All posts by Sakal Media Group

All of Pune to be a part of ‘Smart City’ initiative

According to Mr Kunal Kumar, Pune Municipal Commissioner, ” The entire city has been taken into consideration while planning the Smart City initiative. All the opinions and ideas shared by the citizens will be implemented under this initiative. As per the Smart City manual of our Central Government, the city’s Municipal Corporation will plan a proper layout including civil works and the whole city along with the suburban areas will reap the benefits of the same. Robust transportation system, water supply, sanitation, waste management, environmental issues, safety and energy-security are some of the specific priority areas to be worked on as suggested by the citizens. The Government will work on all these areas in order to make the city Smart.”

The Government has also made it mandatory to select all suburban areas of the city that need to be developed as a model for ‘Smart City’ initiative. Areas like Aundh, Baner and Balewadi will be the initial models for Smart City project development. Later these models will be extrapolated across the entire city.

Mr. Anil Pawar, PMC Deputy Municipal Commissioner said, “Aundh, Baner and Balewadi will be the first areas to be covered under the Smart City project.”

A meeting was also scheduled in this regard where all Mohalla Committee members, Municipal officials and representatives of the Regional Office were present. The list of attendants included Mr Anil Pawar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner; Mr Umesh Mali, Assistant Municipal Commissioner; Mr Sandeep Kadam, Ward Assistant Commissioner; Mr Baburao Chandere, Local Corporator; Mrs Ranjana Murkute, Corporator; Mr. Dattratreya Gaikwad, Former Mayor and many more.

Information about the future work and measures were given by Mr. Anil Pawar. He said, “All the infrastructural plans executed in Aundh, Baner and Balewadi under the Smart City initiative will be replicated successfully across the entire city. To make Pune a ‘Smart City’, it is important for all of us to get involved and work together as a united force.” He also made an appeal to all NGOs, social activists, citizens and students to actively participate and make this initiative a success.

Smart Public Transport for a Smart Pune

Smart Public Transport for a Smart Pune

According to the transport experts, “To make Pune a ‘Smart City’, the public transport system including PMPML-BRT, Metro, local trains, etc must be made efficient.”

Experts shared their thoughts during a discussion session organised by the Delivering Change Foundation (DCF) and Sakal Media Group (SMG). Present on the occasion were Mr. Jitendra Patil, Regional Transport Officer; Mr. Sarang Awad, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic); Mr. Milind Deoskar & Mr. Prashant Kakade, Additional Divisional Railway Managers from CIRT; Mr. Mangesh Dighe, PMC Environment Officer; Mr. Deepak Kulkarni, Transport Department Engineer and many other Government officials.

According to these experts, to control the rising number of private vehicles, public transport needs to be made efficient. Compared to the city’s population, the number of buses provided by the that PMPML is insufficient. Lack of management in the functioning of PMPML can be seen, but no concrete efforts are being made by the State government or the Corporation to address this issue. Due to this, the number of private vehicles is increasing, which in turn is also polluting the environment.”

Agrowon Agricultural Expo generates an overwhelming response!

Agrowon Agricultural Expo organized by Agrowon received an overwhelming response as farmers from all over Maharashtra thronged the venue. The exhibition was held at Hindustan Antibiotics ground in Nehru Nagar at Pimpri. Inaugrated on Friday, the event featured upgraded farm technology, agricultural equipment, food processing and various crop varieties that were available under one roof through stalls of various companies and research institutions.

Shri. Prataprao Pawar, Chairman of Sakal Media Group, visited the exhibition on Saturday, 24th October, 2015. Speaking on this occasion, he said, “For facing new challenges in the agriculture sector, farmers need to opt for modernisation of the agriculture.”

Pawar visited stalls of prominent companies which included the Kirloskar mega-T power tiller. This tiller can perform the task of a big tractor. He was also informed about solar fencing, drip irrigation system, Bamboo Polyhouse and Pomega Promgranade Juice Machine etc.


Advanced farming equipment, solar pumps, milking machines, processing machinery, feed processing, tractor, harvestor, packaging, various models of tiller and mini tractor, hydroponic technology for fodder, organic fertiliser, pesticides, micro nutrients, seeds, agro tourism, farm pond technology, plastic mulching and also various books on agriculture and allied industries were displayed.

Nagpur can be among the top 10 smart cities

According to Mr. Abhijit Pawar, Founder & Chairman, Delivering Change Foundation (DCF), people’s participation can place Nagpur among the top 10 Smart Cities in the world.

Speaking at a programme on ‘Nagpur Smart City’ organized by Mr. Pawar, MD, Sakal Media Group said, “Under a Smart City people need good roads, a better quality of life, smart solutions to their problems and a hassle-free life.”

