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Mumbai

Updated on: Saturday, June 01, 2019, 09:24 AM IST

MLAs not spending funds

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Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) get Rs.2 cr a year to be spent on development works in their respective constituencies. That is Rs.10 cr during their tenure. Small wonder, there is an increasing clamour – for to get a party ticket for the polls and second to get elected. But how many of the elected representatives actually spend or submit projects to spend the funds? An analysis by Thane journalist Suresh Lohande discloses that of the Rs.48 cr allocated to 24 MLAs in Thane district, only Rs.34 cr was spent and now there appears to be a last minute rush to exhaust the remaining Rs.13 cr. Guardian Minister Ganesh Naik was the leading spender, having secured approval to spend Rs.5.16 cr of which Rs.4.14 cr has been spent on 46 works. In sharp contrast Bhiwandi (East) MLA Rupesh Mhatre secured sanction for works valued at Rs.5.59 cr and managed to spend just about 76 lakhs! Minister’s son Sandeep Naik got works worth Rs two cr sanctioned and spent Rs 1.8 cr.

Ideally, the MLAs can suggest the maximum amount of Rs.25 lakh, say for rain water harvesting project, and a minimum of Rs.15,000 for an amenity like a water cooler. The other basic facilities that can be covered under MLA funds include pavements, seating at public gardens, water pipelines, roads, community centres, sewage, crematoria or burial grounds and shades at bus stops. So, next time when the candidates approach you for votes ask them how much and how they are going to spend the MLA funds.

Meanwhile, the people living in forty year old dilapidated buildings continue to live dangerously as nothing is happening either on redeveloping their properties or resettling them. After a noisy debate at the NMMC general body meeting, Navi Mumbai Mayor Sagar Naik has asked the civic officials to find out if cases of criminal neglect can be filed against CIDCO officials for their neglect over the years. NCP corporate Bharat Nakhate suggested such an action in view of cases of plaster falling in which quite some people have been injured. “Who will be responsible if the buildings crash?” he asked. As Adivashi has been writing the first cluster of B, C and D type apartments constructed by CIDCO over forty years ago and the 30-year-old JN type apartments – all at Vashi – are in a terribly bad shape. On the one hand NMMC Commissioner has written to CIDCO asking about the arrangements for transit camps for these people if they were to be shifted, while on the other the Chief Minister is yet to resolve the issue of according an extra FSI for redevelopment of the old rickety structures.

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This issue will be a hot topic for campaigners in the upcoming Assembly elections as various

political parties will start training their guns at

each other.

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In a pre-poll bonanza, over 9,500 contract workers of NMMC are being been absorbed as permanent workers. A proposal to regularise their jobs has been sent to the State government for approval.

Adivashi has reported about the blatant violation of traffic rules and jumping the signals if the traffic police are not seen around. “Now we have e-policing in place and no one should think that they can freely indulge in an adventure of violating the rules and escape,” says DCP Vijay Patil. All the CCTV cameras, particularly those on the high speed Palm Beach Road are active and are connected to the Control Room severs. It is a fact that despite signals, speed breakers and loud warning signs, several motorists keep crossing the speed limits risking their as well as others’ lives on Palm Beach Road, at Shivaji Chowk, Vashi, and on the Highway. So, don’t be surprised if you get a traffic police letter at home when you think that you hoodwinked the police!

Take this as an Independence Day gift from the State Government – a wetland tourism centre is being developed at Airoli with the help of a German government agency. It will be on the lines of the Nehru Science Centre at Worli, but the difference being that the Marine Interpretation Centre, Airoli, will cater to wetland related life. For instance, one can have the luxury of watching migrant birds here.

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Bollywood movie Aashique-2 depicts the hero jumping off the Vashi creek bridge committing suicide. Whether inspired by this or not, but the fact is that within a year from July 2013, there have been 14 cases of people jumping into the creek and as many as 12 of them have been rescued. Now the traffic police is launching a slogan campaign along the creek bridge to dissuade people from trying to commit suicide. A welcome gesture from traffic police who are often accused of fleeing motorists! (Samachar Foundation)

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This is the 85th in a series on Navi Mumbai by veteran media professional B N Kumar, a long-time resident of Mumbai’s twin city. He can be contacted at: mailbnk@gmail.com

B N Kumar

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Published on: Thursday, August 21, 2014, 12:10 AM IST
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