PCMC Launches Its First Eye Bank In Pimpri Chinchwad

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The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC) first eye bank, ‘PCMC Aditya Jyot’, was launched at Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Chinchwad, on Sunday on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the hospital.
The chairperson of Aditya Birla Foundation, Rajashree Birla, inaugurated the modern eye bank facility. Chief executive officer of ABMH, Dr SP Singh, and other staff of the hospital were also present.
Rajashree Birla said donating an eye to an eye bank can result in restoring sight to someone else.
“I am happy at the launch of PCMC Aditya Jyot. The opening of the eye bank fulfilled a long-pending wish as it will go a long way in helping the visually impaired patients regain their visibility through transplanted eyes,’’ she added.
The PCMC Aditya Jyot is an integrated approach, based on PPP (public, private, partnership) basis, between Aditya Birla Hospital and the PCMC. The eye bank will be headed by Dr Ritesh Kakrania.
The standing committee of PCMC sanctioned Rs47.23 lakh for the facility.

Poor Response For Budget Suggestions In PCMC

(TNN, Nov 11, 2010)
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PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s move of inviting responses from residents for inclusion in the civic body’s 2011-12 budget proposal has received poor response, with only 53 residents sending in their suggestions for consideration. The industrial township has a population of nearly 15 lakh people and its previous budget was of around Rs 1,000 crore.
PCMC chief accounts officer V T Bhosale said, “The administration had invited suggestions from residents a month ago. The responses were to be submitted at the four zonal offices. Zone D received suggestions from eight citizens till Wednesday the last date for making the submissions.” The suggestions received from citizens will be scrutinised and only suitable ones will be included in the annual budget, he added.
Zone A officer Pandurang Zure said, “Twenty-nine citizens have submitted their suggestions while some have given more than one suggestion. The responses pertain to tree plantation, drainage, lack of street lights and water supply”.
Zone B officer Dilip Gawde said, “Ten citizens submitted their suggestions regarding requirement of gardens, jogging tracks, street lights, etc. One suggestion was regarding the underground drainage pipelines in Pimpri, while another demanded garden, swimming pool, health club and senior citizens day care centre.”
Zone C officer R D Gaikwad said, “Six citizens submitted their suggestions till the last day.”

Chinchwad School Goes Plastic-Free

(TNN, Nov 10, 2010)
PUNE: The New English School in Chinchwadgaon is going plastic-free with the management and students taking initiatives not to use plastic on the school premises.
The Paryavaran Sanvardhan Samiti, an NGO, took up the initiative to promote use of eco-friendly products. Vikas Patil, president of the samiti, said that this was the first school in Pimpri-Chinchwad that has decided to go plastic-free.
The campaign, no plastic thrown’, was started a couple of months ago. The students do not bring any eatables wrapped in plastic, nor do they use plastic carry bags, Patil said.
According to Patil, the idea was to create awareness about the ill-effects of plastic through lectures and presentations in the school. In turn, the students create awareness at home.
“Initially, there were lectures about solid waste management, water treatment plant, cleaning of rivers, among others. After seeing a keen interest, we decided to start the campaign no plastic thrown’,” he said.
This Diwali, the students were asked not to burst firecrackers leading to noise pollution.
As the next step, the samiti plans to start vermicomposting, water recycling, reuse of notebook and paper, and reuse of chalk powder in the school. The campaign will be extended to other schools also.

Pune’s Cashless Bus Travel Project Nears Launch

(Indian Express, Nov 09 2010)
Pune is set to be the first city in the country to experiment with a common mobility card to enable commuters to travel cashless in city buses. The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is making arrangements for an early launch, but whether the date will be November 14 as announced earlier, will be decided on Wednesday.
The PMPML, in association with the Unit Trust of India (UTI) Bank, is rolling out the plan and a UTI team had recently visited Pune to see how things could be worked out.
As reported in September, the PMPML had made it public that it will introduce the common mobility card in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad as part of a Central government project. The concept of single ticket for all systems of public transport has been envisaged in the National Urban Transport Policy. The funding will be shared by the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
“We have organised a meeting with UTI officials to finalise how the plan can be launched soon. However, details will be disclosed after the meeting on Wednesday,” PMPML Chairman and Managing Director Dilip Band said.
Under the plan, a commuter would be able to travel on trains and buses using a single card and without buying any ticket once transport operators modernise their fleet to make smart card usage possible. The card is used in many developed countries. The Union government had selected Pune for a pilot run in buses.
Another senior PMPML official said, “The UTI team recently paid a visit to see how things could be worked out for the common mobility card. They collected necessary information. We have started preparations to keep necessary infrastructure in place. Hopefully, very soon, the terms and conditions will be finalised and signed.”
As per the preliminary plan, each card will cost Rs 40 and will be sold at authorised outlets. Card-readers installed in buses will calculate the fare from the boarding to disembarking points. Money will automatically be deducted on swiping the card. Cards will be available at around 50 centres in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