Mr. Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Nagpur District Guardian Minister also endorsed Mr. Pawar’s view and said, “There will be no funds crunch to achieve this goal”.

Mr. Pravin Datke, City Mayor and Mr. Shravan Hardikar, Municipal Commissioner, were also present on the occasion.

Mr. Bawankule said, “Both, the Central and State Government are taking several steps to make Nagpur a Smart City. Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister, Shipping and Transport, has assured funds to the tune of Rs 7,000 crore for the overall infrastructure development of the city; particularly laying a road network while state Government is planning to develop with the help of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT). The slums need to be developed on par with post localities like Dharampeth and Shivaji Nagar. The Government will give more emphasis on skill development to create best human resources. The Central Jail which occupies a huge portion of land in the heart of city will be shifted to a far off place.”

He further added, “The huge land bank of all the Central and State Governments offices will be put to optimum use and idle land will be taken back for the Smart City project.”

Mr. Hardikar said, “Public opinion is necessary for the Smart City project as we want to know their sentiments and suggestions regarding this project. In the first phase, a team of dedicated volunteers are seeking suggestions from the citizens under this project. We have to think about cultural, economical and social growth of the city.”

Source- Economic Times. Read the original article here.

A ‘Smart City’ with Smart Suggestions!

Speaking at a programme about the Nagpur Smart City initiative, Mr. Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Guardian Minister, shared his experience during a Rajya Sabha session where 10 cities were announced under the Smart City project. As soon as someone took the name of Nagpur, the first question that popped up in his head was how to transform a city which gets submerged under water just after 2 hours of rain into a world-class Smart City. To make the Smart City project a success, active participation as well as suggestions from its citizens is imperative. It is the need of the hour to resolve the existing water issues, optimum utilization of irrigation projects and completely transform the city into a wireless Smart City. He also cited the example of ‘Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan’, an initiative undertaken to curb water scarcity in the State of Maharashtra; in which Rs. 300 crores were raised by the Corporate sector and the people together.

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Sakal Media Group (SMG), together organized a ‘Concept Discussion’ meeting at Sai Hall on Monday, 19th October, to discuss the existing problems in the city. On this occasion, Mr. Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Guardian Minister; Mr. Pravin Datake, City Mayor; Mr. Shravan Hardikar, Commissioner and Mr. Abhijit Pawar, Managing Director, Sakal Media Group were present at this meeting. Mr. Pravin Datake, City Mayor, put forward his opinion about the Smart City concept and said, “Nagpur is one of the biggest and most densely populated cities in the Western part of India. People who live in the northern, east-west and southern part of the city have a different set of problems altogether. They have a different perspective about how a ‘Smart City’ should be. The aim here is to come up with a collective solution, and take the city in a direction which is suitable for all its citizens. So far, the Nagpur Sudhar Pranyas and the Municipal Corporation were working independently towards catering to the needs of their citizens. Now, both the organizations will be working closely together with the active participation of the common man; which will make the ‘Smart City’ initiative easier to implement.”

Mr. Shravan Hardikar explained, “Rs. 1,000 crores will be funded towards the Nagpur Smart City initiative. Out of which, 50% of the amount will be given by the Central Government, 25% from the State Government and the remaining 25% will be provided by the City Corporation. However, the estimated amount for a project of this scale and magnitude is roughly around Rs 25,000 crores. To gather such huge funds, there is a need of Self-Funded & Private-Public Collaboration for many projects. The actual concept of ‘Smart City’ means a sustainable city that can provide collective growth to all the sectors of society for a long period of time.”

Mr. Abhijit Pawar enlightened the audience with his view of the Smart City initiative; and concluded with how the word SMART stands for ‘Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely’ goals when we undertake an initiative like this.

Translated from Dainik Bhaskar. Read the original article in Hindi here.

Sakal Smart Products Fair to be held on 21st & 22nd Nov, 2015.

The Sakal Media Group is all set to organise the ‘Sakal Smart Products Fair 2015’ to provide an impetus to their initiative of making Pune a ‘Smart City’. The fair will be held at Pandit Farms near Mhatre Bridge on November 21st and 22nd from 11 AM to 10 PM.

Each sector has given a very good response in a quest to transform Pune into a ‘Smart City’. Citizens from all sections of society, right from domestic help to homemakers and from students to senior citizens, are all coming forward to help this transformation.

However, there is also a need of smart products and services to facilitate this transformation and the ‘Sakal Smart Products Fair 2015’ will help to fulfil these needs. Several organisations and industrialists design multiple products and services which they consider to be smart and believe that people will need them in future. However, the smartness of their products and services does not reach the people.

The ‘Smart Products Fair 2015’ is a golden opportunity for those organisations and industries, who want to reach out to people with their smart products and services. The fair will serve as a platform for all smart products, initiatives and services including modern CCTV cameras installation, technology that can help conserve water and electricity, construction projects that promote smart lifestyle and others.

