Dropping crystals in clouds to induce rain, transporting water from other states by trains, covering a reservoir with thermocol to check loss of water to evaporation -there was no dearth of suggestions in Tamil Nadu‘s corridors of power as the state witnessed its worst drought in 142 years. It is one such idea, criticised as expensive and unviable, that now accounts for 40% of the water supply in capital Chennai: Tapping sea water.
Desalination plants in Nemmeli and Minjur -with a capacity to produce 100 million litres of water per day (mld) each -are now the city’s lifelines with traditional sources drying up. Chennai is almost entirely dependent on the monsoon for its water supply, the failure of which puts the city in a tight spot.
Combined storage level in the four reservoirs that cater to Chennai stands at 3% against their total capacity. The supply of Krishna river water from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh under the Telugu Ganga project has been suspended for more than two months now. Chennai’s nodal agency for water distribution, CMWSSB, has been coercing farmers in neighbouring districts to sell Chennai their water.Officials are also trying to sourcing water from stone quarries 23km from the city .
In all this, it is the treated seawater -that normally is an option in regions with no rains or other water sources -that meet the city’s demand for water. But senior officials doubt the sustainability of the desalination projects.Apart from environmental concerns, sourcing water thus is expensive. At present, CMWSSB pays Rs 60 per kilo litre for the water from Minjur, up from Rs 48 per kilolitre that it paid when the facility began operating in 2010. This works out to Rs 60 lakh for 100 mld of water. Water from the Nemmeli plant costs around Rs 30 per kilolitre. “We’re able to do this because the state is rich. I don’t know if it’s feasible in other states,” a senior official said. Voltage fluctuations and adverse weather are a serious challenge too in operating the plants and hike the costs. But this has not deterred the state from proposing two new plants, of 150 mld and 400 mld capacity in Perur, close to Nemmeli.
At present, TN accounts for 24% of the total desalinated water capacity in India, second only to Gujarat. Experts meanwhile describe desalination as a “last option”.S Janakarajan, professor at Madras Institute of Development Studies, says that seawater desalination was conceived for rich, rain-starved countries like those in West Asia. “Chennai’s average annual rainfall is well over 1,200 mm. It should ideally be the last resort which, in this case, is not,” Janakarajan said. With scant supply , water distribution is charted out daily by the CMWSSB.”Our planning [daily distribution] hinges on how much water the desalination plants supply ,” Arun Roy , managing director of CMWSSB, said.
On average, the two plants churn out around 180 mld of the 470 mld CMWSSB now supplies, against Chennai’s demand of 1,300-1,400 mld.The plant in Minjur caters to industries and a few localities in north Chennai, while the Nemmeli plant caters to nearly 13-15 lakh residents in south Chennai, which is also house to the city’s IT hub.
A metro train travels through a residential area in Mumbai June 8, 2014. Mumbai’s first metro 11.40 km (07.08 miles) long corridor Versova-Andheri-Ghakopar service was opened for commuters on Sunday after it was flagged off by Maharashtra’s chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, local media reported. REUTERS/Stringer
Japan got its first underground metro in the 1920s. Nearly a century later Mumbai is scheduled to receive its first metro by 2020. Young Mumbaikars, who have lived and travelled abroad and experienced commuting by metro, were most thrilled at the news of having their own. After all it was high time, right?
That’s what I thought until a few days ago when the distant noise of chainsaws caught my attention along with other people in my neighbourhood of Churchgate. A crew of men were slicing away at the bark of a 200-year-old banyan tree—it was painful to watch. I never realised we could be so connected to our trees until that day; I felt violated.
The government has decided that it is going to build the metro even if it means bypassing laws and endangering citizens.
In Mumbai, we don’t have the luxury of private gardens or public parks filled with trees, the song of birds, fluttering butterflies, et al. We live in apartments and can barely afford the minimum nature required for survival. The godlike trees that line the sidewalks equip us with cooler summers and are a relief for the eyes and the soul.
It all began in December 2016 with a newspaper mention that some trees would be cut for the metro. Some curious citizens enquired with the authorities and were told 5000 trees could go.
During the Congress government’s tenure, a monorail project had been initiated to boost the connectivity of the existing monorail, and harbour lines were extended, but the projects have been abandoned by the BJP government for unknown reasons.
