Right to Information
Hema Malini's dance academy destroyed mangroves on previously allotted land, RTI reply reveals
Hema Malini was allotted a land at Versova village, but her Trust was issued a notice by the Collector's office for destroying mangroves on adjoining plot, a violation of CRZ
 
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s member of Parliament (MP) Hema Malini's dance academy had on previous occasion destroyed mangroves on the land allotted, thus violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Act, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
 
As per the information received by RTI activist Anil Galgali, in 1997, the now BJP MP was allotted a plot admeasuring 1,741.89 sq meters at Versova village for the dance academy. Hema Malini's Natyavihar Kala Kendra Charity Trust paid Rs10 lakh to obtain a letter of intent. 
 
However, after finding some issues, the Mumbai Suburban District Collector on 28 August 1998 issued a show cause notice to the Trust. The notice states difference in the area of land allotted and area mentioned in the project report submitted by the Trust. Since the Trust had submitted a report that shows just 25% of funds available as against the project cost, the government asked the Trust's plans to raise the balance. 
 
The Mumbai Suburban District Collector's letter also specifically states about destruction of mangroves by the Trust on adjoining land, which according to it was violation of CRZ.  The show cause notice, which sought an explanation within 10 days, was not even responded to by the Trust, nor did the Collector's office take any action, Galgali said.
 
Since a portion of that land was effected with CRZ regulations, Hema Malini had not undertaken any construction on the land and instead sought another land from the government. On 23 December 2015, the government allotted 2,000 sq Mtrs from a total land admeasuring 29,360.50 sq mtrs reserved for Garden in Ambivili village near Andheri.
 
Galgali said, "On the basis of the facts before the government, the new land allotment was initiated by this govt by ignoring the previous violations and the Principal Secretary (Revenue) also overlooked the issue by not going through the past records. Serious violation of destruction of mangroves was overlooked and while taking no action the issue was glossed over and the new government has misused the rule of valuation of 1976 and allotted another land in lieu of the old one for pittance Rs 70,000 at village Ambivili admeasuring 2,000 sq mtrs and the land being reserved for Garden." 

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Nifty uptrend broken – Tuesday closing report
A close below 7,400 will push Nifty lower
 
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex might head higher subject to dips and that Nifty has to stay above 7,500 for the rally to continue. The major indices of the Indian equity markets suffered a sharp correction of over 1% over Monday’s close and went below 7,500. The trends of the major indices in the course of Tuesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
Today, the RBI, in its last bi-monthly credit policy review on Tuesday for FY2015-16 has kept repo, reverse repo, cash reserve ratio (CRR) and bank rate unchanged. With repo rate remaining at 6.75%, the reverse repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) will remain unchanged at 5.75%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the bank rate at 7.75%. In a statement, RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan said, "The Reserve Bank continues to be accommodative even as it leaves the policy rate unchanged in this review, while awaiting further data on the development of inflation. Structural reforms in the forthcoming Union Budget that boost growth while controlling spending will create more space for monetary policy to support growth, while also ensuring that inflation remains on the projected path of 5% by the end of 2016-17."
 
"The current momentum of growth is reasonable, though below what should be expected over the medium term. Underlying growth drivers need to be rekindled to place the economy durably on a higher growth trajectory. The revival of private investment, in particular, has a crucial role, especially as the climate for business improves and fiscal policy continues to consolidate. The Indian economy is currently being viewed as a beacon of stability because of the steady disinflation, a modest current account deficit and commitment to fiscal rectitude. This needs to be maintained so that the foundations of stable and sustainable growth are strengthened," he added.
 
Initially, the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a firm note as investors anticipated an easing of key lending rates. However, sentiments were soon subdued following the RBI’s decision to keep the repo and reverse repo rates unchanged in the current fiscal's final bi-monthly monetary policy review. Ignoring the clamour for an easing of monetary policy as an instrument to boost the fledgling economic growth, India's central bank maintained its short-term lending rates. RBI's decision and flat Asian markets dented sentiments. The S&P BSE market breadth favoured the bears -- with 1,332 declines and 1,099 advances. 
 
The industrial output index for India's eight core industries registered a rise in December 2015, pushed up by higher coal, refinery products, fertilizers, cement and electricity output. The index representing major infrastructure sectors had recorded a fall in November 2015. The index showed a rise of 0.9% in December 2015 on a month-on-month basis, compared to the 1.3% decline in November, official data showed on Monday. The core industries grew 3.2% in October last year. However the select factory output index for December is less than the growth of 3.2% achieved during the corresponding month in 2014, a commerce ministry release said. This index comprises 38% of the total weightage of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). Its cumulative growth from April to December 2015-16 stood at 1.9%, as compared to 5.7% during the corresponding period of 2014-15. Out of the eight core industries, fertilizers and coal reported healthy output numbers. However, production of oil, natural gas, and steel dwindled in the period under review.
 
