Sunday, June 28, 2009

Navi Mumbai gets e-governmence project

The central government approved Rs. 15.11 crore for an e governance project of Navi Mumbai Municipal corporation (NMMC) under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
This is the highest allocation under the scheme for any civic corporation in India .
The project will help automation of various activates within the corporation to help provide efficient services
The central approval came on Friday following a presentation by municipal commissioner Vijay Nahata on the positive changes the project will bring about in Navi Mumbai.
The NMMC had earlier got a sanction of rs. 230.52 crore for its water supply project and Rs. 353.66 crore for its sewage treatment plant project and has received its first installment as well.
Said Nahata: “The project will help us connect all the corporation offices and also upgrade the exiting system. This will result in efficient working of the corporation that will ultimately benefit the residents.”
Added Nahata :”The project will ensure issue of birth and death certificates within half an hour .It will cut down time for other requests as well . Details about water bill. Property tax etc will be available from home or from public kiosks. Residents will not have to keep visiting our offices.”
According to Nahata :” Permissions issued by the town Planning Department will also be faster. Occupation and completion certificated will be issued within 15 days of the request of the document s are in order.”
The NMMC is expecting more approvals for its other projects.
Nahata said:”We are hopeful of getting early approval for getting early approval for the Ts. 458.87 crore project for five flyovers on palm Beach road , Rs.437.49 crore for integrated nullah projects and Rs. 62 crore for solid waste management.”

State plans heliports for satellite city

Navi Mumbai: If the latest development happening in the Mantralaya circles is to be believed then the satellite city of Navi Mumbai could soon boast of three heliports.
A heliport is a small airport like structure suitable for use by only helicopters. Well placed sources informed that the State Chief Minister (CM) Ashok Chavan while visiting the Bandra-Worli sea link last week expressed the need for heliports in the city. The idea was reportedly first floated during the tenure of the then CM Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Sources inform that Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), the planning agency for Mumbai is already underway with the initial planning work for the heliports. Sources confirmed that the State administration had approached Cidco in this regard.
Cidco on its part recently suggested three sites in Navi Mumbai for these proposed heliports. One of the three sites is in Vashi while the other two are in Nerul, informed a source from Cidco. Officials on request of anonymity informed that Nariman Point, Worli along with Navi Mumbai are the sites short listed as potential sites for heliports.
The construction of these heliports will be decided after they are evaluated by independent consultants appointed by the MMRDA. Sources also quoted Chavan as saying that having a heliport in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai was the need of the hour.
When contacted, Cidco chairman, Nakul Patil confirmed the news. "We have given three options to the state for developing heliports. Our job was only to suggest the sites and the onus is on them (MMRDA) to finalise the projects," he informed. Dilip Kawathkar, joint project director, MMRDA also confirmed the proposal of developing heliports in Navi Mumbai and said that currently they were in the process of checking whether a heliport was feasible in Navi Mumbai.
What is a heliport?
The internet says that a heliport is a small airport like structure suitable for use by only helicopters. Information on a website says that heliports usually have one or more helipads along with facilities like fuel, lighting and hangars. In larger towns, custom facilities may be available at heliports.
Experts say that in large metropolis like Mumbai, heliports can be of great help for those needing to quickly move within the city or to neighbouring regions. Generally heliports are situated closer to cities and in some countries some skyscrapers also have rooftop heliports.In urban areas, these heliports are usually located on the roof of the hospital, where they serve during emergencies.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Recently planed coconut sapplings mysteriously go missing along Palm Beach Road

While the threat of Global Warming is being taken up by countries worldwide, many are busy wasting the state’s treasury in the name of nature preservation in Navi Mumbai. An example of this can be seen in the posh locality of Palm Beach Road where environment destruction continues as newly planted coconut saplings have gone missing.

The coconut saplings that were planted on the Palm Beach Road stretch by NMMC. We had highlighted how barely four weeks passing the plantation, the trees had started to dry up. The dying trees forced one to question if it was indeed wastage of the state treasury. The neglect was on part of the civic body the trees not being watered regularly. There were around 1000 coconut trees planted on this stretch of Palm Beach Road with each tree plantation costing Rs 135.

