Government to survey buildings handed over without OC in Mumbai

There are 5,000 odd buildings in Mumbai where builders have handed over occupation to the residents without OC and the residents are paying more taxes

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday said a special drive will be undertaken to survey 5,000 buildings in Mumbai which have been handed over to residents without Occupation Certificate (OC), reports PTI.

He was responding to supplementaries during a calling attention notice in the Legislative Assembly that builders are not being penalised and residents end up paying more taxes due to lack of proper OC.

Chavan admitted that there are 5,000 odd buildings in Mumbai where builders have handed over occupation to the residents without OC.

Jeetendra Avhad (NCP) said developers take only construction certificate (CC) from the municipal authorities and violate building rules by not following proper guidelines.

"They get away with such irregularities and make the residents pay," he complained.

Avhad was supported by BJP legislator Yogesh Sagar and Subhash Desai (Shiv Sena). Desai asked if any legislation would be passed to prevent hardships to the common man.

Chavan said the suggestion of a separate legislation would be considered and a fresh policy would be made soon.

The legislator said developers were not paying development charges and transfer occupation to the flat owners without taking OC. He said developers had not paid Rs655 crore to the Mumbai municipality till June this year.

Chavan said developers have to pay 50% of the development charges before start of construction and 50% after permission of construction is given.

He admitted that Rs102 crore is awaited from developers of redevelopment projects adding that the projects are going slow due to various reasons.


Life insurance premium declines 3% in FY12

While linked new business tumbled 67% to Rs17,455 crore, non-linked new business premium rose over 32% to 96224 crore during 2011-12

Mumbai: Total premium of life insurers in India dropped 3% to Rs2.8 lakh crore during 2011-12 compared with Rs2.9 lakh crore in the year ago period, as per the provisional data released by Life Insurance Council, the industry body for all life insurance companies.

"This drop in total premium can be attributed to change in regulatory road map, declining number of products and disappearance of pension business in the individual segment," Life Insurance Council Secretary General SB Mathur said.

The total new business premium collected by the industry for FY 2011-12 declined 9.5% at Rs1.13 lakh crore from Rs1.3 lakh crore last year. Linked new business saw a significant drop of 67% to Rs17,455 crore against Rs52,739 crore last year.

However, Non-Linked new business premium showed a growth of more than 32% to Rs96,224 crore as on 31 March 2012, compared to Rs72,878 crore in 2010-11.

The total assets under management (AUM) of life insurers also increased by 9% to Rs16.2 lakh crore as on March 2012, compared to Rs14.8 lakh crore in the previous year, despite the apparent slow-down in the industry.


Panshet: A day that changed Pune

It is over 50 years since Pune city was submerged. Here is a posting from a blog run by Amit Paranjape that unfolds the events of the day when water from Panshet dam caused havoc in Pune

12 July 1961 – This fateful day will remain etched forever in Pune’s history. A day that changed the history and geography of this great city. Call it a bad coincidence—but two events that happened almost exactly 200 years apart have played a critical role in Pune’s history—to the extent that they have been added to the local Marathi lexicon.  The first one was the 3rd Battle of Panipat in 1761 and the second one—the Panshet flood. Panipat zala and Panshet zala are commonly used terms today to refer to a big disaster.



Half a century ago, the new under-construction Panshet dam had started developing some problems, even before it was complete. Against some recommendations, the dam was being filled up during the 1961 monsoon season. Cracks started developing and yet there was lot of debate on whether the dam was in real imminent danger. Read this technical article for a good engineering summary of what went wrong at Panshet:


A valiant last-ditch effort by the army jawans managed to delay the inevitable by a few hours. These few hours helped a lot. If not for this great effort, where thousands of sand bags were deployed, the dam would have burst in the middle of the night, creating havoc for the sleeping residents of Pune. The few hours delay meant that the burst happened early morning and the wall of flood waters reached Pune later in the morning. The deluge of flood waters of Panshet also broke the smaller Khadakwasla dam, further downstream.



