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Fire teams to conduct surprise checks at eateries

Alert and equipped, all Delhi Fire Services (DFS) officials will stand guard on the New Year’s Eve, with adequate deployment of fire tenders and emergency response vehicles. The officials have also been asked to carry out inspections and surprise visits at restaurants and pubs in their areas.A day after DNA reported that only three outlets in the Hauz Khas Village and four in the Khan Market have fire safety clearance, the Delhi Fire Services claimed to have taken sufficient preventive measures. The fact came to the fore a day after a tragic fire incident unfolded in Mumbai, killing 14 people.DFS chief fire officer Atul Garg said: “All DFS offices have been asked to carry out the inspection and make surprise visits at restaurants and pubs in their respective areas, especially at crowded places. It has also been decided that fire tenders will be placed at standby at all prominent places on the New Year’s Eve.”A day before the New Year’s bash, DNA carried out a ground reality check and visited Delhi’s party hubs to speak to owners, authorities, and Delhiites who are planning to head out to celebrate the New Year.Rajat Arora, who owns a cafe in Khan Market, said: “We have all the mechanisms ready, with fire censors in the roofs, to tackle any kind of mishap. Also, we plan to allow only a limited number of guests, so that there is no overcrowding.”Even as restaurant owners claimed to have the mechanisms in place, most of these eateries and restobars built on the first and second floors are like ticking bombs with narrow entries and only a single exit, sources said.Similarly in Connaught Place, where the civic body sealed 22 rooftop restobars earlier this year after two consecutive incidents of roof collapse, including one at the popular Unplugged Courtyard in the middle circle, only a handful have fire NOCs.Officials of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the civic body governing Lutyen’s Delhi, said they had recieved applications from owners to de-seal the rooftops for the New Year’s Eve, but they have denied these requests.Cafe owners at Hauz Khas Village, one of the city’s most popular hang out and party zone in south Delhi, which attracts thousands of youths and families every night, have their own ways to tackle a fire mishap.Most restaurants and bars in these neighbourhoods, which are usually booked in advance for New Year’s eve, have single exit-entry points with no proper ventilation.Speaking to DNA, SK Jain, owner of building number 30 in HKV that houses more than a dozen cafes, said they have their own fire safety measures.”We know mishaps take place on New Year eve, and fire is the most common one. Hauz Khas gets really crowded as its a party hotspot for youth. But, we are well equipped and prepared,” Jain said.He further showed the fire control panel system, which is set up in the basement of the building. When DNA checked the building, it had two exits and three fire equipment were fitted in the building and all were in a working condition.Jain further stated that the building has a underground tank, which has 40,000 litre of water stored, and a rooftop tank with 30,000 litre water. All cafes in the building have ordered more fire extinguishers for safety purpose.” Hauz Khas Village is my favorite place to party and hang out as it has a lot of good cafes. We should get practical about fire incidents. Places where there are fire security measures in place can witness an incident as well,” Rachna Luthra said.CIVIC BODY ON TOESSDMC has taken many precautionary measures for New Year’s Eve celebrations. South Delhi houses the largest number of hi-end restobars and pubs. The civic body held a high-level meeting in this regard and asked the deputy commisioners of its four zones to constitute ward-wise teams to inspect all big and small restaurants, banquet halls and premises. As per a check list, the teams will find out about fire extinguishers, alarm systems, water hydrants, emergency exits, and staircases.

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BMC struggling to hire over 1,700 security guards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is facing acute shortage of security personnel. As a result, most of the civic-run hospitals, gardens and schools do not have enough security personnel deputed. The shortage of security guards at hospitals is despite a clear directive from the state government following Bombay High Court order.According to an official from the civic body’s security department, there is a provision of 6,000 security personnel in the BMC. But the corporation has around 4,300 personnel, including guards hired from private agency.According to BMC rules, nearly 4,000 posts are to be filled by its own security personnel, while the remaining is to be procured from private agencies. “Of BMC’s own 4,000 security personnel, there are around 1200 posts are vacant,” said an official from the security department. Similarly, only 1,500 private guards have been hired, leaving a shortfall of 500.Six months ago, civic doctors went on a mass strike following a number of attacks on medical staff in the city as well as across the state. The Bombay High Court had then directed the state to provide security to doctors. The BMC had then roped in around 400 security personnel from Maharashtra State Security Board for major civic hospitals and assured to deploy 300 more guards.However, the security personnel went on a strike due to their own issues with the MSCC. Currently, only 80 security personnel from MSCC are deputed at different civic hospitals. While the BMC has deputed its own security at hospital, the numbers are enough.”The BMC is not keen to take security personnel from private agency as the civic body had received several complaints in the past. Even private agencies security personnel are not fit upto the mark,” said the official. Nearly a month ago, the civic body removed around 200 private guards after they were found unfit. “Some of the security personnel were too old to be deputed in hospital or any other places.”The BMC has even asked its contractors maintaining civic gardens to depute their guards at the open spaces.A senior civic official said they trying to sort out the security issue. “We hope to get additional security from the MSSC soon.”

Demolition drive issue rocks civic meeting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The standing committee meeting of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was adjourned on Wednesday over civic administration’s action against residents near Tansa pipeline. Members demanded that the administration first provide alternative arrangement before evicting them.Shiv Sena corporator Mangesh Satamkar moved the adjournment motion which was supported by members across parties. Satamkar said that the civic administration has been evicting poor people on war footing without giving proper alternative. “BMC has been rehabilitating them in Mahul in Chembur where basic facilities are not available,” said Satamkar. He added that there is no school or hospital in the area. “Does the BMC think that poor people do not need education of medical facilities,” said Satamkar.The BMC administration has been clearing encroachments across the city, especially along the Tansa pipeline following a Bombay High Court order. As per the court order, the civic body has to remove all encroachments along the 39 km-long Tansa pipeline and construct a wall 10 metres away from both side of the pipeline to protect the it. The civic administration claims that it has been following the court order and it has no option but to clear the encroachments.Ravi Raja, a Congress corporator and leader of opposition in the House, accused the civic administration of being inhumane.

Five months on, 1,200 BMC students still wait for their tabs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over five months after the new academic year has started, students of 1,200 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools are still awaiting tabs as the corporation is yet to complete the seeing process with a new seller. Despite a budgetary allocation of over Rs 7 crore, the civic body’s biggest e-learning initiative is in a shambles.As per an Right to Information (RTI) application response furnished to activist Prithviraj Mhaske, in 2015, the BMC bought 22,799 tablets for students of Class 8 and spent an amount of Rs 1.42 crore for the same. In 2016-17, the corporation spent Rs 12.99 crore to purchase a fresh bunch of tablets. In 2017, with a budgetary provision of 7.83 crore, the corporation decided to bring in a new service provider scrapping the earlier agency — Techno Electronics. However, till date the corporation is not able to find a new agency as a result of which fresh purchase has been hauled.”The corporation is not serious about its e-learning initiative. What is the point of giving away the tablets after half the year has gone by?” asked Mhaske. With the change in the Class 9 syllabus, earlier tablets became redundant as they did not have the revised syllabusMahesh Palkar, Education Officer, BMC said that the tendering process for the new set of tablets is still on. “Some of the applicants have quoted a very high price and negotiations with respect to prices are on. We want to ensure that students get tabs that are of good quality and at the same time worth their cost. The process will be completed soon and students will get their tablets after that,” added Palkar.Shubhada Gudekar, Chairperson of the BMC Education Committee, said that the process of acquiring and distributing tabs will happen in phases. “There are 1,200 schools of the corporation. We are working our best to procure new tabs as early as possible and as soon as the process is over, students will get them phasewise,” said Gudekar.Principals, meanwhile, said that with most students not havimg tabs, the initiative seems to have fizzled out. “Most students in our school do not have tablets. Some were sent for repairs and never came back and others are waiting as the corporation is yet to give a fresh batch with the new portion of the syllabus,” said the principal of a civic school.BackgroundIn August 2015, students of BMC schools had to wait until January to get their tabs as the civic body took time to get all the approvals.After tabs were distributed for the first time in 2015, schools started complaining about not having enough plug points to charge them in classrooms. The civic body then floated tenders for additional plug points in 2016.In 2016, with the government’s mandate of getting a battery certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the company Techno Electronics have the tabs after a delay of over two months.THE LONG WAITIn the 2015 academic year, BMC school students had to wait until Jan to get their tabs as the civic body took time to get approvals. Also, schools didn’t have enough power outlets

Multi-storey toilets by BMC on the cards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a move aimed at ensuring the city remains open-defecation free, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has, in a first, decided to construct two and three-storey public toilets to overcome problems of space constraint. BMC will be constructing over 18,000 public toilet blocks beginning next year.The BMC will form a special cell, which will be headed by the chief engineer (Slum Sanitation Programme), who will be responsible for carrying out the construction of these multi-storey toilets, which will provide water and electricity connections. Wherever, it not possible to connect the toilets to sewage lines, the BMC will build septic tanks for such toilets.These multi-storey toilets will have features like separate sections for children and the differently abled. “The estimated cost of constructing 18,818 toilet blocks is Rs. 376 crore. The civic body will also pull down 11,170 existing toilet blocks and construct 15,774 new toilets in its place using improved design. “Thus the city will get an additional 4, 604 toilet blocks when new toilet blocks are constructed in the place of old ones,” said an official. Meanwhile, another 3,044 toilets blocks will be completely new.”To overcome the shortage of space, we have decided to construct multi-storey toilets in the city. Earlier, the BMC used to construct only ground storey toilets. Keeping in mind the demand, two or three-storey toilets will now be constructed, which will increase the number of toilet seats,” a BMC official said.IN THE WORKSThese multi-storey toilets will have features like separate sections for children and the differently abled. The civic body is planning to complete the tender process by the end of this year and start giving work orders for the project by January 15, 2018.

Chakala civic body shifts church’s cross

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A cross outside the Holy Family Church in Chakala was shifted inside the church premises on Tuesday after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a notice to the church authorities on Monday asking for it to be shifted. The BMC plans to relocate six such crosses in Andheri as part of a road-widening project.More than three months after inspection at six such locations, the K-East ward of BMC failed to follow up the relocation of these crosses in the Andheri East area. Civic officials had visited these structures, along with the Catholic community members, in the month of July. However, the community members were waiting for the civic authority to revert.On Monday, the church authority received a shifting letter after community members reminded them about the issue four times since September. A prayer meeting was announced by the church’s priest on Tuesday before shifting the cross located on Chakala road.ON NOTICE In July, BMC had sent a demolition notice to pull down over 100-year-old crosses at six locations – Gundavli Lane 3, Marol Goathan, Marol Maroshi Road, Holy Family Church, Chakala and Vailankanni Grotto, Bamanwada. As per the community members, one of the crosses belongs to category A structure which can’t be demolished.

Speak up Mumbai: Reasonable expectation or passing the buck?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After evicting over 20,000 hawkers from across the city over the past month, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now looking for support from citizens in ensuring that hawkers do not return to encroach the areas where eviction drives have been carried out — one of the reasons it has failed to curb the issue time and again.On November 5, members of a residents group called Friends of Dadar assembled near Shivaji Park and took a pledge to not buy the wares sold by hawkers anywhere in the city in a bid to discourage the illegal businesses which have repeatedly proven to be an impediment to the free movement of pedestrians.Civic officials in charge of the removal of encroachments have called it a welcome move and said that the participation of citizens is critical to rid public spaces of hawkers.While the BMC has been urging participation from citizens, DNA spoke to residents from across the city to find out whether they think their complaints about encroachments by hawkers have been taken seriously by the civic body.EXPERT SPEAKParticipation of citizens is crucial as there is a need to involve all stakeholders to solve the issue. It may not be possible to stop everyone from buying wares from hawkers so it is important that hawking zones are created and thereafter regulated by MCGM and the police. Other structures that obstruct movement on footpaths such as milk booths should be removed too.—Indrani Malkani, managing trustee, V Citizens Action NetworkThe authorities do not take the kind of action they should be taking against hawkers. Whenever we complain, they take some action but the hawkers soon return. Mostly action against those with political patronage is not taken. If we complain too many times, they move out for some time but come back again later. The action taken by authorities is not up to the mark.—Anandini Thakoor, civic activistVOICESConstant follow-ups with the BMC ward office are necessary to make public spaces free of encroachments. Just by writing a complaint letter or visiting the office once does not ensure immediate action. The civic officials need to be reminded repeatedly in order to ensure they have taken the necessary action.—Mehjabeen Barwani, JuhuBMC takes no cognizance of citizens’ complaints regarding hawkers. All the major roads near stations are occupied by hawkers, leaving no space for pedestrians. Barring designated hawking zones, hawkers should not be allowed in busy places. The corporation should take serious action against flouting the rules.—Sanjay Patil, BorivliWe complained about the issue of hawkers in our area about four months ago but the BMC ward office has not taken any action against a single hawker yet. In fact, more hawkers have joined in and started their business. We met the local corporator regarding the issue as well but the authority has failed to take serious action so far. BMC should probably increase the target of the collection of fines from illegal hawkers so that the ward officials take more action.—Dhaval Shah, AndheriThe BMC does take action against hawkers but only after repeated complaints and follow-ups. Besides, even if action is taken, the hawkers put up their stalls again the very next day. Why can’t the police or BMC have a system for patrolling in the days following an eviction drive if they are really serious about our complaints? The fact is that hawkers wouldn’t be able to run their businesses without the blessings from the police and BMC.—Nitin Nikam, ChemburIf people stop buying from hawkers, they will disappear. However, when hawkers are gone, shops encroach on footpaths. There has to be an easier process for lodging complaints as visiting the office every time is not possible. They should probably develop an app. Besides, people think that BMC won’t act and fear a backlash from those against whom the complaint is made in case the complainant’s identity is leaked.—Gaurav Worlikar, WorliResidents of Linking Road in Bandra and Khar have been complaining for years about the illegal hawkers menace in their areas. Despite this, the illegal hawkers are not evicted, they continue with their businesses and have created a mess for both pedestrians and motorists. Even though the BMC may have been successful in evicting hawkers from outside railway stations in the city, the civic body has not managed to evict illegal hawkers from these areas.—Sushmita Singh, BandraCan the BMC and other government agencies do anything apart from putting the onus on the common man? Being taxpayers, the least we can expect is knowing that the civic body is taking the initial steps to curb the menace. Thousands of complaints simply languish on their tables and no action is taken unless a major tragedy strikes. Citizens are ready to cooperate and support the civic body’s initiatives but the measures should be implemented without glitches.—Neeta Patel, VikhroliOne may complain to the civic body umpteen number of times but the issue always goes back to square one. The ironic part is that the hawkers are tipped off by the BMC office itself that they will be visiting with their van for an eviction drive so they are alerted beforehand. This is the most rotten form of corruption. Howsoever one complains, corruption is rampant. It’s really sad that eventually we, the taxpayers, have to suffer.—Krishna Gupta, Goregaon

