The makers of Magarpatta near Pune plan to start organic farming on the lands at Nanded city by using techniques like crop rotation, use of recycled water, compost and integrated pest management
Nanded City, a project of the Magarpatta group, has branded itself as an eco-city with a plan to utilise all its green zones, peripheral areas and even the internal nullahs to promote the concept of urban agriculture. This is the second project by Satish Magar, who pioneered Pune’s Magarpatta City, a unique project that has won global acclaim for pooling farmers land into a modern township where they remain co-owners and full stakeholders in the city's growth.
Nanded City is also a planned, integrated, self-contained development put together with lands from 235 farmer families. The plan is to start organic farming on these lands by using techniques like crop rotation, use of recycled water, compost, and integrated pest management. Nanded City has over 13,000 existing trees, which are planned to be doubled to around 28,000 mainly in the form of coconut, jamun, guava and amla orchards. The land already has 5,000 jackfruit, mango and tamarind trees. The open areas among the tree rows in the orchards will be utilized for growing a wide variety of vegetables required for daily consumption and will be produced throughout the year.
Flowers used for religious purposes will also be systematically cultivated. What is unique about the project is that residents of Nanded City will be invited to participate in cultivation and harvesting by allotting them small plots of land. They will also be allowed to walk into the farms and pick their own fruit and vegetables, which can then be weighed and purchased. This concept is popular in the developed world, especially in the US, but has not been tried in India. The farm products will also be available to the residents at designated outlets and sources say that these will be priced below market rates. We also learn that part of the proceeds will be used for the City’s maintenance.
The vision of this project is “to be a role model for developing habitats that not only exists in harmony with nature but also enhance the quality of life through new thinking, dedication and sincere purpose. For our endeavours not only would we be appreciated by the current generation but would be thanked by future generations for leaving the environment in a better condition than what we found it".
Other initiatives include:
• Eco-Stream Park: There is a stream which runs through the City site. The developers are going to convert that area into an eco park. The Mangir Baba Nallah which carries rain and waste water from the surrounding villages passes through the Nanded City. They are treating that water as a corporate social responsibility initiative and they are also building a garden along that nallah.
• Ornamental Landscaping: Flowers and aromatic plants which are needed for worship like the Sonchapha, Hibiscus, Deshi Gulab, Tulsi and Kevda would be included in the ornamental landscaped areas and along walkways at the riverside. Local varieties like Nandruk, Khair, Kinai, Aapta, Palas, Bhokar, Limbara, etc are integrated into the ornamental landscaping. Some of them also have medicinal value. Medicinal herbs, shrubs and grasses like Lemon Grass, Vetiver and Zadu Bambu will be used along with local grasses in the nallah beautification. Medicinal plants like Arjun, Salix and Nirgudi will be planted in waterlogged and out-lying areas. All this will help increase the sustainability of biodiversity that will be necessary for the success of this model. Exotic vegetables, flowers and high value products will be grown in Poly-Houses that will be set up.
• Prepaid Water and Electrical Meters: Metering of domestic water has been initiated at Nanded City, the first one to adopt this system. Prepaid electrical meters ensure that the residents know how much electricity they are consuming and that it is used effectively. They have used LED lightings in many places instead of conventional lamps which has helped them to reduce the usage of electricity.
• Soil and Waste Management: All soil on the site is preserved and the same soil is used for landscaping therefore cutting down the requirement of getting it from outside. Plantation is also being done along the riverside for beautification. The City has strict rules for waste management like the residents having to segregate domestic waste. The non-biodegradable waste will be recycled through vendors and for the biodegradable waste they have constructed a biogas plant which has a capacity of 10 tonnes per day. The biogas generated will be used for producing electricity for the common area lighting. Decentralised sewage treatment plants are being placed near clusters and slopes to avoid unnecessary sewage pumping.
Nanded City which is the second township by Satish Magar, promoter of the award winning Magarpatta City, comes from an agricultural family with a political background. In an interview with Moneylife when he was asked if he was confident that the concept would work or he was just hoping for the best, he replied, “Probably I was over confident. I had the confidence of all the landlords who were with me. I had faith in the concept. Magarpatta had not bought the land. We all pooled our land into the company.” The entire interview is published in the Pathbreaker Series by Ms Sucheta Dalal and Mr. Debashis Basu (to purchase the book click here) where he has explained in detail the entire process from the start till the end of the formation of the Magarpatta City.
The Nanded City is spread over 700 acres of lush greenery and it will house 1/2/2.5/3/4 BHK apartments, bungalows and villas, hospital, school and recreation facilities. The commercial aspect of the city will include Corporate Houses, IT Players, Animation and Gaming Companies. The residents of the Nanded city will also enjoy pollution free air, eco-friendly features and self-sustainable systems due to the 230 acres of land being reserved only for greenery. They believe in social well being, sustainable development, encouraging those who do the same and do their bit for the society. A significant effort by the Nanded City but they say that it’s not just an initiative, “it’s our way of life that we follow day in-and-out”.