However what one would have thought should have had been an eye opener for the civic body, it was clearly neglected by them. As instead of taking care of the saplings, it has been removed. Moving from CBD to Vashi on the Palm Beach Road, while one can spot few of the coconut saplings, from the Nerul stretch, they completely disappear moving ahead to Vashi. Environmentalist Manju Ganguly called it lack of maintenance and negligence by NMMC. She expressed disappointment on the participation of the authorities towards conserving nature saying that it was mere wastage of public funds. Calling the Palm Beach Road a concrete jungle, she urged residents to take up some social responsibility. Sources reveal that the land mafia that eyes the cream prime land does not want any plantation at this mangrove stretch and this is one of the reasons why the planted saplings are not being nurtured.

NMMC provides free net access to FYJC aspirants

The NMMC Education Board has volunteered to provide free access to the registration for students seeking admission in junior colleges this year .A separate cell has been opened at the Board office from June 23.
Board Chairman Ravi Iyyer informed that the arrangement would continue till the end online registration for the current academic year.
“the help line was started for candidate who are started for candidate who are willing apply for admission through the online system introduce by the state government . Generally student‘s opt for cyber café for which they have to shell out money. Hence we decided to provide the free access and service to the needy candidate at our office,” informed lyyer.
Lyyer further informed that three computers have been dedicated for the candidates. Inverters have also been pressed into service to ensure uninterrupted connection during power cuts. More computers will be provided if there is demand. If required, the same service will be made available in computer labs in the municipal schools at Nerul, Vashi and Airoli, assured Iyyer.
Officials informed that any student can walk in the Koper Khairene Office and get the free online access. Specially trained volunteers will assist the candidates for registration and a print out of their application will be provided instantly. Official information that personal assistance, individual attention and print outs will be given free of charge. It may take maximum 3-5 minutes for processing each registration. The new venture will save the money and valuable time of the candidate.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chief minister Ashok Chavan undertakes a spree of inaugurations in Navi Mumbai

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was in the city for a series of event.
With assembly elections round the corner, it was day of inaugurations to woo the masses. In a schedule packed day Chief Minister Ashok Chavan first arrived at PAP Training Center at Dronagiri. The Chief Minister along with Dy. Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal, State Environment Minister Ganesh Naik, State Energy Minister Sunil Tatkare, CIDCO Chairman Nakul Patil, CIDCO Managing Director G S Gill and Director Namdeo Bhagat inaugurated the PAP Center at Dronagiri. The PAP training center will train PAPs to attain service center skills so that they can be placed for jobs. Later the Chief Minister arrived at Urban Haat at CBD Belapur and inaugurated it officially and took a tour of Urban Haat. Following the official inauguration of Urban Haat, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan arrived at the Agri Koli project site at Nerul. He saw the project plans and the under construction Agri Koli Bhavan. MLC Manda Mhatre was also present during Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s visit to the under construction Agri Koli Bhavan. The chain of inaugurations ended with an event at Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium where the dignitaries present addressed the gathering. During all the events, the one thing that did not miss anyone’s eyes was the division among the Navi Mumbai Congress leaders. With each faction literally trying to show each other down, desperately wanting to get the Chief Minister’s attention and proving how each one was closer to the Chief Minister more than the other.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I ‘ll talk to Centre on 2nd airport’

the Navi Mumbai airport would have Mumbai airport would have been ready by now had one of the Ambani brother been its developer and not the government , chief minister Ashok Chavan on Monday assured that the Centre’s objection to the project would be resolved soon through negotiations.
“this airport is the need of the hour and our priority is to resolve the conflict immediately so that the airport is in place before its need is felt,” he added .he, how –ever, admitted that Navi Mumbai and surrounding areas lacked proper trans –port and parking infrastructure.
Both the CM and his deputy were speaking at a Cidco function at Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium, Vashi, on Monday. It was held to mark the inauguration of an urban haat in Belapur and a vocational training centre for SEZ- and airport-affected people at Dronagiri as well as the bhoomipujan of Aagari-Koli Cultureal Centre and an exhibition centre.
Interracting with the media, Chavan said he would meet Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh to convince his ministry about the need for speedy development of the airport.
“we will follow up the matter regularly ,” Chavan said after Bhujbal’s jibe at the congress leadership .”Do we have to go 200 km out of the city to have second airport?” Bhubal, an NCP leader ,asked. Chavan said he did not want to create a controversy over the issue and that he would ensure that the centre and state resolved it as soon as possible.
To a request made by state excise minister Ganesh Naik that water transport be restored between Vashi and the Gate-way of India, Chavan assured all help from the state government.
On the power tariff issue, he said the government would soon bring load-shedding to an end in the state and also keep a check on the growing power rates.
To a query whether the state congress would go it alone in the next assembly elections, he said the party would take a decision only after discussing the issue with grassroots workers.
Energy minister Sunil Tatkare, Thane MP Sanjeev Naik , Cidco chairmen Nakul Patil, Cidco MD G S Gill, Navi Mumbai mayer Anjani Bhoir and deputy mayer Shashikant Birajdar were also present at the fuction.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar kicks off assembly election campaign by dedicating Morbe Dam to citizens of Navi Mumbai

