Sunday, 28 December 2014

Mantralaya make over contractor, M/s Unity construction fined Rs 5000 per day for delay in project.

Mumbai: State govt's which are accustomed to to delay in projects, have for the first time levied a fine of Rs 5000/- per day to its contractor in the Mantralaya makeover project. M/s Unity Constructions has been levied Rs 6,10,000/- as fines by the govt. It has also come to light that, the contractor has already received Rs 109.42 crores as payment against Rs 138 crore project. This has been revealed in a reply to a query filed by RTI Activist Anil Galgali.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed a query with the Maharashtra govt seeking details of the Mantralaya make over project. In a reply to the query the PWD's Public information officer & Dy Executive Engineer replied that, the Mantralaya makeover project was started on 24/12/2012 and its estimated cost is Rs 138 crores, the project was supposed to be completed in 8 months and there has been no cost escalations in the project which is expected to be completed 100% by 31/12/2014.

Further Galgali had sought to know how much fine was levied in case the project was not completed in time. It was replied that, fine @ Rs 5000/= per day was levied on the contractor for delay in work, and up-till 31/11/2014, Rs 6,10,000/= has been levied out of which Rs 4,00,000/= has been recovered from the contractor.

Looking at the time frame of the project it can be understood that the project was to be completed by 24/08/2013, and as per rules the fine of Rs 5000/= par day was to be levied after that, which comes to 402 days, which amounts to Rs 20,10,000/-, hence as per information submitted, the fine amount levied is less than actual.

Galgali has now sought to know that, since to project was running a delay by almost 16 months, and the contractor was being levied fines for the delay, what was the urgency in releasing Rs 109.42 crores as payment out of the total estimated cost of Rs 138 crores. He also expressed surprise of the reduced fine charges, as at the time the contract was given the govt had announced a fine of Rs 5 lakhs per day in case of delay, and a reward of Rs 2.5 lakhs per day for early completion of the contract.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Just 1% cases recommended by Lokayukta to govt for action

In the past 15 years the Maharashtra's Lokayukta & Dy Lokayukta received a total of 2,06,269 pending and new cases out which it cleared 65.32% cases. The cases recommended for action in these stands at a poor 1% only. Out of the 2034 recommended cases to the Govt,  the Governor had to be  submitted with SPECIAL REPORT in 600 cases due to inaction of the govt in those cases.This information has been obtained by RTI activist Anil Galgali. Further it was informed that, in the past 15 years almost 127 complaints were received against Ministers. Out of 127 the Lokayukta found substance in 4 cases against Ministers like Chaggan Bhujbal, Nawab Mallik, Kripashankar Singh, Syed Ahmed & Dr Sulekha Kumbhare.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed a  RTI query, to the Lokayukta & Dy Lokayukta office seeking information about total cases received by it in the past 15 years and the action taken on the complaints. Public Information Officer & Asst Registrar Shri V K Borade, in a reply to the query informed Galgali that, Since year 2000 to October 2014, in these 15 years the Lokayukta received a total of 2,06,269 complaints which included the initially pending cases received prior to 2000 and the new cases received during the period, out of which 1,34,749 cases were disposed by the Lokayukta & the Dy Lokayukta and 2034 cases were referred to the govt for action under Section 12(1) & (3) of the Lokayukta & Dy Lokayukta Act 1971. Out of the 2034 cases referred to the govt, 600 cases were not acted upon by the govt. Special report of such 600 cases were sent to the Governor by the Lokayukta. The Lokayukta & Dy Lokayukta received maximum complaints pertaining to the Revenue and Forests dept.

