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Old July 10th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #1
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Nagpur Discussion and News

Mihan's flight delayed by 10 years?
Shishir Arya, TNN Jul 8, 2011, 01.05am IST


Quote:
NAGPUR: MADC is expecting some action soon at the special economic zone (SEZ) in Mihan cargo hub, however, some see it as flogging a dead horse.

The Mihan project being developed by MADC is divided into two parts - a SEZ and a cargo hub. The 1,400 hectare hub was planned with the view that Nagpur is in the country's centre, so it can emerge as a nodal point for cargo movement, especially by air. The 2,086 hectare SEZ is also based on this theory.

Voluntary organization Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) had mooted the idea of making Nagpur an air cargo hub in mid-1990s. It envisaged international flights from all directions, presently overflying Nagpur, landing here. The planes would redistribute cargo and fly back, with the air cargo hub supported by rail and road facilities.

However, it took a decade-and-a-half for the project to take off, and now even those in VED admit that the theory of aircraft overflying Nagpur landing here may no longer hold ground. The concept of a multi-modal cargo hub needs a change, they accept.

Over the last few years, MADC's focus has been on the SEZ and not the cargo hub, from which the name multi-modal international hub airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) was derived.

Devendra Parekh, president VED, says a lot has changed from when the project was conceived in 1997. The original theory could have worked those days, when short distance flights were used. With long-haul flights today, there is no need to land at a middle point like Nagpur.

A team of VED members had then visited Singapore to study a similar set-up, on which Mihan was conceived. Flying to Nagpur would have required less fuel, so more cargo could have been carried on planes, and then flown further in a different aircraft. With long haul flights in place, this may not be needed now, since direct flights are no longer a hassle, said Parekh.

Today, Mihan can be projected as an estate with ample land for industries to set up a unit. With industries facing land acquisition problems, like in Noida and Singur, Mihan still has a chance to come up as a road and rail terminal hub, he added.

However, the work on the rail and road terminal has been stopped by the company which had bagged the contract. It has been over a year since Nagpur Sical Gupta Logistics Limited stopped building the rail and road terminal. It backed out saying there was no assurance of any cargo being generated in Mihan. The company feared it will build the terminal and there would be no cargo to handle, leading to a dead investment.

Padmesh Gupta, a director with the company, said efforts are underway with the help of associations like VED and VIA to revive the project. Meetings have been planned with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan as well as BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

Meanwhile, Deccan 360, which had formally inaugurated its air cargo hub at Nagpur with much pomp two years ago, is yet to start it in a full-fledged manner. Deccan's cargo planes were supposed to land in Nagpur. However, the company continues to transport its cargo through other airlines operating from the city.

After Mihan Airport Limited (MIL), a joint venture of MADC and AAI, was formed, it was planned to redevelop the airport at a cost of Rs 63 crore. MIL is yet to get the money from the government, said a source. Finances have been a major constraint since the airport already has huge accumulated losses, they added.

All hope now rests on the strategic third partner that may be roped in for the project. Last month, Ernst and Young was appointed as consultant for advising the company in scouting for a partner. The new partner is expected to bring in the much needed equity for the venture.

UPS Madan, vice-chairman-cum-managing director of MADC, said after ensuring investors in SEZ start functioning, the focus would now be on the cargo hub. A decision may also be taken on Nagpur Sical Gupta Logistics, which has stopped work.

On roping in the third partner, Madan said no decision has been taken so far. "MADC will first go through the consultant's report and then decide its strategy on the partner. There is no immediate plan to review the entire concept of the cargo hub on the grounds that air cargo may now be outdated," he said.

Vilas Kale, former president of VED who was involved in conceiving Mihan, says that despite the changes in the type of aircraft the idea need not be given up yet. "Not all airlines have shifted to long-haul aircraft. Moreover, VED has also suggested that 50 acres of the SEZ should be de-notified to attract industries which may generate cargo. They need not be export oriented units," he added.
Source: TOI
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Old July 12th, 2011, 10:49 AM   #2
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Old July 12th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #3
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Slack NIT, dist collector delay works in Dalit areas

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NAGPUR: The callous attitude shown by the Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) and Nagpur district collector has ensured that the state government's Rs 11.62 crore grant is not used for the upgradation of Dalit localities in the city. These localities still remain in poor shape.

More shocking is the fact that Nagpur district collector issued utilization certificates (UCs) without verifying whether NIT had utilized full amount sanctioned for the past financial year. The district collector usually issues a UC confirming proper use of funds meant for a particular scheme.

As per information obtained by Ramdaspeth resident Anil Wadpalliwar under RTI Act, NIT has spent Rs 39.89 crore out of the Rs 51.51 crore grant sanctioned by government between 2004-05 and 2009-10.

