Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde chairs wildlife board meeting, many proposals cleared

The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 22-09-2022 | 03:45 am

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde chairs wildlife board meeting, many proposals cleared

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde chaired the 19th meeting of the State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) on Wednesday, days after some key environmentalists appointed by the earlier government were removed from it. Shinde was present for only a part of the meeting, asking Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar to join later.Only two environmentalists, Aneesh Andheria and Bombay Natural History society director Bibash Pandav, were invited for the SWBL meeting whose agenda was reportedly circulated at the last minute.Mungantiwar told The Indian Express, “What’s important is decisions taken by us. Who is there in the committee is not important. We also took a decision to increase mitigation fund from 2 per cent to 4 per cent.” However, the press release did not mention the projects cleared.Environmentalist Kishor Rithe of the Satpuda Foundation, who was a part of the board earlier, said, “I have not seen the government resolution on constitution of a new board. So this must be a different meeting on wildlife issues.”As per the agenda of the meeting [IE has a copy], one of the proposals cleared was diversion of 413 hectares of reserve forest in Hirapur, Govindpur, and Pimparwadi in Pandharkawda division of Yavatmal circle which is also in the tiger corridors of Tipeshwar and Kanhargaon wildlife sanctuary and Tipeshwar and Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. The proposal has faced stiff opposition earlier as it will involve felling of 17,719 trees. This will be done for a mega industrial project. This will involve cutting of 17,719 trees.Andheria said while clearing the proposal, they had mentioned the plantation along the river in the area. Another proposal cleared is the 400 kv Vikhroli transmission Line for strengthening of Mumbai transmission system. It will travel through the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary.The SBWL also cleared nearly a hectare of land for the construction of rope suspension sky walk bridge in the buffer zone of Melghat tiger reserve. The upgrade of Nilajphata-Pauni-Bhandara in Bhandara district is close to Umred –Paoni- Karhandla- Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve.The proposal for a third railway line from Darekasa-Salekasa station in Gondia district will require diversion of 34.19 hectares in tiger corridor of Navegaon -Nagzira Tiger Reserve and Kanha Tiger Reserve. But this area is outside the protected areas and eco-sensitive zone.Likewise, the proposal for construction of a new broad gauge between Wadsa – Gadchiroli Railway line forest area diversion of 83.431 ha was cleared. The area is in Kanha- Navegaon -Nagzira – Tadoba-Andhari-Indravati Tiger Reserve as per the Tiger Corridors of Eastern Vidarbha Land Scape report. It will require 71.722 hectares of forest of which 16 hectares fall in the corridor. The SBWL also cleared proposal for diversion of 14 hectares of land for upgrade of Nagpur-Katol-Warud State National Highway NH-353 in Pench-Bor-Melghat Tiger Corridor.

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Changing City: Cable-stayed flyover to improve road connectivity in Mumbai’s western suburbs
The Indian Express | 3 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
3 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with a project to build a cable-stayed flyover in a bid to improve the road connectivity between Versova, Malad and Marve regions in the western suburbs of Maharashtra’s Mumbai city.A look at the project: The cable-stayed flyover will connect Versova jetty with Madh island.Location: The bridge will originate from near the Versova jetty and end near the wharf adjoining the Madh island jetty, passing over the Versova Creek.Specifications: The bridge will be 1.5 kilometers long and 27.50 meters wide.Objective: The primary objective of this project is to improve road connectivity between Versova, Malad and Marve region in the western suburbs, which currently has patches of mangroves, mudflats and creeks between the locations. This bridge is expected to bring down the travel time between Versova and Madh island to 10 minutes. It currently takes at least one hour through SV Road and Link Road. The travel time during peak hours can go as high as two hours.Significance:– This project will improve the road connectivity till the extreme end of the western suburbs. Since there is no direct road network right now, the people are mostly dependent on a ferry service that runs between Versova and Madh.– The bridge will lead to uninterrupted transport system for 365 days. Since the ferry services often become non-operational during monsoon, the people are compelled to take the longer route of travel though bus, taxi or local train via Malad, which increases the travel time by several fold.– The bridge will also play a key role in uplifting the economy of the Madh and Marve area, which mainly houses the fishing community that travels to the fish markets in Andheri and Dadar areas and are mainly dependent on ferries. This bridge will open more travelling options for them, thus creating better connectivity.– With the Mumbai Coastal Road Project (MCRP) coming up and also with the Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project being on pipeline, this flyover will create a smooth corridor for the north-south bound traffic that will be travelling from the extreme end of western suburbs to the island city or vice-versa.Present status:– The BMC had finalised a consultant for this project back in 2020 and recently an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and a survey on the mangroves have been completed.– The BMC had submitted the reports and a proposal for the final alignment of this bridge to the Maharashtra Coastal Zonal Management Authority (MCZMA) for final clearance of this project and is awaiting the clearance.– The civic officials are hopeful that the clearance certificate would come in next two months following which a tender will be floated.Cost: Approximately Rs 400 croreConstruction time: 12 months (excluding the monsoon) after the day of issuing work order.Authority speak: “The project has been in the pipeline for more than a decade and has been deferred for multiple reasons. The flyover will pass through a mangrove zone and coastal area, therefore we have already submitted our proposal to the MCZMA for clearance. They had provided some inputs in the previous application that we had made and have submitted a fresh proposal on the same. After the project gets cleared, tenders will be floated and contractor will be appointed for the project,” said an official from civic bridges department.Citizen speak: “The proposed Versova-Madh bridge is supposed to be a pivotal linkage between Versova and Madh island and with the coastal road nearing its deadline, this bridge is need of the hour. Since, not only it will declutter the traffic movement but also will save time, fuel and money for thousands of Mumbaikars every day,” said Dhaval Shah, a local resident and co-founder of the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association (LOCA).