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar arrived in Navi Mumbai to inaugurate the hi-tech sewerage treatment plants of NMMC and dedicate the Morbe Dam project to the Navi Mumbaikars. The Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar along with State Environment and Excise Minister Ganesh Naik first inaugurated the STP Plants of NMMC. The NMMC has built the STP plants for Rs. 200 Crore each in Nerul, Vashi and Airoli. After inaugurating the STP Plants, the NMMC team showed the working of the plant and the water purified though C-Tech in the plants to Sharad Pawar.

After the inauguration of the STP Plant, Sharad Pawar visited the NMMC Pump House at Parsik Hills and later addressed a gathering a Vishnudas Bhave auditorium. Also present were MP Dr. Sanjeev Naik, MLC Jitendra Ahwad, MLC Manda Mhatre, MLA Shashikant Shinde, Mayor Anjani Bhoir, CIDCO Chairman Nakul Patil, CIDCO MD G S Gill, NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata and NMMC Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik. Speaking to the media, after the event he appreciated both the STP Plants and Morbe Dam projects of NMMC.

Both the projects are going to be the scoring points for any NCP-Congress candidate who contests from the two assembly constituencies in Navi Mumbai. That’s why the grand event to inaugurate the STP Plants and dedicate Morbe Dam project to Navi Mumbai seemed to be the unofficial start to the election campaigning of NCP Party in Navi Mumbai.

I would advocate contesting elections with congress –says NCP supremo Sharad Pawar

Amidst speculations of whether the alliance with the Congress stays or not, NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar has said that he personally is of the opinion that they should fight the assembly polls in alliance with Congress.
There have been reports of how the Congress is confident of winning as many as 110 to 125 seats in 288-member Maharashtra assembly should it contest the coming assembly elections on its own. The state Congress is embarking on a mega exercise as part of pre-poll preparations. The Congress will benefit and can actually win between 110 and 125 assembly seats in Maharashtra if it contested the polls on its own, an internal analysis carried out after the Lok Sabha elections suggests. This “positive” feedback has enthused a strong section within the party to make a strong pitch for going solo in the polls. They feel the party should cash in on this factor and later on tie up with the NCP. NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar during his recent visit to Navi Mumbai, to which Sharad Pawar replied that he is wants them to fight the assembly polls in alliance with Congress.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

50pc quota for women:Pawar

The Center has promised of the bill as part of its 25-point agenda
Union agriculture minister and ncp chief gives a new spin to the raging issue of reservations for women
Next time you arrange a function in Navi Mumbai, you may have to reserve half the seats on the dias for women. These were the words of advice of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to his partymen during a function held at Vishnudas Bhave auditorium on Wednesday. Pawar was in Navi Mumbai to inaugurate the technologically-advanced Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in Nerul and Morbe Dam
Water Supply Project at Parsik Hills, Belapur.
Pushing for 50 per cent reservation of seats for women in local self-government bodies, the NCP supremo said that his party will support the bill and first implement it in panchayats, zilla parishads, municipal councils and municipal corporations across the state as part of the 100 days agenda and then implement it in the legislative council and legislative assembly.
The Union Government has promised early passage of the Women's Reservation Bill and several other measures as part of its ambitious 25-point agenda for the first 100 days in office. Constitutional amendment to provide 50 per cent quota for women in panchayats and urban local bodies, a national mission on empowerment of women and concerted efforts to increase representation of women in Central government jobs are some of the points in the agenda.
Lauding the efforts of NMMC in developing such an advanced STP and securing the water requirements of the fast-growing city by buying the Morbe dam, Pawar stressed the need for each municipal corporation to be self-reliant and sufficient in procuring basic requirements like water.
Citing the example of Pune where four dams are proving insufficient to meet the water needs of the expanding city, Pawar said, "As cities expand, the majority of the water secured by developing dams is utilised for domestic use while agriculture suffers. Not only did NMMC buy a dam and provide water meters to supply water and tap on losses, but also develop a STP to recycle water. Their efforts are worth appreciating."
Stressing on the need for latest scientific technology for advancement, Pawar said these projects are a move in the right direction.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Navi Mumbai to get 24-hr water supply

