Mumbai: Shelar calls for SIT to probe ₹12,000 Cr BMC scam
Mumbai: The president of BJP’s Mumbai unit, MLA Ashish Shelar has demanded the constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Rs12,000 crore corruption in the BMC, which has been exposed,
He told media persons on Tuesday that it is necessary to find out the mastermind behind this huge corruption, which involved a lot of kickbacks.
Shelar to Shinde: Corruption pertains to 76 works undertaken by nine BMC departments
Shelar has written a letter to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in this regard. He said the corruption pertained to 76 works undertaken by nine BMC departments and alleged that it took place when the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav and Aaditya Thackeray was in power.
The CAG report was from Nov 28, 2019 to Oct 31, 2022 and it does not include the works undertaken during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shelar said there is a ‘yellow book’ with the BMC and a national construction code that tells how roads are supposed to be built. However, in brazen violation of all these rules, contracts were awarded without even floating tenders and that too in excess of the amount mentioned in tender documents. There have been cases of manipulation of tenders and breach of norms, he said, adding that perhaps no other governing body in the country has indulged in a scam of this scale.
“There have been instances where tenders have been awarded to four companies but actually it is only one. In some other cases, tenders have been awarded to those who were not even qualified. Why were these contractors favoured?” he asked, adding that the CAG report exposed “lack of transparency, negligence, sloppy planning and misappropriation of funds”.
According to the Development Plan of 1993, over 32,394.90 sqm of land in Dahisar was reserved for a garden/ playground/ maternity home. Later, in Dec 2011, a decision for acquisition was made. Its final land acquisition valuation was Rs349.14 crore. Using the formula, the property was valued at Rs206.16 crore, which was 716% more than 2011, Shelar said. He alleged that land price valued at Rs130 crore was hiked to Rs349 crore. “It did not stop here. To allow development, the BMC spent another Rs77.80 crore to remove the encroachments. This means that it spent Rs420 crore on land worth Rs130 crore,” he claimed.
While working as a corporator in the BMC during 2007, Shelar had exposed the scam in the SAP system. At that time, he had protested in front of the offices of the then municipal commissioner and the then Mayor and had demanded an investigation.
Mumbai News: Nurse Suspended For Taping Newborn’s Mouth Shut At Bhandup Maternity Home
In a disturbing incident at the Savitribai Phule Maternity Home, run under a public-private partnership program and located on LBS Marg in Bhandup (W), a nurse placed adhesive tape on the mouth of a three-day-old male infant who was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, in an attempt to silence his crying. This reckless action posed a significant risk to the child’s life. Following this incident, the nurse has been suspended by the health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and an investigation has been initiated.
Persistent complaints against staff
Allegedly, there have been persistent complaints regarding negligence and impolite behavior by this nurse and others at the hospital, but the hospital administration has failed to take appropriate measures. Rakesh Shetty, the working president of the Congress Seva Dal, has called for the nurse in question to face criminal charges. He stated, “I will be leading a delegation to the Bhandup police on Saturday to demand the most severe action against this nurse.”
Last week, Priya Kamble, a resident of Bhandup, was admitted to the maternity home where she delivered her baby. However, due to the baby’s jaundice condition, he was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). On the night of June 2, when Kamble went to breastfeed her child, she noticed that his mouth was taped shut, but she was unaware of the reason behind it. Despite her request to remove the tape and allow her to feed the baby, the nurse on duty refused and instructed her to return the next morning at eight o’clock. Kamble informed the nurse that the doctor had instructed her to feed the child every two hours. Frustratingly, when she revisited the NICU at 1 am, she discovered that the tape was still intact, as she shared with on Friday.
Nurse said she taped baby because he was crying
Regarding the incident, Kamble recounted her confrontation with the nurse, stating, “When I asked the nurse why she had taped my baby’s mouth, she replied that it was because the baby was crying. I was shocked to hear that. However, since my own son was admitted there, I didn’t want to escalate the argument.” She further observed, “I noticed that there were 2-3 more babies in the unit whose mouths were also taped.”
Concerned and seeking assistance, Kamble reached out to her family, who then sought the help of Jagruti Patil, an ex-corporator, to address the issue. Patil had the tapes removed from the mouths of the affected infants.
Patil launches complaint with hospital administration
Kamble stated that Patil lodged a complaint with the hospital administration regarding the nurse’s cruel behavior, which endangered the lives of newborns. Disturbed by the situation, Kamble decided to have her own child discharged from the maternity home and admitted to a hospital in Thane.
“We discovered that there had been numerous complaints filed against the nurses, as they were neglecting their duties by not changing clothes and diapers of the babies. Additionally, the nurses were not feeding the babies on time,” Kamble added, highlighting the broader issues with the nursing staff at the hospital.
Dr Daksha Shah, Deputy Executive Health officer of the hospital, was unavailable for a comment.
A senior officer from the hospital confirmed that they have taken decisive action against the nurse responsible by suspending her. The hospital administration has also requested an explanation regarding her actions towards the newborns. It is important to note that this maternity home operates under a public-private partnership, and the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) is not directly involved in its management. Nonetheless, the hospital has taken stringent measures against the nurses involved.