Subsequently, a metro project proposed in the 1960s, was taken up as the next big thing. (In the 1980s, a plan was introduced to build the metro under the already existing railway system in order to save space and lessen inconvenience to citizens but that didn’t take off). That wouldn’t be a bad idea to implement today now, would it?
Zoru, a resident of Khar, who has filed a petition in the Mumbai High Court, explains that the plan of the Mumbai Metro is badly designed—recreational spaces such as parks and open grounds that have the most number of trees, have been marked as future metro stations. “No thought has gone into planning and considering least damage scenarios where trees and the environment are concerned,” he says.
Robin Jaisinghani, a resident of Cuffe Parade, says the alignment of stations and tracks looks haphazard and mindless. And Cuffe Parade has now lost its garden of 400 trees.
“There was no need to cut down all those trees, if they had done it the right way they could’ve saved at least 350,” he says.
The MMRC is using outdated equipment and methods for construction instead of the commonly used NATM (New Austrian Tunnelling Method)… that would not require all the trees to be cut along the path.
The MMRC is also using outdated equipment and methods for construction instead of the commonly used NATM (New Austrian Tunnelling Method), which has been used for building underground metros since the 60s. The NATM only requires a hole to be dug at either end of the road and one can burrow through it to create a tunnel that would not require all the trees to be cut along the path. Instead, MMRC is using the primitive cut-open method.
According to Jaisinghani, the Executive Director of Planning at MMRC, R. Ramana, said during a visit that the authority didn’t have the resources to save the trees.
Another technicality shows that the area required to build the stations is 60 metres by 25 metres and stations of this size are being built at locations like DN Road. So why are trees being cut on both sides of the 150-metre-wide Churchgate Road when it can clearly be avoided?
There are other rules that are being flouted. One is a Supreme Court ruling that mandates that no construction should be carried out in residential areas from 10pm until 6am, but the loud noise of the ancient equipment in deployment—which easily exceeds 90db— can be heard into the wee hours of the night (any noise above 80db is said to be harmful to humans).
The authorities don’t seem to have environmental permissions either, at least according to a letter sent by the State Environment Impact Authority to the MMRCL dated 21st April 2017. In addition, the construction site falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone, which needs special permissions as it involves mining of rock and substrata material.
The Patient Safety Alliance is an initiative that will empower patients, support health care professionals and create a movement to promote awareness of patient safety and take action to reduce harm in health care.
What is Patient Safety?
Patient safety is one of the most pressing health care challenges. Unintended medical errors are the leading cause of deaths all over the world.
The frequency and magnitude of avoidable adverse patient events was not well known until the 1990s, when multiple countries reported staggering numbers of patients harmed and killed by medical errors. Recognizing that healthcare errors impact 1 in every 10 patients around the world, the World Health Organization calls patient safety an endemic concern.
Why is this important?
Health care in the 21st century is a two edged sword. On the one hand, with scientific and technological advances, doctors can saves lives and also improve quality of life for people suffering from major diseases. On the other hand, modern medical practice is becoming complex and this introduces risks. In the USA it has been estimated nearly 44,000 Americans die each year as a result of medical errors. More people die in a given year as a result of medical errors than from motor vehicle accidents (43,458), breast cancer (42,297), or AIDS (16,516). Elsewhere in the developed world, one in ten patients receiving hospital care suffers an adverse event often due to infections or medication errors. In India, it is difficult to assess the extent of the problem since there are very few good research studies; however one study looking at injections found that of all the injections administered in India, one third carried a potential risk of transmitting Blood Borne Virus. Unsafe injection due to faulty technique was observed in 53.1%. Together these two factors, at the country level made nearly two third of the injections unsafe
OFFICE BEARERS OF CHS. I AM QUITE SURE THIS MAIL WILL BE OF INTEREST TO YOU .
GST Insight and applicability of GST on Co-op Hsg Societies-
Why Maharashtra Housing Society is covered under GST
GST is applicable to the dealer-person who is rendering the service or supplying the goods in its regular course of business activity.
