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No FIR against 21 disqualified BMC corporators including Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar yet




A Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed how much BMC administration is soft on those offenders who first dare to produce fake caste certificates and become corporator and when they are found guilty of it, BMC dose not take any action them, which encourages them to repeat the same. RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and wanted to know how many corporators were disqualified for producing fake caste certificates, and reply given to Galgali has revealed not even a single councillor has been booked for producing fake caste certificates to win the civic election in the last three election held in 2007, 2012 and 2017.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali’s queries was filed with Municipal Secretary’s office which was later transferred to the Legal and Election department of the BMC. Replying to the query, officer of the legal department of the BMC Smt S D Fulsunge replied that no case has been filed against any councillor for procuring fake caste certificates, however, the details about such cases (FIR) can be obtained from the deputy legal officer of the Small Causes Court. The deputy law officer of the Small Causes Court Anant Kajrolkar too replied that no FIR has been filed against any disqualified councillors in the last three elections. Clarifying the legal department’s stand in such cases, the officer further replied, The legal department files election petitions in the Small Causes Court and then verify the submissions made by the either side.

While election department in its reply said that that total 21 corporators were disqualified in 2007, 2012 and 2017 election. Out of 21 disqualified corporators, 20 were disqualified for procuring fake caste certificate while one corporator was disqualified for having more the two children, which a restriction to become a corporator in BMC. In this list Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar name also include.

Reacting over the BMC’s lethargical approach, Galgali slammed the babus of the civic body and termed it as “unprofessional”. Galgali also dashed off a letter to Chief minister. In his letter written to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, Galgali said, “This is absolutely absurd and unprofessional. There should be a clarity that which department will take legal action against the offenders.”

Galgali wrote, “When corporators have been disqualified after founding procuring fake caste certificates, then why not BMC initiate criminal cases against these offenders? If BMC start taking action against these fraudulent people, then this will act as deterrent, otherwise, in every election, candidates will keep procuring fake certificate.”


In a first, no giant idol at 86-year-old Lalbaugcha Raja



 First time in its 86-year history, the famed and iconic Lalbaugcha Raja will not be installed during the upcoming 11-day Ganeshotsav, official sources said here on Wednesday.

It will be replaced by a small idol of around 3-4 feet for the traditional ‘puja’ and other ceremonies, at the 127-year-old 11-day Ganesha festival, which starts on August 22.

This will be in adherence to an appeal by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to celebrate Ganeshotsav 2020 with more devotion and less pomp in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year, we shall celebrate Ganeshotsav as ‘Arogyautsav’ with 11-days of blood and plasma donation camps, donate Rs 25 lakh to the CM Relief Fund for corona aid, help families of the soldiers martyred in the recent India-China border skirmish and Maharashtra Police personnel who lost their lives in the ongoing war against virus,” Sudhir Salvi, Secretary, Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal (LRSGM) told mediapersons.

In view of Thackeray’s plea, all Ganeshotsav Mandals in the state took a voluntary decision to restrict the height of Ganesha to less than four feet, first time in over four decades since the trend of gigantic idols started.

The normal imposing, 15-feet plus tall idol of Lalbaugcha Raja, and other mega-idols in Mumbai, Pune and other cities will be conspicuous by their absence in the Maharashtra Ganeshotsav celebrations.

A majority of the mandals will have subdued celebrations with small, manageable idols as there will be no huge processions or the elaborate immersion ceremonies at seafronts or other water bodies, as decided by the government.

Besides concentrating on social activities related to the pandemic, many huge mandals will make arrangements to offer online “aarti”, “puja” or “darshan” to the devotees to avoid crowds.

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Maharashtra’s 5 Shiv Bhojan Thali cross 1-crore mark



The Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s flagship economy meal scheme, ‘Shiv Bhojan Thali’ has crossed the one-crore meals since its modest launch on January 26, officials said here on Tuesday.

Originally priced at Rs 10/plate, it was later slashed to Rs 5/plate during lockdown and its popularity zoomed above expectations, especially among the hungry migrants, the poor, homeless, students, etc.

“From January 26 till June 30,a total of 1,00,00,870 Shiv Bhojan Thalis have been distributed through 848 centres upto the taluka-level across the state,” a pleased Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday.

From the first day, the popularity of the Shiv Bhojan Thali and its sales have been zooming, starting from January (79,918 plates sold), February (467,869), crossed the half million mark in March (578,031), shot past two million in April (24,99,257), May (3,384,040) and after five months, in June the figure stood at 2,991,755 plates, attaining the milestone of 1,00,00,870.

The thali comprises a wholesome meal of two chapatis, one vegetable, rice and dal which are savoured by the famished millions.

Launched with just 50 outlets as a pilot project through the Food & Civil Supplies Ministry headed by Chhagan Bhujbal, the scheme is now implemented at 848 outlets spread across the state.

“The Shiv Bhojan Thali costs the government Rs 50 in urban and Rs 35 in rural areas, for which the government gives a subsidy of Rs 45 and Rs 30 to the contractor,” said a F&CS ministry official.

In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, all centres are observing all protocols like cleanliness, sanitization of the premises and surroundings, all centres’ staffers wash hands regularly, wear masks, etc, he added.

The centres have been opened at convenient locations like big hospitals, government offices, markets, near bus or railway stations, and other public places in urban, semi-urban and rural areas.

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World’s largest Plasma Therapy trial centre launched in Maharashtra



An 11-member team of doctors in Bengaluru is poised to inject plasma, extracted from two Covid survivors into a needy patient at state-run BMC Victoria hospital to commence plasma therapy clinical trials. The photographs show a Covid survivor donating plasma and a picture of the plasma extracted from his blood.

In a major initiative to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday inaugurated ‘Project PLATINA’ – India’s first and the world’s largest – Plasma Therapy Trial Centre in Nagpur.

“This trial centre will help formulate definite treatment guidelines for the entire country in managing critical Covid-19 patients… and will be a milestone during the pandemic,” said Thackeray at the video-conferencing launch.

He has sanctioned Rs 16.65 crore for Project Platina and clinical trials from the CM’s Relief Fund, and the project has been completed in barely three weeks.

With this project, the government hopes to save around 500 seriously ill Covid-19 patients in the state free of cost, amidst recent apprehensions of prohibitively high costs for this form of treatment expressed in some circles.

“Convalscent Plasma Therapy is now coming up as one of the most important methods in the treatment of severe Covid-19 patients in the absence of definite treatment drugs for the same… with a success rate of over 90 per cent,” Thackeray said.

The trials will be carried out in 23 medical colleges in the state including 17 under the state government’s Department of Medical Education & Drugs, and four colleges of BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai.

Each critical patient would receive 2 doses of 200 ml of convalescent plasma from recovered patients which contains antibodies against coronavirus that will fight the infection and help the serious patients recover.

Appealing to people who have recovered from Covid-19 to donate in large numbers, Thackeray assured that the donors have no health problems after plasma donations as the red blood cells are returned back to them.

Also present at the video-inauguration were Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Medical Education Minister Amit V. Deshmukh and Minister of State Rajendra Patil Yedravkar, Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, Energy Minister Nitin Raut, Industry Minister Subhash Desai, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh, and top officials from different departments.

Four other facilities were inaugurated simultaneously: Plasma Donation, Plasma Bank, Plasma Trial and Emergency Authorisation centres.

The development came on a day when the state extended the ongoing lockdown till July 31 in view of the serious Covid-19 crisis.

Maharashtra currently has 164,626 lakh Covid-19 positives with 7,429 fatalities, the highest in the country.

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