Smart projects revolving around various sectors including environment, conserving electricity, clean water, water conservation, transportation, beautification, agriculture production and others are welcome to be showcased in this fair. However, it is necessary that the products or solutions must be Smart.

PMC organises an essay contest for its Smart Citizens!

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is organising an essay writing competition for the Smart City project under its third phase. The topic is ‘My role to make Pune a Smart city’. The essay should be 800 to 1000 words long. The last date for submitting the essays is 31st Oct, 2015. Citizens can submit their essays either online or personally to the civic body.

Mr. Kunal Kumar, Municipal Commissioner announced that Pune has made it to the list of 98 cities across the country that have been selected for the project of the Union Urban Development Ministry. The city is now trying to be among the top 10 cities where the project will be taken up initially.

To increase public participation in this project, the PMC is carrying out various activities in the third phase. In the first phase, the civic body invited suggestions for Smart City project from people. After that, the PMC along with Delivering Change Foundation (DCF) visited homes across the city and sought suggestions from families in various sectors as to what they want under the project.

According to Mr Kumar, “In the third phase, the PMC is organising the essay competition. We will appeal to the city residents to take part in this competition.”

Cooperation of the citizens is important to make Nagpur Smart


According to Mr Shravan Hardikar, Nagpur Municipal Commissioner “It is really very important to understand the concept of Smart City and through whose perception a smart city’s foundation should be laid. After several studies on Smart Cities around the world, a common trend has been observed. The citizens and their thoughts are at the centre of any plan. Hence, participation of the citizen and their views and opinions are important in making a city smart.”

He further added, “Nagpur being the hub of various organisations and education institutes like IIM, VNIT and Universities there is a huge number of young brigade and we expect them to give us their valuable opinion on ways to make Nagpur a smart city”. During his speech he also encouraged the citizens to fill the form and express their views.

NMC and DCF come up with innovative ideas to make Nagpur a Smart City


In a meeting held between Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Delivering Change Foundation (DCF), the NMC came up with an idea of earning income by selling sewage water to the Railway. In this meeting, the experts also stressed on the importance of dry and wet waste management. Casting their steps towards Smart City initiative, the experts also focused on increasing the number of toilets in the city and suggested measures to decrease the pollution of Nagpur City and improving the current state of the city lakes.

Highlights of the meeting:

  1. Recycling the sewage water the way MAHAGENCO and then handing over to the railway.
  2. Use of Pictures while creating waste management awareness amongst the citizens.
  3. While approving the plan of any township, the builder will be asked to separate the bathroom water and kitchen water.
  4. To destroy the bacteria that is present in the sewage water before recycling it.
  5. Build smart toilets which are accessible to the citizens.
  6. To have trash disposal at every nook and corner of the city.
  7. Make bioethanol from waste and use it as fuel for public transport in future.
  8. Encourage citizen to segregate wet and dry waste in the households.
  9. NMC should not pass the plan if any house plan has no facility to let off the sewage water.

Winners of the ‘Smart Citizen’ & ‘Smart Family’ announced!


The ‘Smart City’ campaign initiated by the Sakal Media Group has generated an overwhelming response throughout Pune city. Thousands of families and citizens responded with their suggestions and practical work. Among the citizens who are trying to make Pune a Smart City, Mr. ‘Atul Veerkar’ has emerged as a ‘Smart Citizen’; while the Mergal family was announced as the winner of the ‘Smart Family’ contest. Suggestions provided by participants in this campaign focused on areas such as education, reducing pollution, basic road infrastructure, etc.

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation takes the next big step towards its Smart City concept


To ensure total public participation in the Smart City Project, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) will reach out to a large number of citizens on facilities available at present and concepts for making the city Smart. Almost 1,000 staffers from the civic body will cover over 6 lakh households between 13th and 18th October, 2015.

Explaining the importance of public participation in the ‘Nagpur Smart City Project’, Mr. Pravin Datke, Mayor, in a press conference held on Saturday said, “NMC is taking all the efforts to enter into the top 20 cities list. The Central Government had included the city in list of 98 cities selected for the project. The city will receive funds for growth and development, if it makes it into the list of top 20 cities across the nation. The role of each and every citizen is very crucial, and everyone must take active participation in this initiative. NMC has started inviting ideas and concepts by launching the ‘Smart City’ contest. NMC staffers will go to each and every household and get a one page form filled wherein, citizens can give their opinion about which sphere they would like to see development in. The concepts are cleanliness, greenery, planned development, digital connect, security and prosperity. These forms will be in English and Marathi both. The NMC will incorporate good concepts in a detailed project report to be submitted to the centre under this project.”