Person has been defined under 2(84) as follow:-
“person” includes— (a) an individual; (b) a Hindu Undivided Family; (c) a company; (d) a firm; (e) a Limited Liability Partnership; (f) an association of persons or a body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, in India or outside India; (g) any corporation established by or under any Central Act, State Act or Provincial Act or a Government company as defined in clause (45) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013; (h) anybody corporate incorporated by or under the laws of a country outside India; (i) a co-operative society registered under any law relating to co-operative societies; j) a local authority; (k) Central Government or a State Government; (l) society as defined under the Societies Registration Act, 1860; (m) trust; and (n) every artificial juridical person, not falling within any of the above.
From this it can be noted that under clause (i) a co-operative housing society will be covered.
Can the activities of housing Societies be considered as “Business Activity”?
The term business has been defined under Section 2(17) as follow:- “business” includes–– (a) any trade, commerce, manufacture, profession, vocation, adventure, wager or any other similar activity, whether or not it is for a pecuniary benefit; (b) any activity or transaction in connection with or incidental or ancillary to sub-clause (a); (c) any activity or transaction in the nature of sub-clause (a), whether or not there is volume, frequency, continuity or regularity of such transaction; (d) supply or acquisition of goods including capital goods and services in connection with commencement or closure of business; (e) provision by a club, association, society, or any such body (for a subscription or any other consideration) of the facilities or benefits to its members; (f) admission, for a consideration, of persons to any premises; (g) services supplied by a person as the holder of an office which has been accepted by him in the course or furtherance of his trade, profession or vocation; (h) services provided by a race club by way of totalisator or a license to book maker in such club ; and (i) any activity or transaction undertaken by the Central Government, a State Government or any local authority in which they are engaged as public authorities;
The above clause (e) specifically covered a Society, thus the housing society will be considered as carrying out activities in furtherance of business and will be liable for Registration under GST.
The “reverse charges” has been define u/s 2(98) as “reverse charge” means the liability to pay tax by the recipient of supply of goods or services or both instead of the supplier of such goods or services or both under sub-section (3) or sub-section (4) of section 9, or under sub-section (3) or subsection (4) of section 5 of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act.
Thus, under the following cases the Recipient must pay the required GST
1) Any transaction notified by the Government, as on date nothing has been notified but likely it may be for a) Transport payment b) Lawyer Professional Fees c) Security Payment d) Payment where people are providing labour, etc.
2) Obtaining goods / services from UNREGISTERED DEALER.
The recipient will have to prepare an Invoice in such circumstances and pay the tax to government and prepare Payment Voucher
ALL persons liable to pay tax under Reverse Charges will have to be registered themselves under the act irrespective of their liabilities on basis of Turnover. In all probabilities, most of even small societies may be coming for registration under this provision of section 24(iii) and (iv)
Summary of above Act and Few Queries-
1) Whether the Maharashtra Housing Society will be covered under GST ?
Answer is YES
2) Whether any exemption is available on basis of turnover?
a) If the Society’s aggregate receipt of turnover is less than ₹ 20,00,000 it will not be liable for Registration and tax collection.
b) If the Society’s aggregate receipt of turnover is more than ₹ 20,00,000 but less than ₹ 50,00,000 and does not desired to claim any tax credit on its expenses paid GST it can go for Composition Scheme under Section 10.
c) If the Society’s aggregate receipt of turnover is more than ₹ 50,00,000 it will be fully covered like any other business entity.
3) Will the Billing format of the Society will have to be changed ?
Yes, the format will have to be changed and it will be changed as format to be notified.
4) Will the method of accounting have to be changed?
Yes, now as the tax paid on the expense side is available under specific scenario, the party-wise details have to be uploaded and the work being done with various type of online / offline programs will undergo a major change to provide for recording detailed expenses in lieu of recording transactions as being done presently, whereby few society are paying collecting and paying taxes inefficiently increasing the cascading effects.
5) Will the Input tax Credit be available on all the expenses incurred by the Society ?
On following expenses where the taxes are paid No Input tax Credit will be available, i.e.
a) Electricity Expenses
b) Stamp Duty
c) Property Tax
6) Will the reverse charge mechanism applicable to the Society?