In the past 15 years the Lokayukta received 127 complaints against Ministers, out of which it found substance in 4 cases pertaining to then Ministers like Chaggan Bhujbal, Nawab Mallik, Kripashankar Singh, Syed Ahmed & Dr Sulekha Kumbhare. In case of Nawab Mallik, then Minister of State for Housing, the Lokayukta recommended his removal from the Ministry on 08/02/2002. In the case Nawab Mallik replied that the action taken by him was with good intention and he had not interfered in the directions of the court. But when no action was taken on him by the Govt, the Lokayukta filed a SPECIAL REPORT to the Governor on 20/05/2002. In the cases of the other four ministers namely Chaggan Bhujbal, Kripashankar Singh, Syed Ahmed & Sulekha Kumbhare, the CM's Office issued appropriate directives to them. Dr Sulekha Kumbhare, the then MOS for Water Supply & sanitation was found guilty of misusing her position as minister and using her ministerial letter heads for personal use in her  dispute with complainant in the case against her, Shekhar Aalone to unnecessarily harass him. The then Dy CM Chaggan Bhujbal was directed to maintain high administrative standards and hence forward while issuing any administrative order, he should also put down the reasoning for the order in short. The then housing minister Dr Syed Ahmed was pulled up for issuing verbal orders and was told by CMO to issue orders in writing on files put up before him. The then MOS (Home) Kripashankar Singh who also was Guardian Minister for Mumbai suburbs was warned not to misuse his position as Guardian Minister and not to interfere in other departments.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali, in a letter addressed to CM Devendra Fadnavis, has demanded that, due action be taken on the 2034 cases referred by the Lokayukta. He also demanded that the Lokayukata & the Dy Lokayukta Act 1971 be amended and the Lokayukta be given the necessary powers to directly take action against those found guilty in cases before it. 

 Only Powers to Investigate

The Lokayukta in Maharashtra has powers to investigate cases against Ministers, Officers & employees and it can only refer action to govt under section 12(1) & (3). Also under Section 12(5) it can file a SPECIAL REPORT with the Governor. The Chief Minister does not come under the purview of the Lokayukta & Dy Lokayukta Act 1971. It is important to note that the Lokayukta has status similar to a Civil Court and its investigations and actions are understood to be in accordance to section 193 of IPC Act. In the course of the enactment of Lokpal Bill, the suggestions and objection were sought by the Central Govt, at that time Anil Galgali had demanded that the Lokayukta be given powers to investigate cases against the Chief Minister and also powers be given to investigate and directly take action against Ministers, Officers and Employees.

The Post of Lokayukta & Dy Lokayukta are vacant at the movement

For the first time in the history of Maharashtra and the enactment of the Lokayukta & Dy Lokayukta Act 1971, both the posts are lying vacant.  In the past whenever the term of the Lokayukta used to end, atleast the Dy Lokayukta used to be in office. the previous term of Lokayukta ended on 01/07/2014, when the incumbent Justice Purshottam B Gaikwad's term ended, similarly the previous Dy Lokyukta Jhonny Joseph's term ended on 30/11/2014. It is sad to note here that, the Govt has not yet started procedure for  selection of the next Lokayukta & the Dy Lokayukta.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Government should Recover of costs incurred on facilities provided Vice Chancellor Dr Rajan Velukar

Anil Galgali has demanded to recover the expense incurred on facilities provided by the govt to the Vice Chancellor and also demanded probe into then ministers and officials involved in the inappropriate appointment of Dr Rajan Velukar as ruled by the Bombay High Court.

Earlier Anil Galgali through RTI application had exposed the ineligible educational qualifications of Dr Rajan Velukar.Anil Galgali said that if the then Secreteriat of the Governors office had acted upon the Image of Mumbai University would not have been tarnished.