In one month’s time Navi Mumbai will get 24-hour water supply.
The Morbe Dam pipeline from kalamboli to Digha is complete and will be inaugurated on Wednesday by Central Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
The Rs. 200-crore project, assigned to Pratibha Industries, consists of a 42 km connecting lines.
It also includes two sterilization plants at CBD and Mahape and Parsik Hill in Nerul will have a master balancing reservoir. A garden development on the tank switchgear room and pump house.
Vice President of Pratibha Industries, Sharad Despande said:”The reservoir, which is at a height
Of 65 meters can store 32 million liters of water. The water from Morbe Dam will first come here and then get supplied to the city”.
Deshpande added:” there is minimal use of electricity through the use natural elevations and slopes. Morbe Dam water will be pumped into the height of 65m i.e. 213.feet above sea level to the MBR and supplied to the city using gravitational pull.”

The function of releasing and controlling the water will be done at the switchgear room which has two 3,000KVA transformers. There is also a 2,000KVA DG backup in case of power failure. There are six motor pumps 1,000 hr power each.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Work on Navi Mumbai airport to begin in 2010

The work on the Greenfield airport near Navi Mumbai is expected to start by February 2010 . The state Government has decided to lay down the foundation stone for the airport next year.
At a recent meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Johny appoint an officer on special duty to oversee the work on the airport to be developed through public-private part-nership.
The rehabilitation work for the land acquired would take off in August , aspacial acquisition officer would transfer 458 hectares of government land to CIDCO for the same .
The airport in its first phase itself will have two parallel runway for simultaneous and segregated parallel operation, instead of only one runway in the first phase.
Mumbai International Airport Limited is most likely to win the bid for developing the airport since it has first right of refusal.

Navi Mumbai to get first elevated Metro rail by 20013

Of the 12 suggestions put forward by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for the metro rail project in Navi Mumbai, City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) has accepted three suggestions.
In the first phase, CIDCO will develop metro rail along the 24 kms stretch of Belapur-Kharghar-Taloja-Kalamboli-Mansarovar route. The second phase will be developed along 19 km stretch of Mankhurd-Vashi-International airport and the third phase along 14 km stretch of Kharkopar-Ulwe-International airport, informed CIDCO Chairman Nakul Patil while addressing media at Belapur Bhavan on Thursday. Divulging more details, Patil said the cost of the project will be Rs 140 crore for each kilometer. DMRC will act as technical advisor for the project .
"DMRC will now prepare a detailed project report and work will begin accordingly. The entire stretch will be elevated and underground passage has been ruled out. DMRC had approached IIT, Powai to conduct a study of the population growth of Navi Mumbai and accordingly draft a travel model to suit the needs of the projected 40 lakh population in the next ten years. IIT's suggestions will be incorporated while drafting the detailed project report," he said.
CIDCO, however, has still not decided on a revenue model for the project and will do so after receiving the final project report, an official said. The metro rail project will provide the much-needed connectivity to the proposed airport in Navi Mumbai and help residents of both Mumbai and Navi Mumbai commute to the airport, assured Patil. The aim is to enable a passenger to reach the Panvel airport from South Mumbai at the earliest, he said. When questioned about the CRZ clearance for any land falling under mangroves, CIDCO officials assured that the Corporation already has acquired land for the project and the High Court has given its nod for all infrastructural projects

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Towards a clean and green city

On one hand, there is more greenery in areas that are left untouched. For example, at the end of sector 8 in Vashi mangroves have really grown over the last 20 years. On the other, mangroves are being destroyed in certain areas. Nature just needs to be left alone in order to thrive," says M Jacob who has been living in Navi Mumbai for the past 22 years.
Environmental awareness:
Recently, many residents and joggers associations like Parsik Hills Walkers Association and Vashi Joggers Ecological Movement have been active in advocating environmental issues. Many schools in Navi Mumbai are actively involved in regular tree plantation drives.
children are the key when it comes to environmental awareness. "To create awareness school children need to be targeted. Probably one could approach their parents to reach out to housing societies.
The Indian Women's Scientists Association (IWSA) has started a new programme involving schoolchildren and teachers in the city collecting environmental data as well as creating awareness. However, she feels that there is lack of adequate dedicated activists and sufficient people's participation in the decision making process.
Solar heaters, windmills and rainwater harvesting are positive developments in some housing societies. Activists are of the opinion that the NMMC should look into making these measures mandatory for new buildings. plastic bags and littering are major problems more so because of citizens lack of concern for the environment than negligence of authorities.