On certain transaction, it’s expected that reverse charge mechanism will be applicable and accordingly the GST will have to be paid first and then the Credit may be claimed. Details provided in Annexure “D”.
Under GST, all dealers including a Society will have to file 3 returns in a month for each and every transaction on the billing side on 10th of following month and on expenses side on 15th of following month and consolidated return on 20th of following month and an Annual Return has to be filled. Thus in all 37 returns will have to be filled.
Other than these, if they deduct TDS then they will have to also filed GSTR-7 by 10th of the following month.
However, certain societies may fall under quarterly return if they have opted for Composition Scheme by forfeiting all the Credit on expenses and willing to pay tax on receipts. Composition Scheme is not dealt with over here as it requires a separate approach.
7) Will a Separate Audit be required under GST?
Yes, if the turnover exceeds prescribed limit. Thus, in effect there may be minimum 3 audit as follow: –
a) Statutory Audit
b) GST Audit
c) Income Tax Audit
8) On what amount GST must be paid?
GST is payable on consideration, which has been defined under section 2(31) of the CGST and state law have been requested to follow and align their laws in line with CGST. Thus, it is assumed at this moment that it will be the same. Consideration includes not only amount receivable for an activity but also monetary consideration for agreeing to refrain from an activity.
However, it’s provided that a deposit given in respect of the supply of goods or services or both shall not be considered as payment made for such supply unless the supplier applies such deposit as consideration for the said supply . That means on deposit there will be no GST, unless supply and / or service is made against that deposit.
FOR CO OP. SOC. RESIDENTS USERS & WELFARE ASSOCIATION (REGD).
ADV. VINOD SAMPAT
FREE ADVICE TILL 31-5-2017 TO CHS LTD.
Banks sometimes disregard the RBI circulars and even the pro vision of law, and overcharge consumers or harass them. An aggrieved consumer can fight for his rights and get justice under the Consumer Protection Act.
Case Study: Neelam Pansari had given premises to State Bank of India on lease for a period of five years. Against this, he had also obtained a loan of Rs15 lakh from the bank, which carried interest at 15% pa.The loan was to be repaid by depositing 87% of the rental earned each month. When the lease expired, it was renewed for another five years, but the bank hiked the interest rate on the loan to 16% pa, compounded quarterly .
Pansari wrote to the bank against this increase. The bank replied that the issue had been referred to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a decision would be taken soon. Meanwhile, Pansari kept paying interest at the increased rate. He later came across a circular issued by the RBI which stated that there would be no change in the interest rate of loans sanctioned prior to November 16, 1990. He informed State Bank about this circular, pointing out that that the change in interest rate was not applicable to him as his loan had been sanctioned on November 5, 1990. Since the State Bank did not respond, Pansari sought a clarification from the Reserve Bank, which confirmed that the revision in interest rate was not permissible.
Pansari pointed out that he had been overcharged Rs 3,01,599.50 due to the increase in the interest rate. Pansari approached the Banking Ombudsman who partly upheld his contention. As Pansari was not happy with the Ombudsman’s decision, he approached the Bihar State Consumer Commission. The bank contested the complaint. It upheld the bank’s contention that while renewing the lease it was entitled to revise the interest rate and also calculate the interest on compound basis with quarterly rests.
Pansari appealed to the National Commission, which observed that RBI had communicated in November 1995 that banks would not be entitled to charge interest at quarterly rests in respect of loans availed for payment of rents of premises taken on lease. The reason for this is that the interest on the loan should not exceed the lease rent. If compound interest is permitted, the expense by way of interest would be more than the income from rent, leaving a landlord in perpetual debt. To prevent such a situation, the RBI has not permitted charging of compound interest for loans against leased premises.
Accordingly, by its order of May 12 delivered by M Shreesha for the bench presided over by Justice D K Jain, the National Commission held State Bank liable for deficiency in service, and ordered it to refund the excess amount of Rs 3,01,599.50 along with simple interest at 9% pa. Additionally Rs10,000 was awarded as litigation costs. Four week’s time was given for compliance of the order, else it would carry 12% interest for the period of delay .
Conclusion: Banks must be service oriented and not harass consumers.