BMC to offer money instead of commercial rehabilitation to get encroached land

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Various projects struck up due to encroachments could soon get a push as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee cleared a proposal to compensate Project Affect Peoples (PAPs) by monetarily. The proposal will need to be cleared the BMC’s general body.The demolition of encroachments in Mumbai has always been a challenging job for the BMC. One of the main obstructions faced by the civic body is that owners of the encroached structures which are eligible for rehabilitation do not easily agree for the alternate accommodation provided by the BMC.As per the proposal, the BMC will rehabilitate commercial structures by offering them compensation in the form of ready reckoner rate of that area. This, the civic body says, will expedite the demolition process.A senior civic official said that the BMC does not have enough places for rehabilitation of the eligible commercial structures. “We have come up with this proposal to compensate PAPs by paying them as per the ready reckoner rate.”The BMC has enough space for residential rehabilitation but not for commercial. If money is offered instead of alternate accommodation, the shop owners will get encouraged to evict the place. We expect this policy to be sanctioned by the corporation soon to expedite the demolition of encroachments in Mumbai”, said the official.”The ready reckoner rate is applicable to shops with a maximum area of 225 sq feet. If the area of the commercial structure is 250 or 300 sq feet big, rate will be paid for 225 sq feet area as that is the maximum area limit for alternate accommodation. If the revised policy is implemented, the demolition drives will speed up,” said an official from the civic ward.The proposal is likely to help BMC to clear encroachment along the 39- km long Tansa pipeline that provide potable water to the city. Even, the Bombay High Court has directed BMC to clear encroachment 10 metre both side of the pipeline and construct a wall from further encroachment. However, the civic body has been a lot difficulty while removing encroachment.

BMC plans to lure commercial encroachers with compensation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demolition of encroachments in Mumbai has always been a challenging job for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). One of the main obstructions faced by the civic body is that owners of the encroached structures which are eligible for rehabilitation do not easily agree for the alternate accommodation provided by the BMC.The BMC’s estate department has now worked on a revised policy of rehabilitation of commercial structures by offering them compensation in the form of ready reckoner rate of that area. This, the civic body says, will expedite the demolition process.BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “We do not have enough places for rehabilitation of the eligible commercial structures so we thought of compensating them which will definitely speed up the demolition drives. I have already sent the proposal to the standing committee”.The revised policy for the rehabilitation of commercial structures was prepared three months ago, however it has not yet been presented to the standing committee.”The BMC has enough space for residential rehabilitation but not for commercial. If money is offered instead of alternate accommodation, the shop owners will get encouraged to evict the place. We expect this policy to be sanctioned by the corporation soon to expedite the demolition of encroachments in Mumbai”, said a senior civic officer, requesting anonymity.”The ready reckoner rate is applicable to shops with a maximum area of 225 sq feet. If the area of the commercial structure is 250 or 300 sq feet big, rate will be paid for 225 sq feet area as that is the maximum area limit for alternate accommodation. The policy was made three to four months ago but is yet to be sanctioned by the standing committee. If the revised policy is implemented, the demolition drives will speed up,” said an official from the civic ward.Despite repeated attempts, BMC’s standing committee chairman Ramesh Korgankar (Shiv Sen) was unavailable for comment.MONETARY WINThe BMC’s estate department has worked on a revised policy that offers commercial structures compensation in the form of ready reckoner rate of the area. The revised policy was prepared three months ago, however it has not yet been presented to the standing committee.

AMC still awaits Centre’s nod for Pirana fund

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the aim to make the city Zero Waste by 2031, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has decided to find a solution to Pirana’s waste problem that has been affecting the city’s environment or a long time now. It had put forth a proposal before the Centre to fund them and clear a bio-mining project spread across 84 acres, but are still waiting for the nod.The local authority dumps 4,700 metric tonnes of solid waste at this site on an average since 1980. The proposal is in accordance wih he Swachh Bharat Mission.Authorities believe that bio-mining is the best solution and a step ahead for the smart city. But for the first heritage city of country, Heritage Pirana Site is a complex issue.”After studying the options available for an issue like Pirana, we have finalised bio-mining as a viable solution. A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the same has been submitted to the Centre. We are now waiting for the final approval by the urban development department,” said Mukesh Kumar, municipal commissioner.The project is estimated to cost around Rs 375 crore and the proposal was submitted three month back. AMC is waiting for the final nod to get rid of solid waste. Similar projects are at tandem in several towns and cities across India.WATT FROM WASTEThe civic authority is also thinking of converting the waste for energy production. Two companies have been awarded tenders and are likely to start production by next year. The energy to be produced will be close to 25 MW. Abellon Clean Energy and JITF Urban Infrastructure Limited, were also given land by the AMC. They will use 1,000 metric tonnes of the waste daily.Civic authority claim that their plans for Pirana are innovative. Surat, Pune and Delhi generate power from their waste.Abellon had inked an MoU with AMC in 2013 to produce 15 MW energy using 1,000 metric ton of waste, said a senior AMC official.FOR TAX-FREE BONDSAMC was all set to issue tax-free public bond in the third financial quarter, the fund from which was to be used for the smart city project. However, the central government has given the permission for private bonds. Civic authority has sent a proposal to the finance department for the conversion of type bond, which is pending before them. This year, the civic authority is considering Rs150 crore from the market by issuing bonds. Pune has raised Rs 200 crore this year in June by issuing bonds.CIVIC PLANSThe local authority dumps 4,700 metric tonnes of solid waste at this site on an average since 1980.. The civic authority is also thinking of converting the waste for energy production. Two companies have been awarded tenders and are likely to start production by next year.

BMC to discuss power, water cut in bldgs without OC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the standing committee meeting on Wednesday, the civic administration will table a proposal to disconnect water and electricity supply to newly constructed buildings that have not obtained occupation certificate (OC) from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).Dilip Lande, a corporator from Kurla and the then group leader of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), had put up the proposal during the general body meeting in March 2017. Lande had demanded that the BMC should not give water connection to buildings that have not obtained OC from the civic body. Apart from Lande, other corporators too had demanded the same during the meeting.Corporators had alleged that there are many buildings in the city which have not obtained OC from BMC, but are selling flats to gullible buyers. “Several builders sold flats to several buyers without obtaining OC and fled,” said Lande. He added that it is the flat buyers who face difficulty while getting civic facilities.According to civic officials, so far buildings constructed after getting permission from BMC’s building proposal department are given water connection on humanitarian grounds although they do not have OCs. But residents in those buildings have to pay double the charge for water connection.However, BMC has also its constitutional obligation to provide water on a community basis by laying water mains and water taps. “In keeping with Supreme Court and High Court order, and MCGM Act 1888, Government of Maharashtra has already given in principle approval to provide water through community basis by laying water mains and water taps,” said an official.But, if the civic body takes decision of disconnecting water supply, it will affect thousands residents of newly constructed buildings in the city which have not obtained OC.However, an official from the hydraulic department said that the civic body will continue to provide water to such buildings.

Proposal to extend relief from razing in illegal areas gets nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Standing Committee of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Monday approved the proposal for extending the relief from demolition for unuathourised colonies by three years from December this year to December 2020.The Standing Committee chairman Jayendra Kumar Dabas moved a proposal in the meeting of the House “the relief be extended up to 31st December with exemption from all punitive actions against the unauthorised constructions up to 31st December 2016 in all categories.”This will mean that till December 2020 the civic body will not take any demolition action in these unauthourised colonies.These colonies were always hanging under fire from the civic body for not having valid papers of registry and for not being built as per the sanctioned building plans, as prescribed in the Master Plan of Delhi (MPD).”It is expedient to have a law in terms of Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) -2021, for a period up to 31st December 2020, with cut off date extended up to 31 December 2016 in all categories, to provide for relief and to minimise avoidable hardships and irreparable loss to people in the capital against any punitive action by the civic body,” the resolution stated.The Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) -2021 specifically provides for strategies for housing for urban poor as well as to deal with the informal sector. In pursuance of the guidelines, necessary steps are being taken for regularisation of unauthourised colonies, which involve scrutiny of layout plans, assessment of built up percentage and change of boundaries, among others.

Tender for parking app will be floated by Diwali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The tender for appointing a software company for developing a mobile application for booking a spot at parking lots in South Mumbai is likely to be floated by Diwali, civic officials said. The tender document has already been prepared and is awaiting a nod from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner, Ajoy Mehta.Kiran Dighavkar, assistant commissioner of A ward, said, “We have prepared the tender documents for the mobile app for booking at parking lots. Now, we need the civic chief’s permission to float it.” He said that if required, changes would be made to the app even at this stage.According to civic officials, the app will be similar to ticket-booking apps, and will help citizens check vacancies in parking lots in a matter of seconds, thereby solving a long-standing problem. “It is very difficult to find a parking space in Mumbai, especially during office hours,” said Dighavkar. He added that motorists will make the booking first, and then go to park their vehicles, thus helping to reduce the number of vehicles that roam on the roads in search of a lot.The app will allow users to book space at any time for more than an hour, and make payments online. “The user will just show the e-invoice at the parking lot to make the reservation for the parking space,” said another civic official from A ward. Initially, the civic body will provide for online booking at seven South Mumbai parking lots. The application will be extended to the suburbs later.The BMC had come up with its parking policy at the beginning of the year.

