Thursday, 6 October 2016

Fullerton India announces festive loan offers

06/10/2016

Pune : Fullerton India, a leading non-banking financial company in India, with a strong pan-India presence announces special offers for individuals planning on taking Personal Loans in the state of Maharashtra. With the onset of the festive season, the company will offer a waiver of 0.50% on the interest rates for Personal Loans and will also offer special gifts for high value loans. Additionally a 50% waiver on the processing fees of Personal Loans will be offered to women applicants. These offers will be valid from October 1st 2016 till Diwali.

The company introduced 7 new rural branches in the state across Shirpur, Shahada, Umred, Challisgaon, Jalgaon, Chopada and Phaltan in 2016. While Personal Loans continue to stay a focus product for the market, the company will also provide Loans against Property, Business Loans, Livelihood Advancement Loans and Two-wheeler Loans to customers in the region. 

Commenting on the announcement,  Rakesh Makkar, Executive Vice President and Head – Business, Marketing and CSR, Fullerton India said, “We are optimistic about the business outlook for the state of Maharashtra. As on August 2016, our Assets under Management (AUM) for Maharashtra stand at Rs.2577.3 crores. In order to complement Diwali - an important festival in the state and cater to the strong demand, we have launched exclusive festive offers on our Personal Loans.”

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Pune customs seizes illegal drones worth Rs. 1.2 crore


02/10/2016

PUNE: The Pune customs seized seven drones worth Rs1.2 crore, which were imported in parts from Canada to be assembled in India.

“We have seized seven precision hawk, USA-make drones, approximately valued at Rs1.2 crore . They were imported from Canada illegally by Amit Takte, who works at MS Webonise Private Limited at Bavdhan,” said K Shubhendra, deputy commissioner, Pune customs.

Customs said Takte vioilated provisions of the Customs Act,1962 as well as regulations under the Wireless, Planning and Telecommunications Wing. “Without a Department of Telecom license, drones cannot be brought into India,” said Shubhendra.

Investigations revealed that Vikas Kumar of MS Heightsnext, Pune sold these drones to companies across India. “The relation between the two companies, MS Webonise Private Limited and MS Heightsnext is being investigated. 

Each drone is capable of completing the surveillance of large areas within a short span of time. We are investigating what the buyers meant to use the drones for,” said Shubhendra. 

While no arrests have been made yet, customs is still investigating.


Saturday, 24 September 2016

AAI gives nod to site in Purandar for Pune International Airport


24/9/2016

PUNE: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today announced that a team of Airports Authority of  India has given final approval to a proposed site for the Pune International Airport in Purandar tehsil of the district.

"The team of AAI, which had conducted feasibility survey of proposed land in Purandar tehsil, has given its approval and AAI has agreed that the land is suitable. Since the approval has come, we will now start the further process and we are happy that the local people too are positive about the airport," he said.
The government will now hold a meeting with Maharashtra Airport Development Authority, Fadnavis said.

Initially, the state government was considering Khed teshil for the airport and AAI had carried out survey of two sites there. However, later the focus shifted to Purandar tehsil.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Nepal bans Pune police couple for 10 years over ‘fake’ Everest claims




PUNE: THE Nepal government has imposed a 10-year ban on a police couple from Pune who had allegedly bluffed about scaling Mount Everest on May 23. Nepal officials have told Pune police a letter has been sent to inform them of the decision to bar the couple from entering Nepal for that period, Pune police commissioner Rashmi Shukla said.

“This means the probe ordered by Nepal government has confirmed the two had lied about scaling Everest… This is indeed shocking. The couple have tarnished the image not only of police force but of the whole country,” Shukla said. 

Dinesh and Tarkeshwari Rathod, both 30 and serving constables with Pune police, held a press meet in Kathmandu on June 5 and announced they scaled Everest on May 23, becoming the first Indian couple to do so. The two are posted at Shivajinagar headquarters of Pune city police. Shukhla said she will initiate “strong” action against the couple. Asked if they can be arrested, she said the action will be as per laid-down norms.

She said the couple have been absconding since the Pune police initiated a departmental inquiry against them. “The two have disappeared without a trace even as we were conducting the inquiry,” she said.
Senior officials added the couple might not be arrested, but could face demotion or have their annual increments stopped. Officials said by remaining out of bounds for the probe, the couple have “already confirmed they had done something wrong”.

Days after the couple’s press briefing, a group of mountaineers had approached Pune police alleging they had faked their expedition. Surendra Shelke, one of the complainants and secretary of a city-based mountaineering association, had alleged the couple had morphed pictures and there were discrepancies in their description of the summit. The Pune police probe followed.

A mountaineer from Kolkata had told this paper that he and another climber had scaled Everest on May 21 and their pictures were misused by the duo. “I had scaled Mt Everest along with another climber and two sherpas on May 21,” Satyrup Siddhantha, a software engineer working in Bangalore, had said. He said he had given his pictures to some people, including sherpas at the base camp.

