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Old September 16th, 2011, 06:54 AM   #41
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Old September 16th, 2011, 07:23 AM   #42
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Old September 16th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #43
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Let us see how CM reacts on this and top of this whether VIDHARBHA politicians can pull this to our side or not?
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Old September 16th, 2011, 02:22 PM   #44
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Welcome to SSCI!!! We're the lowlifes who think skylines are cool! Well, they are.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 08:02 AM   #45
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Old September 17th, 2011, 08:07 AM   #46
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24X7 pilot project in doldrums, can NMC deliver across the city?

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An independent survey has said that the civic body has failed completely in achieving the desired results in the 24X7 water supply pilot project implemented in Dharampeth zone. Despite this failure, will Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) succeed in implementing it in the other nine zones simultaneously?

As per the Water Audit Programme undertaken by NMC under JNNURM, the pilot project was to be completed by September 2009. The project was to cover just 20,000 consumers in a single zone. However, NMC and its operator - Veolia Water (India) Private Limited - have failed to complete the work till date. o Now the project will be implemented in the rest of the city, comprising around four lakh consumers across nine zones. This project was to commence from April 2009 and completed by April 2012, so it is far behind schedule and the funds.

One of the main motive of the scheme is improvement of public health by providing fresh water round the clock. Experts say this requires a two-pronged strategy - first there should be 24 hours water supply in the pipeline to prevent any seepage, and second, people should use water directly from the tap instead of storing it, since stored water is prone to contamination.

Though NMC is apparently maintaining 24 hours water supply in pipelines in pilot project area, around 70% pipelines are old, says a report by the Administrative State College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad. Also, the people covered under the scheme are not using water directly from the tap and instead following the old practice of storage.

Consumers have also expressed apprehensions about high bills and stoppage of water supply by closing the valves installed before the water meters. Under the scheme, NMC has installed a valve before the water meter, to stop water supply whenever anyone wants to undertake some cleaning or repair work.

After protests by people, NMC directed the private operator to rectify the problem. A team of the private operator went to households that received high bills and asked them to replace internal water pipelines to stop leakage and prevent high bills. They also advised families to close the valve to prevent high bills till the repair work is done.

Interestingly, very few consumers have actually replaced the internal pipelines. Most of them are happy to close the valve after storing water, as this automatically stops the water supply and the meter.

Despite this, however, the issue of faulty or fast moving meters and high bills persists. Experts said that this warrants a new approach, instead of stopgap measures like turning off the valve.

The ASCI report also confirms NMC is providing 24X7 water supply to only 50% consumers out of the targeted 20,000 consumers.

NMC has also failed to meet the vital target of reducing water losses. As per Water Audit Programme, water losses were to be reduced from 50% to 25% after 24X7 implementation. The JNNURM norms says water losses should be below 15%. As per the ASCI report, water losses have come down to 38% from 50% in the 24X7 area, though this is almost 13 points more than the target and 23 points more than JNNURM norms.

Without rectifying these shortcomings, it would not be wise to extend the 24X7 scheme to the entire city, experts and people feel.

BOX

NMC not testing new meters

NMC has not followed the routine practice of check new meters at its meter testing centre at water works department's head office at Dharampeth before installing them as part of 24X7 water supply pilot project.

If licensed plumbers are to be believed, every meter is tested before installation in other parts of the city, except in Dharampeth zone. The meters installed in the pilot project were imported and manufactured by Actaris Company. These meters have not been used in any other part of the city, and were installed in pilot project without testing, they allege.

Irate over a number of problems in pilot project, various social organizations have demanded an audit of pilot project from reputed institutions like NEERI or VNIT. However, NMC has paid no attention to these demands.

After a number of complaints about high water bills due to faulty meters, NMC had bowed to strong protests and decided to charge only up to 50 units per month.
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Old September 19th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #47
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Old September 19th, 2011, 08:52 AM   #48
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Old September 19th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #49
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No amount of 24X7 water can wash NMC officials clean

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The water works department (WWD) of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) took the cake (in running the worst water supply system), and is now eating it too. The inefficiency and corrupt practices of officers led to the complete decay of the water distribution system. NMC lost crores of rupees every year due to them. Now, these officials will either work for private operator Orange City Water Limited (OCWL) or supervise its working.

The bureaucrat-corporator nexus has ensured that no action was taken against WWD officials and employees. Politicians claim that it is difficult to pin responsibility on a particular officer, and hence no action is taken against anyone.

