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 TC Benjamin interacting with a Malegaon delegation. (File Photo)

More Pains

A Living Hell: Established in 1863 Malegaon Municipal Council till a decade ago was regarded as one of the richest Council in Maharashtra. It was so prosperous that when Nashik and Malegaon both were Municipal Councils, it used to lend Nashik Municipal Council the funds needed for the monthly payments....Read Full

Such things happen only in Malegaon-Denied the wages, teachers are forced to work in powerloom factories during the night: The life has become a hell for more than 1000 families here in Malegaon as the local civic body is persistently failing in paying its share...Read Full

SSA Funds in Malegaon - Whose purpose are they actually serving?: Instead most of these funds are either lapsed and lay unused or if at all they are used, due to improper planning and rampant corruption, fail in bringing the desired results. This is what had seemingly happened with the massive amount of the fund that came to Malegaon through Serva Siksha Abhiyan...Read Full

Malegaon: Perform or perish. It was the warning given to the new Ministers who took the oath of office after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) formed the government in New Delhi a couple of weeks before. Alarmed by the rising expectations, the Prime Minister even unveiled a 100-day roadmap for his ministerial colleagues and issued them with a set of directives to work on during these hundred days. However, for the political leadership and the administration in Malegaon, there is no time constraint to complete a project. No matter if the cost of a project becomes manifold and exceeds the amount sanctioned for it in the budget. The local administration, hands in glove with the corrupt politicians, would use the public money and the government funds at its will. This becomes evident after a look at the long list of incomplete projects in Malegaon crying for the attention from the officials for many years.


“The local Congress MLA in the presence of the Corporation Mayor, who incidentally was his own son, laid the foundation stone for the auditorium on Independence Day in 2006 at a site in the heart of the city that was earlier partly-built for the Bun’kar Baazar”, says Mushk Kaamil of Citizens for Development and Peace (CDP), an NGO trying to garner the support for the revival of Malegaon. “Almost three years have passed since, yet the project that began with much fanfare and publicity is still to see the light of the day”, he says.


“Likewise”, he says, “The civic body decided in the nineties to build Allama Iqbal Bridge. At snail’s pace though the construction work that began in October 2004 after much of hue and cry reached its completion sometimes in 2007 only to be abruptly stopped by the concerned department leaving the bridge incomplete to this date. Along with the construction of the bridge, it had also been decided to widen the roads adjoining the bridge. However nothing on ground is seen in this regard as well. Today the incomplete bridge is being damaged and misused for illegal activities by the miscreant and anti-social elements.”


Moreover the case with the Old Agra road has become a mystery for the Malegaonians. This is the main road of the city that passes through the town and joins it with the highway. However, according to the Citizens for Development and Peace (CDP), the condition of this busiest road is pathetic to say the least. “Due to the dismal condition of the road some people have even died in accidents. Yet the Local Body has no plan for a durable construction. The story for this road remains the same from past many years, the construction work that starts from one end, never reaches the other”, they say.


Chief Secretary in action

Finding their repeated pleas to the Civic Body being thrown into the dustbin, a delegation of Citizens for Development & Peace (CDP) on the advice of the Planning Commission Member Dr. Syeda Hameed met TC Benjamin, then Chief Secretary-Urban Development at his Mantralay office in Mumbai on February 04, 2008 to apprise him of the grave situation in Malegaon.


“Expressing concern over the worsening condition in the city, Benjamin advised us to shortlist the issues that needed the most urgent attention and promised to look into all the problems pertaining to the textile city one by one in phases”, informs Kaamil.


To begin with Benjamin called the local administration and the Citizens for Development & Peace (CDP) for a special meeting on March 04, 2008. “The meeting in fact revived the hope for the Malegaonians as it took few concrete decisions to set the ball rolling”, recalls Hameed Jamali of CDP who was present in the meeting.


Furthermore the local administration promised in the meeting to complete the construction work of the Old Agra road in one month’s time and also to commence the construction work for the auditorium without any further delay. “Benjamin had in fact advised them to blacklist the contractor and give the contract to someone else if he doesn’t complete the work in the stipulated time”, Jamali says.


Civic Body does it again

It had also been decided in the meeting that the local administration after consulting with the Local MLA, Mayor and Citizens for Development & Peace would submit a list of five schools and three prominent spots in the city. Urban Development department would release the special grant for constructing the wall-compound around these schools and public toilets to be used on pay-and-use basis.


“To our surprise, the local administration without consulting us sent a list of the schools that already had complete or partly built wall-compounds and sought the funds from the State Government”, Jamali informs. “Fearing that the funds would be misused again, we dispatched a letter on March 17, 2008 along with the photographs of the schools in question and requested the Chief Secretary not to issue the funds.”


Later the Citizens for Development and Peace (CDP) tried to settle the matter with the local administration and convince them for proper utilization of the funds but to no avail. Meanwhile TC Benjamin was promoted and the erstwhile Municipal Commissioner after assuming the office in Malegaon tried to control a bit but he himself gave a chance to his detractors who left no time in seeking his transfer from the city. The new Commissioner who recently joined the office is either out of the city, on national and international tours, or engaged with the coterie of his favorite politicians with corruption charges instead of concentrating on the local issues.


Against this backdrop, it is free for all in Malegaon. Perform or Perish may have been the directives given to the administration in New Delhi, for the local administration in Malegaon, it is exactly the opposite.




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Malegaon has very complicated issues. Needs whole-hearted efforts from all.

S Chokalingham (IAS)

Former Collector Dist Nashik

now Additional Commissioner, Sales Tax (Maharashtra)


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