Keeping in view of the inappropriate appointment of Dr Rajan Velukar Anil Galgali has demanded recovery of expenses from Dr Rajan Velukar and probe all those involved in his inappropriate appointment.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Maharashtra Policemen honor their Martyred colleagues

Mumbai cannot afford to forget the 26/11 attack by trained extremists. In the fight back Mumbai lost its 14 brilliant officers and police men. Almost 30 policemen suffered injuries in the counter operations. To help the families of these martyred policemen & those who sustained injuries, the police men in Maharashtra themselves came forward and voluntarily contributed Rs 200, Rs 400 & Rs 800 individually and collected Rs 2.12 crores. This amount was distributed amongst those killed and injured. This information was revealed to RTI Activist Anil Galgali by the Maharashtra Police Head quarters.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI query with the Maharashtra Police HQ seeking information about the wireless message relayed to all policemen to contribute in a fund to financially help those policemen who were killed or injured in the 26/11 attack, Galgali sought information's about how much fund was collected and how was the fund utilized? In a reply to the query the Public Information Officer & Senior Dy Asst Inspector General of Police Shri P K Ghuge informed that, the police men totally contributed Rs 2,11,89,921=00 in the fund. On 29/11/2008, the then DGP Shri Anami Roy had appealed for the contribution from all the policemen, Every Staff contributed Rs 200/= each, Officers contributed Rs 400/= each & Senior Police Officers (The rank of SP and above) contributed Rs 800/= each. Out of the collected fund the 14 martyred policemen and the 30 injured policemen were distributed the money. Those killed were given Rs 10 Lakhs each & those who sustained injuries were giver Rs 3 Lakhs each.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali has praised the efforts all the policemen in Maharashtra Police and stated that, such an effort was the need of the day, this new and innovative step will certainly help in boosting the morale of every policemen and also provide solace and confidence to the families of the martyred policemen and to those injured that the whole state police is completely backing them in this hour of grief.

# Families of the Martyred Police men

Kavita Hemant Karkare.

Vinita Ashok Kamte.

Smita Vijay Salaskar.

Madhavi Prakash More.

Aruna Bapurao Durgude.

Sharda Balwant Bhosale

Tarabai Tukaram Ombale.

Manisha Arun Chitte.

Shraddha Vijay Khandekar

Pratibha Jaywant Patil

Kalpana Ambadas Pawar

Shivaji Fakira Patil

Manasi Shashank Shinde

Subhash Vishnu Shinde.

Forget Drought MMRDA's Babus need 106 cr lavish & iconic headquarter

When one part of Maharashtra is facing extreme drought and the other part is experiencing suicides of the farmers. Forget Drought and other misries, MMRDA's Babus need 106cr lavish & iconic headquarter to work from there.To experience one more example of how state exchequer is misused, one should travel to the BKC and have a look at the “Iconic” Building of the MMRDA, which will be the new workplace for MMRDA, right behind its current office.RTI activist Anil Galgali has sought information through RTI and revealed even after spending Rs. 106 crore the proposed new office of MMRDA remains incomplete.

Anil Galgali had sought information from the MMRDA Authority in regards to the construction of a new building going on behind their current office at BKC is on the banks of Mithi river.Executive Engineer as well as the Public information officer of MMRDA, Mr M.Y. Patil, informed Galgali that the said proposal for construction of new office building to the MMRDA was given on 24.12.2007. The basic cost approved was that of Rs. 87 crore and it was to be completed by 31.12.2012. But in spite of giving two extensions, first till 15.09.2013 and the latest one being, 31.12.2014, the work still remains incomplete.

The MMRDA Authority has denied information to Galgali in regards to the reasons of the delay and the penalty levied on the contractors.  The said project is been done by M/s Relcon Infraprojects Limited, the interior decoration contract has been awarded to M/s Godrej Company Limited and finally the electrification and air-conditioning contract has been given to M/s Pravin electrical limited. The said modern office 11th floor building of MMRDA  have 9 floors along with 2 service floors.

“In spite of having its own building to work in the heart of Mumbai city, MMRDA had no need to spend Rs. 106 crores on construction of a new office for itself. It is a complete waste of both money and resources, blame by Anil Galgali.Even after 7 years, work remains incomplete. This is like having fun at a cost of people living in drought prone areas and where farmers are committing suicide. Also next to this proposed office, there is another building, Tantri, that also belongs to the MMRDA and is equipped with the latest technology and know-how. So the need of a new office is not understood” said Galgali.  