French Firm To Assist PCMC In Reviving Its 24X7 Water Plan

(Indian Express, Oct 19, 2010)
A French firm has come forward to assist the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) in revising its botched 24X7 drinking water plan. If officials are to be believed, the PCMC is in the process of appointing Suez Environment Ltd of France to conduct water audit, water reform and also help the civic body in implementing its round the clock water plan.
Additional city engineer (water supply) Pravin Tupe last week told this paper that Suez company on its own had few days back approached the PCMC to conduct water audit.
“After going through the successful implementation of its projects relating to water distribution, we have decided to appoint it,” he said. The company, he said, would conduct the water audit free of cost as it gets funds from the French government. The proposal for appointing the firm would be placed before the standing committee meeting on Tuesday.
Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma, who has already given his approval, said the PCMC did not have to pay anything for the audit. “It will be the first serious audit of its kind ever conducted in Pimpri-Chinchwad aimed at ensuring equitable distribution of water,” he said. Significantly, the civic chief said, the French company is helping the civic body in bring in reforms in the water system. “As part of the reforms, water districts will be created to plug water loss. For each water district, one junior engineer will be appointed. There will be a water reform unit as well,” he said. Sharma said once the reforms completed, the French company has promised to help the civic body in starting a pilot 24X7 water plan.
About six years ago, Sharma’s predecessor Dilip Band had promised round the clock water to the entire town, but his plan remained a non-starter due to various reasons like non-completion of water projects on time.
Executive engineer Pravin Ladkat said the French company has successfully implemented 24X7 water plan in 18 countries.
“The company is being appointed for 12 months to provide us expert guidance, technical support, conduct water audit, train engineer, set up hydraulic model, create elevated service zones and do hydraulic analysis,” he said.

Pimpri-Chinchwad To Get Central Fire Station

The industrial town of Pimpri-Chinchwad will finally get a well-equipped central fire station. It will be spread over 5 acre in Pimpri-Chinchwad-Bhosari industrial area where fire incidents are common throughout the year.
Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma said the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) has sanctioned the land. “Within next few days, we hope to get the approval from the MIDC for setting up the central fire station,” he said. The civic chief said the existing fire sub-station at Sant Tukaram Nagar was too small and did not meet the requirement of a growing town like Pimpri-Chinchwad. “The central fire station will be well-equipped with latest fire tenders and rescue and recovery vans. A separate budgetory provision has already been made for such a central fire station,” he said.
The central fire station will come up close to poligrass stadium and Rose Garden in Nehrunagar.

BRTS Premium Row: CREDAI Supports GB Resolution For Rate Reduction

(Pune Mirror, October 12, 2010)
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has invited objections and suggestions for the reduction in the BRTS premium rates that have been passed by the general body (GB) of the municipal corporation.
More importantly, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) has come out in favour of the proposed reduction in premium rates effectively pitting the builder lobby against municipal commissioner.
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Anil Pharande, president, CREDAI Pimpri Chinchwad unit, said, “The premium rates decided earlier are very high and not practical. It will increase the cost of construction. Suppose, the rate for TDR is Rs 700 per sq ft and then PCMC asks us to pay a premium of Rs 900 per sq ft.
This itself adds up to Rs 1600 per sq feet to the overall cost. Hence, it is necessary to reduce the premium rates. The current proposal to charge 25 per cent of the ready reckoner rate is appropriate.”
In August, the PCMC GB passed a resolution to reduce the premium charges to 25 per cent of the ready reckoner rate for allowing extra FSI. The ready reckoner rate is the rate of the land decided by the government, which is generally very less as compared to the market rate of the land in that area. So, the premium cost would also come down substantially.
After the suggestions and objections have been tabled, the proposal would be sent to the State government for approval. The issue had created quite a furore, after Opposition members alleged that the reduction in premium would cause loss of thousands of crores of rupees in revenue to PCMC. Sharma had remarked then that the GB is asking for a drastic reduction in premium rates, which, in his view, should not be done.
The PCMC had planned eight BRTS corridors in PCMC and would be spending in excess of Rs 2,100 crore for consructing these. The PCMC would be spending around 30 to 40 per cent of this amount, while the rest would be funded under JNNURM by the Central and the State governments.
So, to recover to construction cost of these roads, PCMC is allowing 0.8 extra FSI upto 100 metres on each side of the BRTS roads. For giving this extra FSI, PCMC would charge premium rates of 300,600,900 per sq. ft in A,B,C zones in PCMC. The state government also approved the proposal.
“PCMC had earlier given the powers of deciding the rates of BRTS premium to the municipal commisioner and the administration. But they made a blunder and proposed very high premium rates, which would make construction costs unviable.
The rates that have been passed by the general body now are appropriate. We expect the State government to give approval to the same in the next two to three months.”
Current Development Control Rule
TDR generated from any of the zone, from the sanctioned development plan (DP) of old and extended limit shall be allowed in the BRT corridor on payment of premium charges, which should not be less than what is decided by the general body (GB).
These premium charges are to be decided by the PCMC Commisioner from time to time. Premium shall not be charged for the 0.4 FSI of road widening area of the receiving plot
Modification Proposed
TDR generated from any of the zone, from the sanctioned DP of old and extended limit shall be allowed in the BRT corridor on payment of premium charges, and the said premium shall not be charged as per the policy sanctioned by the govt but shall be charged at the rate of 25 per cent of the govt ready reckoner rate of the receiving plot. Premium shall not be charged for the 0.40 FSI of road widening area of the receiving plot.