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has lashed out at NIT for its callous attitude. The agency pointed out NIT had diverted a part of these grants for other works including construction of a swimming pool in Vaishali Nagar and a sports complex in Ahuja Nagar.

State government sanctions funds under Dalit Vasti Sudhar Yojana (DVSY) on 100% grant basis to local bodies for improving the civic amenities of localities where more than 50% population is of SC community. The works include roads, gutters, water pipelines, public latrines, etc.

The funds are released to the district collector. The planning department of district collectorate approves the DVSY works and then releases the grants to the concerned civic body. After completion of the work, the collector has to issue utilization certificates (UCs) stating that the grant has been properly spent by the civic agency.

When CAG scrutinized the records, it found out that the Nagpur collectorate had released the grants to NIT without any detailed list of works and the areas where they were to be carried out. NIT planned the works on its own without proper planning, which led to around 22.5% amount remaining unspent.

When this came to the notice of state government it did not sanction any DVSY funds in 2009-10 to NIT. Thankfully, NIT spent Rs 16.30 crore of the unspent amount pertaining to 2004-05 to 2008-09 period in DVSY works in 2009-10.

CAG further pointed out that NIT had not prepared any year wise plan for DVSY but sanctioned works as demanded by public representatives of Dalit localities. This led to large chunk of funds remaining unspent. CAG blasted the collector office for not checking this lapse.
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Old July 12th, 2011, 10:57 AM   #4
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continuing on the next page . . .

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Old July 13th, 2011, 10:24 AM   #5
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These kind of resources could change the fate of the fate of the region, God damn those Maoists.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:04 AM   #6
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Old July 14th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #7
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Old July 14th, 2011, 05:37 PM   #8
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NMC's cattle action to no avail

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The concern over cattle straying on busy city roads and becoming cause of accidents is not exaggerated. Nagpur Municipal Corporation veterinary department records show that in the last five years NMC has trapped 14,812 stray cattle from road, or about 10 each day, and recovered Rs 50.48 lakh as fine from their owners. Three hundred ninety animals were trapped in the last three months alone.

This would show NMC officials are seriousl about clearing the roads of this menace. The reality is the animals continue to have a free run on city roads. With rainy season on, cattle blocking traffic on busy stretches across the city have once again become a common sight. Only NMC officials seem not able to see them.

Even the traffic police are upset with the NMC for not removing stray cattle as the latter often cause accidents. They too have decided to initiate legal action against cattle owners for letting their animals roam on the roads and disrupt smooth flow of traffic. Actually, the action should have been initiated by the NMC.

NMC sources said civic body was empowered under the Cattle Trespass Act to create special pounds and remove from roads stray animals that pose danger to traffic and human life. However, NMC officials ignore the danger and only take sporadic action. The cattle impounding trolleys remained parked at NMC office many days without being used. Even when cattle are impounded, they are let off with token fine.

NMC staffers blame corporators and local politicians who protect the cattle owners. They said, "Whenever we catch cattle, the local corporators and other politicians force us to release them. These cattle once again come back on roads and we catch them again."

The corporation had earlier decided to impose a deterrent fine of Rs 5,000 for each cattle caught on the road. But the BJP-ruled Nagpur Vikas Aghadi (NVA) succumbed to pressure from cattle-owners and reduced the fine to just Rs 500. That too is rarely levied. The decision of the civic house clearly shows that city fathers remain apathetic towards people and are only interested in protecting powerful lobbies, sources added.
TOI
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Old July 15th, 2011, 09:14 AM   #9
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Old July 15th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #10
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Old July 15th, 2011, 09:27 AM   #11
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Old July 15th, 2011, 09:30 AM   #12
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Old July 18th, 2011, 10:21 AM   #13
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Old July 18th, 2011, 10:26 AM   #14
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continuing . . .

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Old July 18th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #15
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Rise in the domestic passenger traffic

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City's Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport has registered almost 59 per cent rise in the domestic passenger traffic with a number of new airlines starting their services from Nagpur to cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata and Bangalore over the last few months.

Sample these figures. Nagpur airport handled 3,69,046 passengers in 2008. In 2009, this figure was marginally reduced by 17,685 passengers to 3,51,361 passengers. However, in 2010 the air traffic from city airport took a quantum leap to 5,60,125 passengers. This makes for a whopping 59% increase over the year. In the first five months of this year (Jan to May), the airport witnessed further growth as 2,89,052 passengers traveled from here or on an average of 1914 passengers daily.

However, despite increase in passenger traffic from here, many facilities announced by Mihan India Limited (MIL), the company operating the airport, are yet to materialize. MIL company secretary Navin Baxi informed that in 2008, daily average of passengers was 1,008 passengers at Nagpur airport, which became 963 in 2009. However, in 2010, he daily average rose to 1,535 passengers. Normally air traffic registers a rise in summer vacations (May and June) and winter vacations (November and December), Baxi informed.