BMC’s STP plan rots as ministries spar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan, worth Rs 6,000 crore, to set up sewage treatment plants (STPs) has been stuck for the past two years with the ministries of urban development and environment and forests, as they spar over fixing the discharge standard for treated sewage. This, despite repeated pleas by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BMC for an early decision.BMC proposed to set up, in phases, five such STPs of 300 to 500 million litre per day (MLD) capacity at Ghatkopar, Dharavi, Malad, Versova and Bandra. The civic body, which has estimated a cost of Rs 2 to 3 crore per MLD, hopes to use the treated water for non-potable purposes. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta told DNA,”BMC is ready to float tenders the minute discharge standards are fixed.” A state urban development officer confirmed that BMC is unable to kickstart its plan as the ministries are yet to come to a unanimous decision.Mumbai needs 3,500 MLD of drinking water while 2,700 MLD is sewage which is released into the Arabian Sea — most of it untreated, threatening marine life and the coast.The ministry of environment and forests has consistently held that the level of biological oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solid (SS) in the treated water should be 10 mg per litre each. However, the ministry of urban development is suggesting a relaxed discharge standard, and separate standards for treated sewage that is released in the deep sea, and that which is released in internal water bodies.BMC’S PLANBMC was to set up, in phases, five such STPs of 300 to 500 million litre per day capacity at Ghatkopar, Dharavi, Malad, Versova and Bandra
The civic body estimated a cost of Rs 2 to 3 crore per MLD

Pending dues: Name defaulting shopkeepers, CIC tells NDMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Everything is not well with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). Stating that the records of outstanding bills towards shopkeepers in Palika Bhawan and RK Puram showed “a rather sordid and contaminated state of affairs at the NDMC”, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has summoned records from the civic body.The transparency watchdog has said that the civic body, which is responsible to maintain the Lutyen’s Delhi, is attempting to hide the information by denying the same under the clause of the Right to Information Act (RTI). RTI, however, does not cover the information related to commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, unless it involves larger public interest.”An honest citizen who pays his dues cannot be ignored by a civil body by sparing coercive action and extending tacit support to defaulters. Resistance to recover outstanding dues and efforts to keep the information guarded tend to legitimise the conduct of defaulters, besides causing heartburn to the upright taxpayer,” Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad said in an order.The directions came after an RTI applicant, who himself owns a shop in Palika Bhawan and RK Bhawan, had alleged that most occupants in the said premises have not been paying the license fee and the rent. He also claimed that the civic body has not taken any step to recover the pending amount which runs into crores.The NDMC did not send its officials for the hearing, despite notices from the transparency watchdog.”Upon a query from the commission, the appellant states that some of the shops/ commercial spaces were allotted way back in 1980 and a few licencees have not bothered to pay any licence fee since initial allotment. He also talked about the unholy nexus between the defaulter allottees and the officers of the NDMC,” Azad said.According to the records placed by the information commissioner in his order, over Rs 7 crore are pending as on September 14 towards 25 shopkeepers in Palika Bhawan. The CIC said that the “situation is alarming as it has a direct impact on the financial health of the NDMC” adding that the reasons that keep the civic body from taking concrete steps towards recovery of the dues cannot be hidden, as it affects the maintenance of civic amenities and livelihood of NDMC employees. The commission also issued show cause notice to the officials of the civic body for “causing deliberate obstruction in the flow of information”.The CIC will impose a penalty up to Rs 25,000 on the erring officer, if the person concerned cannot give reasonable justification for his action.DUE RECORDSAccording to the records placed by the information commissioner in his order, over Rs 7 crore are pending as on September 14 towards 25 shopkeepers in Palika Bhawan

MBMC issues property tax bills after due date, penalizes residents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is forcing lakhs of residents to pay property tax penalty along with interest because of its own inefficiency. The civic body distributed property tax bills to the residents after the due date and is now asking them to cough up interest and penalty for delayed payment.The property tax bills distributed to lakhs of residents mention bill date of May-June, due date for which is August-end. However, the people received the same only a week ago, much after the payment due date.”In spite of their fault, by asking residents to pay 2% interest as well as penalty for delayed payment, the civic body is indulging in an unfair practice,” said Mira Road resident Mukhtar Khan.Another resident, Prabhakar Shetty, said, “The act of the civic authorities puts blame on to the law abiding citizens who clear all payments before the due date. In other words, residents are being tagged as tax-evaders, when the fact is the civic officials are incompetent”.”MBMC should have waived off the penalty and interest even before residents start raising objections. There are several property owners who have paid penalty, for such cases, civic authorities should adjust the amount in next year’s property tax bill along with 2% interest,” said Advocate Kishore Samant of Democratic Youth Federation of India, youth wing of CPIM.An MBMC official shared that despite repeated reminders to the authorities concerned, bills were generated and printed after several months, so when the time came to distribute these property tax bills, it was well past the due date. Now, people were approaching them daily with objections.Clarifying on the subject, Assistant Municipal Commissioner Swati Deshpande said, “There is error from our end, we would want people to pay their property tax bills along with penalty and interest. Those who have objections may also give an application so that the same can be taken up with higher authorities. However, at the moment we cannot commit if the penalty amount will get adjusted in the next bill.”Despite repeated attempts, MBMC Commissioner Naresh Gite did not respond for clarification on interest and penalty waiver or extension of due date.

BMC to bring tree-cutting under Right to Service Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The general body of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) cleared a notice of motion on Tuesday, paving the way for including tree cutting and trimming work under the Right to Service Act.Now, the proposal will be sent to the civic chief for approval, and once it gets his permission, the civic body will have to cut and trim trees within 14 days.Aneesh Naval Makwaaney, a Bhartiya Janata Party corporator from Juhu-Vile Parle moved the notice of motion. He said that timely tree cutting and trimming can save life, and he also cited the Chembur incident where a 57-year-old woman died after a coconut tree came crashing down on her when she had gone for a morning walk.“Had the civic body taken the society’s complaint seriously regarding tree cutting, the woman’s life would have been saved,” said Makwaaney.

Cong, BJP stage walkout over waste mgmt notice

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The civic body’s circular on waste segregation and composting being made mandatory for housing societies and bulk generators from October 2 led to arguments at the BMC general body meeting on Monday.Members of all parties slammed the civic administration for not consulting them before taking the move. Besides, members of the Congress and the BJP staged a walkout, claiming they were not allowed to air their views.During the meeting, the ruling Shiv Sena alleged that the administration again insulted Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar by not taking him into confidence while taking the decision.Yashwant Jadhav, a Shiv Sena corporator and leader of House at BMC, alleged that the administration has insulted Mumbai as it did not discuss the issue with city’s first citizen. “Insulting a mayor is nothing but insulting Mumbaikars as the mayor represents the whole city,” said Jadhav.Earlier, BMC’s leader of opposition Ravi Raja submitted a statement opposing the civic administration move to make waste segregation and composting from October 2. Raja cited Section 61 (C) of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, which makes lifting and managing waste is an obligatory duty of BMC.All political parties supported the statement made by Raja and sought Mayor to take a decision against civic administration’s move. BJP group leader Manoj Kotak said, “The responsibility of collecting garbage and composting lie with the BMC as the agency collects tax from residents.” He added that by issuing such kind of circular, the civic administration is trying to create havoc among residents.

Waste composting: BMC softens stand on Oct 2 deadline

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With apprehensions raised by housing societies on whether they would be able to meet the October 2 deadline set by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for mandatory waste segregation and composting in their premises, the civic body on Monday said it would give societies leeway of three months to start the waste management at source, provided they submit a detailed plan to the corporation.The BMC had earlier maintained that from October 2, it will stop collecting garbage from housing societies and bulk generators unless they segregate waster and compost wet waste in their premises. The softening of this stand on Monday comes as major respite to housing societies who had raised concerns about lack of space in their premises and funds for composting.Now, the civic administration will bring an amended circular which will allow housing societies to submit a plan on how they will start composting. Meanwhile, the BMC will continue to collect garbage from societies.At a meeting called by Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar on Monday evening, BMC chief Ajoy Mehta assured him and the group of leaders of the BMC that the civic body would help housing societies with space and funds for waste management.The meeting was prompted by ruckus during the general body meeting earlier in the day, when agitated members slammed the civic administration for not consulting them before issuing a circular that made it mandatory for housing societies generating over 100 kg waste in the city to start waste segregation and wet waste composting from October 2. The general body meeting had to be adjourned after BJP and Congress members staged a walkout.Now, housing societies have to submit in writing to the BMC their plan of waste management at source within three months. “The housing societies can submit their plan within three months, giving details of their plan,” said Yashwant Jadhav, a Shiv Sena corporator and leader of House at BMC. He added that while submitting their plan, the housing societies can seek another three months to implement their plan.In the proposed amended circular, there will be provision for corporators to help housing societies in generating funds and finding place for composting. However, there will be no assistance provided to hotels, malls, restaurants and commercial units in finding space for composting.Congress corporator and leader of opposition in the BMC, Ravi Raja, who opposed the circular during the general body meeting, said that civic administration cannot force residents to segregate waste and compost. “Lifting of waste and managing it is an obligatory duty of BMC which is clearly mention in the section 61 (c) of Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act 1888,” said Raja.BJP group leader Manoj Kotak said that the civic body was itself not following what it has been asking residents to do. “In 2014, I had raised the issue. Unfortunately, the civic administration had done nothing and has placed the onus of waste management on residents,” said Kotak.

Get on Twitter to reach more people: BMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Solid Waste Management (SWM) will soon issue a circular to all ward offices to start a Twitter handle to get in touch with residents in their respective areas to solve waste-related issues. The proposal was also sent to the municipal commissioner.Currently, the SWM department operates a Twitter account through which it informs people about the civic body’s initiatives. However, it found that several issues waste issues can be resolved at the ward level if they have a Twitter account.”We have already prepared a detailed plan that will be sent to all wards after getting permission from the civic chief. The initiative will make civic body’s presence in the social media,” a SWM official told DNA.

Bldg proposal dept hits 40% target in 5 months

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) realistic budget and Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act helped the civic body to achieve around 40 per cent of the estimated revenue from its building proposals department in less than five months. In the Budget 2017-18, the civic body had estimated around Rs 3,900 crore in revenue from this department.However, till August 24, 2017, the department has already earned around Rs 1,614 crore. Interestingly, the civic body has already issued 20 per cent more occupancy certificates (OC) so far as against last year.While presenting the Budget 2017-18, civic chief Ajoy Mehta had said that administration had prepared a realistic budget. And, this was seen in the proposed estimated revenue for the building proposal department, where the civic administration had set a revenue target of Rs 3,997 crore for the current fiscal.In 2016-17, the BMC had set a revenue target of Rs 5,348 crore, and it had achieved around Rs 3,939 or 74 per cent. The BMC had presented Rs 25,141 crore budget for the financial year 2017-18, around 32 per cent less than 2016-17, which was Rs 37,052 crore.According to an official from the building proposal department, the revenue target was brought down corresponding to the proposed budget.During this fiscal, the Department has already received 80 percent more applications for various works from intent of disapproval (IOD) to occupancy certificate as against last year. “Till August 24, the department has already received 7,883 applications for concession, IOD, first CC, OC and BCC while in 2016-17, we had received a total 4,364 application,” said a senior official from the department.The rise in applications is seen as a RERA-effect as the civic building proposal department has already issued 62 Ocs, while in 2016-17, it had issued a total of 51 OC. However, the number of rejection of various applications is also higher this fiscal. Since April 2017, the department has rejected around 1,522 applications, around 19 per cent of the total applications it received.

40-yr-old Mumbra building tilts,14 families evacuated

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a 40-year-old dilapidated building in Mumbra tilted dangerously on Friday, 14 families were rescued and sent to transit camps in municipal schools.The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) will pay rent to the persons who were evacuated from the building.Noorani Mahal, which was constructed in 1984, has 16 flats and nine shops. The four building structure was declared extremely dangerous by the TMC and notices to evacuate the building were handed over to the residents.“The building had started tilting in the past couple of months and finally the building reached a point where it was resting and taking the support of the adjacent building. When it tilted dangerously on to the other building, the police and fire brigade department were immediately informed,” said a senior TMC official.Manish Joshi, Zone 1 Deputy Municipal Commissioner, TMC, said, “We convinced residents to evacuate the building and promised them that the rent would be paid by the civic body. Till then they will be given refuge at transit camps in schools run by the civic body.”

Dengue claims first life in Delhi this season, 325 hit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi authorities on Monday confirmed the first reported dengue death in the capital this year. Civic officials have identified the deceased as 12-year-old Nitish Kumar, a resident of Safdarjung development area in the city, who died of ‘dengue shock syndrome’ on August 1, 36 hours after he was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.According to the municipal report, 325 people have been affected by the vector-borne disease this monsoon season in Delhi alone.“The patient was brought to us 4-5 days after he was infected. He had the dengue shock syndrome and his blood pressure was not recordable. There was fluid collection in his chest and abdomen,” said Dr Anil Sachdeva, paediatrician, Sir Gangaram Hospital. “Kumar hailed from Bihar,” said South Delhi Mayor, Kamaljeet Sehrawat.Of the total 657 dengue cases reported this year, 325 have been in Delhi and 332 from other states.