“They had copied the pictures into their pen drives. They might have shared the pictures with other climbers,” he said. Siddhantha had uploaded his pictures on Facebook on June 2.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Tork Motorcycles to launch first electric bike T6X soon


PUNE: The Pune-based family enterprise Tork Motorcycles is gearing up to launch the country's first electric motorcycle under brand T6X with a claim to offer 100 km travel on a single charge that can vroom at 85 kmph.

The Pune-based company, partly owned by entrepreneur Kapil Shelke and his father, and funded by two angel investors -- Ankit Bhati and Bhavesh Agrawal of Ola Cabs in their personal capacities -- has so far developed five prototypes of electric bike and the one it plans to commercialise is the fifth model called T6X.

Shelke is a mechanical engineer from the Pune University and started the firm in 2009.

He, however, did not offer any financial details about his family's investments or those by the angel investors. The company did not showcase the product, but is awaiting ARAI clearance and looking at a commercial launch in about two months.

Asked if it needs more cash to begin production, Shelke said the company is adequately funded.  On cost of product development and foreign technology partner, Shelke answered in the negative. "Barring the lithium batteries, we have no imported spare parts nor any technology tie-ups," he told PTI here over the weekend.

He also claimed that the company has almost readied a manufacturing plant at Chakan near Pune, with an installed capacity of 50,000 units a year.  He parried a question about how many units he plans to manufacture, only saying he hopes to sell 10,000 units in the first year of operations.

On facility for public charging of the vehicle, Shelke said the company has already set up two charging stations in Pune and one at Lonavala. Initially, there are plans to launch at least 100 charging stations per city prior to or along with the commercial launch in Pune, Bengaluru and Delhi in the first phase and Mumbai and Hyderabad in the second phase. Shelke said his prototype has already cleared electric motorcycle racings like Isle of Man TTX-GP or the TTX-GP Championship over the past six years.

Some of its other feats include the podium finishes at the 2009 Isle of Man TTX-GP and 2010 TTX-GP Championship. In 2012, it entered the 400-metre drag race-demo run at the Valley Run, where their first small capacity electric bike built on the Yamaha FZ recorded 0-100 kmph sprint in 8.7 seconds.

Maharashtra's 'Dr Death' - five bodies unearthed


SATARA : Police on said they had found bodies of five of the six people murdered in cold blood by self-confessed medico Santosh Gulabrao Pol in a case that has stunned Maharashtra.
Solapur Range Inspector General of Police Vishwas Nangre-Patil and Satara Superintendent of Police Sandip Patil said that following the shocking revelations by Pol, police dug his poultry farmhouse premises and discovered the remains of the five bodies.
Charged with kidnapping and murdering an 'aanganwadi worker' Mangal Jedhe, 49, on June 16, Pol admitted to committing a total of six murders, including that of a man, after administering them lethal overdose of some medicines, earning him the sobriquet 'Dr. Death'.
The 41-year-old Pol's associate, nurse Jyoti Pandurang Mandre, 25, has also been arrested. Both have been sent to police custody by a court.
Pol was also functioning as a police informer on corruption cases against government officials and flaunted his 'links' with top police officials whenever anyone tried to enquire about his activities, said Nangre-Patil.
Nangre-Patil added that a probe would be conducted why the local police were scared of taking action against the accused pair if they did have information about suspicious happenings at the farmhouse.
SP Patil said they were attempting to trace the body of a woman, Vanita Gaikwad, whose body was thrown into a water reservoir of Krishna river.
Senior Inspector of Wai Police Crime Branch Padmakar Ghanvat revealed that soon after Jedhe's disappearance, Pol lodged a police complaint on June 24 accusing her of fleeing with 200 gms of gold on the pretext of doubling them in a ponzi scheme.
In his latest revelations under custodial interrogation, Pol has claimed that he had conspired to kill Jedhe almost three months ago and even kept a dug-up grave ready for her.
He was also planning to eliminate his associate Jyoti Mandre and he had planted an almond tree on one of his victim's grave.
He has confessed to killing Surekha Kisan Chikane on May 20, 2003, Vanita Narhari Gaikwad on August 12, 2006, Jagabai Laxman Pol on August 13, 2010, Nathmal Dhanaji Bhandari on December 7, 2015 and an orphan Salma Shaikh on January 17, 2016, said Ghanvat.
A majority of the victims either worked with him or came in contact as patients, and their remains have been sent for forensic and DNA tests, Ghanvat added.
"We shall investigate all the missing persons' cases in and around Wai since 2003, the hospitals where he worked, question other patients and employees, tackle all possible angles," Patil said.
Nangre-Patil assured that nothing was being ruled out, including the possibility of more murders of missing persons in the region that may have been committed by the accused.
Pol, described as an 'Electro-Homoeopath', practiced in some local hospitals and at his farmhouse, 13 km on the outskirts of the quaint Wai town, at the base of the twin hill stations of Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani, around 175 km south of Mumbai.
The medico's alleged crimes came to light after police began to probe the suspicious disappearance of Jedhe, President of the Purva Prathmik Shikshika Sevika Sangh (MPPSSS), on June 16.
"She had left Wai for Pune on June 15 evening to attend to her pregnant daughter's delivery but never reached there," said MPPSSS general secretary Shaukat Pathan.
Ghanvat said investigations revealed that prior to leaving for Pune, she was in touch with Pol and both had a bitter fight when she threatened to reveal his activities, and later her husband Bhikhu R. Jedhe had pointed a finger of suspicion at the medico.
As the horrifying details of the case tumbled out since Monday, hundreds of curious onlookers from Wai and surroundings came to view Pol's home and farmhouse.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Speed kills five students on Pune Mumbai Expressway

