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MCD's info kiosk project hits a roadblock

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The Times of India      21.12.2010

MCD's info kiosk project hits a roadblock

NEW DELHI: MCD's ambitious project — MCD Aapke Dwar — that aims to bring its services to the doorstep of residents has hit a roadblock. Of 2000 information kiosks, which were to be operational by October 2010, only 100 have been installed in the city. Of these, none are functional.

Sources say the proposal was put on hold, as the company, which was given the contract, didn't make the payments to MCD in time.

These kiosks were designed to provide information on railway timings and services provided by MCD and Delhi government. As per the initial proposal, these were also supposed to offer facilities for payment of utility bills and option to register public grievances. But in the kiosks that have been installed so far, the options are missing.

The contract for the project was given to Hyderabad-based Bartronics. "This unique initiative would have helped MCD connect better with citizens. But the project got stuck in the implementation phase," said a senior MCD official.

With this Rs 800-crore project, which was to function on Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis, the civic agency would have earned revenue worth Rs 101 crore every year. The project was stopped midway due to financial reasons. The kiosks were to be placed near residential colonies so that information and services are available to citizens near to their place of residence. "The company is yet to the make payment to MCD. But we are also told there were issues related to the site where kiosks were supposed to be put up," said an MCD official.

"This is a citizen-friendly project. The project still stands, but there are some issues which need to be sorted out before we re-start the project. We are examining the matter and will soon restore it," said Deep Mathur, spokesperson, MCD. Officials said the main source of revenue for the company that has been implementing the project will be service charges collected from concerned government departments and advertisements. "In the second phase, these kiosk are meant to provide information on hotels, hospitals, nearby doctors, chemist shops, pet shops etc," said an MCD official.


Retaining wall of another building collapses

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The Hindu       20.12.2010

Retaining wall of another building collapses

Staff Reporter

VISAKHAPATNAM: In a near repeat of Thursday's incident and further raising safety concerns, the retaining wall of the building next to the Vaibhav Hills Apartments at Marripalem VUDA Layout collapsed on Sunday evening. Fortunately, the five-storied building is under construction and has no inhabitants, according to officials who visited the scene late on Sunday evening.

The incident occurred around 7.30 p.m. There were no casualties, said Circle Inspector K. Prabhakar who visited the site.

Chief Engineer B. Jayarami Reddy and Chief City Planner D. Venkataratnam rushed to the spot.

Mr. Venkataratnam said the collapse occurred mainly because the technical process was not followed in the construction of the retaining wall.

The wall collapsed with the filled material bursting out and exposing the pillars also, he said.

As a matter of precaution notices would be issued to the residents of the neighbouring building to vacate it.

Further, the Commissioner had instructed the Chief Engineering to seek advice of technical experts on addressing the issue.


Rainwater harvesting is law, but has no takers

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Deccan Chronicle         17.12.2010

Rainwater harvesting is law, but has no takers

December 17th, 2010

Dec. 16: The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board’s Rainwater Harvesting Regulations (RWH)-2010 have finally been gazetted a year after RWH became mandatory. As per the BWSSB (amendment) Act that came into effect on August 27, 2009, RWH is mandatory for all existing houses with a site dimension of 60/40 feet and above, and all new houses with a site dimension of 30/40.

These regulations have clear guidelines towards the implementation of RWH. As per the guidelines, roof-based rainwater must be harvested using pipelines following which, it must filtered and stored in a collection tank or storage structure placed over the ground or underground. This water can be used for non-potable and potable purposes only after the same has been treated to the IS 10500 standards.

Surplus water can be diverted to recharge open wells or borewells. The regulations also state that contaminated water should not be used for artificial recharge and appropriate disinfection methods must be practiced before diverting the water to an open well. To recharge borewells, the rain water should be filtered and stabilised in a sedimentation tank before being put into the well.

In addition, expert advice has to be obtained before recharging any bore well. The regulations also state that in the case of roof-based rain water harvesting or recharge, a provision of 20 litres of water or more per square metre of the roof area should be adopted.

Land-based rainwater harvesting should be done using appropriate ground water recharge structures or pits, depending on the nature of the sub-soil conditions. For the same, the capacity of a storage structure or, for artificial recharge to ground water, a provision at the rate of 10 litres or more capacity per square metres of land surface shall be adopted.


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