Nomura asserts that a depreciating currency will exert inflationary pressures. A 10% depreciation of the rupee is expected to lead to a 0.6%-0.8% increase in WPI
The rupee has depreciated against the US dollar by around 9% since May, falling to an all-time low of 58.90 yesterday. Nomura’s latest “Asia Insights” report discusses the macroeconomic fallout of the weakening of the rupee and makes relevant policy recommendations.
Given that about 35% of the commodities making up the WPI basket are global commodities, Nomura asserts that a depreciating currency will exert inflationary pressures. A 10% depreciation of the rupee is expected to lead to a 0.6%-0.8% increase in WPI. However, manufacturers are expected to absorb part of the higher costs in their margins because of weak pricing power, arising from a sluggish demand.
In theory, a depreciating currency bodes well for the external sector as it encourages exports while curtailing imports. However, with India’s exports being more demand-sensitive than price-sensitive and India’s imports being largely inelastic, the rupee’s weakening is likely to increase the current account deficit by 0.4% of GDP for a 10% depreciation. Nomura estimates that depreciation by every rupee is likely to increase India’s annual oil import bill alone by Rs100 billion (0.1% of GDP).
Nomura estimates suggest that a 10% increase in depreciation will raise the fiscal deficit by about 0.2% of GDP. This is partly because the government's oil subsidy burden is likely to increase by 0.04% of GDP, for one rupee depreciation, and will also face a higher fertilizer subsidy bill. However, given the threat of a rating downgrade, Nomura believes that the government will be forced to stick to its budgeted fiscal deficit target of 4.8% of GDP in 2014, by raising more tax revenue and curtailing expenditure.
Since the rupee depreciation is largely in line with other emerging market currencies, the relative advantage of monetary conditions conducive to growth is unlikely to be significant. Asset price volatility or a slowdown in capital flows would adversely impact investment. Firms with un-hedged forex exposure are likely to face higher losses. The RBI is likely to delay the rate-cutting cycle in order to balance out the interests of growth with currency management.
Nomura recommends that the government should take measures to attract greater capital flows into India such as raising FDI limits in defense, telecom, asset reconstruction companies, private securities, commodity exchanges, etc. Non-resident bond issuance, relaxing FII debt and external commercial borrowing limits could help further. Pending legislative reforms such as in land acquisition, FDI in insurance and pension, the Companies Bill, etc could be addressed in the monsoon session of the Parliament.
Nomura expects that so long as the currency is weakening, the RBI will delay the rate-cutting cycle because financial stability concerns will overrule its business cycle response. It believes that repo rate is likely to be unchanged in June, with rate cuts resuming after the currency stabilizes and inflation and CAD are brought to moderate levels.
SEBI’s plea for such powers has been endorsed by the finance ministry which late last month wrote to the ministry of home affairs for designating the capital market regulator as agency authorised to receive call data records
Capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will soon get powers to summon phone call records, emails and SMSes of persons it is probing for insider trading and other market manipulations.
With these powers, SEBI aims to prevent black money coming into the market as well as to keep an eye on insider trading.
SEBI’s plea for such powers has been endorsed by the finance ministry which late last month wrote to the ministry of home affairs for designating the capital market regulator as agency authorised to receive call data records (CDR).
Sources said Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram late last month wrote to the Home Secretary seeking designating SEBI as agency authorised to be a recipient of CDR information related to calls, emails and SMSes under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
This followed a meeting finance minister P Chidambaram took on 15th May to discuss how SEBI can be enabled to requisition and receive CDRs of calls, SMSes and emails available with telecom/other service providers.
Sources said Section 11C of the SEBI Act empowers the regulator to call for information and records from any intermediary or person in respect of any transaction in securities which it is investigating.
SEBI, as per this section, is an investigation agency for offences related to market fraud and insider trading and can thus summon CDRs.
Sources said the ministry asked MHA to operationalise an arrangement for SEBI being designated as an agency which can requisition and receive CDR information related to calls, emails and SMSes under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885.
The market regulator has been seeking government's help in getting call data records and e-mail records from the service providers of persons being probed by SEBI in cases of insider trading and other market manipulations.
However, the regulator is not asking for powers to snoop on telephonic conversations.
CDRs generally list out the number of conversations between two or more entities and are different from phone-tapping, wherein an agency can snoop on or record the telephonic conversations of those suspected to be engaged in some wrongdoings.
Regulators in the US and some other countries have often used tapped phone conversations to prove insider trading and other charges, including in the famous Rajat Gupta case.
Currently, the phone-tapping powers are restricted to only a few agencies in India, including the CBI and the tax department.
Sources said the finance ministry is separately considering amendments to the SEBI Act, SCRA and the Depositories Act to strengthen the regulator's powers.