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Noise pollution exceeds limits in 7 cities: Centre

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The Hindu      11.04.2017 

Noise pollution exceeds limits in 7 cities: Centre

Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai on the list, says Dave

The average level of noise pollution generally exceeds permissible limits in seven Indian cities, which include Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai, Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

According to Mr. Dave, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in association with its counterparts in every State, monitors noise pollution in seven metropolitan cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow and Hyderabad — through a network of 70 noise-monitoring stations under the National Ambient Noise Monitoring Programme (NANMP).

“The data from these monitoring stations indicate that average noise pollution levels generally exceed the permissible limits. This includes noise from vehicle horns,” said Mr. Dave.

Following standards

The noise standards for motor vehicles, air conditioners, refrigerators, gensets and certain types of construction equipment are prescribed in the Schedules of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Minister said.

He said that pressure horns (sirens and multi-tone horns) are banned except for police vans, ambulances and fire brigade vehicles under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

Measures taken to reduce noise pollution in metropolitan cities include advisories for noise monitoring on the occasion of Diwali, prohibition of the use of fireworks between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., awareness programmes to avoid bursting of firecrackers and issuing directions under relevant sections of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.


Staff shortage hits urban local bodies hard

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The New Indian Express      08.04.2017

Staff shortage hits urban local bodies hard

BENGALURU: The functioning of urban local bodies (ULBs) across the State, barring Bengaluru, is crippled due to an acute shortage of manpower at various levels. However, a major move to go in for computerisation of all citizen-related services is under way.

Out of the sanctioned strength of nearly 10,000 staff in the top management level (A grade), middle level office staff (B grade), and clerical grade (C), only around 5,000 personnel are on the rolls presently, says V Ponnuraj, Managing Director, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure and Finance Development Corporation (KUIDFC). 

Sufficient personnel are available only in the Group D category. While the position in South Karnataka is comparatively better, the vacancy rate in North Karnataka is as high as 60 per cent with certain pockets having up to 70 per cent vacancies, he said. “This has crippled our functioning,” Ponnuraj said.  

“The recruitment process is under way with 2,000 candidates set to join the ULBs in the next six months. An additional 1,000 jobs are set to be outsourced. So, a year down the line, we will be in a comfortable position,” he said. 

“We are in the firefighting mode now. To manage the crucial technical level posts, the Chief Minister has okayed the temporary recruitment of retired officers,” the KUIFDC MD said. “Project management consultants help out and agencies provide some kind of manpower,” he added.

While the front-end operations of citizen-related processes are computerised, it is still paper documents that are largely supplied for all practical purposes. “By using Enterprise Resource Planning methods, we have embarked on the process of computerising everything, what can be termed as Process Reengineering,” Ponnuraj said.

 This will help public who want to obtain a Katha certificate, building plan sanction or any kind of government-related approvals. 

Presently, even if documents given by the same department is required, the individual has to furnish a physical copy.  “If it can be accessed online, it will be easier for all,” he said.

Tracking of all projects online is in the pipeline. “This will ensure 100 per cent transparency. An applicant can track on real-time basis the movement of files from one section to another. It will also help us identify the particular desk where any delay is taking place,” Ponnuraj concluded.


Rs 304.25 crore budget for RMC, focus on Amrut

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The New Indian Express           08.04.2017  

Rs 304.25 crore budget for RMC, focus on Amrut

Budget session of Rajamahendravaram Municipal Corporation on Friday | Express

RAJAHMAHENDRAVARAM : The Rajahmahendravaram Municipal Corporation (RMC) here on Friday presented `304.25 crore worth budget for the 2017-18 financial year.

However, the Opposition party found fault with the Mayor for manipulating the figures. On the occasion, City Rural MLA Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary appealed to the council members to focus on development activities by keeping politics aside, as power is not permanent.

Mayor Pantham Rajani Sesha Sai claimed that the city was moving with rapid development works on a war footing. Because of Godavari Pushkarams and the Centre’s AMRUT scheme, the RMC was sanctioned sufficient funds. The AMRUT scheme will be mainly focusing on drinking water facility and beautification.

Municipal Commissioner V Vijayarama Raju explained that the budget estimates this year is `30 crore less than that of previous year only since there were separate schemes like Building Regulation Scheme last year.

The civic body collected property tax of `35 crore this year. The RMC is estimating grants worth `119.65 crore for 2017-18 though Urban Health Centre grants, MPLADS, Special Development Fund, maintenance special grants for internal roads and drains works, SC,ST Sub-Plan, AMRUT grants, etc.

However, the Opposition members alleged that the figures shown in the budget estimates were incorrect and demanded the Mayor to explain on what basis and how the budget figures were estimated.

Addressing the Council, Rural MLA Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary stated that property tax collections were satisfactory and felt the need to focus on advertisement and entertainment taxes for improving revenue. He requested the council members cutting across the party lines to focus on development and expressed doubt over him contesting in the next general elections.


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