Hyderabad becomes free of open defecation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Hyderabad city has become free of open defecation, its civic body said today. The city received the tag after all its corporators gave an undertaking that their respective wards were open defecation free (ODF). “The corporators of all 150 wards have given an undertaking that their wards are open defecation free and requested (the civic body) to declare so,” the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said in a statement. Under the guidance of Telangana’s municipal administration and urban development minister K T Rama Rao, the GHMC took various initiatives to control open defecation, it said. The civic body constructed individual and community toilets and also provided pre-fabricated ones in slums, the statement said. As a part of the initiative of transforming the city as free of open defecation, the GHMC persuaded about 295 petrol pumps and 390 hotels and restaurant owners to open the toilets at their respective sites for use by the general public, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Over 100 fresh dengue cases reported in a week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 130 fresh cases of dengue have been reported during the last week in Delhi, taking the total number of people affected by the vector-borne disease this season to nearly 500, according to a municipal report released on Monday.The number of people affected by malaria this year till August 12, has climbed to 385 while the figure for chikungunya stands at 283. Of the 496 dengue cases, 251 affected people were residents of Delhi while the rest of the cases diagnosed here were traced to other states. At least 79 cases have been recorded this month.Nearly 120 cases of dengue were reported last month, while 15 were recorded in June.Notwithstanding the rising number of cases of vector- borne diseases, the Delhi government had last week said there was “no need to panic” and the administration was “adequately equipped” to handle any situation.The season for the vector-borne diseases kicked in mid- July and it generally lasts till November-end. Cases of all the three vector-borne diseases were reported much earlier this time, which doctors had attributed to early arrival of the monsoon.Dengue and chikungunya are caused by aedes agypti mosquito, which breeds in clear water. Anopheles mosquito, which causes malaria, can breed in both fresh and muddy water.According to the report, breeding of mosquitoes has been reported at 1,04,758 households in Delhi. All the three municipal corporations have stepped up awareness drives — distributing pamphlets and plying vehicles with loudspeakers issuing dos and don’ts for prevention of the diseases.The Delhi government had on June 23 instructed state-run and private hospitals, and nursing homes to increase their bed capacity by up to 20 per cent for the next six months to deal with any possible outbreak of dengue and chikungunya.The government has banned over-the-counter sale of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and brufen as their use may “pose a threat” to dengue and chikungunya patients.At least 15 fatalities were reported last year at various hospitals in the city due to complications triggered by chikungunya though the civic bodies have kept the death tally at zero.At least 21 deaths due to dengue were reported last year at various hospitals, including nine at AIIMS, though the official tally of the civic bodies stood at 10. Seventeen deaths suspected to be due to malaria in 2016 were also reported by the civic bodies.In one of the worst outbreaks, a total of 12,221 chikungunya cases were reported in Delhi till December 24, 2016, out of which 9,749 were confirmed.

2 DTC drivers killed, 6 injured as mini truck rams into bus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two DTC drivers were killed and six others injured when a mini truck rammed into a DTC bus, undergoing repairs following a breakdown, in northwest Delhi’s Rani Bagh area today, police said. The incidents occurred when the low-floor DTC bus was being repaired near the Madhuban Chowk underpass, they said. The bus had broken down yesterday and its driver Pramod Kumar had then sought the help of a mechanic to repair the vehicle. Police said while a mechanic was repairing the bus, Pramod and bus conductor Sumit were diverting the traffic. It was at this time that Sumit was hit by a speeding motorcycle. The biker and Sumit were injured and taken to a hospital by the mechanic, they said. More workers were then called in to repair the bus, including Pramod’s friend Sunil Kumar, a driver with the DTC. Sunil then took up the task of diverting traffic while Pramod assisted mechanics in the repair work. Around 12.30 AM, a speeding mini truck rammed into the bus, injuring Sunil and Pramod severely. The truck driver and helper were also injured along with two other mechanics who were repairing the bus, police said. They were rushed to different hospitals. Sunil and Pramod were declared as brought dead while the condition of two is stated to be critical, they added. The truck driver, 54-year-old Karan, was arrested after being discharged from the hospital. Police said they are probing whether he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. Meanwhile, North Delhi Mayor Preety Agarwal visited the accident site today and demanded the city government to pay a compensation of Rs 1 crore to the kin of each of the DTC drivers. Addressing a press conference at her office in the Civic Centre, she also said family members of the victims should be offered jobs. Delhi Transport minister Kailash Gehlot also met the families of the deceased and the injured. Senior BJP leader and the leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta, also met the families of the victims and demanded compensation for the next of kin of the deceased. The Chairman-cum-General Manager (CGM) of the DTC visited the Rohini depot along with other officials, said a senior official of the public transporter, adding an inquiry will be conducted by the DTC into the incident. Sunil and injured conductor Sumit were contractual employees with the DTC. Two mechanics, among the injured, are working with a private company, the official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC’s B ward to promote paper pulp Ganesh idols

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The B-ward of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken a unique initiative to promote eco-friendly Ganesh idols made of paper pulp. The ward office has been identifying artists who can make such eco-friendly idols in mass numbers and corporates who can fund the cost to make available the idols at subsidies prices. One of the main reasons of high price of paper made idols is its time taken in making it.To protect environment, Udaykumar Shiroorkar, assistant municipal commissioner of B ward has taken the initiative himself. He said that plaster of paris (PoP) made idols leave severe biological impact in water when idols are immersed after festival. “In the past, we have seen dead fish floating couple of days after PoPs-made idols were immersed in ponds across the city,” said Shiroorkar.He said that recently he had come across an artist who made Ganesh idols from wastes like newspaper or magazine paper, binding gum and some other materials which do not have bad affect in the environment. “The paper made idol is light and also looks alike with idols made of PoPs. However, the cost of paper made idols are a little more than PoPs,” he added.Shiroorkar said that the artist had around 300 idols, and all were sold immediately when the civic body started promoting it among the corporate. One of the main reasons for the high price of paper made idols is the time taken in making it. “The artist can make three times more PoPs idol than paper pulp idol in the same time, and that is why artists do not show much interest. In addition, it also becomes for them to sell these idols in the market when PoPs made idols are available at low cost,” said Shiroorkar.The civic body is in touch with several corporates to fund the initiative under corporate social responsibility (CSR) scheme. “The paper made idol is light and also looks alike with idols made of PoPs Common people can buy these idols at a subsidised price while the civic body will compensate artists with the funds it gets from the corporates,” said Shiroorkar. He said that couple of corporates have shown interest in funding the initiative.

SPEAK UP: Deadly potholes are turning into breeding spots for mosquitoes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The rainy season might have brought the much needed respite from heat, unfortunately it also brings along a lot of diseases. The capital city is no different to this fact, as it has seen a rise in vector borne diseases. One of the major reasons for it is water getting collected in the potholes.Many internal roads with potholes are neglected, which are the cause of mosquito breeding.The Public Works Department (PWD) received over 1,352 road-related complaints, which include potholes, pits etc, and an additional 827 waterlogging complaints till July 26. Despite several measures and complaints from people, the issue is still ignored.If one walks past the Karol Bagh Metro station, there are pits on the roadside filled with water and a layer of mosquitoes on top of it and similar is the case near Noida Sector 16 Metro station where pits have layers of mosquitoes and breeding larvae on top of it.Every monsoon the city faces similar problems but despite this not much is done. The drains get flooded and the water overflows. While departments blame each other, the common man continues to suffer due to the various issues under the civic bodies.There roads in my area has many potholes, more than the mosquito breeding I am worried about accidents. The civic body turns a blind eye every year. We do hear some lives are lost while avoiding potholes but the authorities fail to better the roads.— Agraj Magotra, Patel NagarAs the rains arrive the condition of Delhi roads worsen. When the politicians come to claim votes they give all big talks that they will resolve the pending issues, but when the real issues actual break out we just hear them writing letters to higher-ups and not doing anything beyond it.—Nidhi Sharma, Ramesh NagarTime and again we have government telling us that paying tax helps in the development of the city but in reality I feel that taxpayers money goes down in the drain with authorities using sub standard material to lay the road or even while repairing it. Once repaired the condition of the roads do no improve, in fact further accumulates and it turns in to breeding ground for mosquitoes. Roads in Seelampur are so poor that nobody is sure about reaching home safely.—Keshav, BharampuriAs monsoon arrives so does the struggle to reach work place rises. Either we have to brace to our work with pothole-ridden road or heavy traffic jams due to waterlogging. I wonder why does even the civic body claims that they have cleared drains before monsoons or the quality of the road is checked. Apart from the water accumulating in ths pits, we have seen garbage also adds to the spread of the disease.—Madhu Kataria, BharampuriMy major worry is the bad conditions of the road. One can still take measures to stop mosquito breeding, but, what will one do if the roads are in poor condition. The damage caused to vehicle is also huge which burns a hole in my pocket—Aadyasha Dash, Patel NagarThe civic body has one more reason to improve the condition of the roads. Apart from it leading to accidents, deaths, now we hear from health experts that it is leading to dengue and malaria. —Isha Awasti, Shalimar BaghEXPERT SPEAKWith the increase in the amount of rainfall, we have seen a sudden rise in the number of dengue cases. Every day we are getting at least two cases of dengue making it over 15 cases per week. It is strongly suggested to keep the surroundings dry and free from mosquito breeding zones, we do not need another epidemic. Waterlogging in the surrounding areas is adding to the woes, people’s health is getting affected. Doctor SP Byotra, Head of Medicine, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.We try our best to ensure that there is no waterlogging on the road. We do keep a check on the water that accumulated on the road, we have a control room that keeps a check on potsholes, and repair it at the earliest. We are making sure that there is no mosquito breeding grounds in these areas,”Yogendra Singh Mann, Spokesperson, North Civic Body.

Three held for assaulting civic officials on duty

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The MIDC police have arrested three persons for allegedly assaulting civic officials on Wednesday evening when the officials were carrying out anti-encroachment drive near Khau Gali in Andheri West. MIDC Police said that the civic officials were on a regular anti-encroachment drive.However, around 4.30 pm, when the civic officials started removing hawkers and illegal food stalls near the railway station, the hawkers started agitating against the drive. Later, some of them allegedly assaulted the civic officials.

Please provide parking in civic offices: Residents ask L-G

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Irked over the lack of parking space in the offices of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the residents have written a letter to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal requesting him to make some provision for parking in these offices for the general public.”The headquarters of the South and North Delhi Municipal Corporation that house the offices of the civic body at Civic Centre have made no provisions for parking for the public. We regularly deal with the officers and have to visit them quite frequently,” said Ashutosh Dixit from United Residents Joint Action (URJA), an umbrella body of the Residents Welfare Association in Delhi.The Residents Welfare Association (RWA) and the public usually approach the council due to problems relating to deficiency in municipal services. “There is no provision for public parking as all parking within the building has been reserved for your officers and other functionaries of the corporation,” added Dixit.In order to meet the increasing demand for parking space near Metro stations, the municipal corporations have decided to construct stack parking lots next to 10 busy stations across the city.Stations that have been identified for the project are Punjabi Bagh, Madipur, Udyog Nagar, Nangloi, Mundka, Pratap Nagar, Ghitorni, Okhla, Indraprastha Estate and Seelampur.”This is regrettable and highly disappointing, that the municipal corporation treats the taxpayer as well as the citizen of Delhi with such callous disdain. They are planning parking space in other areas but they don’t have such facilities for the citizens in their own offices,” said Sumit Sharma, a resident of Lajpat Nagar.

BMC tracks counsel performance, to discontinue below par services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started tracking the performance of the counsels it hires for various litigations from magistrate court to supreme court. The civic body will discontinue the service of such counsels whose performance is found to be not at par.At present, the civic body has been fighting around 60,000 cases in various courts, from land related to employees promotion issue. For the last four months, the civic body has been using Litigation Management Software (LMS) to track each and every case it is fighting in any court in the state or outside.According to an official, now counsels’ performances will be monitored through the number of adjourn to dates. “In the past, we had found that counsels kept running the case for years by getting new dates, and continued to charge for each appearance in court,” said the official.Since the number of cases is very high, it is difficult for the civic body to monitor each and every case manually. With the new software, BMC can check each case’s status as well as the performances of the counsels. “The software has been designed in a way that after a certain number of adjourn to dates, it will send an alert,” said the official from the legal department.The BMC’s 60,000 court cases have been pending for several years, and now the civic body has been scanning all the important and required documents to upload for easy access. “We have started uploading with the current cases and have already updated documents related to various cases up to 2011,” said the official. He added that gradually, case records of previous years will be uploaded.At present, each day’s progress of every case is being updated in the record. “We are updating each and every development of the court’s hearing so that by just one click we can get all details of the case,” said the official.In addition, the civic body will also monitor the cost on each case. “At present, the process of estimation of cost of each case is very tedious and time consuming,” said the official.