The NMC has also incorporated nine options in the form to know from the citizens about facilities and problems prevailing in their respective areas; namely employment opportunities, security of women on roads, education facilities, water supply for drinking and other purposes, cleanliness, medical facilities, garbage collection service, sports and entertainment facilities.

Mr. Shashikant Hastak, Superintending Engineer, NMC, announced a six-day workshop will be organized to take views of experts from various fields between 13th to 18th October, 2015. Experts will give their insights on various sectors such as e-governance and digitalization, health care, safety, security and disaster management, education, tourism and heritage, housing, waste management, sanitation and environment, water, transport and mobility, energy, income, economy and employment and infrastructure.

The Delivering Change Foundation (DCF) has been appointed to assist the NMC in its drive to transform Nagpur into a Smart City. “Data collected from citizens will be uploaded in a special app prepared for the NMC. A ‘War Room’ will be managed by the DCF team at the NMC for the project. All details about citizens and their views will be uploaded on a daily basis.” said Mr. Bobby Nimbalkar, Director, DCF.

Datke further added, “The NMC was optimistic to feature in top 20 cities list. Necessary documents along with a detailed project report will be submitted to the Centre on or before December 15, 2015.” He has also requested citizens to ensure identification and destruction of insect-breeding spots in their households and the neighbourhood. NMC and district administrators will create an awareness amongst students about the necessary steps to prevent the spread of vector-borne diseases. Students of all NMC schools will be given a pledge on 18th October, 2015.

Navratri Utsav Mandals participate in the revolutionary ‘Smart City’ movement.

On the eve of Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) door-to-door campaign; to ascertain views and expectations of citizens over ‘Smart City’ concept, a meeting of office-bearers of Navratri Utsav Mandals was convened at Mahal Town of NMC on Monday (12th October, 2015). The meeting was also attended by Mr. Ramesh Singare, Chairman of Standing Committee; Mr. Dayashankar Tiwari, Ruling Party Leader; Mr. Shravan Hardikar, Municipal Commissioner; Ms. Jayashree Wadibhasme, Ms. Manisha Kothe, Ms. Sarika Nandurkar, Zone Chairpersons; Mr. Prakash Totwani, Senior Corporator and General Secretary of Khamla Sindh Mata Mandal; Mr. Shashikant Hastak, Superintending Engineer among others.

The NMC with the help of Delivering Change Foundation’s (DCF) had on Saturday organized a workshop of its officials and employees who were imparted training in filling up the forms of citizens with their views and expectations of the ‘Smart City.’ Mr. Shravan Hardikar, Municipal Commissioner had announced that the NMC is undertaking an ambitious campaign to ensure active participation of citizens and ascertain their views and expectations in shaping the ‘Smart City.’ Accordingly, the employees of NMC will undertake house-to-house visits from October 13th to 18th . In the ‘Smart City’ development project, a total number of 98 cities were selected across the nation to be developed as ‘Smart Cities’ in the first stage. Nagpur too was selected among the 98 cities.

The Nagpur Municipal Corporation with the help of Delivering Change Foundation (DCF) is leaving no stones unturned to ensure that Nagpur is included in the first 20 cities to be developed as ‘Smart Cities.’ According to Central Government guidelines, views of citizens have to be solicited mandatorily for developing a ‘Smart City.’ Speaking at the meeting of office-bearers of Navratri Utsav Mandals, Mr. Dayashankar Tiwari , Ruling Party Leader said, “The concept of every individual citizen about ‘Smart City’ could be different. Some may prefer clean city and some may prefer development of gardens. The views and expectations of citizens therefore should reflect on the plan of ‘Smart City.’ The NMC is taking efforts in this direction. The Navratri Mandals have a golden opportunity to solicit views of hundreds of devotees who would throng Durga pandals during the Navratri festival. The Mandals should put up banners and distribute the specific forms to devotees and ask them to fill them up with their views and expectations. These forms should also be accepted by all the Mandals, appealed Tiwari. He also announced that through his Garba Mandal, 10,000 forms will get filled up, while Prakash Totwani said that his Mandal will get 30,000-40,000 forms filled up during Navratri festival.

Mr. Hardikar ,Municipal Commissioner said, “Preparing ‘Smart City’ vision is the first stage of developing the ‘Smart City.’ For this, citizens’ active participation in this venture is very important. During Navratri, 5000-10000 devotees are expected to visit every Durga Mandal. The Mandals should at least make arrangements for filling up of 10 percent of forms. The Mandals should prepare banners with NMC logo and place drop boxes for depositing the filled up forms. The concerned NMC Zone employees will collect the forms from time to time. This process has to be completed before October 25”.

Experienced and experts in different fields can participate by registering their names on 8080267799 or their views can be sent to the website