Citizens' Issues
MMRDA's new building still incomplete even after spending Rs106 crore
In spite of having its own building, MMRDA had no need to spend Rs106 crore on construction of a new office for itself. It is a complete waste of both money and resources, alleges RTI activist Anil Galgali
After missing two deadlines since 2004 and incurring an expenditure of Rs106 crore, the new building of the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) at the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in the city, still remains incomplete.
According to reply received by activist Anil Galgali, through Right to Information (RTI), the proposed new office is located behind the current premises of MMRDA at BKC. Galgali said he sought information from MMRDA authorities in regards to the construction of the new building going on behind their office to which Executive Engineer as well as public information officer of MMRDA, MY Patil, informed that the proposal for construction of the new building was given to them on 24 December 2004.
The basic cost approved was that of Rs87 crore and it was to be completed by 31 December 2012. But in spite of giving two extensions, first till 15 September 2013 and the latest one being, 31 December 2014, the work still remains incomplete, he was told. The MMRDA authority, however, denied information to Galgali in regards to the reasons of the delay and the penalty levied on the contractors.
The project is been done by Relcon Infraprojects Ltd; the interior decoration contract has been awarded to Godrej Company Ltd and the electrification and air-conditioning contract has been given to Pravin Electrical Ltd. The proposed new building is of 11 floors. 
"It is a complete waste of both money and resources. Even after so many years, work remains incomplete. 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.
Galgali urged Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is also chairman of MMRDA to intervene in the matter. MMRDA, set up in 1975, is engaged in infrastructure development in MMR region which includes Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai areas and parts of Raigad district.


Open letter to PM Modi from Army veterans on Flag Day

On the occasion of Armed Forces Flag Day, an appeal goes out to the PM, HM and the Government, to work towards helping the cause of Defence veterans


In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, lawyer, activist and former Army reservist Navdeep Singh, has appealed to both authorities to address issues faced by Armed Forces Veterans. On the occasion of the Armed Forces Flag Day this year on 8th December, it is important that we as a nation address the problems faced by army veterans. The Flag Day was begun by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru when he was PM, to remind the nation that it must come together to contribute to the welfare of soldiers, the letter says.

The letter is endorsed by Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Kiran Bedi, Moneylife Foundation's Sucheta Dalal, Retired Admiral Arun Prakash and many other senior ex-servicemen and civilians.

The letter's focus is on three main points that the signees hope will be addressed by the government on an urgent basis:

• Direct Ministry of Defence to withdraw litigation initiated against disabled soldiers and military widows related to the subject of their disability and pensionary benefits at the earliest.

• Constitute a committee, with stakeholders and independent experts as members, to resolve all policy anomalies which have given rise to litigation in issues concerning military veterans and widows.

• Ensure that officers serving in the Ministry of Defence in general, and Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare in particular, are sensitised towards the needs and requirements of the military community and realise that it is their pious obligation to serve soldiers, veterans and their families, giving them due respect and dignity which they deserve.

Reminding the PM and the HM of their manifesto where they promised to 'minimise appeals' against ex-servicemen and their disability and other benefits, the letter also points to promises made by PM Modi in his election speeches on this count.

Keeping in mind the sacrifices and losses suffered by not just army-men, but also their families and loved one, there is an urgent need to make sure that a retired or injured ex-serviceman is accorded every facility and courtesy in tribute to his or her work for the nation.

Here is the letter sent to PM Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, and the Indian govt…




Vinod Kumar

2 years ago

The Hon Prime Minister, no doubt, is deeply concerned about the welfare and well-being of the personnel of the armed forces and their widows. He, indeed, wishes to fulfill all his promised made to the defence community at various occasions - be it election rallies, or face to face address to the troops, or even on the floor of the Parliament. But, what can he do? He too has become a 'kathputli' in the hands of the babudom who will not allow him to act on one pretext or the other. So we have to wait till both are on the same wave-length, or the former becomes more assertive.

Rajasekhar Cheruvu

2 years ago

You Won My Support Ma'am

SEBI bars Mass Infra, Greenworld Agro from raising money from investors

SEBI found that Greenworld Agro and Mass Infra collected money from several investors through issuance of redeemable preference shares and non-convertible debentures -NCDs


Continuing with strict action against entities raising public money illegally, market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has restrained Greenworld Agro Industries Ltd and Mass Infra Realty Ltd from mobilising funds from investors.
Besides, SEBI has barred these two companies and their directors from accessing the securities market.
The regulator found that Greenworld and Mass Infra had garnered capital from several investors through issuance of redeemable preference shares (RPS) and non-convertible debentures (NCDs) respectively and had "prima facie" violated various norms.
SEBI observed that issues by these two firms were made to more than 50 people. Under the rules, that made them public issues of debt securities requiring compulsory listing on a recognised stock exchange. They were also required to file their prospectus, which they failed to do.
The regulator, in two separate interim orders, said that Greenworld and Mass Infra are prima facie engaged in fund mobilising activity from the public through the offer of RPS and NCDs respectively and as a result of such activities have violated the provisions of the Companies Act.
Accordingly, SEBI has asked these companies not to mobilise funds from investors through the offer of RPS/NCDs or through the issuance of equity shares or any other securities, to the public and/or invite subscription, in any manner whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, till further directions.
Further, the companies and their directors are barred from issuing any offer document or advertisement for soliciting money from the public for the issue of securities.
These firms and their respective directors are restrained from accessing the securities market.
SEBI has also asked the entities not to dispose of any of the properties or assets acquired by that company through the issue of redeemable preference shares, without prior permission from the regulator as well as not to divert the funds raised from public.
While asking Greenworld and Mass Infra to provide a full inventory of all its assets and properties, SEBI has also asked these companies to within 21 days from the date of receipt of the order submit all relevant and necessary particulars sought by the watchdog.
The directions shall take "effect immediately and shall be in force until further orders," SEBI said in its order.
In the case of Mass Infra, SEBI has prohibited Debenture Trust Suraksha and Mass Debenture Trust, from "continuing with their assignment as a debenture trustee in respect of the offer of NCDs of the company and also from taking up any new assignment or involvement in any new issue of debentures, etc in a similar capacity, from the date of this order till further directions".
According to SEBI, Mass Infra raised Rs37.90 crore from 14,256 investors while Greenworld mobilised funds to the tune of Rs111.06 lakh from 4,056 investors.


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