Spurt in cases of diarrhoea, diabetes in Delhi: NGO data

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There has been a spurt in diarrhoea, diabetes and hypertension cases in Delhi between 2015 and 16, while dengue cases increased by almost seven times from 2014 to 2015, an NGO today claimed. The Praja Foundation, which compiled data from various hospitals run by the Delhi government and the three civic bodies, however, did not take into account the cases from private hospitals and the four major central government hospitals in Delhi — AIIMS, Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia and Lady Hardinge Medical College, saying they were denied information to their RTI queries. A ‘White Paper’ on the state of health of Delhi released by the NGO claimed that HIV cases have increased eight times from 2014 to 2016. As per its report report, 78,067 institutional deaths had taken place in 2015, with highest number of deaths being due to hypertension at 3,890, almost 50 per cent increase for 2014 followed by tuberculosis at 3,635 and diabetes at 1,356. The cases of death data in institutions were attributed to online medical certification of cause of deaths reported by the Delhi government for 2014 and 2015. When reached out for comment, a Delhi government official said they will only react after checking the “authenticity” of the NGO’s report. Also, the official argued that if one considers GTB Hospital which is run by the Delhi government, 70 per cent of the cases come from outside of the national capital. “So, we can’t react to some claims made by an NGO,” the official said. Civic bodies said the data compiled by the MCD for vector-borne diseases are collected from sentinel hospitals and only verified cases are included in the final report. The NGO in its report claimed that dengue deaths increased by almost seven times from 2014 (74) to 2015 (486). As per its report, diarrhoea cases increased from 5.64 lakh in 2015 to 6.22 lakh in 2016, while hypertension cases increased from 3.22 lakh in 2015 to 3.61 lakh in 2016. Diabetes cases also rose from 3.40 lakh in 2015 to 3.92 lakh and HIV/AIDS increased from 2,211 in 2014 to 17,332 in 2016, it said. A senior official of the SDMC, when contacted, said, “The data compiled by the MCD for vector-borne diseases are collected from sentinel hospitals and only verified cases are included in the final report.” “The report goes to several agencies including the central government, Delhi government, and therefore, there is no scope for fudging of data,” the official added. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation compiles data on vector-borne diseases on behalf of all civic bodies in Delhi. A senior official at Safdarjung hospital said it comes out with an annual report about the all disease conditions, admission for specific diseases, deaths and discharges. “So the NGO could have taken the data from there. Also, what I can remember, we have not received an RTI request from any such organisation,” the official said. An AIIMS official said, “First of all we need time to check our records. Also if they were denied a reply, which is what they are claiming, why did they not approach the appellate authority? It can be mentioned here that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had recently issued a notice to the Praja Foundation for “misinterpreting” facts in its latest health report, in which it claimed that dengue cases have seen a massive rise of 265 per cent in Mumbai in the last five years. The foundation also claimed that among various civic issues, the maximum number (2,27,444) of civic complaints in 2016 by far were on water supply. These constituted 50 per cent of the total complaints in that year, the foundation’s report claimed. The ‘white paper’ also included estimated data on the household expenditure incurred on health by Delhi citizens which was collected through a survey commissioned by Praja to research organisation Hansa Research. “Shockingly, the average Delhi household spent an estimated amount of Rs 1,07,793 on healthcare in 2016-17. Further, only 15 per cent of citizens were estimated to have health insurance,” the NGO said in its statement. “This means that while on one hand, authorities are not taking enough preventable measures to check the spread of diseases, citizens are spending humungous amounts of money on their healthcare needs. “Further, as highlighted by the data, health risks disproportionately affect poorer households,” Anjali Srivastava, Assistant Manager at Praja Foundation, said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

NDMC to replace 2 lakh street lights, will save Rs 50 cr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over two lakh conventional street lights will be replaced with LEDs by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) in the next nine months, a move that will save Rs 50 crore of the civic body annually. The work for replacing 2.05 lakh lights will begin in Rohini and Narela zones from Sunday, NDMC Commissioner Praveen Gupta said today. The entire conventional lighting system, semi half-mast lights and lights in parks of North Delhi will be replaced with LEDs. Contract has been awarded for 1.15 lakh light fixtures in its two of the bigger zones – Rohini and Narela. Remaining 90,000 will be in the City, Civil Lines, Sadar Paharganj and Karol Bagh zones, Gupta said in a press conference. “The move will result in saving of 65-70 per cent energy. The concessionaire will claim 79 per cent of the revenue through energy saving. The NDMC will have the remaining 21 per cent that will calculate to Rs 14 crore annually,” he said. Gupta also said along with cut in expenditure on maintenance charges, the civic body will have a total saving of Rs 50 crore annually for a period seven years. Besides energy saving, recurring maintenance charges of around Rs 24 crore being paid to discoms, Rs 7 crore for the maintenance of semi high mast lights and Rs 3 crore for their replacement fittings annually, would be saved as the concessionaire will take care of it, he said. All these will result in a total saving of Rs 350 crore by the civic body in the next seven years after which the whole system will be handed over to NDMC by the concessionaire. The civic body had prescribed world class specifications for the lights to ensure quality. “The manufacturer especially designed the product to meet the specifications including minimum seven years life span,” the commissioner said. Also, the LEDs will be fitted with sensors so that they go on and off automatically as per requirements. The entire LED lighting system will be watched through a central control and monitoring centre so that timely repairs and replacements could be done.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No more free plastic carry bags at stores

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even plastic bags in the capital will now come for a price. The North Corporation on Friday issued public notice for compliance with the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, in the city.Besides people at large, the new rules will bring all plastic manufacturers, retailers, vendors and waste generators under its guidelines, failing which action will be taken against defaulters as per the Rules as well as the MCD Act.According to the rules, shopkeepers and vendors will now have to register with the civic body in order to use plastic bags to dispense goods to customers. The shopkeepers will have to pay a monthly fee of around Rs 4,000 to the civic body for selling goods in plastic bags. Also, the registered shopkeepers have to display a notice informing customers: ‘Carry bags given on payment'”Only registered shopkeepers and vendors will be able to sell goods in plastic carry bags. They will have to pay a monthly fee of Rs 4,000 or as fixed by the corporation for the facility. The amount received will be used by the civic body for maintaining the waste management system,” said a senior official.The rules were notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change last year, superseding the earlier Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011.The minimum thickness of plastic carry bags has been increased from 40 microns to 50 microns under the new rules.The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has asked the civic bodies to constitute ‘vigilance squads’ to ensure prohibition on stocking, distribution, selling and use of any carry bags of thickness less than 50 microns and sachets/ pouches using plastic material.Also, multilayered packaging and use of plastic sheets, which are not labelled, will not be allowed.THE NEW RULESThe minimum thickness of plastic carry bags has been increased from 40 microns to 50 microns.
Registered shopkeepers have to display a notice informing customers: ‘Carry bags given on payment’.

AMC once proposed to destroy heritage structures

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though Ahmedabad has bagged the World Heritage City tag, a look back at the seriousness, or lack of it, with which the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) handled our monuments may leave one perplexed. Experts say the civic body never had a plan for its heritage.That Ellisbridge or Rani Sipri mosque could have long been pulled down to make way for new structures may seem impossible to fathom now, but, if AMC had its way, then these structures could have been demolished much before Ahmedabad submitted the dossier of its heritage structures to Unesco.It was in 2013 that then mayor Asit Vora felt that the 125-year-old Ellisbride, which is now inscribed in the heritage list of the city, should be brought down. It had taken several protests and campaigns for the civic body to bury the proposal. Recalls Badruddin Shaikh, the then leader of opposition in AMC, “We held a signature campaign against the plan to raze Ellisbridge. The BJP government was hell bent on tearing down the structure and didn’t want to repair it. They saw it as a useless bridge.”AMC’s disregard for historical monuments dates back to 2006, when it proposed to bulldoze two mosques, over 400 years old, among many other structures. The purpose? Road widening.“The civic authority decided to demolish two Islamic monuments that have now been inscribed by Unesco— Rani Sipri mosque, which is a protected monument of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and Siraji Sayad’s Darghah. Though not an ASI listed monument, it is a historical dargah nevertheless,” said Rizwan Kadri, city-based historian.“Legal intervention saved the two monuments. The civic body has, in the past, considered razing Old Jumma Masjid for a new road. It had even announced the plan, but dropped it later,” added Kadri.The historian said the restoration of city walls shows the civic body’s negligence. Proper attention was not paid during the restoration of Khanpur Darwaja. In 2016, repair works were carried out without putting protective measures in place and it cost a citizen his life. “AMC doesn’t have a proper vision for the protection of heritage. One of city’s tombs, Wali Gujarati Mazar, was destroyed by a mob during the 2002 riots at Shahibaug. With complete indifference, the civic body constructed a road there, instead of replacing the wrecked tomb with a new one,” said Kadri.The three structures that the AMC once wanted to demolish and the Unesco has now inscribed as heritage structures: *Ellisbridge*Rani Sipri mosque*Siraji Sayad’s Darghah

Now, find toilets in Lutyens’ Delhi on Google maps

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 300 public toilets in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area can now be located on Google Maps. The civic body has launched a toilet locator awareness campaign, under which community toilets besides those located at petrol pumps, railway stations and bus stands are being added to the database.In a bid to curb open defecation under the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the NDMC started the Google Toilet Locator Awareness Campaign in Lutyens’ Delhi on Wednesday. The month-long campaign will conclude on August 11.Last year, the civic body had geo-tagged toilets on Google maps, including the municipal toilets and those located at malls, railway stations, petrol pumps, and other public places. Also, the Council has uploaded 331 Public Toilets Unit (PTUs) on the NDMC 311 Application as well as the Google maps.The campaign, under the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), was launched from the civic body’s Smart Toilet Block at Rafi Marg. “As part of the campaign, we have to undertake the exercise of locating the community and public toilets, which include municipal toilets and those at the public places. We hope to encourage people to use toilets rather than defecate in the open,” Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) Director Praveen Prakash said.The campaign had already been commissioned as a pilot project last year, and now more than 5,000 toilets across the five cities of NCR — Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, and Noida — along with Indore and Bhopal have been geo-tagged on Google maps.The NDMC officials said surprise gifts will be given to users who give their feedback and suggestions on the campaign on the civic body’s 311 app. Also, a white paper and Action Taken Report (ATR) would be published regarding the campaign between August 15 and 21, the officials said.”In the end, the cleanest toilet will be awarded. The NDMC public toilets have been mapped on Google so that any person visiting the New Delhi area can locate them easily,” NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar said.Besides, the NDMC is also in the process of providing world class smart toilets having modern facilities, such as bank ATMs, water ATMs, rooftop solar panels, sanitary pad vending machines, dispensers, digital health clinic, and online user feedback tablet, Kumar added. As many as 109 such smart toilets are being constructed at present.NEED TO KNOWMore than 5,000 toilets across the five cities of NCR along with Indore and Bhopal have been geo-tagged on Google maps.

BMC clears 50k sq m in K East Ward, acquired land estimated at Rs 600 cr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To widen roads in Andheri, Vile Parle and Jogeshwari areas, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) removed illegal structures from over 50,000 sq metre areas. The cost of the acquired land is estimated at Rs 600 crore. The illegal structures were posing a hurdle for smooth flow of traffic.Since January 2017, the ward has removed illegal structures from 12 places. For widening of Old Nagardas Road in Andheri East, the civic body removed 200 illegal structures. Similarly, the civic body had taken almost 1,200 sq metres of setback land from Hotel Sahara Star near the domestic airport in Vile Parle (East).Devendra Kumar Jain, assistant municipal commissioner said, “The work of taking over the 1,200 sq metre plot was pending for almost 10 years.” The acquired land from Hotel Sahara Star is estimated Rs 21.6 crore. Jain added that in the last two years, they have taken possession of around 59,000 sq metre land and as per the present ready reckoner, the estimated cost of the land is around Rs 699 crore. However, a majority of the land was taken over during this year.The civic body has also planned to remove illegal structures from five more roads across the ward. While the civic officials did not provide details of the plan, illegal structures near Jogeshwari station will be taken down soon. “We have to remove all illegal structures to widen roads and provide smooth flow of traffic,” said Jain.Some of the development work was carried out after removing encroachment includes construction of cycle stand near Jogeshwari and Vile Parel station, traffic islands at Nehru Road and Malviya Road junction and beautification of island Milan Subway in Vile Parle.

