Archive for February, 2012
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
NOIDA: Entrepreneurs in the twin cities have a lot of expectations from the next government for the growth of industries as many feel that no elected representative has given much thought about their situation going from bad to worse.
With the percentage of polling having risen after the fourth phase of the assembly polls, this has prompted the Noida Entrepreneurs’ Association (NEA), an umbrella body of industries, to ready their wish-list for the district’s economic development. The list is in the form of industry expectations from the prospective government in UP and makes recommendations to political parties for inclusion in their agenda.
The recommendations pertain to all sectors that have a bearing on industrial and economic development. They include infrastructure, uninterrupted power, special policies, tax exemptions, and more. Poor interior roads and the lack of underground drainage system are other challenges in this zone that they want addressed.
“In 1976, when Noida was formed, the plan was to develop an integrated industrial township,” said Vipin Malhan, NEA president. “However, infrastructure has not been matched with the requirements,” he added. Poor infrastructure and erratic power supply are factors that have led to several units shutting shop and moving away. “Leave aside improvement, in fact the industries are shrinking,” said Sandeep Mehndiratta, an industrialist.
The government receives large sums through taxes from the 6,200 industrial units in Noida and 3,500 in Greater Noida, industrialists claim. “Last financial year recorded Rs 9,740 crore as tax revenues from Noida,” Malhan said. “But, the step-motherly treatment continues,” lamented a Greater Noida entrepreneur.
“Our expectation is for planned development and proper growth of industry,” said a Noida-based businessman, Alok Gupta, adding that “it was unfortunate that despite the enormous industrial potential, the district is lagging behind”.
Meanwhile, politicians continue to promise a host of sops to the industrialists to woo them. But, the community is not very optimistic. “Candidates from all parties have been doing their rounds and making tall promises, but that has happened before and we are yet to see any results,” said SP Sharma, general secretary, Indian Industries Association, Greater Noida.
Vandana KeelorVandana Keelor, TNN | Feb 23, 2012, 12.52AM IST
Thursday, February 23rd, 2012
GREATER NOIDA: Mayawati’s rally seemed like any other political campaign, but there was difference noticed by those who participated in it. Unlike other poll rallies, not just the Uttar Pradesh police, but even the security cadre of the BSP was actively involved in making sure that no harm came to behenji. While frisking and use of metal detectors is a common thing, the security staff did not allow anyone wearing black garments – sweaters, shawls, mufflers, jackets, scarves – to enter the Knowledge Park-II ground to prevent people from showing black banners to the chief minister.
The BSP cadre had made sure that Maya’s rally was well attended. People like 80-year-old Rashidan, who did not have any idea of the poll date nor the BSP party symbol, were ferried from their villages early in the morning by party workers to make the campaign a success. “I am here just to have a glimpse of our beloved Behenji,” said Rashidan. “I have been asked to cast my vote for Behenji. The party workers will help me do it,” she said.
However, not all present were unaware like the octogenarian. In addition to those ferried by party workers, there were also several hundreds of villagers who had come on their own driven by the sheer charisma of Mayawati. “I know my vote will make a difference. In the days of the SP rule, law & order was at an all-time low. The lower castes were being trodden over by the ruling elite. Things changed with Mayawati taking over the reins,” said 70-year-old Munnalal of Roja Jalalpur village.
“Behenji gave us shelter over our heads. We have been allotted houses under housing schemes,” said 65-year-old Allauddin, who rode pillion on a motorbike to the rally site from a distance of around 40km.
Young men in droves, sporting BSP caps, also made a huge pitch at the rally ground raising banners and shouting slogans in support of Mayawati and her mentor Kanshiram. The youth were proud that the district has turned into an educational hub during Mayawati’s tenure. “Look at the numerous schools and colleges around. None of these had been built by the SP or the Congress,” said 20-year-old Yogesh from Baraundi village.
Women supporters, who claimed that they have been more secure under Mayawati than under any other regime, also pledged their absolute support for the BSP. “Behenji has made us proud. She has done a lot for the women in the state unlike the SP or the Congress,” said Lalita Gautam from Ghodi village in Greater Noida.
Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2012
Vandana Keelor & Ayaskant DasVandana Keelor & Ayaskant Das, TNN | Feb 23, 2012, 01.19AM IST
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
A section of voters and representatives of UP’s three main opposition parties — BJP, SP and Congress — are on the same page regarding the need to bring in public participation in the Noida authority board. Speakers and participants at HT’s Noida First conclave said public representation was a must in a body that decides policy matters and clears development projects for the city. The conclave was held to bring candidates of all major political parties together ahead of the Assembly elections and discuss how to realise Noida’s true potential.
Noida Board has been an all-bureaucrat board. RWA representatives said though projects worth thousands of crores were executed, there was no accountability.
“We have been demanding the representation of RWAs for years. The authority does not pay attention to our demands and suggestions on civic issues,” said Munna K Sharma, sector 71 RWA president.
“Not only RWAs and MLAs, even village panchayat heads also should be members in the board because villagers have a major stake in this city,” said Dalbir Yadav, who represented Noida Samajwadi Party candidate Sunil Chaudhary at the conclave.
“If our party forms the next state government, we will change the way the authority board functions,” said Dr VS Chauhan, Congress candidate from Noida.
BJP candidate Dr Mahesh Sharma replied, “MLA’s job is to raise issues related to people. If I get elected I will work towards democratisation of the authority board and also ensure plots in Noida are allotted on free-hold basis on not on lease.”
A safe tomorrow
For the BSP — bijli (electricity), sadak (road) and paani (water) — factor often reigns supreme in elections, but in the context of Noida, ‘s’ stands for ‘suraksha (security) and not sadak.”
Hindustan Times on Monday provided an interface between the candidates of important political parties — BJP, Congress and Samajwadi Party (BSP candidate Om Datt Sharma could not make it and SP candidate sent his representative) — and voters of the city.
A fairly large gathering comprising representatives of RWAs, working professionals, industrialists, retired defence personnel and even schoolchildren asked some tough questions and the three politicians, after initially getting into ‘political squabbling’ with each other, spelt out their vision for the city.
Mahesh Sharma (BJP), VS Chauhan (Congress) and Dalvir Yadav (SP) admitted there was a change in the political atmosphere Noida had become an assembly seat, and an urban one at that, for the first time.
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Noida, February 21, 2012
Sunday, February 19th, 2012
NOIDA: With commercial units getting two months to shut operation from residential plots in Noida after the Supreme Court order of December 5, the Noida Authority is working on introducing new mixed use schemes for vacant plots in various sectors of the city. The Authority has also called for a meeting of all its project engineers on Friday to “explore the possibility of constructing more floors” in existing market areas. “All project engineers have been directed to inform us of vacant commercial spaces in areas under their respective jurisdiction. The two most viable options present before the Authority now are to a upgrade and utilize available vacant commercial spaces and to increase the FAR of some market areas,” an official said. The Authority is also exploring more “long-term solutions” by making room for mixed land use in some cases in the Master Plan. The Authority now plans to launch mixed use schemes for 200-300 sqm vacant plots “located along wide roads, not falling between houses and residential plots” to facilitate public conveniences in the vicinity of residential areas. Such a scheme will be launched for vacant plots in all areas, including residential and industrial. “The plots that we will identify will have their land use as mixed right from the beginning. Hence, the Authority will not be changing land use, and, thus, the same will not be in violation of the court order,” said chief town planner Rajpal Kaushik. “Mixed-use plots will help people a great deal. The rates for these mixed land use plots will vary depending on their location,” he added. With the current Master Plan of Noida not providing for any commercial use of residential plots, the Supreme Court had pulled up the Noida for brazenly allowing banks, nursing homes and medical clinics to come up on a large scale in residential areas. The Court criticized the Authority for making amendments in the land use through executive orders and notifications, which defeated the object of development.
TNN Dec 9, 2011, 04.29AM IST
Friday, February 17th, 2012
Officials of the Enforcement Department of the Noida Authority (NA) swooped down on encroachers on government land in Sector 67. NA officials were accompanied by the district police. A dozen bulldozers were pressed into service to demolish the illegal shops that had been constructed here.
