain out the water from the drainage chamber using a jet suction machine. To place the machine, as soon as the workers opened the chamber, they suffered from suffocation and had to be hospitalised.

But, as per an eye-witness account, both the workers were lowered into the 10-feet deep chamber and after clearing it, they felt “uneasy and fell unconscious”.

Savale has promised the committee will take swift action and make those responsible pay.

Source – The Indian Express

Image Source – Rajesh Stephan

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