TN Assembly adopts bill for delimitation of civic bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Tamil Nadu Assembly today adopted a bill for setting up a panel to recommend delimitation of wards in local bodies and also suggest quota for women, SC and ST candidates, overruling certain demands of the main opposition DMK. The TN Delimitation Commission bill, 2017 piloted by Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani was passed by a voice vote after a debate. The move comes against the background of the DMK moving the Madras High Court last year seeking, among other things, reservation to categories including STs and rotation of seats in posts according to the Constitution. Following the petition, the civic polls scheduled for October 17 and 19 last year were cancelled by the Madras High Court. The matter related to Tamil Nadu civic polls is pending before the Supreme Court. The bill provides for delimitation of territorial wards of village panchayats, panchayat unions, district panchayats, town panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations. DMK Deputy Leader Duraimurugan and his party colleague U Mathivanan demanded a time-frame for the Commission to conclude its mandate. DMK’s Mathivanan, who objected to the bill at the introductory stage itself argued against provision for the government to give directions to the Delimitation Commission. He also spoke against features like including only the Chennai Corporation Commissioner as member of the panel and leaving out other corporations in the state. The DMK MLA wanted subordinate bodies under the Commission to carry out the delimitation work. He said his party went to court on the matter only for holding polls in an appropriate manner. His party remained steadfast in its goal of social justice to provide appropriate reservation for SCs, STs, he added. Replying, Velumani said data regarding population as per 2011 Census was received only in 2014. Civic polls were scheduled last year by making amendments to relevant laws since there was not enough “breathing space,” in view of the Assembly polls (2016 May) held just ahead of the scheduled local body elections. According to Constitution and TN Panchayats Act, the boundaries of local bodies should be delimited after the publication of every census, he said. He said the civic polls held in 1996 and 2006 during DMK regime was based on 1991 census which went in for amendments to hold the local body elections. The DMK regime did not take steps to carry out delimitation exercise as per the census, he alleged. He said Chennai being the key corporation, the “greater Chennai Corporation,” it has a member in the panel and similarly all other departments find a place in the body, he added. Noting that Kerala had gone in for a Delimitation Commission to carry out a similar exercise, he said the initiative was new and appealed to all members to pass the bill. According to the provisions of the bill, the panel shall make recommendations for fixing the total number of members to be elected to every local body on the basis of population as per the last census. The commission would recommend reservation of wards for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women in local bodies according to the population, determine boundaries of wards in local bodies and geographical compatibility. It would make recommendations for dividing the area of every local body into wards in keeping with the number of members that may be needed on the basis of the population. In the Statement of Objects and Reasons for the bill, Velumani said the government had decided to constitute a delimitation commission to make recommendations for carrying out delimitation of wards as per 2011 census and in respect of population of SCs, STs and women in the respective wards. It may be recalled that following DMK’s plea, the Madras High Court had held the notification for civic polls (scheduling elections on October 17 and 19, 2016) as null and void. The court had held that the TN Panchayat Election Rules were violated in the matter. On July 6, the Madras High Court had adjourned till July 14 all petitions, appeals in connection with local body elections in Tamil Nadu as a Special Leave Petition was set to come up in the Supreme Court on July 12.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Developers rush for OC to avoid RERA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>City developers whose projects are nearing completion have rushed to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to obtain occupancy certificates (OC) so that their projects do not fall under the ambit of new Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act that came into effect from May 1, 2017. Since the Act came into effect in May 2017, the BMC has received a total of 147 applications.Over the course of the 2016-17 financial year, the civic body had received a total of 198 applications seeking OC. If builders manage to get an OC for their projects within three months, the projects will fall under the ambit of the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act, rather than RERA.As per the Act, all the ongoing projects have to register under RERA if the projects have not obtained the OC. Though the Act had already come into affect on May 1, 2017, developers were allowed three months, ending July 31, to obtain OC for their completed projects.In April, May and June, the BMC received a total of 208 applications seeking OC. Of the total 208 applications, 147 were received after the RERA came into affect. “We have received a total of 146 applications that sought OC since the RERA came into effect,” said an official from the building proposals department of BMC.He added, “After RERA, we have been witnessing more applications from developers whose projects are nearing completion.” Of the total 208 applications received since April 1, 2017, the most applications, 91, were received in June, while in April and May, the civic body received 62 and 55 applications respectively.However, of the total 208 applications the civic body received, 109 applications have been approved while 61 applications were rejected on various grounds. In addition, there are 37 applications currently under process.In addition, the average time for approving or rejecting a proposal has also improved during this fiscal. During 2016-17, the average time for approving a proposal was 7.05 days….& ANALYSISAt a time when builders are in a hurry to get occupation certificates, it is important to make sure that all criteria and norms for external and internal development works are met
Mandatory stipulations like provision of access roads, water supply, sewage and drainage systems among others should not be neglected by the civic body and project details should be thoroughly checked

Heavy rains lash Mumbai; disrupt rail, road traffic

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Heavy overnight rains lashed Mumbai and adjoining areas causing water logging in several low-lying areas here, resulting in slow movement of peak hour rail and vehicular traffic this morning. Many spots across the metropolis including Hindmata area in suburban Dadar, Sion, Matunga, and some parts in Andheri were waterlogged due to the incessant showers leading to traffic snarls and chaos on the roads. Suburban railway services were also delayed in the morning and trains were running up to 20 minutes behind schedule, stranding daily office commuters especially on the Harbour and Central line. According to civic officials, continuous rain spells uprooted trees at 22 places across the city but no human casualty was reported. Officials however warned of a 4.81 metre high tide this afternoon (at 2.39 PM) coupled with heavy showers, which may cause flash floods in low-lying areas in the city. According to BMC Deputy Municipal Commissioner (General Administration) Sudhir Naik, the disaster management team is keeping a tab on the situation. “Civic body’s preparatory forces are in place to tackle any eventualities. There has been no significant water-logging and our machinery is keeping a close eye on the developments,” he told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Flush with funds, wards to get going

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a departure from the usual practice ahead of the monsoon, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has, this year, decentralised allocation of funds for pothole repairs, with the aim to hold ward officers accountable if they fail to fix pothole-ridden roads during the monsoon.For this, the BMC has allocated a separate fund of Rs 50 lakh for each of the 24 administrative wards in the city. It has also given ward officials free reign to take up repairs of the entire stretch of roads instead of just repairing potholes.Officials claimed that this has been done to ensure a smooth ride for motorists during the rains. The civic body has allocated Rs 50 lakh across all 24 wards separately for road repair during the monsoon. “We have made a provision of Rs 50 lakh to each of the 24 wards to fix the potholes so that the work can be carried out at the ward level through contractors appointed by the civic administration,” said a senior official from Road Department BMC.Every year, the civic administration faces the ire of BMC members due to pothole-ridden roads and allegations of corruption or negligence. “To avoid a repeat of this, officials from the BMC roads department have given the responsibility to the wards to execute the work in time and to fix accountability of ward officers,” said another official from BMC road department.According to an official, the contractor assigned a particular stretch of roads will have to fix the potholes on the stretch free of cost if they appear at the same place within a year. “This will also ensure that contractors carry out quality work and craters do not develop again,” said the official, adding that they are paid based on the volume of material used to fill a rough patch.According to a civic official, the work of resurfacing of all 114 roads under priority-I has been completed while around 40% of work under priority-II has completed. “Under priority-II, the roads are less prone to develop potholes during monsoon,” added the official.While earlier funds for road works during monsoons were disbursed by the central unit of the BMC, decentralisation of fund allocation places the onus of ensuring pothole free roads squarely on ward officers.These officers are in a better position to identify rough road stretches in their areas, and monitor work carried out by contractors.

BMC to soon operate 489 additional on-street parking sites as pilot project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the traffic department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) received administration approval to implement its new parking policy for organised parking of vehicles in the city, the civic body is taking rapid steps to implement the policy. In addition to 92 on-street parking sites earmarked in the city, the Mumbai traffic police have recently identified and given No Objection Certificates (NOC) for 489 parking sites across all 24 civic wards in Mumbai.Ward officers will soon commission the on-street parking sites under the new parking rates of the parking policy. These 489 sites will be operational as a pilot project for six months, after which five-year contracts will be issued to private contractors for operation and maintenance of the sites where the pilot project proves successful.The traffic department of the BMC has already started floating tenders to operate and manage the on-street and off-street parking lots which were identified earlier. Tenders for appointing contractors for these newly identified parking sites will be called soon.”We have been told to start operation of the newly identified on-street parking sites. The on-street parking lots will be operated and managed by private contractors under the civic ward’s supervision,” said Harshad Kale, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, M West ward.Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) told DNA, “The survey was conducted last year, after which on-street parking sites were identified. We have given the list to the municipal corporation and they will operate it under the new parking policy”….& ANALYSISAfter floating tenders for off-street parking lots, the BMC is now also focusing on-street parking sites under its new parking policy which has hiked parking rates. Although the civic body is receiving flak from some civic and transport activists, the BMC is moving ahead on implementing the new parking policy across the city. Civic officials say that Mumbai has 700 new cars plying on road everyday. To keep pace with this rapid rise, the city needs to create more parking spaces in an organised manner. Some of the locations identified for on-street parking areLocations Capacity for two-wheelers Capacity for four-wheelersSir Phirozshah Mehta road (Fort) 80 40Keshavrao Khade road (Mahalaxmi) 100 25Near Eros cinema 50 50Bhulabhai Desai road (Breach candy) 75 25Near Pheonix mall (Kurla, LBS road) Gate 1, 3 & 4 100 40Tilak Nagar railway station and LTT 161 54Nehru Nagar, Kurla 52 32Near Infinity mall (Malad) 100 50Near Toyota showroom (Malad) – 100Ijmima building to Khadi road(Malad) 150 140

Cong lashes out at BMC administration for slow nullah works

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>City Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam today lashed out at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) administration for slow pace of nullah desilting work. Nirupam claimed that only 20 to 25 per cent of the nullahs have been desilted so far and considering that the monsoon is approaching closer, the city is “sitting on a verge of disaster and only God can save it.” Meanwhile, civic administration in a statement issued here said it has completed 86.87 per cent of desilting work. Nirupam alleged, “The administration has adopted a totally faulty and unscientific system of desilting the nullah which will affect the lives of lakhs of citizens during the rains. “Civic body is claiming that it has desilted more than 80 per cent of nullahs, our observation is that only 20 to 25 per cent have been cleaned.” He said, “There is no system to monitor transportation of silt. Where is it dumped? Whether permission of collector or environment department has been obtained? Whether vehicle tracking device is in place? Administration does not have any clue about this. “It seems that Rs 150 crore budget allocation for the desilting work seems to have gone in the drain (nullah) only.” Nirupam, a former Lok Sabha MP from north Mumbai said his party corporators will raise this issue in the House. He demanded a high level probe against officials and contractors involved in desilting process. The Congress leader also raised concerns over two major roads in the city which have been dug-up for metro work, saying, it would cause inconvenience to commuters during monsoon.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

To make contractors accountable, BMC to feed their data in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to make civic contractors accountable in the wake of the road and desilting scams that rocked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the civic body has decided to feed all the data related to the contractors’ performance in its internal system. The BMC will assign a Unique Identification Number (UID) to each contractor, in which their data would be accessible to all the civic departments. According to an official, BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has given his instructions to this effect. “The civic chief ordered to make it mandatory that details about all the contractors engaged with the civic body, their registration and work performance would be linked with the UID codes and it would be available to all the civic departments,” the official said. In the recent past, the cash-rich BMC was rocked by two major scams. In the Rs 352-crore roads scam, the Mumbai police arrested 26 people, including three senior civic officials and employees of six tainted road contractors and two third-party auditors. Then there are several official under the lens in the Rs 80-crore desilting scam. “Under the new system, we will have the horoscope of the contractors. Now it would be easy for the BMC to find out the data about them. The services of those contractors whose work is not found up to the mark, would be stopped,” the official said. Details regarding the projects given to the contractors, the cost involved, progress of work, work quality report, initial and part payment released, penalty imposed (if any), etc would be available on the system, he said. The system would come into effect from the next month as the contractors have been asked to post all the work-related and other details before May 31, the official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mahul Road dug up for sewage work since 4 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While civic officials maintain that roads dug up in the city for pre-monsoon repairs will be motorable by May 31, these assurances ring hollow, going by the current status of repairs. Even if the work is completed before monsoon, shoddy work is likely to be delivered to meet the deadline.One such example of pre-monsoon road repair works that are far from completion is at RC Marg in Chembur, popularly known as Ghatkopar-Mahul road. This road beneath the Chembur-Wadala monorail is narrow compared to the heavy traffic flow the road sees due to the connectivity it offers. RC Marg is the only way for the commuters from Mahul to travel towards the eastern suburbs, while vehicles from Eastern Freeway exiting at Chembur’s Shivaji Chowk, and heading to Amar Mahal and Santacruz-Chembur link road lands here. However, the stretch in front of Navjivan Society is dug up from the past few months for micro-tunneling due to which the stretch from the society up till the Dr CD Road (Chembur camp) has traffic choked.The two-lane road has barricades, which occupy the footpath and the first lane. As the lane towards Ghatkopar has pillars of monorail, the motorists are left with just two lanes to use, with pedestrians walking on the road as well.Rajkumar Sharma, a Civic Activist said, “It has been more than four years that the micro-tunneling work has been underway. Due to the monorail, the road has become very narrow, plus this work has been causing inconvenience for the commuters. Neither do they have a footpath to walk on nor are there spacious road to drive. I have been raising this issues in the civic meetings, but the officials do not give any concrete answers.”The micro-tunneling work does not have any issues related to funds, then what is delaying the work, that too, for years?” Sharma said.However, M-West ward officer, Harshed Kale said, “While tunneling, we came across a rock underground due which we had to remodel. This caused the delay. The team is working extensively and the road will be motorable before monsoon.”The area is also prone to waterlogging causing more inconvenience to the commuters.”The road is dug up deep like a well and they are laying big pipes. Looking at the current status of work, it is practically impossible to complete the work before monsoon”, said Santosh Rajan, a resident of Chembur.& Analysis:The civic body is liable to make city roads motorable before monsoon. However, at present, hundreds of roads in Mumbai are dug up. Although, completion of some road works may be possible before monsoon, what about the roads which are extensively dug up?