It has to be seen how the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, also the chairman of MMRDA, takes a stand. The expenses are definitely rubbing salt on the wounds of the drought affected people & farmers,concluded Galgali.  

Monday, 1 December 2014

Mumbai Cricket Association's BKC plot being commercially used, is actually meant for educational purpose

Mumbai: MCA was allotted 13 acres of prime land in the costliest locality of Mumbai i.e BKC for educational purpose.That has been been put to commercial use by the MCA has now come under cognizance of the MMRDA,which has now issued a notice to MCA.This information has been provided to RTI Activist Anil Galgali. Galgali has now alleged that this is a scam worth 1000 crore and has demanded in a letter addressed to CM Devendra Fadnavis that the land allotted should be taken back and strong action be initiated against the MCA and M/s Shirke. Galgali further cited the example of the recent order of Mumbai High Court directing CIDCO to take back the plot of Inorbit mall, which was allotted out of turn without calling for tenders for allotment. Hence the case of MCA being similar to the CIDCO case the people would like to see what steps would the BJP govt take in this case.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI query with the MMRDA seeking information about the plot allotted to the Mumbai Cricket Association in the Bandra Kurla Complex. The MMRDA replied that MCA was allotted plot ad-measuring 52,157 sq mtrs on 05/03/2004 ,on a lease for 80 years for which MCA was charged a meagre Rs 2,65,98,200. The MMRDA also gave a FSI of 1.5 on allowing 15% construction on 10% of the plot, 23 % of the plot was meant for construction of Swimming pool, Tennis Courts, Cricket Nets and similar sporting activities. The rest 67% of the land was meant to be kept open for regulated public use. Similarly students from all over Maharashtra be admitted to the Indoor Cricket Academy. The MCA flouted the most important terms and condition of non commercial utilization of the plot by entering into a commercial agreement with M/s Shirke Infrastructure. MMRDA taking cognizance of this violation of its terms of allotment, citing the commercial agreement with M/s Shirke Infrastructure has issued a notice on 23/02/2014 to MCA to take rectification steps within 3 months or the lease agreement will be terminated.

While allotting this land it seems the MMRDA flouted its own land allotment policy, Govt policy and circumvented the Govts own decision dt 15/05/2000 regarding allotting land reserved for recreational purposes to private agencies and organisations. It seems the MMRDA has gifted this land to the MCA said Galgali. It is also coming to light that, as per the MMRDA norms, the land could not have been considered for allotment to MCA. The audit report also mentions that MMRDA lost Rs 13.95 crores in the allotment which was done without calling for tenders as per norms.

MMRDA woke up very late on the issue of violation, but the Income Tax dept had acted very promptly and cancelled the IT exemptions given to MCA due to this commercial violation. The MCA approached the Supreme Court on the issue of cancellation of IT exemptions but was not successful and had to pay Tax on the profit earned from the commercial activity. On the other hand, the then 'Mr Clean' CM, who also heads the MMRDA as Chairman instead of taking action of taking back the plot after receiving no response on its notice, started correspondence with M/s Kanga & Co after 6 months of issuing notice in the name of taking legal advise, though it is important to mention here that the Govt has its own legal dept, but instead of seeking the advise from its own dept has tried to avoid taking action by delaying and diverting in the name of seeking advise from an outside agency, claimed Galgali. Galgali also raised concerns seeking to know that since when Cricket became Educational subject and how? He said this also needs to be enquired.

RTI  Activist Anil Galgali has demanded from CM Devendra Fadnavis, CS Swadheen Kshatriya & MMRDA Chairman UPS Madan that the land should be immediately taken back and Rs 1000 crore be recovered from MCA, also initiate strict action against the MCA & M/s Shirke Infrastructure.