Friday, July 24, 2009

NMMC standing committee approves last phase for condominium work in the city

The NMMC Standing Committee approved the last phase of work inside condominiums worth nearly Rs. 37 Crore this week.

Approvals of nearly Rs. 33 Crore for executing work inside condominiums is going to bring major relief to apartments owners living in unhygienic and pathetic environs within CIDCO condominiums. The biggest issue of CIDCO condominiums is the decade’s old sewerage and water pipelines. Most residents living within condominiums hail from economically weaker background and could not carry out timely repair and maintenance work. And the increasing population only aggravated these civic issues. Since, NMMC did not have a policy in place to spend funds inside CIDCO condominiums, the conditions of water and sewerage pipelines became worse by the day, raising grave health issues for residents. In wake of the gravity of the issue, Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik followed up the matter with the Chief Minister’s office and finally got a policy in place that permitted NMMC to carry out civic work inside condominiums. Soon after major allocations were made NMMC budgets and this week’s Standing Committee meeting sealed the final phase of civic work to be carried out within condominiums within city limits. After the members approved 30 proposals to carry out work within condominiums worth Rs. 37 Crore 17 lakhs 27 thousand 422, Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik informed the need to carry out the work inside condominiums and how NMMC got the approval for these work.

The Chairman said that they were happy that finally work of tax paying citizens living within condominiums was undertaken in the city. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation will be utilizing funds granted under the JNNURM for this work.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where is NMMC investing public taxes – take a look at all the work approved at the weekly NMMC standing committee

When you pay your taxes to NMMC, it is spent for your amenities, facilities and making quality of life better in your neighborhood. NMMC Standing Committee and General Body meetings are specifically for those of you who want to know how you’re hard earned taxes are being spent. Deliberations and the work that will be carried out in the city after this week’s Standing Committee meet.

Here’s a quick glance of what the work that the NMMC Standing Committee has approved this week:
• The Standing Committee approved the proposal of repairing the gutters and footpaths at Turbhe’s Indiranagar. The contract has been awarded to M/s New Eagle Company at Rs. 26, 10, 821. The time period of the work is 3 months.
• The Standing Committee approved the tender bid of M/s Ajwani Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. for improving roads in Sector 20, Airoli at the cost of Rs. 58 lacs 26 thousand 691. The time period of the work is 3 months.
• The Standing Committee approved the tender bid of Ajwani Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. for widening and repairing the roads within Shirwane to Ashirwad Hospital at the cost of Rs. 11, 10, 327. The time period of the work is 1 month.
• The Standing Committee approved the tender bid of Om Construction for improving gutters within Nerul’s Shirawane G.E.S’s Plot No. 40 Timber Market to Mini Mahal Hotel. The work has been awarded for Rs. 54, 75, 947 and the time period is 4 months.
• The Standing Committee approved the administrative proposal to call for tender bids for making gutters between Airoli’s STP Chowk till crematorium. The estimated amount of the work is Rs. 15 lacs 37 thousand 359.
• The Standing Committee approved the administrative proposal to call for tender bids for improving gutters and footpaths at Airoli’s Samata Nagar. The estimated amount of the work is Rs. 17 lacs 62 thousand 502.
• The Standing Committee approved the administrative proposal to lay inter lock tiles in Sector 6, Sarsole village, Nerul. The estimated amount of the work is Rs. 24 lacs 04 thousand 540.
• The Standing Committee approved the administrative proposal to construct the security wall at KHSR, Sector 19A Nerul. The estimated amount of the work is Rs. 14 lacs 87 thousand 526.

Another significant proposal to be taken up during the meeting were the audit reports of departmental work for the years 1997 – 98, 2001 – 02, 2003 – 04 and 2004 – 05 that were earlier sent to the Commissioner for compliance. Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik gave details of this proposal.