There are 4.5 lakh consumers in the city, but only 1.65 lakh meters. So, 80% of the consumers get average bills, which means only 33,000 consumers pay bills as per consumption. This implies that 4.17 lakh consumers either don't pay any bill or pay far lower than what they should.

No wonder, WWD incurs a loss of Rs 30 to Rs 35 crore every year (including loan repayments). Common sense dictates that even if 1.65 lakh consumers were billed properly, the deficit would have reduced by at least Rs 10 crore. If WWD had improved efficiency by even 50% from current levels, it would have earned at least Rs 200 crore more in the last ten years.

The gross incompetence of WWD officials was evident when the 24X7 pilot project was implemented. The officials estimated that there were 10,000 consumers in Dharampeth zone. However, the number turned out to be 17,500 - 75% higher.

In spite of these facts, a WWD team headed by executive engineer Shashikant Hastak will supervise the private operator OCWL's working.

Consumer activists are extremely dissatisfied with this arrangement. Ravindra Kaskhedikar of Jan Akrosh said, "The municipal commissioners were the biggest culprit. Hastak and other officers too did precious little to improve systems, but they have not been transferred for over 20 years."

Town planning expert Pradyumna Sahasrabhojanee said the municipal commissioner and mayor were the main culprits. "They should have ensured that WWD functions properly and takes action against officers in case they fail in their job."

Labour leader NL Sawarkar said it was strange that officers responsible for poor state of water supply were now being asked to supervise OCWL. "Hastak, Aziz-ur-Rehman and other officers are not competent to handle the job. They are likely to favour Veolia. The claim of politicians and officers that WWD does not have manpower is completely bogus. The officers deliberately destroyed the system to facilitate entry of a private operator."

Leader of opposition Vikas Thakre too slammed the water works officials, claiming that they held the city to ransom. "They are extremely incompetent, but they have devised a system that NMC can't do without them. The city needs water every day and the WWD officers are taking advantage of the fact."

Ruling party leader Pravin Datke, however, defended the WWD officers. "If we had taken action against them, who would have run the show? Besides, NMC should have given them exposure by sending them to other cities, which have better water supply systems."

Asked how such poorly trained officers could supervise OCWL, Datke said NMC would appoint a team of experts. "We have asked the municipal commissioner to select the experts. It will be done soon."
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Old September 19th, 2011, 10:19 AM   #50
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Separate VIdharbha is the only solution....
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Old September 19th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #51
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No it isn't. It is a solution, but not the only or the best solution.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 06:21 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioactive View Post
Separate VIdharbha is the only solution....
+1
Since the rise in stir and agitation for separate Vidarbha in last 5-6 years, Mah govt has not done anything significant for us to re-think about the demand.. and there is no hope for future too. The more Vidarbha stays in Mah, the disparity between the potential of the region and actual development is going to increase more and more.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 06:22 PM   #53
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You'd rather have a state divided than find an effective leader from the region? There are no good leaders from Vidarbha and so it's trash.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 06:26 PM   #54
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Old September 21st, 2011, 06:29 PM   #55
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ROB problems due to lack of maintenance

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Almost 36 wide cracks that appeared in the joints of Pachpaoli railway overbridge are due to lack of proper maintenance, says CPWD engineer and structural designer Abhijeet Mukherjee.

On this ROB, vehicles have to slow down at frequent intervals to negotiate the undulations on the bridge. The damaged expansion joints on the bridge have not been replaced, resulting in the widening of the gap between the tarred surfaces on either side of the joints, he explained.

At present, this ROB has nothing much to offer to motorists except a backbreaking experience. The 1.8-km long flyover was meant for eliminating the waiting time at railway level crossing but it annoys motorists with numerous bumps. The defects came out many years after the project was completed and by Public Works Department and handed over to NMC.

The proposal to construct the overbridge was approved in early 1970s but it could only be completed in 1984. The work, particularly in the final phase, was carried out in a haphazard manner. The fraying road surface has exposed shoddy quality of work even as the expansion joints between spans are gaping and ready to tear apart if urgent repair works are not carried out.