The senior officer stated, “We have received complaints about nurses not fulfilling their duties properly, and we will be taking strict action against those found at fault.”
Patil writes letter to Assistant Commissioner of S Ward
In response to the distressing situation at the maternity hospital, former BJP corporator Jagruti Patil took action by writing a letter to the Assistant Commissioner of S Ward. In the letter, Patil highlighted the frequent complaints they had received from women regarding mistreatment by nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) department of the Savitribai Phule Maternity Hospital. The letter also mentioned concerns about improper handling of newborns.
Patil’s letter specifically addressed the alarming practice of applying an adhesive bandage to the mouth of a crying newborn. The letter emphasized the occurrence of disturbing incidents within the NICU, suggesting that there are serious issues affecting the quality of care provided.
“Extreme negligence is done while taking mother’s milk in a bowl and giving it to children. Also the complainant is a woman in the maternity ward. Nurses in NICU are found to lack proper experience. Nurses do not change diapers of newborns. Such and many other complaints have come about NICU. However, I humbly request you to order an immediate inquiry keeping in mind the seriousness of all the above matters,” she said in a letter.
Mumbai News: Massive Fire Engulfs Multi-Floor Building In SoBo’s Zaveri Bazar; Several Trapped Persons Rescued Safely (WATCH)
A Level III fire broke out in a multi-floor building located near the iconic Mumbadevi Temple in Zaveri Bazar, Kalbadevi, in the early hours of June 9. The incident was reported by the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) at 1.38 am. Prompt action was taken by the fire department, resulting in the safe evacuation of approximately 50-60 trapped individuals.
The fire has severely affected the ground, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth floors of the building. Over 12 fire tenders were involved in the firefighting operations.
Officials said that the fire was extinguished by 7.55 am. However, it is yet to be ascertained as to what caused the blaze.
One person sustained injuries said the officials. Parag Chakankar (40) had suffered minor burn in right hand and it was treated and discharged by medical team on site.
Details of the Incident
Upon arrival at the building located in Kalbadevi’s China Bazaar, the MFB declared the blaze a Level III fire around 3.25 am highlighting the severity of the situation. The fire was initially contained within the lower floors of the building but quickly spread to the upper six floors.
The intense heat and flames caused a part of the ceiling on the first and second floors, as well as a portion of the staircase, to collapse. No injuries have been reported thus far.
Rescue Efforts and Precautionary Measures
The Mumbai Fire Brigade swiftly initiated rescue operations, utilizing the adjacent building’s staircase to safely evacuate approximately 50-60 trapped individuals. Firefighters exhibited exemplary courage and professionalism while carrying out the rescue mission.
Mumbai News: Cyclone Biparjoy Intensifies, City to Experience Heavy Rains Over Weekend
Mumbaikars are set to experience intense rain over the weekend. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in the Mumbai and Konkan regions on Saturday and Sunday, according to a five-day forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which said on Wednesday that a low-pressure area over the Arabian Sea is likely to intensify into a depression by Friday evening. Isolated parts of Mumbai, Thane and Palghar will experience light to moderate rainfall from June 7, according to the IMD.
City in for heavy rain
“The deep depression intensified into the cyclonic storm Biparjoy over east-central Arabian Sea at 5.30 pm and is likely to move nearly northwards and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours,” said an IMD official. The cyclone is also likely to lead to rough weather in the coastal areas of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala, IMD said and issued a five-day warning for the region from June 7. It warned fishermen in the region not to venture into the sea.
The wind speed in the Arabian Sea is likely to range from 80 kmph to 155 kmph over the next five days, according to the weather agency. Meteorologists, however, underlined that though the tentative track of the system is likely to be in the northward direction storms at times defy the predicted track and intensity.
Monsoon to progress slowly
Conditions have become favourable for the onset of the southwest monsoon in Kerala, because of Biparjoy, the first storm brewing in the Arabian Sea this year, according to experts. However, meteorologists predicted a “mild” onset over Kerala and “weak” progress beyond the southern peninsula. After the onset over Kerala, the monsoon is expected to remain “weak” until the storm degenerates around June 12, according to Mahesh Palawat, vice president (climate and meteorology) Skymet Weather.
“The powerful weather system in the Arabian Sea may spoil the advancement of the monsoon deep inland. Under their influence, the monsoon stream may reach coastal parts but will struggle to penetrate beyond the Western Ghats,” Skymet Weather had said on Tuesday.
Forecasting agencies said the storm has seen “rapid intensification”, escalating from just a cyclonic circulation to a severe cyclonic storm in just 48 hours, defying earlier predictions. Atmospheric conditions and cloud mass indicate that the system is likely to sustain the strength of a very severe cyclone till June 12, they said.
Climate change intensifying storms
Cyclonic storms in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea have been intensifying rapidly and retaining their intensity for a longer duration because of climate change, according to scientists.
“The oceans have become warmer already on account of climate change. A recent study shows that the Arabian Sea has warmed up by almost 1.2 degree Celsius since March. Thus, conditions are favourable for the rapid intensification of the system (Cyclone Biparjoy). So it has the potential to sustain the strength for a long period,” said Raghu Murtugudde, professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland and IIT Bombay.
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