26/07/2016

PUNE: Five college students were killed and more was critically injured after their car turned turtle near Kamshet on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway as the driver among them lost control due to high speed, Pune rural police said.

The accident took place about 3 am, when six friends were on their way to Pune from Mumbai in a Maruti Ciaz car. Inspector IS Patil of Kamshet police station said, “Primary observations suggest that the car was in very high speed and that the driver may have lost control. The car turned turtle and landed in the roadside pit. Everyone in the car sustained severe injuries leading to the death of five.”
Police said three of them died on the spot, while two more breathed last as they were being taken to the hospital. A sixth person was being treated at the Lokmanya Hospital in Nigdi and his condition is said to be critical.

The five deceased have been identified as Aditya Bhandarkar, Yash Shirali, Abhishek Roy, Akshay Bhilare and Jacky Samuel, all currently staying in Pune. Police said all the deceased are aged between 23 and 26. They are all college students, the police added.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Pune's Gold shirt owner murdered


15/07/2016

PUNE: A 48-year-old businessman from Pune, who shot into the limelight after buying a gold shirt worth over Rs one crore some years back, was allegedly bludgeoned to death in front of his son, police said today.

Datta Phuge, the businessman from the industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad in the district, had become the talk of the town after he presented himself a gold shirt weighing about 3.5 kg and worth Rs 1.27 crore in 2012.

At least 12 persons attacked Phuge at an open ground in Dighi area here at around 11.30 PM last night with stones and a sharp weapon, killing him on the spot. "As per preliminary information, Phuge and his son were invited by one of the suspects, who know each other, to celebrate a birthday. However, we are investigating how Phuge reached the open ground where he was murdered," Dighi police station inspector Navnath Ghogare said. Phuges 22-year-old son, who too had reached the spot following a similar birthday invitation and witnessed his fathers murder, was spared by the attackers, police said.

Datta Phuge, the husband of a former corporator from Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, was into money lending and chit fund business. Police suspect that some dispute over a money transaction could be the reason behind the gory murder. "We have detained four persons and suspect that dispute over a money transaction between them could be the motive behind his murder," said Ghogare. In 2012, Phuge presented himself the glittering shirt made out of gold and as per the local jeweller who had crafted the piece, as many as 15 goldsmiths from Bengal had worked for 16 hours a day over a period of two weeks to make the shirt ordered by him.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Liver transplant gives new lease of life to Pune man


24/06/2016

PUNE: Liver transplant by a man from Aurangabad has given a new lease of life to a 55-year-old in Pune who was suffering from chronic liver disease.

This successful green corridor was created from Aurangabad to Pune and the organ reached Sahyadri Hospital Deccan at around 10.40 am, in about 3.5 hours (which normally it takes 6 hours). This was all due to the combined efforts of Pune and Aurangabad traffic police.

Aurangad based man was admitted to a Hospital after he met with an accident in Aurangabad on Monday late evening. The patient was declared brain dead and the ZTCC (Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre) was notified, who then according to the regulations allocated the Liver to Sahyadri Hospital Deccan.

News broke to the medical team at Sahyadri Hospital Deccan who soon made their way to Aurangabad to consult the family of the deceased about Organ Donation. After receiving consent from the family, the liver of the brain dead patient was harvested and transported via 'Green Corridor' from Aurangabad to Sahyadri Hospital Deccan on Tuesday.

This liver transported from Aurangabad was successfully transplanted in the 55 year old who was suffering from chronic liver diseases at Sahyadri Hospitals, Deccan Gymkhana. Dr. Bipin Vibhute, Liver & Multi Organ Transplant & Hepatobilliary Surgeon – Sahyadri Hospital commented, "In a span of last few months, from its inception Sahyadri's Centre for Organ Transplant has performed 11 successful liver Transplants. He further added, "This is the second time in last few months when a liver has been transported to Sahyadri Hospital, Deccan, Pune via green corridor for carrying out transplant surgery".

Dr. Prashantha Rao, Liver & Multi Organ Transplant & Hepatobilliary Surgeon – Sahyadri Hospital said, “The decision by brain dead patient’s family to donate his liver to a needy patient is also worth appreciating. It is very important to note that, through organ donation one man can give a new lease of life to another man. Sahyadri Hospitals is trying its level best to increase awareness about organ donation.”