Chatterjee pointed out that the central government has a special wing to carry out such works. Even though the state is witnessing huge construction activities of flyovers and bridges, the state government has no such agency for it. He said that the bridge required special repairs and added "to fill the joint gaps, special bitumen based fillers are available." He pointed out that it was very costly but it helps in both summer and winter seasons when any bridge expands and contracts. He pointed out that the ROBs constructed during British era were still intact.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 11:00 AM   #56
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Oh yeah, like somebody somewhere really gives a damn about what VED says.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #57
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Threat of transfers may improve services in NMC

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The Maharashtra Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act may come as a loss to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), as far as powers of office bearers and revenue are concerned. At the same time, the new act may bear fruits in some ways, like helping to break the strangle grip of the bureaucracy on affairs, thus improving services.

There are around 9,600 staffers in NMC. Barring a few officials, who are on deputation, like chief engineer etc, the other staffers are not liable to be transferred from NMC to other municipal corporations. Due to lack of such provisions, the staffers have no fear of job insecurity. Taking undue advantage of this, some of the staffers do not follow directives from higher ups and also elected office bearers. Such situations have come to fore time and again in departments like public works, health and estate.

With no other option, the heads of departments and office bearers have to continue to work with such inefficient or adamant staffers. Conversely, many a times staffers who face action like suspension from higher ups manage to get reinstated with help from office bearers. In a few cases, office bearers direct action against staffers but the administration does not implement it, since the entire bureaucracy is united.

Now, the cabinet has given the nod for the MMC Act to replace CNC Act in NMC soon, and it will come into force after discussion in the state legislature. The MMC act will become applicable to 25 civic bodies, excluding the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). As per official sources, the MMC Act may have a provision to make staffers from a few selected cadres, including engineers, transferable from one corporation to other.

Chairman of standing committee Sandip Joshi said the difference between provisions in CNC Act and BPMC Act are not yet clear. The officials concerned have started to study if there are any differences between the two acts. But any provision making staffers' job insecure may improve services.

"Many staffers, including engineers, are adamant and do not follow directives. The threat of transfers will help to get works done and improve services," he said. Top officials of NMC too believe that the administration may improve if such provisions are there in the act.

It may also help staffers of other corporations who want to settle in cities like Nagpur or Pune to get transferred, said an official.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #58
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The other side of the story above.

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Old September 24th, 2011, 02:35 PM   #59
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Vidarbha as a separate state

Separate state of Vidarbha is not a bad idea. Whether it will really help Vidarbha in development depends. Whether Vidarbha has a capable leader to lead is also to be seen, but this is not an big issue. We have seen in the past som many incapable ministers running the state or country, so this is an non-issue.

There is no question that the successive Govts in Mumbai have not developed Vidarbha as they should have. This may also indicate their incapability.

Let Vidarbha separete, atleast rest of Maharashtra will not then be blamed for Vidarbha's failure.
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Old September 25th, 2011, 11:27 AM   #60
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Home town banks on hub-and-spoke model

The home solution chain of the Future Group changes tack and decides to open more smaller stores around the larger ones.

When Kishore Biyani- led Future Group opened the 200,000 square feet Home Town store in Mumbai's [ Images ] Vikhroli early last year, it became a symbol of the group's giant-sized ambitions in home solutions.

Future followed that up with another similar store in the National Capital Region's Noida, making everybody sit up. For, the two cities never had any home solution stores beyond 15,000-20,000 square feet.

The chain's chief executive now says such stores will be few and far between. Future will open smaller stores, which will be linked to the larger stores -- a kind of "hub-and-spoke" model popular in transport and telecom sectors.

Retail experts agree with the chain's strategy. "Real estate is a real issue all retailers are grappling with. They can readily look at off-store sales and online formats to market their products and save on costs," says Saloni Nangia, senior vice president, retail and consumer products at management consultancy Technopak Advisors,

Home Town has already consolidated its operations under a single format. "We could not have divided our focus among three different formats," says Ladham, who joined Future Group from UK's B&Q, one of the largest playera in the UK.

On the back end also, Home Town is consolidating its operations. It is setting up a large national distribution centre in Nagpur, a cargo hub in Maharashtra [ Images ], to cater to its stores and regional distribution centres across the country. Its three distribution centres in Mumbai will move to Nagpur.

"Instead of our vendors supplying to different distribution centres across India [ Images ], they can directly supply it to Nagpur, which will save freight costs. For instance, a vendor based in Bangalore supply goods to Nagpur, from where they will be combined with our own brands and go to Kolkata [ Images ], from where they will be directly supplied to our customers," Ladham says.


Home Town is looking at a turnover of Rs 700 crore (Rs 7 billion) in FY 2012 and over Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) over the next three years.

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