stringent Code of Conduct coming into force any moment, Maharashtra
Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has been acting quickly, holding a large
number of cabinet meetings over the last 25 days. After declaring a
Rs. 5,000-crore package for Konkan and a Rs. 7,000-crore package for
the Nashik region, and taking a policy decision that cost the state
exchequer nearly Rs. 30,000 crore in quick succession, Chavan in
the state cabinet
yesterday took steps to prevent illegal sale or use of Wakf
properties, a demand that was being sought since more than a year.
Trying to undo the damage caused to
his party by controversial decisions to redevelop Waqf land held by
Muslim religious and charitable trusts for commercial purpose, Chief
Minister Ashok Chavan also ordered to appoint a commissioner in
every revenue division of the state to survey all Wakf properties.
Further extending its new-found
affections for the minorities ahead of the crucial assembly polls,
the cabinet approved construction of Hajj House in Nagpur and
decided to establish ITI Institutes at 48 places in whole of
Maharashtra including Aurangabad, Bhiwandi, Malegaon, Nanded and
Washim - all Muslim dominated towns in the state.
Shivaji Memorial plans approved
The cabinet meeting also approved
plans submitted by Indian and
architects plans to construct a world class memorial to the great
Maratha worrier king Shiv Chatrapati Maharaj. The memorial is to be
constructed on an artificial island to be constructed in the Arabian
Sea off Marin Lines-Chowpati shore of Mumbai.
The proposed memorial would cost Rs.
300 crore while government has made a provision of Rs. 50 crore in
its last budget The Teamone of Mumbai and Benslay Design Studio of
Thailand had presented the winning bid for the design concept and
plan of the gigantic memorial. It is to be completed within a period
of five years.
fraternities not ignored
Medical professors who had threatened
to go on an indefinite strike on Monday also got the relief from
yesterday's cabinet meeting when the cabinet approved their demand
for the implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission. The decision
would be applicable to all assistant and associate professors, and
professors in state medical, dental and ayurvedic colleges and would
be implemented with retrospective effect from January 1, 2006.
The decision will
benefit around 2,750 professors across the state. The medical
teachers salaries are expected to go up by almost 50%. An assistant
professor drawing a salary of Rs. 30,000 at present will now get
around Rs. 45,000, an associate professors salary will go up from Rs.
35,000 to around Rs. 65,000 and that of professor from Rs. 45,000 to
In another decision, the Cabinet gave
its nod to a proposal to construct 70400 small ponds to hold rain
water to benefit small and medium farmers. This scheme will be taken
up under the
guaranty scheme. The government has decided to construct more than
3.5 lakh such ponds over the next five years.
In yet another decision to benefit
small farmers, the government decided to waive reconstituted
of farmers under the Central government loan waiver scheme. This
will benefit 8 lakh farmers, while the exchequer will be burdened by
Rs. 392 crore.