Dr. Alapini Thopte, Manager operations, Sahyadri Hospital Deccan Gymkhana commented, "Usually it takes 6 hours to travel from Aurangabad to Pune, thanks to the green corridor created by traffic police." 

Haier India invests Rs 490 cr in Pune plant


24/06/2016

PUNE: Consumer appliances and electronic goods maker Haier India is planning to set up a manufacturing plant at Ranjangaon near Pune with the total investment of Rs 490 crore. The plant will be fully operational by September 2017.

Haier India is expecting to close the year with over Rs 2,000 crore revenue as compared to Rs 1,700 crore in FY16. The company is looking to treble its revenue to Rs 6,500 crore by 2020 on the back on increased manufacturing and increased penetration of consumer goods in the country and plans to achieve top three position in the market.

"With the expansion of the manufacturing facility, Haier aims to gradually reduce the dependence on imports and increase exports from the country to aggressively contribute to the growth of the Indian economy. By 2020, we are looking at being a $1 billion company. Our turnover will be close to Rs 6,500 crore. We will also have our higher production capacity in place," said  Eric Braganza, president, Haier India.

Currently, the company has a network of 700 direct dealers and plans to expand it by another 300 in the next two years. "We have invested Rs 490 crore at our plant at Ranjangaon Pune to double capacity of refrigerator production and make new products too. We had to increase the production capacity due to the growth in the sales, therefore we had to build up additional manufacturing facility in India," he added.

Earlier the company was only making refrigerators at the plant. Now it will also make washing machines, ACs, TV panels and water heaters. “Globally, Haier Group has been a pioneer in home solutions and appliances technology and has enjoyed a great market share across the world. The growth demonstrated by Haier India in the recent few years has been phenomenal and we’re really optimistic about the company’s position in the country. The expansion of Haier’s manufacturing facility in Pune further strengthens the group’s focus on India,” said Song Yujun, managing director Haier India.


Haier India, a 100% subsidiary of China's Haier Group, began operations in 2004 and started manufacturing in India by acquiring a 40-acre plant at Ranjangoan in 2007.

Cinepolis launches second Multiplex in Pune with 'IMAX Theatre'


24/06/2016

PUNE: Cinepolis, India's first international and world's fourth largest movie theatre circuit announced the opening of eight-screen multiplex at Westend Mall in Pune.

The iconic mega-plex was inaugurated in the presence of internationally acclaimed actor, Irrfan Khan along with MD Cinepolis India, Javier Sotomayar.The recent launch is in line with the Mexican multiplex operator's strategic vision of widening its pan-India footprint.

The state-of-art multiplex has an IMAX theatre, Dolby Atmos, RealD 3D technology. Total seating capacity of the multiplex is 1369 and will have 40 shows daily.
Cinepolis now has over 246 screens in 38 cities across India. The company already has a strong presence in the city, with its existing (India's largest) megaplex, 15-screen property in Season mall, Pune.

With this launch Cinepolis is opening the first Imax theatre in Pune. In addition, another auditorium in the complex is equipped with Dolby Atmos, which employs up to 64 speakers to heighten the realism of every scene.

"Cinepolis is committed to offering the best cinema experience to movie goers in India. We already have presence in Pune with India's biggest multiplex at Seasons Mall and this technologically advanced multiplex with IMAX theatre, Dolby Atmos, RealD 3D will widen our presence in this city. On the back of this success, we aim to reach the 400-screen landmark by 2017," said Managing Director Cinepolis India, Javier Sotomayor.


"At Cinepolis, we have already expressed the vitality of Western India for our business development. We already have strong presence in Mumbai as well in Pune with 15 Screen Megaplex. With this opening our presence in Pune has increased to 23 Screens. We have more than 10 screen planned to be opened in city in couple of years helping in increasing our presence in the country," said Director-Expansion Cinepolis India, Ashish Shukla.

Gera Developments fined Rs 50,000


26/06/2016

PUNE: The district consumer court has imposed Rs 50,000 cost on Gera Developments Private Limited and its two directors for not complying with their "statutory obligation" of obtaining a full completion certificate and executing deed of apartment in favour of each unit owner in a condominium at Lullanagar.

Rohit Gera, one of the firm's two directors, is also the vice-president of the Pune unit of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai), a body of realtors.
The bench of V P Utpat and Kshitija Kulkarni ordered the realty firm to obtain full completion certificate in respect of 'Gera Junction' condominium, hand over a copy to the apartment owners' body, and execute a registered deed of apartment in favour of each unit-holder within three months. The firm has to report compliance of these directives to the consumer court.

Built in 2005, the condominium houses about 65 commercial shops and consists of basement, stilt and four commercial. All units were sold 10 years ago. Gera Junction's association of apartment owners had filed a complaint accusing Gera Developments of deficiency in service for not executing deed of apartment, not obtaining full completion certificate and for surrendering a portion of the basement parking area to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) as amenity space. PMC was named the fourth respondent in the complaint.

The bench observed, "Opposite parties No 1 to 3 (Gera Developments and its two directors) have neither produced full completion certificate before the forum nor have handed over the same to the complainant (apartment owner's body)."

