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Shiv Sena’s standing committee opposes fire service fees

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Pal Pariawala, Mumbai Uncensored, 4th July 2021:

The BMC recently announced a new SOP for the collection of fees from restaurants, housing societies and retailers. This move was largely criticized by the citizens and was called unjust in nature. Moreover, Hotelier Guruprasad Shetty went on to call it illegal since BMC already covers Fire Tax in the Property Bill issued to societies. He said, “It may be illegal to charge twice for the same service. Common citizens are already in bad shape due to lockdown as BMC has not given waiver in property tax, license fees etc.”  It is indeed surprising that MCGM is planning to impose fees without following any due procedure. Congress corporator Ravi Raja who sits as the opposition leader in BMC also objected by saying that the residents must not be penalized since the negligence was from the BMC’s part.

The BMC has failed to recover fees since 2014, and it would be a huge burden on the common man to pay it all together. Ramesh Pawar, the joint municipal commissioner had brought up the issue of non-collection of fire service fees last year and advised an enquiry for the same but was ignored.

After several objections, Shiv Sena talked about this issue at their standing committee meeting on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.  Why did the BMC wake up so late? Now these charges will have to be paid by residents,”  said a sena leader. In this meeting, Sena corporator Vishakha Raut, called for adjournment motion which was accepted by all the parties right away. After talks, the committee directed BMC to put a stay on fire service fees’ recovery. 

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World’s most populated passenger train gets a green signal after protests by BJP across Maharashtra.

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Aashwin Shanker, Mumbai Uncensored, 13th July 2021:

The Mumbai local train network was the transport for 800,000 people daily or 2.9 Billion people every year in the pre-covid era. During the pandemic the local trains were suspended to curb transmission due to less distancing among passengers which also affected thousands of jobs.

But after continuous protests by BJP in Maharashtra demanding re-starting of local trains after decline in new cases, the Maharashtra Government has decided to resume the service from August 15th, India’s Independence Day. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray in a televised briefing to the state said that “People can travel from local trains after 14 days of their second dose of the vaccine.”

Maharashtra recorded 5,508 new COVID-19 cases and 151 deaths in the last 24 hours. In the past seven days Maharashtra reported 41,774 cases which is 19,715 less than 61,489 cases reported in the first week of July. “Continuous relaxation will depend upon the case trend,” added CM Thackeray.

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₹ 155 crore spent by Maha Vikas Aghadi Government on publicity campaigns in the last 16 months.

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Aashwin Shanker, Mumbai Uncensored, 1st August 2021:

RTI activist Anil Galgali has questioned the Maha Vikas Aghadi government on its various unknown expenditures since its inception in 2019, on the same day when our constitution was adopted i.e. 26 November.

Maha Vikas Aghadi Government has spent Rs. 155 crore according to The Directorate General of Information and Public Relations on publicity campaigns in the last 16 months. RTI activist Anil Galgali has asked for the information from the state on various expenditures during the campaign of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government which led to spending of Rs.155 crore.

The information provided by The Directorate General of Information and Public Relations to Anil Galgali was of the expenditure in the last 16 months from 11 December 2019 to 12 March 2021.

This is step by step information of expenditure in 2020. 

•Rs. 5.99 crore has been spent on social media.

•Rs. 19.92 crore on National Health Mission

•Rs. 22.65 crore on a special publicity campaign in multiple phases.

•Rs. 6.49 crore has been spent on Maharashtra Urban Development Mission in three phases.

•The Disaster Management Department has spent Rs. 9.42 crore.

•The state health education department has spent Rs. 18.63 crore.

•Rs. 9.99 crore has been spent on the Padam department

•Rs. 20.65 lakh has been spent on the publicity campaign of Shivbhojan.

•Rs. 5.96 crore has been spent on the occasion of Women’s Day for publicity campaigns.

Total expenditure in 2020 was Rs.104.55 crore spent on publicity campaigns of 26 departments.

In the year 2021, 12 departments have spent Rs. 29.79 crore till March 12, 2021. 

•Rs. 15.94 crore has been spent on the state health education department

•Rs. 1.88 crore has been spent on Jal Jeevan Mission’s publicity campaign

•Out of Rs. 50 lakh Rs. 48 lakh has been spent on social media for the Minorities Department.

•Rs. 45 lakh has been spent on social media.

•Rs. 20 lakh on Women and Child Development with a cost of Rs. 2.45 crore on social media. 

•Total Rs. 3.15 crore has been spent on The public health department out of which Rs.75 lakh has been spent on social media.

“Expenditure made in the name of social media is questionable. Apart from that, the calculation of the expenditure shown under the name of Creativity is giving rise to various doubts,” said Anil Galgali.

In a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Anil Galgali had demanded that the government upload the expenditure incurred at the departmental level, the nature of the expenditure, and the name of the beneficiary on the website.

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RTI activist reveals more than 2 Lakh Government Jobs Vacant in Maharashtra

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Pal Pariawala, Mumbai Uncensored, 26th July 2021:

RTI Activist Anil Galgali, on June 18, filed an RTI application seeking information regarding job vacancies in the state government departments. In response to this, the Maharashtra Government disclosed that over 2 lakh jobs are vacant. 

However, certain reports claimed that the number may be higher since 16 out of the 29 sections have outdated statistics. According to the General Administration Department, the total number of vacancies in Group A, B, C, and D Categories were 2,00,193 till December 2019. These figures are considered to be outdated.  Galgani demanded an immediate filling of the vacancies in a letter written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. 

The activist believes that these vacancies affect the overall functioning, resulting in negative repercussions on the public.

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