Pune: Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday said that the state government was preparing a new legislation to set rules for integrated urbanization.

“Today over 50% of the population in the state lives in urban areas and more villages are merging with urban areas. Urban governance has become challenge in Pune, Mumbai and other cities. With rising population, cities are planning metro, mono rails and the BRTS. There is a need to go for integrated urbanization and the government plans a new legislation to set new rules in this regard” Chavan said.

14 Deaths Reported Last Year

Pune: The estimated tiger population in the state has increased from 169 (in 2010) to around 200 at present. While the population has increased, one of the major concerns for the government is poaching. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday said that the government is taking strong steps to curb poaching of tigers and other wild animals.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting of the state wildlife board, Chavan said it has been found that tigers are being poached by electrocution. MSEDCL’s 11 KW lines pass from four tiger sanctuaries. The poachers use wires attached with hooks to draw current from the overhead high tension lines and electrocute tigers.

Irrigation Dept Might Not Sustain Existing Supply If Monsoon Is Delayed, Say Officials

Pune: In the face of an imminent drought, the state government has warned Puneites against “wasting and excess use” of drinking water for non-drinking purposes. Besides, it has categorically stated that no additional quota of water will be granted to the city. High-level meetings of civic officials and the state government representatives in the last two days concluded that it would be difficult for the state irrigation department to sustain existing supply if monsoon is delayed.

Mumbai: Days after the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal in connection with a case of alleged illegal construction on Pune’s Mutha river, but kept open the questions of law involved, the National G

Pune: A 150 MW solar power plant will be commissioned in the state by end of March this year. The Rs 1,600 crore plant is coming up near Nizampur village in Dhule district, around 330 km from here.

Dhule, in north Maharashtra, is known for dry land, bright sunlight and high solar radiation, mainly because its proximity to the tropic of cancer. V S Patil, executive director (solar power generation) of the Maharashtra state power generation company ltd (MSPGCL), said that “The Dhule plant would be the first solar power project that will be connected to the national grid.”

Pune: The state government has decided to set up water testing labs at district and sub-district hospitals across the state to provide safe drinking water in rural areas.

As part of this initiative, the state health department will set up 137 labs at the cost of Rs 15 crore. The aim is to increase the frequency of water testing and to decentralize monitoring and surveillance of all drinking water sources in the state. The Union government, under the National Rural Drinking Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Programme, granted funds to the state’s water supply and sanitation department which in turn channelized them to the state’s health department for setting up labs as they do not have the required infrastructure.

Pune: The state government has disbursed Rs 413.98 crore so far to tackle the water scarcity situation in different parts of the state. Western Maharashtra and Marathwada are the worst affected regions in the state as they have received the lowest rainfall in the state during the last monsoon.

The government has allocated over Rs 400 crore to the department of water supply and the department of revenue, a senior secretary from the state revenue department said. “Besides, the government has given powers to the district collectors for spending up to Rs 2 crore as emergency funds. The funds are meant to ensure quick payment to water tankers, as many of them are privately owned.”

Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) plans to carry out a survey of cell towers in the city to identify unauthorised towers.

The building permission department has submitted a proposal to the standing committee to appoint an agency for the survey. The proposal is expected to come up before the panel at it’s meeting on Tuesday. The civic administration had issued tenders for the survey last year. Three agencies had participated n the tender process, of which one agency has to be selected.

PUNE: Citizens of Pimpri-Chincwhad can expect to get 24x7 water supply within four years. The water supply project will be implemented in phases and the corporation is planning to get funds from the central government under the JNNURM, municipal commissioner ShrikarPardeshi said on Thursday.

Speaking at a two-day workshop on 24x7 water supply for Pimpri-Chincwhad, Pardeshi said the corporation has implemented a pilot project for 24x7 water supply at Yamunanagar in Nigdi. "We have achieved 80% success. We will replicate the pilot project at Premlok Park in Chinchwad and in the remaining two zones of the corporation."

PUNE: Activists working in the field of water distribution under the LokabhimukhPaniDhoranSangharshManch (LPDSM) - a forum for pro-people policy on water, on Wednesday said that the special investi