"As per provisions of the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act, 1963, it is a statutory duty of the builder/promoter to execute deed of declaration as well as deed of apartment and obtain full completion certificate from the local body. Opposite parties No 1 to 3 have not produced any cogent documentary evidence to prove that they have discharged their statutory and contractual obligations," the bench said.

Gera told, "We will file an appeal against the order since there is an error on the face of the record. The PMC had issued us occupancy certificates (OCs) in parts On June 2, 2005, for the use of basement, stilt and the first two floors, and on November 25, 2005, for the use of the third and fourth floor of the condominium."

Gera referred two OCs in support of his claim and said, "The deed of declaration executed in 2005 in relation to the condominium also contained OC for the first four floors." A senior PMC official said, "An OC is issued only after the builder receives a completion certificate for the building from PMC. Issuing OCs in parts is not an authorised act but it is practised in many civic bodies, including PMC."

The apartment owners claimed that since September 2013, when PMC took possession of the surrendered parking area, they were facing vehicle parking issues due to inadequate space and the traffic police's parking restrictions on the road outside the condominium.

However, the consumer court dismissed the plaint against PMC on the grounds that the promoter/builder had agreed to allot a portion of the parking area to PMC as amenity space at the time of sanctioning of the building plans and the same reflected in the records.

The bench held that it can not adjudicate the parking area issue in a summary trial as the matter involved a civil dispute requiring investigation and recording of evidence. "The complainant condominium is at liberty to move the civil court, by filing a civil suit, as regards to issue of parking," the bench observed.


Jews of Pune happy with minority status


24/06/2016

PUNE : The Jewish population in the city welcomed the State Cabinet’s move of granting minority status to the Jews in the state on Tuesday. While the total population of the Jews in the city is around 4,400, the city has nearly 200 Jews.

Yoses Nowgaonkar, secretary of Succath Shelmo Synagogue, said, “The entire community is very happy with the decision of the government. We will now be able to get holidays for our festivals which we did not get earlier. Our contribution is finally being recognised.”

Nathan Aston, former principal of is also ecstatic with the news and said Jews will now be able to enjoy the benefits of a minority community. “Maharashtra is not the first state to do so, West Bengal had done it earlier. Although small in numbers, Jews are spread all over the country,” added Aston.
According to Marcelle Samuel, who is the HoD of Economics and Banking at the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, the minority status will benefit the students of the Jewish community as they will be able to apply for various scholarships in their respective courses or streams.

There are also a few who are questioning the need for a minority status. “More than 4,000 Jews are living in India and since we all are hard working and are well off, many of us felt that it would be seen as an act of disrespect or dishonor. However, we had an hour-long long discussion at our Synagogue over this and we concluded that this will be a good opportunity for our community to be recognised and for our future generations as well,” said George Judah, a retired pilot from Indian Air Force, who is now the director of the Management School in DY Patil University.


Judah added that Jews as a community in the country have never faced any kind of harassment from any other community or individuals. “We have asked for such a recognition keeping in mind our future generations, large numbered communities like those of Christians or Muslims have minority status but us being such a minuscule community in the country, find it only fair to have such a status granted to us,” he said.

Scania to showcase Ethanol powered Green bus in Pune


24/06/2016

PUNE: Leading commercial vehicle and engine manufacturer Scania Commercial Vehicles India Pvt. Ltd. kickstarted a smart city initiative in Nagpur with the first Ethanol powered Green Bus as a pilot to show the environmental, social and commercial benefits of a Scania Bharat Stage V bus run on locally produced alternate fuels. The bus was handed over to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) in August 2014 and has been in use in the city.

The Municipal Commissioner of Nagpur, Shravan Hardikar, has offered to showcase India’s first ethanol powered city bus in Pune on 25th June 2016, at the city’s first anniversary of the smart city project launch. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the event and launch a number of initiatives under the smart city project. Scania is honoured to participate the Pune smart city anniversary with the Green Bus on behalf of Nagpur Municipal Corporation.

Scania is closely aligned with the mission of establishing sustainable smart cities that balance superior citizen services with ecological benefits and provide clean green and sustainable mass transit options. The ethanol powered bus is a first step in that direction. Developed as Scania’s pilot project in the area of bio fuel powered transport solutions, the trial run of the Ethanol Green Bus in Nagpur has clearly demonstrated the merits of implementing sustainable transport solutions in a country that is in a phase of rapid urbanisation.


Clean and green renewable fuels, together with safe and smart mobility solutions, play a vital role in India’s smart city mission. They provide the blueprint for smart cities to develop sustainable urban transport solutions. Mobility solutions that use bio fuels can not only help in reducing emissions but also create value from waste. As India grapples with climate change and waste disposal, bio fuel technologies hold significant opportunities for the nation. These sustainable fuels also have an important role to play in helping the Government of India achieve its objective of reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels and reducing pollution. 