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Launches Unique Health Smart Card Scheme

(Indian Express, Oct 12 2010)
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on Monday launched its unique health smart card scheme. The first health card was issued for Mayor Yogesh Behl.
Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma said health smart cards are aimed at doing away with tedious paper work. “Once the registration process and issue of health cards to patients gather momentum, we will gradually stop issuing case papers. The era of paperless hospitals is dawning in town,” he said.
Health cards, he said, would save a lot of time for patients who had to queue up for getting case papers and then lining up before the doctor. Sharma said every member of a family would get a health card.
The civic chief said the health smart cards are web-based which means the patients’ history can be obtained even by a doctor sitting in the US or UK. “Any doctor in the country or outside would be able to get the history of the patient from Pimpri-Chinchwad through Internet,” said Sharma. Pimpri-Chinchwad has a population of 15 lakh.
PCMC health chief Dr Nagkumar Kunachgi said the software for the health cards have been designed by Amruta Technology. “This year, we have a budget of Rs 3.75 crore for the health smart cards, including software and hardware,” he said.
Dr Anand Jagdale, medical superintendent of Yeshwantrao Chavan Medical Hospital, where the registration of patients and other details began, said, “The health smart cards would initially be issued only at YCM Hospital for Rs 20,” he said. Dr Jagdale said a patient coming with a health card will have also his details stored on the computer.
“If the doctor asks him to go for an X-ray, he won’t require a case paper. He will simply have to go to the X-ray depatment and the doctor will forward the details to the department,” he said. Dr Jagdale said initially the doctors will find a little more work load, but in the course of time, they will get used to it.
Dr Nagkumar said after YCM Hospital, the health smart cards will be issued at all other seven PCMC hospitals.

IT Firms In PCMC Areas To Get Octroi Concessions

(Times of India, October 9 2010)
PUNE: Information Technology (IT) industrial units which will be set up in special economic zones in the Pimpri-Chinchwad township will get concessions in octroi on certain items from next month. The state government recently approved a proposal to this effect.
According to civic officials, the municipal corporation had sent a proposal to the state government last year to give concessions in octroi on certain items for IT units in SEZs. The units will be exempt from paying octroi on these items for a period of five years. The list of items which will be exempt from octroi will be notified by the municipal corporation.
According to a government resolution, the IT industries will first have to pay octroi to the municipal corporation. They will have to submit the necessary documents and then seek a refund from the municipal corporation.
The government has pointed out that the concession in octroi for industrial units in special economic zones is in accordance with the government’s SEZ policy to attract investments in the state. PCMC had invited suggestions and objections from citizens regarding the proposal to grant octroi concession. However, no suggestion or objection was received, civic officials said.

Court Tells Govt To File Report On Misuse Of Urban Land Ceiling Act

(Hindustan Times, October 08, 2010)
Complete the examination of 29 of the 235 files on orders passed under the Land Ceiling Act by allegedly using fake documents, the high court on Thursday asked retired IAS officer Sudhakar Joshi. Joshi was appointed by the state government to examine more than 235 orders passed under the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act, 1976, by allegedly using fabricated documents. A division bench of justices BH Marlapalle and UD Salvi asked Joshi to submit a report by October 14. Ravi Kadam, advocate general, informed the court that Joshi will complete the examination of the 29 files within a week and the Urban Development Department may take decision on the same.
On September 15, Joshi had told the court that he has been able to examine only 120 files. The high court subsequently asked the government to select 29 files as model cases for examination on priority basis.
The court is hearing a PIL filed by Madhav Bhandari, Bhartiya Janata Party spokesperson, claiming that Yogesh Mhase, officer on special duty to then home minister RR Patil, and some government officials were not arrested in a case of alleged fabrication of documents under the act.
The PIL stated that between 1976 and March 2005, 11,894 returns [statement of property extracts and details of persons having interest in the land] were filed in the Pune urban agglomeration. The probe was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department in November 2005.
In response to the PIL, on October 5, Thane police commissioner SPS Yadav had filed an affidavit that the investigating officer, Avinash Mokashi, had falsely implicated government officials and made allegations against senior police officials because he was transferred out of the Crime Investigation Department.
Yadav also gave a clean chit to Mhase saying that there was no evidence against him. Mokashi is now posted at the Badlapur police station.
Ashish Chavan, Mokashi’s advocate, told the court that he will file an affidavit by next hearing. Ganesh Sovani, petitioner’s counsel requested the court that former Pune commissioner, Jayant Umranikar, be asked to file an affidavit.