Coal mining, with a 4.38% weightage, increased by 6.1%. The sub-index for natural gas output, with a weightage of 1.71%, slipped by 6.1% in the month under consideration. The fertilisers manufacturing with a weightage of only 1.25% rose exponentially by 13.1%. Steel declined by 4.4% in December 2015.
 
The US stocks pared early losses to end mixed on Monday, as investors assessed a batch of generally negative economic reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 17.12 points, or 0.10%, to 16,449.18. The S&P 500 edged down 0.86 point, or 0.04%, to 1,939.38. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.41 points, or 0.14%, to 4,620.37. The US personal income increased $42.5 billion, or 0.3%, and disposable personal income increased $37.8 billion, or 0.3%, in December, the Commerce Department said on Monday. In a separate report, the department announced that the US construction spending during December 2015 was estimated at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of $1,116.6 billion, 0.1% above the revised November reading but missing market consensus of a 0.6% gain. Meanwhile, the US January purchasing managers' index (PMI) registered 48.2%, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the seasonally-adjusted December reading, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said on Monday. A reading above 50 indicates the sector is generally expanding, while a reading below that level indicates contraction. The weaker-than-expected economic data raised expectations that the US Federal Reserve would go slow on future interest rate hikes.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Centre's guidelines on sand mining are based on the model developed by Dr Praveen Gedam, keynote speaker at Moneylife Foundation’s 6th Anniversary
Dr Praveen Gedam, a fearless IAS officer, devised a sand mining approval and tracking system -SMAT to curb illegal sand mining as the District Collector of Solapur. His path breaking usage of technology is now endorsed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest as well 
 
The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has come out with new guidelines on sand mining, which are largely based on a model developed and implemented by Dr Praveen Gedam, while serving as District Collector at Solapur in Maharashtra. At present, Dr Gedam is the Municipal Commissioner at Nashik and keynote speaker at Moneylife Foundation’s 6th Anniversary programme to be held on 6th February at YB Chavan Auditorium, near Mantralaya, Mumbai. Mr RC Sinha, another path breaking IAS officer, the man behind Mumbai-Pune expressway, 42 flyovers in Mumbai and development of New Bombay will preside over the function.
 
Solapur has always been notorious for the illegal sand mining and mafia gangs that operate without fear due to support from politicians. When Dr Gedam took over as District Collector of Solapur in January 2013, he too faced stiff opposition from the sand mafia gangs. Illegal sand mining was rampant in Solapur district as sand excavation was happening from sand beds that were not part of any auction. Once sand was mined illegally over and above the permitted quantity, the sand miners used to even produce forged receipts. The same forged receipts were also used multiple times.
 
The Solapur district administration under the guidance from Dr Gedam came out with a plan for e-tendering, e-auction and digital monitoring for sand mining. The administration set up control rooms at sand ghats on the only access road. All other access roads to sand ghats were closed. The administration also brought in SMS-based transport permits, developed new online software, mahamining.com for multi-layered tracking on sand mining and also installed closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at several places. The whole system was known as sand mining approval and tracking system (SMAT).
 
"Use of technology alone was not enough. We had to be ruthless in our enforcement of the new tracking system to hurt the sand mafia economically," Dr Gedam told DNA.
 
 
The results of this e-governance initiative were astounding. With these measures, the Solapur district administration increased its income to Rs78 crore (in FY2013-14) from a mere Rs22 crore (in FY2012-13) by e-auctioning, increased collection of fines and fool-proof monitoring of sand mining through SMAT. These efforts from district administration also saw about 425 first information reports (FIRs) filed against the illegal cartels of sand mafias in FY2013-14 alone. 
 
Last year, Dr Gedam was invited by the MoEF to make a presentation on SMAT before Minister Prakash Javadekar and senior officials in the Ministry. The guidelines issued by the MoEF on sand mining are largely based on SMAT like allowing the district administration to handle clearances of mining leases below five hectares, strict monitoring of illegal mining, usage of unique barcodes, SMS permits and quick response (QR) codes.
 
Dr Praveen Gedam is the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker at Moneylife Foundation's 6th Anniversary on 6 February 2016 at Mumbai. Come and listen to several such initiatives of Dr Gedam to improve civic facilities and betterment of citizens’ lives. Here is the link to know more about the program on 6th February (https://www.moneylife.in/events/6anniversary2016/index.html ). Admission is free but registration is mandatory. You can register online for this program by using this link www.moneylife.in/event/116.html    

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COMMENTS

Subramani P K

1 year ago

Officers like Dr. Gedam should be involved in improving the existing systems in different ministries to better efficiency by use of technology. Besides the government should give them also full protection & support so that they can carry on their work without fear. Congrats Dr. Gedam & keep up the good work.

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