DP 2034: Onus of reducing waste now on citizens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sending out a clear message to Mumbaikars that the onus of reducing waste going to dumping grounds now rests squarely on them, the Development Plan (DP) 2034, a blueprint for the city’s development over the years to come, makes no other reservation for a dumping ground in the city, except an existing one at Kanjurmarg.The capacity of the Deonar and Mulund dumping grounds in Mumbai have already been exhausted, and the Bombay High Court has granted an extension to the BMC for dumping waste at these two sites till June 2017.Since the DP 2034 has no reservation for a new dumping ground, the only dumping ground that will be available for the city’s waste is the Kanjurmarg site, where the civic body has started treating waste scientifically.BMC has started treating close to 3,000 metric tonnes of garbage at Kanjurmarg.The BMC’s Solid Waste Management department is planning to further enhance the capacity of the Kanjurmarg landfill site by seeking necessary approvals to utilise 52.5 hectares of CRZ-III land.While the BMC has paid Rs 10 crore to the state government for a 50-hectare plot at Taloja in Raigad district for a dumping ground, executing the plan is proving to be difficult as a part of the plot has been encroached on by tribal families. The civic body will have to chalk out a compensation package to rehabilitate these tribal families. Moreover, villages living in the vicinity of the plot have been protesting against the dumping of Mumbai’s waste at their doorsteps.The civic body has demanded another 32.77 hectare plot in Mulund (East), near Airoli Bridge, from the government for the scientific processing of waste generated in Mumbai. However, the salt commissioner has refused to hand it over to the BMC as the land is currently being used for a salt pan.While the civic administration has started working on different ways of processing garbage at several levels, citizens will soon be asked to segregate waste compulsorily at their doorstep before the civic body takes the garbage to the dumping site.A senior civic official said all the ward offices will soon be sending out notices to housing societies and individuals, asking them to segregate waste before it is collected by the BMC. Larger societies will have to arrange for their own compost pits.Each of the city’s 24 wards will have common compost pits and dry waste centres in collaboration with NGOs. The BMC has decided to take up new projects for the scientific processing of municipal solid waste on a large scale, develop a Waste to Energy (WTE) project in Deonar and systematic disposal of construction waste and debris generated in the city. There is also a push on generating biogas at the ward-level.To develop a comprehensive mechanism for newer ways to dispose waste, the BMC is planning to set aside a special fund. To achieve these targets, a new department has been created under Chief Engineer (SWM – New Projects) to process tenders and execute solid waste management projects.WAKE-UP CALLDumping of garbage at two of the city’s three dumping grounds is slated to end in June 2017. The reservation for only a single dumping ground in Mumbai in the Development Plan comes as a wake-up call to citizens to ensure that they play their part in the city’s solid waste disposal mechanism. The segregation of wet, dry and hazardous waste will reduce the burden on the dumping ground.

HC upset with "political interference" in slum demolition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Voicing its ire over the alleged political interference in demolition of various illegal slums in the city, the Bombay High Court today said the politicians’ act of meddling with the drive was not a healthy sign. A bench of justices Abhay Oka and Anil Menon made the observation on being told by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai that it was facing difficulty in demolition of illegal slums and hutment at various places in the city due to political interference. MCGM counsel Geeta Joglekar told the court that a Maharashtra minister has been stopping authorities from demolishing illegal hutment, leading to a slow progress in the work. The bench was apprised of the political interference in the drive undertaken by the civic body at the court order during adjudication of a petition, filed by a civil society, Janhit Manch. The civil society had sought action against the illegal growth of slums and hutment in various parts of the city. The bench said the politicians must not create hurdle in the civic works and adjourned the hearing till tomorrow. The court had earlier asked the civic body to demolish the illegal slums which have mushroomed near the water pipeline in Tilak Nagar and other areas of the city. Accordingly, the civic body had taken up the demolition of slums in a phased manner. Meanwhile, an affidavit filed by MCGM Executive Engineer Ashok Shengde said the police was not providing protection to the officers conducting demolition of illegal hutment at Bhatwadi in suburban Ghatkopar. The civic body also said the time period for demolition of the hutment in phase two be extended and sought police protection in carrying out the work.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC diploma programme on disaster management

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to roll out a one-year diploma programme in Disaster Management in Fire and Industrial Safety (DMFIS) to enable security guards to handle disasters like fires without waiting for specialist emergency services to arrive for rescue operations.The disaster management cell has already prepared the course details, and, if all goes to plan, the first batch of the programme will attend classes at the Mumbai University’s Kalina campus by June or July.The civic body believes that the training programme will make housing societies and industrial units more secure as their own security guards or other staff can react to disasters like fires or building collapses without wasting time.It has been observed that a delay in launching rescue operations leads to higher casualties. The presence of someone trained to handle such situations at the incident site could prove crucial during such emergencies.“We have noticed that when a fire breaks out or a building collapses, residents have to wait for the fire department or the disaster management team to reach the spot and start rescue operations. However, by the time the rescue team arrives, crucial time is lost and the chances of reducing casualties also go down,” said a senior official from the disaster management cell of the BMC.“The aim of the training programme is to start rescue operations within the golden hour, save more lives and minimise losses,” said the official.The target of the course are security guards as they guard housing societies and industrial units and can be the first responders to fire or disaster emergencies, without wasting time.With an intake of 40, the one-year programme will have classes on weekends, so that working people can also attend it.A presentation regarding the course is likely to be given to the civic chief and other senior officials next week. A senior official said, “We have already worked out the details of the course and the people to be targeted for the course.”The training programme will be open to all. The civic body will also try to arrange placement of successful candidates.

The Deputy Chief Minister said that his party had studied

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>and analysed the impact before the announcement was made yesterday by the Chief Minister and that the party would ensure that electricity tariffs are not hiked and water and medicines are provided free of cost at government hospitals. Sisodia said lots of good things have happened during the two-year rule of the AAP in Delhi and common man is now happy that they are getting free medicines in government hospitals and parents of children are applauding us for no fee hike made in private schools. Yesterday, in a major poll promise, Kejriwal had announced that house tax will be abolished and pending dues will be waived if the Aam Aadmi Party emerges victorious in the municipal elections. Kejriwal called the current house tax structure as “draconian”, and alleged that it has become a source of widespread corruption for municipal councillors and officers in all three civic bodies where BJP is in power for the last 10 years. There are an estimated nine lakh property tax payers in the city and about Rs 600 crore in revenue is earned annually by the three civic bodies, according to official sources. Civic polls are to be held on April 23 and are seen as a crucial test of AAP’s popularity in the city after its “disappointing” performance in Punjab and Goa Assembly polls. With zero house tax poll promise, it is clear that the Aam Aadmi Party, which had a stunning victory in Delhi in 2015, is again banking on populist measures to woo voters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No house tax if AAP wins civic polls-Kejriwal’s populist pitch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major poll promise, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said house tax will be abolished and pending dues will be waived if Aam Aadmi Party emerges victorious in the municipal elections. Calling current house tax structure as “draconian”, the AAP chief alleged that it has become a source of widespread corruption for municipal councillors and officers in all three civic bodies where BJP is in power for the last 10 years. There are an estimated nine lakh property tax payers in the city and about Rs 600 crore in revenue is earned annually by the three civic bodies, according to official sources. Civic polls, to be held on April 23, are seen as a crucial test of AAP’s popularity in the city after its “disappointing” performance in Punjab and Goa Assembly polls. With this poll promise, it is clear that the Aam Aadmi Party, which had a stunning victory in Delhi in 2015, is again banking on populist measures to woo voters. Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal also promised that within a year of coming to power in the MCDs, the AAP administration would turn around the finances of the loss- making municipal bodies and ensure that their employees get their salaries on or before the seventh of every month. “As soon as the AAP comes to power in the MCDs with a full majority, we will abolish the collection of house residential tax and waive all pending dues with immediate effect. We are making this promise with full responsibility and after thorough study and planning,” the AAP Chief said. Kejriwal said after coming to power in Delhi, his government kept its promise of halving electricity bills and offering twenty thousand litres of water for free to each family, within one month. The Chief Minister also promised to make Delhi a modern city if AAP wins the MCD polls. About abolishing the house tax, he said AAP has worked out the arithmetic and the money to be saved by containing corruption will be utilised to cover the shortfall in revenue. He said Aam Aadmi Party will soon release its manifesto for the polls where details about various welfare measures will be mentioned. MORE(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Discord brews in BJP over denial of tickets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dissidence is brewing in the state BJP, with around 120 of its sitting councillors in no mood to follow the party directions to not contest in the upcoming municipal corporation elections in Delhi. In the 272 wards of the three municipal bodies in the Capital, the BJP has 153 councillors.Sources said the disgruntled councillors held a three-hour long closed-door meeting in the Civic Centre, headquarters of north and south municipal bodies, to chalk out their future course of action. There are indications that these councillors might join hands to form a new party to take on the BJP, the Congress and the AAP in the civic polls.Sources said all three mayors, Shyam Sharma, Dr Sanjiv Nayyar and Satya Sharma, Leaders of the House in north and east corporations Vijay Prakash Pandey and Sanjay Jain, and Standing Committee Chairmen Shailender Singh Monti, Pravesh Wahi and Jitender Chaudhary were the most vocal among all the councillorsSince the BJP has decided to neither field their councillors nor their relatives in the civic polls, a large number of sitting lawmakers are said to have contacted the AAP and Congress, which reportedly told them it was not in a position to give them party tickets as it would hamper their campaign against the non-performance of the municipal bodies for 10 successive years in Delhi. Though the BJP is yet to come out with its list of candidates, the AAP has already declared 162 of the 172 candidates. The Congress is going to finalise its first list in the next two days.A councillor from North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) said they received a call from the Leader of the House in the morning, asking to attend the meeting.”After reaching the meeting, we came to know about its purpose. The options available to sitting BJP councillors, after the party denied tickets to us, were discussed,” he said.Sharing details of the meeting, a councillor said it was unanimously decided that they will approach the party central leadership to reconsider the decision to deny tickets to all sitting councillors. “Several councillors also suggested floating a new party,” he said.After the meeting, all the councillors tried to meet Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, but failed to get their time due to the ongoing Parliament session and other prior commitments.Later in the day, they met three core committee members of the Delhi BJP and Union Minister Vijay Goel, Lok Sabha member Pravesh Verma and Maheish Girri and requested to convey their sentiments. A councillor said they assured that their sentiments would be conveyed to the central leadership.

NDMC to replace 1.15 lakh old street lights with LEDs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>About 1.15 lakh old street lights in north Delhi are set to be replaced by LED lights with the standing committee of the area’s civic body clearing the proposal today. “About 55 per cent of the conventional and semi-high mast lights in north Delhi would be replaced with LED lights,” a senior civic official said. The Standing Committee of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation took the decision to replace these old lights at its meeting at the Civic Centre here. The official said of the total over 2 lakh street lights in areas under its jurisdiction, 45 per cent have already been replaced by energy-saving LED ones.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC battleground: Uddhav pleased with BJP’s support but non-committal about future

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After days of vitriolic exchanges with the estranged ally BJP, the Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackreay today expressed happiness over the ruling party’s gesture of support to get Sena install its Mayor in BMC.However, Thackeray parried a query on whether the BJP-led state government was still on a “notice period”. “Our fight against ‘Bhampakpana’ (hyporcitical agenda) would continue,” Thackeray said. In run-up to the bitterly-fought civic polls, including Mumbai, Thackeray had last month said the Fadnavis government was on a notice period, fuelling speculations about its stability as the Sena is an important alliance partner in the NDA dispensation.Thackeray addressed reporters at Hutatma Chowk in South Mumbai after paying tributes to the martyrs of joint Maharashtra movement, along with the newly-elected Mayor and deputy Mayor of BMC. On the BJP corporators voting in favour of Sena nominee Vishwanath Mahadeshwar in the BMC general body meeting, who was elected Mayor, the Sena chief said it was really “pleasing”. “We got full mandate in Thane, but fell marginally short in Mumbai (civic polls). But it’s good to have got their (the BJP’s) support in Mumbai,” he said.Thackeray also thanked the BJP government for the progress it had made in implementing the Bal Thackeray memorial project. “Whatever right is right and we must accept it. I appreciate the state government for moving forward in the right direction in setting up the memorial,” he said. Yesterday, the state Legislative Assembly had cleared a bill paving the way for construction of the memorial in Mayor’s bungalow in Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai.Mahadeshwar and Hemangi Worlikar, both nominees of Sena for the posts of Mayor and deputy-Mayor, respectively, got a walkover as the BJP had withdrawn from the Mayoral race in a tactical move. In a hung verdict in the 227-member BMC, Sena had won 84 seats while the BJP 82. The next largest bloc in the civic body was Congress (31).However, due to rupture in their alliance ahead of the civic polls last month, the Sena and BJP couldn’t secure any understanding in the BMC until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that BJP would not contest the Mayoral poll or lay claim to crucial committees in the civic body. Thackeray, however, evaded queries on the formation of alliances in Zilla Parishads, which went to polls last month, where the BJP has done well.The Sena chief had a dig at the BJP corporators who took a oath of transparency in the civic body today. “We have already been pitching for transparency. We have demanded that all cabinet meetings should be attended not only the state ministers but also by the Lokayukta and journalists as well. This is why I say our fight against ‘bhampakpana’ (hypocritical agenda) of this government would continue,” he said. Taking at a dig at the BJP corporators for shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi even as the new Mayor was being elected, he said it would have been better had they raised Chhatrapati Shivaji’s name. “I am happy that Mumbaikars have given us the responsibility of the city for the fifth consecutive time. Whenever the city was in need, the Sena stood for its people,” he said.In a veiled reference to the BJP, Thackeray said he was thankful to all the known and the unknown persons who supported the Sena while the new Mayor was being elected. “We will not forget the martyrs who gave up their lives only for a united Maharashtra. We will continue to struggle against wrong doings,” he said.