All the major civic tenders are approved before election code of conduct is implemented

Projects worth over Rs 120 crore have been pushed through in a matter of two days in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) General Body and Standing Committee Meeting held on Monday and Wednesday, respectively at NMMC Headquarters, Belapur. The city corporators are ensuring that all the major civic tenders are approved before election code of conduct is implemented.
However, not many corporators are happy with this move. "Authorities and some corporators are trying to push maximum civic tenders before code of conduct is implemented and in the process they are allotting excess work to some contractors," stated Ravindra Ithape, Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) Nerul corporator. He added that altogether 29 condominium work tenders worth Rs 36 crore have been given among 13 contractors.
"Some of the contractors have been given work beyond their eligibility. Swastik Infologics has been given work worth over Rs 13 crore, while its eligibility limit is just Rs 3 crore. It has received minimum seven contracts. Similarly, the name of Sriraj Enterprises is repeated any many places. At one place, the corporation is speaking about transparency and on other hand, they are favouring personal interest of some politicians," Ithape added.
In the General Body Meeting also major project of Children's Park worth Rs 52 crore and other civic work worth Rs 20 crore are approved. Besides, renting of shops of Shirvane's Shopping Complex proposal was initially not approved by any corporator, rather 13 corporators opposed it. "Ideally, once the proposal is opposed by maximum corporators, it should be disapproved by the House and should come back for discussion only after three months. But, ruling party took up the proposal in the same meeting and sanctioned it. This itself indicates how ruling party is using their 'power' in the corporation's work," stated Namdeo Bhagat, Congress' Nerul Corporator.
However, Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik denied all the allegations and said, "All corporators are unanimously approving all civic tender proposals, because corporation election will be held next year, and all of them will be answerable to the public. Therefore, they are giving immediate approvals to civic tenders like condominium work and so on."
Naik added, "The works under JNNURM has to be finished within time, otherwise Union government won't sanction funds for next phase of works. So, we are ensuring that all the approvals are sanctioned as soon as possible so that city is benefited maximum."
When contacted, Municipal Commissioner Vijay Nahata stated, "Each condominium work proposal is treated as independent case and contractors applying for this work should have minimum experience of doing similarly work of worth Rs 3crore. In that case, he can apply for one or more tenders. Besides, the tender is being allotted considering the eligibility and lowest quotation put up by the contractors."Members of NMMC's standing committee are a busy lot these days

Monday, July 20, 2009

Promises to green every square inch of space in the city (Navi Mumbai)

Vashi “planting trees is the only way of neutralizing the impact of global warming from that point of view, the programme of planting 2,00,000 saplings launched by NGO Green Hope is laudable,” said Environment Minister Ganesh Naik at Vashi on Sunday. He was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the programme . Film star Sachin Khedekar was the Chief Guest.
Earlier, explaining the perspective of the programme, Chairman of Green Hope, Sandeep Naik said,”Last year we planted 1, 00,000 trees and ensured 75% survival rates. This year, we have doubled the target. We will continue to plant trees till every square in of open space is greened.” He invited one and all to come and collect plant s of their choice for the purpose of planting.
The organization has prepared 16 varieties of saplings including Raintree, Gulmohur, Kadamba, Limbu, Suru, Jambul, Badam, Accacia, saptaparni, awala,parijaat, Bakul and bel.

Green Hope Navi Mumbai

Actor Sachin Khedekar and MLA Ganesh Naik look on as members of green hope, Navi- Mumbai – based organisation, plant trees on Vashi Road on Sunday . The organisation launched a drive to plant two lakh trees in Navi Mumbai.

NMMT elections held

The NMMT elections commenced at the NMMC HQ in which Umakant Namwad was elected unopposed as the new transport committee chairman. Subhash Sonavane, Chairperson of Election, Raigad District Collector along with Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik, Ex-Chairman of NMMT Sasi Damodaran, Transport Manager Jitendra Papalkar, Municipal Secretary Chandrakant Deokar and other members were present on the occasion. He further spoke on the future plans of NMMT.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Now, it’s a cool ride from Belapur to Bandra