Ahead of PM Modi’s visit, fight begins over credit for smart city projects in Pune

24/06/2016

PUNE: Ahead of the mega event of inauguration of select projects of Pune smart city by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pune Mayor Prashant Jagtap has sparked a controversy by announcing that three of the 14 projects that would be launched by the Prime Minister are that of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and not of the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (PSCDCL). However, the municipal commissioner was quick to say that the projects are linked to the smart city projects.

The Prime Minister will arrive in Pune on Saturday, June 25, 2016.
“There are 14 projects of Pune that would be launched by the Prime Minister on Saturday. The Utility Vehicle Management System and Grievance Redressal, GPS on BRT and non BRT buses, Smart Mobility Card and Mobile App are the projects of PMC,” said Jagtap.

He said that it was a good moment for the PMC as its three projects alongwith the smart city projects would be launched by the Prime Minister. “I have urged the civic administration to ensure that the public is aware that three of the 14 projects are of PMC. These are being implemented using the civic funds,” said Jagtap.

When contacted, Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar said the projects that have been pointed out by the mayor are linked to smart city mission. “They are linked to smart city mission and would be implemented under the area development,” he added. Kumar said that there would be an exhibition at the venue where the PSCDCL would have three stalls on sustainable development, smart mobility and area development of Baner Balewadi.

He said that it has been decided to invite 5,000 people for the event. “The plan is to invite people from all sections of the society. There would be people representing the slum, women, students and other social sectors,” Kumar said.

The Prime Minister would launch the smartnet portal that would have all information of all the smart city projects being implemented by the 20 smart cities in the country, he said.“The Make You City Smart contest’ of the Union Urban Development Ministry would also be launched on the occasion. The event would have a direct video conferencing link with the 98 potential smart cities selected by the union government and the Prime Minister would communicate with the representatives of the few cities,” he said. 

Force Motors opens Rs 100 cr facility in Pune


Force Motors opens Rs 100 cr facility in Pune


24/06/2016

PUNE: Force Motors inaugurated its brand new facility here, entailing an investment of Rs 100 crore, to supply engines and axles to Mercedes-Benz India.The plant, which is dedicated to the production of engines and axles for all Mercedes Cars and SUVs made in India, was formally inaugurated by Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. "The inauguration of this plant marks a significant step in our 45-year-long association with Mercedes Benz," Force Motors Managing Director Prasan Firodia said.

This new plant will help Force Motors be more flexible in terms of the production capacity demands, he added. Force Motors has been the preferred partner for producing engines for all Mercedes Benz cars and SUV's made in India since 1997.

The new plant, which is spread over 1,30,000 sq ft, has eight lines that produce and test up to 14 engine variants. This includes the 4 cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, 6 cylinder V-type gasoline and diesel engines. It employs around 200 people and works in two shifts. Made with an investment of Rs 100 crore this plant is a part of the Rs 700 crore investment pledged by Force Motors over the next two years, across its value chain for multiple products, business verticals.

The facility has a current annual capacity of 20,000 engines and 20,000 front and rear axles. This capacity can be further enhanced, should there be a requirement from Mercedes, Firodia said. Till date Force Motors has supplied over 60,000 engines and over 50,000 axles to the German luxury carmaker.

Last year, the company had inaugurated a plant in Chennai that produces power trains for German car major BMW. Pune-based Force Motors expects to triple its revenue to Rs 3,000 crore in next three years driven by its contract manufacturing business for leading automobile companies like Mercedes Benz and BMW.

Currently, the revenue generated (from OEMs business) is around Rs 1,000 crore. Force Motors sells vehicles including small commercial vehicles, multi-utility vehicles, light commercial vehicles, sports utility vehicles and agricultural tractors. 

Tuesday, 31 May 2016


A campaign that stresses need of public toilets for women

31/05/2016

PUNE: Almost six months ago, Abhivyakti, a city-based group working for women’s rights had conducted a survey of the areas under Ghole Road Regional Office. The survey aimed to identify the number of public toilets for women in the area and the facilities available.

The survey covering areas from Nal Stop to Natawadi and including places like Patil Estate, Shivajinagar, Ghole Road, Kamla Nehru Park, Khilarewadi, FC Road, JM Road, Deccan and others, revealed some startling facts.

Altogether, there are 113 toilets for women, out of which signboards for only 16 are put up. Only 27 toilets have water; 12 have dustbins and 45 have electricity. None of the toilets were found to have hanger facilities.

The findings of the sample survey motivated Abhivyakti to launch a campaign—Right to Pee—that demands more public toilets for women in the city and thereby the right to dignity.


Big slab falls off in Pune’s housing society; builder booked

31/05/PUNE: A huge concrete slab collapsed from the ninth floor of a building in the plush Kumar Kruti housing society in Kalyani Nagar on Sunday evening, damaging four vehicles.

Although no casualties were reported, the incident led to panic among the residents.
The housing society authorities have registered a complaint at the Yerwada police station against Kumar builder and others, who have been booked under section 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).



Infosys partners with MTDC to open a Tourism Pavilion in Pune

31/05/2016

PUNE: The Pavilion was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendraji Fadnavis along with officials from Maharashtra Tourism Department and Infosys.

