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Five-year action plan under Smart City project on cards

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The Hindu      27.01.2017   

Five-year action plan under Smart City project on cards

A five-year action plan is on the anvil as a part of the Smart City project spending Rs. 1,602 crore and the government has released Rs. 349 crore, Municipal Commissioner M. Hari Narayanan has said.

Of the total outlay, the State and Central Governments will foot Rs. 500 crore each and the remaining would be mobilised through other sources, Mr. Harinarayanan said after hoisting the tricolour on Republic Day at the GVMC.

Continuous water supply, underground drainage, complete streets, development of green spaces, underground cabling, measures to prevent beach erosion and development of the beach front were among the smart city proposals.

5th rank

After winning the 8th rank in Smart City race from among 20 cities in the first round and 5th rank in Swachh Bharat survey in 2016, it was making all efforts to get into the top three ranks in 2017, Mr. Hari Narayanan said.

However, competition will be tough as 500 cities were being covered in the 2017 survey, up from 75 cities in 2016.

Unless the staff worked with dedication and people also cooperated the city could not come out in flying colours, the Commissioner said.

Awards for LED project

The efforts of the corporation had been recognised, he said, adding that the city received two awards at the national level for installing the highest number of LED lights and maintaining them, he said.

 

‘Concrete drains prevent groundwater recharge’

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The Hindu     14.07.2016 

‘Concrete drains prevent groundwater recharge’

Mayor says groundwater recharge facility will be put in place across the city

Drawing flak:The box-type concrete drains being built by the Mangaluru City Corporation and the National Highways Authority of India would not allow rainwater to seep into the ground, say experts.— Photo: H.S. Manjunath
Drawing flak:The box-type concrete drains being built by the Mangaluru City Corporation and the National Highways Authority of India would not allow rainwater to seep into the ground, say experts.— Photo: H.S. Manjunath

Even as the Mangaluru City Corporation and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) are busy building concrete box-type drains along major roads in their jurisdiction, civil engineers and rainwater harvesting exponents have questioned the rationale behind the move.

At a time where every inch of urban space is covered with concrete, the rainwater has no space to percolate down to the soil and groundwater is not being recharged. In Mangaluru city, almost every major road is being topped with concrete and shoulder drains are built using concrete-box technology.

Kannada Sahitya Parishat’s Dakshina Kannada district president Pradeep Kumar Kalkura, who is an engineer, said that the concrete box-type drainage was not suitable for areas where water gets percolated down to the ground immediately. It might be suitable in regions with black soil where even a small shower results in water stagnation and creation of water puddles, he said.

Mr. Kalkura told The Hindu that the earlier model of placing granite slabs at the drainage base was most suited for places like Mangaluru. Under that system, the gaps in between granite slabs would have allowed percolation of water, he said. It had twin benefits. On the one hand, it would have recharged the groundwater and on the other, reduced the inflow to storm water drains. “Because of concrete drains, heavy rain will result in flash floods as the rainwater flows at once into major drains. It is unfortunate that the corporation and the NHAI have introduced a system alien to the region,” Mr. Kalkura said. Another view was expressed by rainwater harvesting exponent Shree Padre. According to him, even if concrete drains are built, the authorities should provide soak pits at regular intervals so that the rainwater gets absorbed by the soil.

Mangaluru Mayor Harinath, being aware of adverse effects of box-type drainage, has been insisting that every drain in his ward, Marakada, should have space for rainwater percolation. Mr. Harinath told The Hindu that for every metre of the drain base, he had got installed PVC pipes to facilitate water percolation.

Not only such a move would help vegetation in the surrounding area, but also would recharge the groundwater. Otherwise the excess water flows somewhere, gets stagnated and becomes breeding ground for many diseases, he said.

He has instructed the engineering department to follow the model across the city, the Mayor said.

 

DMRC formulates housing scheme in Janakpuri West

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The Hindu       12.07.2016   

DMRC formulates housing scheme in Janakpuri West

Approximately 350 flats to be built; project awaits Centre’s approval

On track:Currently, DMRC has housing projects at Khyber Pass (Civil Lines), Vishwavidyalaya, Dwarka Mor, Subhash Nagar and Rithala.File Photo
On track:Currently, DMRC has housing projects at Khyber Pass (Civil Lines), Vishwavidyalaya, Dwarka Mor, Subhash Nagar and Rithala.File Photo

: City residents can now look beyond the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for getting their ‘dream homes’. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has conceptualised a housing scheme in Janakpuri West, which is likely to become operational in 2019.

Unlike its previous five residential projects wherein it had given land to a concessionaire for building apartments and selling it to the public, this time, the DMRC is going to build a residential complex on its own. The flats are going to be built as high as up to 29 storeys.

Facts and figures

“The plot size will be 1.18 hectare. The land use is residential. So, 70 per cent of it will be used for building flats, 20 per cent for commercial purposes and 10 per cent for other purposes. The project proposal will be sent to the Ministry of Urban Development for its approval,” said S.D. Sharma, Director (Business Development), DMRC.

The cost of the flats is yet to be decided, but their allotment will be done through a computerised draw similar to that of the DDA. There will be approximately 350 dwelling units built over a floor-area ratio of 400, which is in accordance to the latest Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) guidelines.

It is after eight years that the Delhi Metro is venturing into the housing sector. “In 2008, the PMO had expressed concerns over how allowing houses to be built for the public would mean letting land parcels slip away from the government’s possession. Residential leases are always given for 90 years or more. So, we had to restrict ourselves to commercial development,” said Mr. Sharma.

It was only at meetings in the past two months that the MoUD expressed willingness in such projects, he added.

On the cards

The DMRC has also identified about 20 plots of 3,000 square metres and above which will be developed into mixed-use societies under the TOD norms. For all the other projects, it is going to introduce the system of e-auctioning like the DDA.

DMRC has housing projects at Khyber Pass (Civil Lines), Vishwavidyalaya, Dwarka Mor, Subhash Nagar and Rithala. Possession of flats is being given away in all the projects, except the one in Dwarka Mor, where work has been affected due to a dispute in construction.

It is pertinent to note that it is almost impossible for the DMRC to meet its property development revenue target of Rs. 2,505 crore only through commercial projects. “The limitation is that the entire money is not recovered at the beginning. But, in residential projects, we earn a lot of upfront money because the developer collects bookings in advance from the end user. The builder is, therefore, ready to give us that money at the beginning, which we can use for construction,” said a senior Metro official.

 
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