40 acres of land has been cleared 1 junior engineer has been suspended for allowing the encroachment 16 people against whom FIR has been registered 4 persons have been arrested in this connection capt sk dwivedi, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NA This land is worth Rs 1,000 crore and has been earmarked for a warehousing depot. The land mafia was very active here. Several persons had constructed pucca structures here. We will not tolerate any kind of encroachment on public land in the city. No encroacher will be spared.
From HT Live Noida dt. 17th, February, 2012
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
ARE WE PREPARED? Expect traffic blocks on most city roads between 11.30am and 1pm ( )
The drill will help us prepare better in case of any disaster and will also make citizens aware about the dos and don’ts in case of any disaster.
Be prepared to get stuck at Metro stations and several major roads in the Capital on Wednesday as Metro services will be shut for half an hour from 11:30am due the mega mock drill that will be conducted at 400 locations across Delhi.
Expect traffic diversions and congestions on almost major Delhi roads, including the Ring Road between 11:30am and 1pm due to the mock drill being carried out by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) to check the city’s preparedness in dealing with disaster situations.
Though the drill will be conducted at six major Metro stations, the services will remain suspended on the entire 190-km Metro network till the drill is completed. Metro services will restart after 12 noon. A mock drill, enacting a Kingfisher plane on fire, will also be conducted at the Terminal 2 of the IGI airport.
To check the preparedness of various agencies, including the fire brigade, Delhi Police and ambulance services, the DDMA, along with the National Disaster Management Authority is going to organise the first-of-its-kind mega mock drill in the Capital.
“The drill will help us prepare better in case of any disaster and will also make citizens aware about the dos and don’ts in case of any disaster, including terror attacks,“ said Vijay Dev, secretary (revenue), DDMA.
In the run-up to the drill, more than 100 mock drills in all districts of the Capital had been organised in the first week of February. The DDMA is sending bulk messages to three crore mobile subscriber in Delhi.
For the mock drill, an earthquake situation will be enacted which will lead to Metro disrup-tions, traffic collisions, building collapses, fire incidents and CNG pumps leakage.
HT Correspondent firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
In order to promote wildlife, the Noida authority has renamed the Amity University Metro station, one of the two stations on the proposed Noida-Kalindi Kunj line. The station will now be named after the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. “Changing the name is not a big deal. We have already told DMRC to mention the new name in its detailed project report (DPR),” said CB Singh, deputy chief executive officer, Noida authority. DMRC officials said it was entirely the authority’s prerogative to decide name. “We have renamed the station,” said an official.
The district forest department feels the move will help in sanctuary’s promotion and increase the number of visitors
Hindustan Times, dt. 15th, Feb, 2012
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
The Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday stepped in to ensure that there is no further delay in implementing the ambitious project to complete a ring road around Delhi. The road will let nearly 2 lakh vehicles skip the Capital every day and help ease traffic congestion. Hindustan Times had on Febraury 10 reported how the 135-km Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) – half of the 270-km road around Delhi -had failed to take off because of bureaucratic indecisiveness. The road was first approved by the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) way back in 2007.
Along with the Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE), which is being implemented by the Haryana government and is nearing completion, the eastern expressway would have completed the ring road and provided an alternative route to inter-state traffic not bound for Delhi and helped decongest city roads.
At a meeting chaired by principal secretary to the Prime Minister Pulok Chatterjee on Tuesday, it was decided that the EPE proposal would be placed before the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) for clearance next week.
AK Upadhyay, road secretary, Sudha Pillai, member secretary, Planning Commission and R Gopalan, secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, attended the meeting among others.
“The EPE proposal would be placed before the CCI meeting scheduled next week for approval,” said an official.
The project has been held up since 2007 as the government had been unable to decide how much commuters should pay for using this stretch.
But now the Centre seems to have agreed to the road ministry’s stand to charge toll tax 50% more than rates charged on other national highways and the WPE.
The road ministry had earlier wanted toll rates of bypass roads – 1.5 times more than what is charged on national highways. Their argument: the EPE is a bypass, not a highway.
The move to levy more toll had invited criticism from some senior panel officials and the Finance Ministry on the grounds that it would go against “public interest” and make the project “unviable” vis-à-vis WPE.
Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012
New Delhi: The next time you stop along the Yamuna to buy those fresh leafy vegetables, think twice. A study carried out by The Energy Research Institute (TERI) has found that the continuous dumping of untreated industrial effluent and sewage into the river
has contaminated the riverbed soil, and several vegetables, specifically the green leafy ones, contain high levels of toxic metals.
The report, titled ‘Living in a cleaner environment in India: A strategic analysis and assessment’, says that levels of nickel, manganese and lead in Yamuna’s water were found to be higher than the international aquatic water quality criteria for fresh water. Meena Sehgal, a consultant with TERI who worked extensively on the report, says that their focus was on heavy metals found in the environment and through what means they enter the human body. “Our findings made it clear that it is essentially green leafy vegetables that contain the highest amount of metals. This is because such vegetables have a high tendency to accumulate metals. Levels were significantly lower in other vegetables and practically negligible in drinking water samples,” she said.
The study took 13 samples at a 2km distance along the 22km stretch of Yamuna that flows through Delhi. Samples were also collected from Dayalpur and Chandawali villages in Ballabhgarh district of Haryana, about 25km away from Delhi, to compare with those collected from the urban sector. “Levels of nickel, manganese, lead and mercury were above the permissible international standards in agricultural soil along the river. While moderately high levels of contamination were recorded in urban areas, the rural areas showed negligible levels. High levels of these pollutants in the floodplains can be associated with treated and untreated effluents or with sewage flowing into the river,” says the report.
The study identified Wazirabad and Okhla barrage as the hotspots for soil contamination. This, says the team, is possibly due to the discharge of huge amounts of industrial effluents at the two locations from the Najafgarh and Shahdara drains.
“Vegetables grown in the floodplain of the Yamuna area show higher levels of heavy metal contamination than those cultivated in rural areas, thus, acting as the point of entry for toxic metals into human food chain. Bio-monitoring of women and children in the study area showed significantly higher levels of heavy metals in urine and blood samples taken in urban areas compared to rural areas,” said Sehgal.
The report says that soil samples exceed the limit for nickel and copper at most sites, and less often for zinc, manganese and lead. The quantity of lead varied from below-detection levels to 114.6 mg/kg, with some locations recording a prevalence more than 40 times the lowest level along the 22km stretch. The hexavalent chromium levels in soil samples at different locations ranged from 4.52 mg/kg to 35.29 mg/kg. Levels of more than 25 mg/kg have been found to be have adverse effects on health. Soil concentrations of mercury largely ranged between 0.43 mg/kg and 82.06 mg/kg. These levels were much higher than the 1 mg/kg stipulation at all the locations.
Lead has been known to impair motor skills and result in hypertension. Cadmium leads to renal damage, osteomalacia and loss in sense of smell. International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified cadmium as a human carcinogen.
Monday, February 13th, 2012
The Noida authority has completed preparations for a new Metro link between Noida and south Delhi.
The land department of the authority has approved allotment of 30,000 square metre of land. The department has submitted details and its no objection certificate (NOC) to the
authority. The authority now expects NOCs from various other departments, including those looking after sewer, electricity and water supplies.“Once these formalities are completed, the authority will sign a MoU with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Work on the new line will begin soon,” said a Noida authority official.
The entire line will be elevated. The maximum speed for Metro trains will be 85 kmph. The average speed will be 32 kmph. The authority will also set up a dedicated power sub-station for the new Metro line.
The project for the construction of the 3.9-km line between Noida’s Botanical Garden and Kalindi Kunj in Delhi would cost Rs 874 crore.
As of now, Delhi Metro enters Noida and Ghaziabad via east Delhi. The new route will provide a direct link with south Delhi areas such as Kalkaji, Malviya Nagar, Green Park and Vasant Kunj. Presently, people have to take the Noida-Dwarka route and get down at Rajiv Chowk station to change lines. The new plan will make these trips shorter.
Work will begin soon and the new line will be opened for public by 2016. The line will have three stations: Botanical Garden, Amity School and Kalindi Kunj. “The new line will be built as part of the third phase of DMRC’s expansion plans to enter outer Delhi areas,” said Chandra Bhanu Singh, deputy chief executive officer, Noida Authority.
Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times
Noida, February 12, 2012