With airport usage increasing, so have been complaints about MIL over even basic facilities. The airport has reduced four-wheeler parking charges and no charge is levied for pick and drop completed within 10 minutes. However several visitors still complain about new 'pay and park' system. "Rs 30 is being levied by MIL on practically every vehicle that enters airport premises including those just dropping off or picking up passengers," they said.

Jayant Ghare, a frequent flyer, complained that the parking stand boys demanded Rs 30 for just dropping off a friend at airport recently. "Due to rush at airport in morning hours I could not come out in stipulated 10-minutes time. It was just one minute over the limit but I was charged," he said. On Sunday morning, Vaishali Chobitkar, a manager with a pharma Company and another frequent flyer, got a surprise. When her sister went to the airport to pick her up, the parking contractor asked her for Rs 30 for just a few minutes. "MIL should increase the pick and drop timings or at least shift the 'check post' near parking area", Vaishali demanded.

In another development, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has raised objection over new restaurant at the airport. MIL has reportedly decided to allot space to Fionaa group for starting a multi-cuisine restaurant- cum-bar 'Czar' at the airport area. A senior CISF stated that the new establishment just 50 metres away from terminal building and tower would increase security problems. "We have written to MIL regarding our concerns," he said.
TOI
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Old July 18th, 2011, 10:40 AM   #16
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Metro region limits can't be reduced, says Moghe

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Guardian minister Shivajirao Moghe on Sunday made it clear that the limits of Nagpur metro region could not be reduced from the present 25 km from city boundaries. "The urban development ministry has impressed upon us that a lesser area would be unviable for developing it," Moghe said.

Several public representatives from rural areas of the district had been demanding reduction of metro region limit to 5 or 10 km from NMC boundaries. Their ire was especially directed towards Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT), the planning authority. Minister of state for urban development Bhaskar Jadhav had supported this stance during winter session of state assembly. Moghe himself had expressed similar opinion. Now, it seems that the government has suddenly changed its mind.

"The UD ministry has suggested two options. Either we strengthen NIT so that people can get their work done at zilla parishad circle level or set up a separate agency for metro region," the minister said.

The public representatives are dissatisfied because the Nagpur metro area planning committee (NMAPC) comprising a large number of elected members has been completely sidetracked by NIT and government. After its constitution in March 2009 only one meeting has been held. On this Moghe promised to hold another meeting soon.

The minister said that even though Nagpur metro rail was economically unviable, the government had decided to build it. "In interest of common citizens we will go ahead with the project. It entails four phases having total length of 176.8 km and in 2004 the project cost was Rs 8,840 crore," he said.

He also said that the government would build a VVIP guest house in the city for union ministers and other top dignitaries. "They do not stay in Ravi Bhavan but in hotels. We want to provide a facility that suits their stature. The site is yet to be finalized. We are searching for an old bungalow in Civil Lines."
TOI
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Old July 19th, 2011, 09:17 AM   #17
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Old July 19th, 2011, 09:22 AM   #18
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Old July 20th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #19
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NTPC plans wind power plant in Maharashtra

NTPC plans wind power plant in Maharashtra

NAGPUR: State-run power generation giant NTPC is setting up its first wind power plant in Maharashtra and has inked a power purchase agreement (PPA) of 39 MW with MSEDCL. The PPA has been recently given the green signal by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC).

NTPC is setting up three wind power projects in the country – 75 MW at Chakala (Nandurbar district, Maharashtra), 75 MW at Madurgudda and 100 MW at Guledagudda, both Karnataka.

The Maharashtra project is slated to come up in 2012 end or beginning of 2013 and NTPC has already floated tenders for it. The PPA does not state the precise tariff but it will be as per Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) rates for wind energy. NTPC had signed a PPA with power distribution companies in Karnataka at Rs 5.30 per unit.

CERC has mandated a 6 % renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) in 2011 which will increase 1% each year to 15% by 2020. A number of states including Maharashtra have fallen behind in meeting their RPO target and would need to either generate or buy green energy to meet CERC targets.

Meanwhile, state-power generation company Mahagenco has awarded the contract of constructing a 125 MW solar power plant at Sakri (district Dhule) to Lanco and Megha Engineering. Lanco will build a 75 MW crystalline based solar photovoltaic plant and Megha Engineering will set up a 50 MW thin film solar plant.

Mahagenco had made a foray into solar power by setting up 1 MW project at Chandrapur, the first in the state. The price for a unit of electricity for the 1MW plant was set at Rs 15 per unit with the state government contributing Rs 3 per unit and the remaining funded by Indian Renewable Energy Development Authority (IREDA). The utility has also started building a 4 MW solar plant at Chandrapur.
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Old July 20th, 2011, 11:13 AM   #20
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