Infosys announced the inauguration of Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation’s (MTDC) Tourism Pavilion at its Pune Development Center (DC). The company has partnered with MTDC with the objective of promoting tourism and cultural understanding of Maharashtra amongst its employees in Pune. The Pavilion was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
Devendraji Fadnavis along with officials from Maharashtra Tourism Department and Infosys.

The sprawling pavilion is built over a space of 1, 200 sq. ft in the Hinjewadi campus in Pune. It will serve as a one-stop shop to promote tourism in Maharashtra for the 36,000+ employees of the DC along with clients and other visitors of the campus.

The eye-catching pavilion will house stunning images of various travel destinations in the state including beaches, caves, wildlife sanctuaries among others. This first of a kind partnership between a private and a public organization will enable the visitors to learn about the state's wealth of culture, heritage, history, art and music, and also plan their next holiday by exploring the deals that MTDC has on offer. It will also serve as a stimulating platform to engage the employees of the company and clients alike.



NGT to hold hearing on extending diesel car ban to 11 more cities: Report

Ban include Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad

31/5/2016

New Delhi :  In another blow to carmakers, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is set to consider imposing a ban on the sale of large diesel-powered vehicles in 11 more cities on Monday. 

According to the report, auto makers say that such a move "will be unscientific and uncalled for". A reputed financial daily cited an unnamed source saying that the 11 cities likely to see such a ban include Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. 

The report added that according to the industry, such a wide spread ban on large diesel cars would make investments made by several manufacturers "useless" and lead to loss of employment. 
Earlier this month, the NGT had ordered the Kerala government to stop registering diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2,000cc and above, except public transport and local authority vehicles. 

The Kochi Circuit Bench of the NGT also barred all 10-year-old diesel vehicles – light and heavy – from plying on the roads of six cities. TheKerala High Court stayed the NGT order on new vehicles, but did not interfere with that covering old ones.
  
According to a statement issued by industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in May this year, the ban on diesel-powered vehicles in Delhi-NCR has impacted about 5,000 jobs in the automobile sector and resulted in production loss of around 11,000 units. 
SIAM's statement had added, "if extended across the country, it (the ban) would lead to a loss of production of one lakh vehicles over the same period (since December 2015) and would have impacted 47,000 jobs."

According to the  report, the NGT, on May 24, had said: "The directions passed in regard to NCT (National Capital Territory) would safely be applied to all these cities." However, the green tribunal, according to the report, did concede that there were three major sources of pollution — burning of waste and other materials, dust emission and vehicular pollution.

The report added that before taking a decision the green tribunal wanted the "Central Pollution Control Board to place 'complete and comprehensive' data before it on population density, car density, pollution area and pollution level of major cities across the country".

An earlier report by the pollution control board in response to an NGT order identified key cities where the ambient air quality didn't meet prescribed standards, the report said. Citing a source, the report added that the list had 15 cities — Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Patna, Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Pune, Chennai, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar. 
Speaking to the financial daily, the source said: "Of these, air pollution data for 11 cities will be considered in the hearing." 

Carmakers will be awaiting the result of the hearing with fingers crossed.  Speaking on the matter, Vishnu Mathur, director general of SIAM, told that "extending the ban countrywide would basically stop production of all large diesel vehicles". 

Mathur added, "The polluter-pay principle applies in event of violations. Vehicle manufacturers and oil refineries have been investing to upgrade to higher emission norms and address pollution concerns. Banning vehicles that meet laid down norms is against the fundamental right of companies doing business in the country." 

Carmakers had been alarmed when, in December last year, the NGT had issued an interim orderthat new diesel-run vehicles would not be registered in Delhi and that there would be no renewal of registration of such vehicles which are more than 10-year-old.

That same month, the Supreme Court banned the registration of diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc and above in Delhi-NCR till March 31, 2016, overriding the NGT order. 

In March this year, the apex court extended the ban till further orders.  

DRDO Directors Conclave 2016 Begins in Pune


29/05/2016

PUNE: The DRDO Directors Conclave 2016, an annual event of DRDO was inaugurated by Secretary Defence R&D and Director General DRDO Dr. S Christopher today at Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Auditorium, Pashan, Pune.

The objective of the two-day conclave, organized by ARDE, Pune, with the theme Productive DRDO is to evolve innovative methods and procedures to synergize between DRDO Head Quarters, DG (Technology Clusters) and various DRDO laboratories across the country. In his inaugural address, Dr S. Christopher expressed the need of innovative mechanisms for better coordination between the Laboratories, DGs and Corporate headquarters to meet the 21st century challenges of Defence R&D for protecting IPR issues of DRDO. 

He also emphasized the paradigm shift for inclusive User-friendly & collaborative Defence R&D with Industry & Academia to ensure a Productive DRDO. Earlier, Shri PK Mehta, DG (ACE) welcomed the delegates, followed by the theme address by Dr S Guruprasad, CC R&D (PC & SI). It is being attended by over 110 top Officials of DRDO including Directors General of various Technology Clusters, Chief Controllers (R&D), Directors of DRDO Laboratories, Corporate Directors of DRDO headquarters and IFAs.