Phogat sisters to spread Swachh Bharat message for SDMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has roped in wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat as brand ambassadors for its sanitation campaign under the Swachh Bharat mission. SDMC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the two sisters to take its sanitation campaign forward. At a function held yesterday at the Civic Centre here, the two sisters and Additional Commissioner of SDMC GS Meena signed the MoU in the presence of South Delhi Mayor Shyam Sharma, Chairman of SDMC Standing Committee Shailender Singh Monti and Municipal Commissioner PK Goel among others. Speaking on the occasion, Goel expressed gratitude to the two sisters for accepting the SDMC’s proposal to become ‘Swachhta’ brand ambassadors. “The Phogat sisters have earned accolades in women’s wrestling and have been a source of inspiration for the women of India. “They will not only highlight our achievements, but also create awareness on cleanliness,” he said. Goel expressed confidence that with concerted efforts from the SDMC and the two sisters, the corporation will be able to improve its ranking in the ‘Swachhta’ survey. “With the Ho Jaye Do Do Haath campaign, we will be spreading the message of swachhta (cleanliness) in Delhi,” said Babita. SDMC will use photos of the two sisters in its print as well as outdoor campaign. Audio clips with messages from Geeta and Babita will be aired on FM radio stations and video clips will be aired on TV channels. Sharma said the decision to appoint the two sisters as brand ambassadors for the campaign was unanimous. The inspirational story of the two sisters from Haryana winning international medals under the watchful eyes of their father Mahavir Singh Phogat, in a sport dominated by men, was celebrated in the recently-released Aamir Khan-starrer Bollywood film ‘Dangal’.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

North Delhi traders can get licences at doorstep now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Traders in north Delhi can now get business licences issued or renewed at their doorstep as the area’s civic body today launched a scheme to facilitate the procedure. North Delhi Municipal Corporation launched the facility at the Civic Centre here. 50 licences were distributed to various traders who had applied earlier. “Now, traders can obtain licence at their doorstep. This would help in regularising small trading units, besides, fetching revenue for the corporation,” North Delhi Mayor Sanjeev Nayyar said, adding, a private agency has been hired for this purpose. “Online services to register or renew trade/health trade licence has been started at northdmctradehealthlicense.com as well,” he said. On the website, traders can apply for fresh or renewed licences, besides knowing the status of the application. “The (private) agency will organise special registration camps in market areas. The paperwork and related formalities, including receipt of fees, will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Once completed, the details about the status of application would be sent to their mobile phones,” Nayyar said. The traders now need not go to any zonal office or the NDMC headquarters for obtaining or renewing their trade licences, he said. “We are determined to eradicate inspector raj thoroughly and bring in transparency,” he said. Standing Committee Chairman Pravesh Wahi said the new or renewed licence will be sent to traders at their home, after 15 to 20 days of the registration. “Traders may also make payment through draft or electronically,” he added. Municipal elections are due in April and all three civic bodies are raining sops in a bid to woo voters.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC asks civic chief to look into audit report of flyover

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai chief to look into the structural audit report of the Lalbaug flyover in south Mumbai, observing it would not allow wastage of public money. A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka was irked that the civic body had issued work order for resurfacing and realignment work on the 2.48-km-long Lalbaug flyover even before receiving the structural audit report. “What if the audit report says the work was not required in the first place? Public money is going to waste like this. The BMC is taking such things very casually and not realising that it is losing money,” the court said. While the work order was issued by the corporation last November, it received the audit report only this month. Counsel E P Barucha, appearing for the civic body, informed the court that the audit report has recommended resurfacing and re-alignment of the flyover along with several other repair works. The court then sought to know what happens to the work order issued already. “What happens to the work order issued in November last year? Will it continue or will the corporation issue fresh tenders?” the court asked. “Has any officer of the civic body applied his or her mind before taking decisions and issuing such work orders? Somebody will have to be held responsible for wasting money,” said Justice Oka. The court directed the civic commissioner to look into the issue and file an affidavit. The court said the commissioner will also have to see if the contractor who had originally constructed the flyover will be held responsible as the flyover developed defects too soon. The court will continue hearing the petition on March 20.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sena clinches Thane Municipal Corporation with majority, NCP relegated to opposition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiv Sena sweeped Thane Municipal (TMC) polls with a clear majority by bagging 67 seats in the 131 member corporation, while National Congress Party became the second largest party and was relegated to opposition.Shiv Sena party workers gathered at 12 vote counting centres on February 23 to celebrate their victory. Though NCP managed to come strong, results did not work out in their favour as they managed to secure only 34 seats. It was followed by BJP with 23 seats, Congress with 3 and 4 seats to others.Najeeb Mulla, accused in Suraj Parmar suicide case and a NCP leader, won the elections against Shiv Sena and BJP in ward no 10. Eknath Shinde, Guardian Minister and Senior Shiv Sena leader, said, “We are happy with the results and we have shown our strength in the civic polls.”Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik’s son Purvesh and wife Parisha were also elected to the corporation. Parisha Sarnaik said, “We are happy that we got support from people. I am proud that we will be able to represent people in corporation.” Parisha defeated a former senior Congress leader Sudhakar Chavan, “Its a tribute to the renowned builder Suraj Parmar who was forced to end his life,” she said.MLA Pratap Sarnaik, said, “The results are overwhelming and we are happy that Thanekars believed in us and voted for us. We believe in development and will provide all the amenities required.”On the other hand, Sumit Bhoir, son of MLA Subhash Bhoir from Kalyan Constituency lost to Babaji Patil,a senior leader from NCP.Sandeep Malvi, PRO for Thane Municipal Corporation said, “We will be conducting the further procedure for the formation of corporation in this week and Civic Chief will preside over the meeting.”

Maharashtra civic polls 2017 | BJP continues winning streak in state, hung verdict in BMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP scored a resounding victory in Maharashtra civil polls on Thursday emerging as the largest party in eight of the 10 municipal corporations while finishing a close second to bellicose ally Shiv Sena in the latter’s Mumbai bastion. BJP was the number one party in Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur. Shiv Sena led the tally in Mumbai and adjoining Thane.Making giant strides in the Shiv Sena citadel of Mumbai, BJP won 82 seats in the fiercely fought BMC polls, just two less than the estranged saffron ally, but both were well short of the magic figure of 114 needed to control the civic body. The hung verdict will reset the political calculations as no party is in the position to rule the country’s richest civic body on its own and alliance seems inevitable.However, it is not yet clear whether the saffron allies, who share power both in Maharashtra and at the Centre, will get back together or new combinations will emerge. In the counting of votes held on Thursday, the Congress was relegated to the third position with 31 seats, whereas the NCP and the Raj Thackeray’s MNS were reduced to 9 and 7 seats, respectively.
ALSO READ Maharashtra Civic Elections 2017: PM Modi thanks voters for ‘overwhelming blessings’AIMIM, which had made its maiden entry into the Maharashtra Assembly with two seats in the last polls, won three seats on debut in the BMC elections, Samajwadi Party six, Akhil Bhartiya Sena one and Independents four.For the 25 zilla parishads, BJP led the tally, winning 397 of the 1,509 seats for which polls were held. It was followed by NCP 336, Congress 293 and Shiv Sena 259. MNS got one and others 147. Results of 76 seats were awaited till late night. For the 2,990 Panchayat Samiti seats, BJP got the lion’s share, winning 803, while NCP got 630, Congress 555 and Sena 538. MNS pocketed just two and others 281 seats. Results of the 181 seats were awaited till late night.
ALSO READ Maharashtra Civic Elections 2017: Unassuming karyakarta Fadnavis emerges as man of the matchThanking the voters, an elated Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Our victory is the result of people’s acceptance of our agenda of transparency,” and indicated that his party’s core committee would explore the options before it.Asked about the future course of action, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray said, “What is the hurry? Wait for some time. We have not yet decided if an alliance has to be made or not. We will do so soon.”
ALSO READ Maha polls 2017: Congress stronghold Latur votes for BJP, did ‘Jaldoot’ pave way for success?With BMC polls throwing no clear winner, a senior Maharashtra BJP leader said both the parties should join hands in Mumbai. “Enough of bitterness. Now, it’s time to come together again,” Chandrakant Patil, minister in the Devendra Fadnavis ministry said, indicating that the bickering allies in the state government could come together after Thursday’s fractured verdict.”Is there any option other than the two parties coming together, given the number of seats each one has bagged? Will they (Shiv Sena) take support of Congress?” Patil, known to have excellent rapport with the central BJP leadership, said.In January, BJP had emerged the number one party in polls for 212 municipal bodies, winning 1,207 seats followed by the Congress (919), NCP (788) and Shiv Sena (616). Shiv Sena, which has ruled the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) for the last 25 years, retained its hold on the civic body by winning 67 seats out of 131 followed by NCP 34. BJP won 23 seats, while Congress could manage to win only four. Four independents were also elected.BJP breached NCP’s Pune bastion by winning 98 out of the 162 seats. It came to power in the city for the first time. The Sharad Pawar-led NCP won 40 seats in PMC, followed by Congress 11, Shiv Sena 10, MNS two and independent one. The BJP also wrested control of the municipal corporation of the twin industrial towns of Pimpri and Chinchwad near Pune from the ruling NCP, winning 78 out of the 128 seats. NCP won 35, Shiv Sena nine, independents five, while MNS had to remain content with just one. Congress did not win a single seat.In Nagpur Municipal Corporation, out of 155 seats, BJP won 101, Congress 28, independents 10, Shiv Sena three and NCP just one. The results of 12 seats are awaited.In the 122-member Nashik Municipal Corporation which was controlled by Raj Thackeray’s MNS, BJP won 67, Shiv Sena 34, Congress and NCP six each, while MNS won merely five. Independents clinched four seats.BJP clinched 32 seats in the 78-member Ulhasnagar Municipal corporation, Shiv Sena 25, independents 16, NCP four and Congress just one.In Solapur Municipal Corporation, out of 102 seats, BJP won 47, Shiv Sena 20, independents 17, Congress 14 and NCP four.Of the 80 seats in Akola Municipal Corporation, BJP pocketed 48, Congress 13, Shiv Sena eight, independent six and NCP five.In Amravati civic body, out of 87 seats, BJP won 45, independents 20, Congress 15 and Shiv Sena seven.

Let Sena disclose how many seats it will win in Mumbai: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar today asked Shiv Sena to disclose how many seats it expects to win in the tomorrow’s BMC election and said he stands by his prediction his party will bag 114 seats in the civic body. He said going solo in the civic polls will help BJP expand base in the metropolis ahead of the 2019 Assembly polls. “(Sena chief) Uddhav Thackeray is not even ready to disclose how many seats his party would win. I have shown the courage and I stand by it (claim that BJP will win 114 seats in the 227-member body),” he told reporters here. Shelar’s poser to Uddhav came after the Sena asked him if he would resign from his post if the BJP fails to win 114 seats in the country’s richest civic body. The BJP legislator counted gains of his party contesting the polls without an alliance with the Sena, which has been ruling the BMC for the last over two decades. “This will provide an opportunity for the BJP to expand its base in the metropolis ahead of the Assembly polls of 2019. Had there been an alliance, BJP could not have achieved this.” “We are going to have long-term benefits from our decision to fight the elections on our own strength,” the BJP leader said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC asks BMC to remove all illegal hoardings before civic polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bombay High Court today directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to remove forthwith all hoardings, banners and advertisements put up illegally by parties or their members and initiate action against them. “All hoardings, posters, banners and skysigns and advertisements put up without the permission license number and the duration period on them shall be removed forthwith by the civic body before the elections on February 21,” a division bench headed by Justice A S Oka said. The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Janhit Manch alleging that political parties and their members put up illegal hoardings, banners and posters in complete violation of civic rules all over the state, defacing private and public properties and spaces. The high court had on January 31, while hearing another petition on the issue, directed the Election Commission to impose conditions on political parties at the time of their registration, that they would not indulge in defacement of properties, as per the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act and laws governing skysigns and advertisements. The court had then also directed political parties and their members to print on the hoarding/poster/banner the permission number and duration period given by the civic body when allowing them to put up the hoardings. “The civic body will have to undertake a drive from this evening itself to remove all illegal hoardings from the city before the elections. It (BMC) shall also initiate criminal action against the errant political parties and their members,” Justice Oka said today. The court further specified today that apart from the permission license number and duration period, the hoardings shall also include the name of the person who has put it up and the name of the printer.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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