The city bus commuters travelling to Bandra can enjoy a cool ride. On July 4, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) inducted five new air- conditioned Volvo buses in its fleet, to ply from the bus depot here to Bandra (W), which later may even be extended to SEEPZ.
State Excise and Environment Minister Ganesh Naik, MLC Manda Mhatre, State Transport Commissoner Deepak Kapoor, NMMT outgoing chairman Sasi Damodaran, NMMC Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik and other dignitaries attended the inauguration function.
The air- conditioned Volvo buses are being run between here and Bandra covering a total distance of 35.5 kms within 85 to 90 minutes. The frequency of the buses will be 18 minutes and the fare is Rs45. The main stops apart from Belapur and Bandra are Uran Phata, D Y Patil college , Suman Nagar and Mohammed Rafi Chowk.
NMMT’s foray into Mumbai’s Queen of Suburbs is in itself an achievement of sorts for the Undertaking as it had to face stiff opposition from the BEST administration for the last many years. Ganesh Naik appreciated the efforts of the entire official who made this happen in spite of the hurdle. He also urged Volvo official to supply non-air conditioned buses as well to cater to the poor so that they too may travel in comfort at affordable price.
“Keeping the future growth of Navi Mumbai, the proposed airport and other projects in mind, NMMT must start operating these buses from Navi Mumbai to Santacruz to connect the two airports and tap this profitable market before others do. Such a service will also help boost weekend tourism in the city,” said Kapoor.
“Five Volvo city buses have been delivered to NMMT, and fifteen more will be delivered this month itself “, said Volvo buses India Ltd MD Akash Passey. He further added,”The fare is only 25 to 30 per cent higher the ordinary buses. The emissions are much lower.
Taking all the advantages into consideration, the buses are apt for travel within city and will help bring down congestion as commuters will not mind leaving their cars and bikes behind to travel by this bus.”
“Following passengers’ requests we decided to start plying buses from Belapur to Bandra as this is a very important route.”
It is also gathered that NMMT is planning to start bus services from the city to Dadar and Mantralaya, once the once the newly started service gets good response.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

NMMC standing committee approves fill-gap encroachment tender, issues recommendations for revamping anti-encroachment department

The weekly Standing Committee of NMMC approved the proposal of giving the contract of supplying equipments for anti – encroachment drives of NMMC to CIDCO authorized contractor P P Bhalerao Civil Engineer and Contractor. The contractor has been appointed only to fill the gap period till the fresh tender process is completed. During the discussion of this tender bid, members made some very significant suggestions for the fresh tender to ensure that Bhise like scams do not happen again.
Have an independent NMMC team from the level of an officer at the ward office, to three zonal level officers and one Dy. Municipal Commissioner to head the team of NMMC’s anti-encroachment department, cross verify every anti-encroachment drive conducted by department at the ward committee level, buy the equipments required for the carrying out anti-encroachment drive instead of renting it from the contractor, maintain period check of encroachment in the city through satellite mapping and ward office records, train official to use software like SAP for checking chalans and clearing bills – these were some of the most significant suggestions that the Standing Committee made to the administration in this week’s meeting. The Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik instructed the administration to incorporate these suggestions before floating the fresh tender for encroachment post the multi-Crore H B Bhise scam. The discussion came up when the members approved the contract of supplying equipments for anti – encroachment drives of NMMC to contractor P P Bhalerao Civil Engineer and Contractor. P P Bhalerao is the CIDCO authorized contractor. He has been appointed only to fill the gap period till the fresh tender process for encroachment is completed. Namdeo Bhagat pointed out that making one DMC in-charge of many departments was the root cause of the Bhise scam.
Earlier Shivram Patil gave the reference of a message on the Bhise scam doing rounds that has put NMMC to embarrassment. Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik informed us that the root cause of the Bhise scam was total system failure of the administration. The Chairman also informed that the members have given administration suggestions that will not just make NMMC’s encroachment drive transparent but will also check Bhise like scams. Even though the suggestions are welcome, almost all contractors in NMMC are proxy of contractors. Most of the relatives and kin of corporators take NMMC contracts. So it will not come as a surprise if the suggestions made by members are not implemented by the administration.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Navi Mumbai Shikshan Sankul felicitates meritorious students in the city