There are many superior species of mangroves in Navi Mumbai. Mangroves are unique trees that grow only in saline conditions. They shelter marine, bird and insect life.
The common Avicennia is an abundant species of mangrove plant found in Navi Mumbai. So also the blinding tree (called so because the juice blinds the eyes) and the apple mangrove.
Says Jacob, "In many places the mangroves are being mercilessly hacked. Locals are building ponds for pisciculture. Often there are fires in the mangroves belt. No one knows who does this or even who is responsible for the preservation of mangroves.
The authorities are busy passing the buck. There is also dumping of waste in the mangroves and creation of bunds in the mangrove areas. Subsistence of the mangroves depends on the tides and flooding or controlling the flow of water to them that affects their growth."

the holding ponds created by CIDCO in Vashi and Kopar Khairane are very important and specially designed for holding rainwater and preventing flooding.
Well meaning corporators are filling up portions of the ponds for lawns and gardens but this lowers the carrying capacity of the ponds. Many systematic encroachments are also taking place in both garden areas and water bodies. This should be prevented as the gardens in the city act as major sinks of different air pollutants while the water bodies prevent flooding.

Save environment to ensure a better future

Every year we celebrate World Environment Day on June 5. Degradation of environment has been worrying the world. Vast areas of green land have been ravaged leading to ecological imbalance. Unless we respect the environment all our effort for development can only being negative result. The belief that humans are the master of the natural world needs to be re-evaluated. India with its reach heritage of medicinal plants and wild life is playing a leading role in trying to save our rich heritage through public awareness.
Development work like buildings, dams, roads, bridges possess a major threat to the ecological balance of our country. Falling of trees to build and expand township as also by the tribels for firewood is seriously threatening the environment. Across the globe up to 24.4 million of hectares of forest is vanishing every year. One reason is human greed, wood is need for building, furniture, fuel, paper and industry.
Demand is increasing by leaps and bounds. The need for fire wood also destroying forests. In India, people living around national sanctuaries are forced to cut trees in the forest for their needs. There are controlled ways of cutting trees which can be replaced by planting sapling. But who bothers?
In our country situation is very grave. People awareness and active involvement is necessary to protect our environment. On our part, we can do a lot to save our decaying cities. If possible educate the poor on the benefits of having small family. Every little thoughtful act will help our city survive.

Monday, June 8, 2009

NGO for women gets land on lease

CIDCO allots 14,000 sq ft plot at Sector 18 in Koparkhairane to Stree Mukti Sanghatana
Stree Mukti Sanghatana (SMS), an autonomous body which is working towards women's development since 1975, recently acquired a land from City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) for a period of 60 years.
Thirtyfour years into its formation, the association was conducting its activity across Navi Mumbai and Mumbai in rented premises and community centre of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). This will be first official centre of the organization and the construction work will commence from next month.
An area admeasuring 14,000 sq ft was allotted by CIDCO to the organization at sector 18 in Koparkhairane. The association will be constructing a multi-facility structure with state-of-the-art amenities for women. Starting with crèche to working women's hostel, the construction work is expected to be completed within six months.
"We have been working in Navi Mumbai for the past 20 years, however, with lack of proper space the kind of activities held was on low scale. The land was allotted three years back, but we got the possession after we paid the required fees," secretary of the association Sharada Sathe said.
The association has branches all over the state and has been actively working in rendering help to the needy and ill-treated women. Conducting counselling sessions and imparting knowledge on vocational courses, the primary motto of the association is betterment of the women population.
"The centre will look into upliftment of women in any walk of life. It's keeping this in view that the centre will attempt to provide job opportunity and means towards financial independence. The acquisition of the land is a major achievement for the association that would go a long way in promoting our activity," Sathe added.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

World Environment day observed in Mumbai

With observance of Environment Day, Department of Environment – Government of Maharashtra and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board organized a meet where present as the chief guest was Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. Also present was Deputy Chief Minister Chaggan Bhujbal, Minister for Environment and Excise Ganesh Naik, State Minister for Environment Vijay Wadettiwar and Chairperson of MPCB Valsa Nair amongst others. The opening ceremony was performed by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan after which all those present took an oath of preserving and conserving our nature. This was followed by a book launch where two books named Gatha Gynachi and Jaagar Paryavaracha was presented. On the day, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan stated that not just the state, but the involvement of NGOs and social organizations was very important in conserving environment. He further stated that political parties will also add this as an important agenda in their manifesto.