Residents started getting some warnings early in the morning and the authorities started moving out the residents living near the riverside. Many residents fled to higher grounds, some all the way to the Parvati Hill. Apparently, All India Radio did not broadcast any warnings, and was playing a regular scheduled music program when the floods struck. The low lying areas of the old city were almost completely submerged. Except for the Bund Garden Bridge, all the bridges were under water as well. Water rushed into the old ‘Peths’ and along Karve Road, Deccan Gymkhana areas. For many hours, the high water levels persisted. Roughly speaking Panshet water reservoir stores enough water for Pune’s entire city needs today (today’s needs are probably 5-10 times more than the 1960s requirements).


Imagine all that water being drained out in just a few hours! To give you an idea of the level of the water, just visualize the first floor of Abasaheb Garware College (MES) on Karve Road, nearly completely submerged! Some people and rescue workers were trying navigating Deccan Gymkhana, FC/JM Road areas in small boats.


The water levels finally started falling by late night. The floods completely cut off the electric and water supply. 12th July was a dark, rainy night in Pune—with rumours still doing the rounds. Some of them pointed to more floods on the way... (Even though the dams had been drained empty by then). When the flood-waters receded, they left behind a trail of destruction and a muddy mess. The cleanup and rebuilding took many months. The old riverside city landscape changed forever. New localities (such as Lokmanya Nagar, Gokhale Nagar, etc.) were set up to resettle some of the flood affected citizens. Most of the bridges were damaged and needed fixing and in some cases complete rebuilding. With Khadakwasla and Panshet dams completely drained, there was no water supply for the city. The Peshwa era Katraj water aqueduct was used to meet some water requirements. Wells were another source. Wadas that had wells had to prominently list ‘Well’ on their main door—so that the water source could be made available.


Gaurav Chattur, a reader on this blog mentioned that the day was saved by blowing up Khadakwasla dam by rockets fired from a helicopter as the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Khadakwasla village were under the threat of flooding. However, another reader Vasuki Goroor Srinivasan, who witnessed the floods first hand, dismissed the theory. He said, “First of all, and I am a close witness and later volunteer, no helicopters ever made an appearance. IAF did not have helicopters with rockets attached to them in 1961. An uncle of mine was the sqadron leader at Lohegaon airbase and they were not mobilised.”


According to Srinivasan, what happened at Khadakwasla was that sheer volume and speed of water created a breach at 2.30am. “On the downstream side, we have the Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS). They were on constant watch for the previous day and once Panshet started oozing copious amounts and the flood reached Khadakwasla dam, the authorities took their laboratory camera equipment, generator powered flood lights and filmed the events of the night. There is a clear cascade over the dam wall and at 2.30am, a spray of water shot up from a lower level of the cascade indicating the breach. I have seen this film many times as we were connected with CWPRS. This film was part of the enquiry into Panshet and Khadakwasla dam bursts.”


Srinivasan at that time was living in a building, whose first floor was occupied by Mr Venkataraman, the deputy director of CWPRS, who incidentally was on the site directing the lab camera that recorded the events. “My uncle Sq Ldr NK Ramprasad was second in command at the air force base at Lohegaon. Helicopters those days were not equipped to fire rockets, as the recoil system was not available and night time helicopter ops were not possible and the most modern equipment was the Hawker Hunter Fighter. My uncle came visiting us late that night to see whether we are alright. He brought us bread and biscuits from their canteen stores.”


“Incidentally, I have one more association with Khadakwasla—my great grandfather was junior to Sir M Vishweshwarayya who designed the flood gates of that dam. Incidentally, the gates did not jam. Authorities wrongly or rightly did not simply operate the gates that night. Many accused them of compounding the disaster by not letting out Khadakwasla water before Panshet water came to the dam. However, that would mean waters hitting Pune by 10pm of 11 July 1961 and that would have meant floods in darkness in areas where people were asleep! So, one is never sure! Srinivasan said in a mail sent to and published by Amit Paranjape on the blog.




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