With the aim of encouraging students for their performance on the board examinations, 124 students of SSC and HSC from Navi Mumbai schools were honored at the hands of Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik. Organized by the Navi Mumbai Shikshan Sankul, the uniqueness of the event was that special children were also a part of the honoring ceremony, reports Nilofar Shaikh.
Young brilliant minds of Navi Mumbai have done the city proud in the HSC and SSC examinations and every effort to recognize the achievements of the students is welcome. So was the one taken by Navi Mumbai Shikshan Sankul. State Environment and Excise and Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik presided over the event as the Chief Guest. Navi Mumbai Shikshan Sankul invited the top 50 rank holders from English and Marathi medium schools that included 124 students from across the city and honored them with cash prizes, trophies and certificates. Ranging between Rs. 2000 to Rs 1 lac, the Sankul awarded a total cash prize of over Rs. 6 lacs to students.
The highlight of the event was that special children who are rarely a part of such honoring ceremonies were the special invitees. These special students that included physically challenged and deaf and deaf-blind too were awarded with trophies and cash prizes. The top three toppers of HSC were also honored during the event. The highest cash prize of Rs. 1 lac was awarded to Harshal Chavan who stood first in Mumbai Division of HSC Board.
Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol was also present during the event. In his address he appreciated the efforts of the Navi Mumbai Shikshan Sankul, headed by Sandeep Naik (SGHOW JANTA DARBAAR CLIPPING), for taking initiatives like these to encourage students. Thane Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik on the other hand gave students food for thought by telling them that all degrees and qualifications were a waste if students did not grow up with characteristics to become responsible citizens of a society. This advice hit a chord with the students as Harshal Chavan walked on stage to promise the Minister that students would live up to the expectations that elders had with them.
After the ceremony, excited parents and students spoke to us and were all praises for the event organized by the Navi Mumbai Shikshan Sankul. And here’s what excited students had to say about the event. When personal efforts of students meet social contributions of NGOs like the Navi Mumbai Shikshan Sankul, it goes a long way to build a tradition of excellence in education.

Friday, July 3, 2009

News buildings under school vision but security is missing

The NMMC has redeveloped municipal school buildings across the city under its “School Vision” but absence of security might result in draining public funds in the near future. The concern surfaced after this week’s Standing Committee meet.
This week the NMMC administration presented a proposal of constructing a security wall around NMMC School in Sector 4, Nerul – the reason for making the wall at the cost of Rs. 21 lacs 4 Thousand 4 Hundred and 467 of your taxes? Well, the administration says the grills around the school have been stolen. Despite the school having security guards, the grills were stolen exposing just how secure all municipal schools in the city are. The issue is more concerning as NMMC has redeveloped scores of municipal schools across the city and if there are such security lapses then there could be a spate of robberies in the newly built schools as well, which will continue to drain public taxes. Worst still is the fact that there is no one taking accountability of such security lapses. NMMC Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik says that this reflects on the loopholes in administrative functioning and calls for the need to get efficient officers on board.
It isn’t just about thefts but in the past there also have been allegations of drug peddlers misusing municipal school premises after dark. While there is a need for the administration to pull up its socks and take the issue of security of schools, accountability is still elusive. This means public funds being drained in the name of such proposals will continue to haunt the civic treasury.

Get another commissioner for doing work- retorts standing committee chairman Sandeep Naik

after members express dissatisfaction over maintenance of public toilets
Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik once again came down heavily on the administration officials after members expressed ire over poorly maintained public toilets. The Chairman said that if the civic chief was interested in only making announcements, then they should get another chief to execute public work.
This week the administration continued to be at the receiving end of the Standing Committee Chairman and member’s ire only the issue was different. Members expressed dissatisfaction over the pathetic and highly unhygienic conditions of public toilets in the city due to lack of maintenance. Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik said that every time the issue of toilets, members have stressed on spending funds on maintenance as Crores was being spent in making the public toilets. Dissatisfied over the administration’s performance, Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik said that may be the corporation needed another Commissioner who’ll work since the present civic chief is only making announcements. Earlier during the meet Digha corporators Aparna Gavte had brought photographs of a public toilet in her ward that had is miserable conditions just a year after the inauguration because of lack of maintenance. Recalling that corporators had been to the inauguration, Chairman Sandeep Naik said that the photographs exposed poor quality of work by contractors.
The Chairman said that may be its time that the administration got officers who will execute the aims and objectives of public work. He said that the administration officials should not wait for corporators to visit wards but ensure that end citizens get the benefits of civic work. Raising a very significant concern, Chairman Sandeep Naik said that in slums and gaonthan area, due to the unhygienic conditions prevailing in toilets many poor loose their lives not even knowing the cause of it.
Speaking to us later, the Chairman reiterated the concerns and the instructions he had given the administration. We also asked the Chairman that he has always taken the case of administration over non-performance but with little results. The Chairman said that they plan to order enquiries into dept. soon if the negligent attitude of officials continues.