The event will include deliberations on various issues of DRDO through six technical sessions each followed by a panel discussion. Few prominent topics includes - Simplification of Corporate Procedures, Leveraging Industry, DPP-2016 opportunities for DRDO, Cyber Security and DRDO Knowledge Management. The conclave is scheduled to be concluded on May 30, 2016 with the award ceremony to young scientists.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Pune’s Shubhi Agro Dairy defaults on secured non-convertible debentures

MUMBAI: Pune-based Shubhi Agro Dairy has defaulted on non-convertible debentures (NCD) worth Rs 50 crore it issued in March 2014, according to its investors, joining the fast-growing list of defaulting entities in the country.

Several investors that ET spoke to said the dairy firm has not paid interest since December 2014 and has also defaulted on a part payment of the principal amount.

Shubhi Agro's fully secure NCD were issued through Karvy Capital, with IL&FS "I had invested most of my retirement savings into this issue because the representatives of the debenture issuer (Karvy) told us that it was fully secure," said SD Siva, a 69-year-old retired advertising professional in Chennai, who has investedRs 50 lakh in the NCD. "But even after six months of default, no one is in a position to say when monies will be repaid to the debenture holders," he said.

An IL&FS official acknowledged the default and said it will proceed with a legal action.

An email sent to Shubhi Agro Dairy's official id bounced. Karvy confirmed that Shubhi Agro has delayed interest payment to investors. "The company is evidently in some stress due to global milk and milk-product prices," it said in an email response. "The trustees and Karvy as debenture holder representative are constantly in touch with the borrower company. We are helping the company in all possible ways to tide over the situation. We are confident that the company will clear all arrears soon,"  
 On Sunday, Karvy in an email communication to investors shared IL&FS' various legal options against the company. They included filing criminal proceedings for cheque bounce, winding up petition and invoking the security where the trustees will get custody of promoters' share.

Shubhi Agro Dairy, also known as Vaishno Devi Dairy Products Pvt Ltd, is promoted by Nandkishore Attal who was once profiled as a 'Young Turk' by a business news channel. The company had raised the money through NCDs for capex expansion and brand promotion, according to its prospectus. 
Army man posted in Pune Air Force Station shoots himself, dies

Pune : A Junior Commissioned Officer of Subedar rank from the Army, currently posted at the Fleet Post Office inside the Air Force Station in Pune died after he reportedly shot himself. The incident came to light around Tuesday noon.

As per the primary information from the Air Force sources, the Army man identified as Subedar BM Singh was found dead near the post office inside the Air Force Station located in Lohegaon area in Pune.

Senior inspector Sanjay Kurundkar, of the Vimantal Police station, who visited the spot after the incident said, “At this stage our observations suggest that he shot himself. It is a case of suspected suicide. But we will only be able confirm the details after a thorough primary probe.”


AC superfast train for Pune flagged off

New Delhi : Catering to the growing demand from passengers,railways today launched a new AC superfast weekly service for Pune from Nizamuddin station. 

There was a heavy demand for this train as all the tickets for this inaugural run is already booked, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said after flagging off the train from Mumbaithrough video conferencing facility.

According to the regular schedule, the Nizamuddin - Pune weekly AC superfast express train will depart from Nizamuddin from May 31 on every Tuesday at 9.35 PM to reach at Pune at 9.25 PM the next day. In the return direction, the Pune - Nizamuddin weekly AC Superfast Express train will depart from Pune from June 2 on every Thursday at 5.15 AM to reach at Nizamuddin station at 5.35 AM the next day. 

Prabhu said new coaches will be added in the existing trains to accommodate more passengers.  Currently there are seven pairs of trains including Duronto service are running between Nizamuddin and Pune. Comprising of one AC-1, five AC-2 and eight AC-3 coaches, the new Nizamuddin - Pune - Nizamuddin weekly AC Superfast Express train will stop at Kota, Ratlam, Baroda, Surat, Vapi, Vasai Road, Kalyan and Lonawala stations enroute in both the directions.
Air India connects Bhopal with Pune, Raipur


Mumbai : National carrier Air India  took another step to boost regional connectivity by commencing operations to Pune via Raipur from Bhopal, thrice a week.

The inaugural flight, a 70-seater ATR-72 (AI 9865) took off from the Raja Bhoj airport in Bhopal for Raipur with almost full capacity, the airline said in a statement, adding this is the only direct air link on this route.

The flight will operate three days a week-on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Flight AI 9865 will leave Bhopal at 0845 hrs and land at Raipur at 1015 hrs, will depart from Raipur at 1045 hrs and arrive in to Pune at 1300 hrs.

The return flight AI 9866 will leave Pune at 1330 hrs and reach Raipur at 1545 hrs, depart Raipur at 1615 hrs and will touch down at Bhopal at 1745 hrs.