Changing City: Cable-stayed flyover to improve road connectivity in Mumbai’s western suburbs
Bharat Rashtra Samithi to convene Dalit Conclave in Hyderabad: KCR
The Indian Express | 3 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
3 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, whose 22-year-old Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has been rechristened as Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), announced to hold a Dalit Conclave soon in Hyderabad “with Dalit brothers from all over the country”, a statement from his office said.The Chief Minister announced the passing of a unanimous resolution for the party’s name change at their general body meeting Wednesday. Apart from Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy and his 20 MLAs, Tamil Nadu MP and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) chief Thirumavalavan were present on the occasion. Rao, also known as KCR, said former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav were to attend Wednesday’s meeting but were dissuaded given their situations.One of the key points during KCR’s address was his pet scheme ‘Dalit Bandhu’, which offers one-time financial aid of Rs 10 lakh to the Dalit families without any collateral.The VCK chief met KCR again Thursday at the latter’s official residence Pragathi Bhavan and commended him on the pro-Dalit schemes that he believed would be implemented nationwide.“The MP appreciated the Telangana government for introducing numerous schemes for Dalit empowerment and no state is implementing such a huge number of programmes in the country,” the statement said.During Wednesday’s address, KCR had said that it was “just an internal meeting” to change the name of the party.“They (Akhilesh and Tejaswi) will be invited to the launching function of the party. Leaders of many parties across the country are coming forward to move with us,” he said. KCR said that discussions were held with the economists and experts from various fields, adding their advice was taken while forming the BRS.“As the CM of Telangana, I will travel all over the country. No one should have any doubts about this. Radiant India needs to be made. India will grow better than America If the resources in the country are used at optimum level. We still have a good time. We will expand across the country,” he said. KCR said Maharashtra will be the first state to start the activities of the BRS. “The national party’s affiliated farmer association will be started from Maharashtra first,” he said.Hinting at the direction the BRS is set to take, KCR said: “We will move ahead through Dalit movement, peasant movement and tribal movement by taking these issues as the main agenda. We will remove many socio-political disorders in the country.”

Bharat Rashtra Samithi to convene Dalit Conclave in Hyderabad: KCR
Traffic restrictions issued in central Mumbai and Bandra for Dussehra rallies of Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and Eknath Shinde faction
Times of India | 3 days ago | 04-10-2022 | 08:57 am
Times of India
3 days ago | 04-10-2022 | 08:57 am

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Traffic restrictions issued in central Mumbai and Bandra for Dussehra rallies of Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and Eknath Shinde faction
NAREDCO president: We hope for 40,000-50,000 visitors at the expo
The Indian Express | 6 days ago | 01-10-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
6 days ago | 01-10-2022 | 11:45 am

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NAREDCO president: We hope for 40,000-50,000 visitors at the expo
Vedanta-Foxconn project exit: Shiv Sena hits back at Sitharaman, questions Union govt’s role
The Indian Express | 6 days ago | 01-10-2022 | 05:45 am
The Indian Express
6 days ago | 01-10-2022 | 05:45 am

Hitting back at Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Friday asked the minister to explain how the Vedanta-Foxconn project, which only required an approval from the central government, was shifted out of Maharashtra to Gujarat.The remarks came in the wake of criticism levelled by the opposition parties in Maharashtra, including the Shiv Sena, after the Eknath Shinde-BJP led state government failed to bag the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor plant project worth Rs 1.54 lakh crore.In an editorial in the Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana, the political party stated that Sitharaman should first reply to their queries, and then question and criticise them over the project exit. “How did the project disappear from Maharashtra when only the approval of the central government was pending,” the editorial stated. “A project like Vedanta was rightfully of Maharashtra, and it could have generated employment for more than a lakh people here, but it was taken away In one swoop. Should not Maharashtrians grieve over this? Should not the Union government be questioned? Before asking us any question, Sitharaman should first answer some of our questions. Was there any protest in Maharashtra against the Vedanta project? When and where did Gujarat ask for the project? How did the project disappear from Maharashtra when only one approval — from the central government — was pending?”During a press conference in Pune last week, Sitharaman slammed the opposition parties in Maharashtra for “shedding crocodile tears” over the shifting of the Vedanta-Foxconn semiconductor plant from the state to Gujarat, and also accused them of creating hurdles for five big-ticket projects during the Uddhav Thackeray led MVA government rule.“But who were the people who stopped the bullet train project in Maharashtra? Who were the people who stopped a Rs 65,000 crore Wadhvan project in Palghar district? Who stopped the Nanar refinery project, and who created hurdles for the Metro car shed project in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony?” she had asked.On the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, the Samana editorial mentioned, “A bullet train can travel 100km. It has been observed that it takes 55 seconds to reach the speed per hour, while ‘Vande Bharat Express’ covers the same distance in 53 seconds. Then why do we need a bullet train carrying a debt of Rs 1 lakhcrore in the country?”Earlier, The Indian Express had reported that the Vedanta-Foxconn demanded a ‘central government alignment’ (approval) from the Maharashtra government for starting a semiconductor facility in the state. In a letter, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had assured the Vedanta group that the state was “moving expeditiously” on the request, and invited the company chairman for a MoU ceremony on July 29.

Vedanta-Foxconn project exit: Shiv Sena hits back at Sitharaman, questions Union govt’s role