Jehangir B Gai
ePaper, The Times of India (B’bay) May 15 2017, Page 5 :
After witnessing the harmful effects of chemical farming, Subash Palekar, a B.Sc in Agriculture, developed the Zero Budget Natural Farming model.
‘Krishi ka Rishi’ is the title farming communities across the country have bestowed on Subhash Palekar. This agriculturist is the creator of the ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ model, a method that has been creating waves in the farming community in India.
Palekar was born on 2nd February, 1949 in Belora, a small village in the district of Amravati, Maharastra. The son of a farmer, his interest in farming led him to pursue a B.Sc in Agriculture from Nagpur.
By 1985, however, Palekar began to notice a drop in yield; one that only got worse with each harvest. Curious about the sudden change, he began to look into the reasons for the decline. Three years of intensive research led him to the conclusion that chemical farming was the culprit. Palekar learnt that the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides led to a decrease in the fertility of the soil, wrecked havoc on the ecosystem of the area and also led to long-term health problems for those who consumed the fruits, gains and vegetables harvested under such conditions.
Shocked by the harmful effects of chemical farming, Palekar began the hunt for less-destructive alternatives. Thus began the journey of Zero Budget Natural Farming in India.
From 1986 to 1988, Palekar’s quest for natural farming techniques led him to the study of forest vegetation. It was here that he discovered the natural system at work in forests which allowed them to develop and nurture themselves, while maintaining healthy ecosystems. After careful research of the system, Palekar began to mimic the techniques he had witnessed, in his own farm. For a period of six years, from 1989 to 1995, he experimented and verified different techniques, before consolidating them into the ‘Zero Budget Natural Farming’ technique.
Zero Budget Natural Farming, as the name implies, is a method of farming where the cost of growing and harvesting plants is zero. This means that farmers need not purchase fertilizers and pesticides in order to ensure the healthy growth of crops.
Below are some of key learnings from the Zero Budget Natural Farming method:
It is believed that plants only receive 1.5% to 2% of their nutrient requirements from soil; the remaining is absorbed through water and air. Given that 98% of the nutrients do not come from soil, using fertilizers is not prudent.
We often come across huge trees in forests, their branches heavy with the weight of countless fruit despite the lack of fertilizers and pesticides. These trees are proof that plants can and do grow healthily without any chemical help.
The reason we do not witness the same in our farms is because the micro-organisms that convert raw nutrients into easy-to-digest form have been destroyed by the use of poisonous chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. Cultivation of soil by tractor has already proved to be detrimental to these micro-organisms.
Since these micro-organisms help convert nutrients into a digestible form that plants can absorb and use, it is critical to revive them in our farms. This can be done by using cow dung from local cows.
Cow dung from local cows has proven to be a miraculous cure to revive the fertility and nutrient value of soil. One gram of cow dung is believed to have anywhere between 300 to 500 crore beneficial micro-organisms. These micro-organisms decompose the dried biomass on the soil and convert it into ready-to-use nutrients for plants.
Over six years of research, Palekar found that:
1. Only dung from local, Indian cows is effective on the soil. Dung from Jersey and Holstein cows is not as effective. If one is falling short of dung from local cows, one may use dung from bullocks or buffaloes.
2. Dung and urine of the black coloured Kapila cow is believed to be the most effective.
3. To get the most of the cow dung and urine, ensure that the dung is as fresh as possible and that the urine is as old as possible.
4. An acre of land requires 10 kilograms of local cow dung per month. Since the average cow gives 11 kilograms of dung a day, dung from one cow can help fertilize 30 acres of land.
5. Urine, jaggery and dicot flour can be used as additives.
6. The lesser milk the cow gives, the more beneficial its dung is towards reviving the soil.
More than 40 lakh farmers across the country have benefitted greatly from Palekar’s teachings and his method of natural farming. Palekar spends 25 days a month sharing his knowledge of farming through seminar, lectures, workshops and field visits. Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have also requested him to spend ten days a month in their states, in order to help their farmers develop healthy farming habits.
In 2016, in recognition of his work and the impact he was creating, the Government of India conferred Palekar with the prestigious Padamashri Award. Palekar also made history for being the first active farmer to receive the award.
Palekar’s Zero Budget Natural Farming has undoubtedly made an indelible mark on farming in India.