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April 24, 2014 12:09 am - Citizens’ groups try to avoid voter list fiasco in Cityl Staff Reporter Mumbai Citizens groups in the city have been working hard to create voter awareness and make sure that each registered voter in the city is able to exercise his or her vote on Thursday. Amidst citizens’ concerns regarding the possibility of mass deletion from the voters’ list, groups such as Volunteer for a Better India (VBI) and AGNI are trying their best to ensure that people who have registered as voters can cast their vote. VBI Mumbai representative Vasudha Jhunjhunwala says that they have been in direct contact with the offices of the Collectors and the Returning Officers (RO) of all six Mumbai constituencies, Thane and Navi Mumbai and that they are cooperating with the groups’ volunteers. “Deputy District Election Officer of the island city, Maya Patole, was extremely cooperative and even sat down to try and rectify some of the complaints that had been made through the VBI,” said Jhunjhunwala. She also said that the Collectorates and ROs had given voters’ lists to them and they had launched a citywide door-to-door voter awareness campaign. She went on to say that on polling day, volunteers of the VBI would be present at close to 1,800 polling stations throughout the Greater Mumbai area, carrying laptops with Internet access to allow people to check the voters’ list online in case their name is not found on the list carried by the polling staff. If voters do not find their names on the list, they can also fill their names and contact details into a Google form created by the VBI. The list of complaints collated through this form will be submitted to the Election Commission after the elections. “We missed an opportunity in Pune by not doing this,” says Jhunjhunwala and adds, “It would have made it easier to ask the EC and the Collectorate for rectification of those errors. We are trying to avoid that in Mumbai.” Sharad Kumar, AGNI’s trustee in charge of elections, said that they had also been trying to spread awareness regarding the voters’ lists. “Those who have registered after January 2014 are on a supplementary list, that will be kept at every polling station along with the main voters’ list,” he said. “We have been spreading awareness via email, SMS and social media that those who have registered should check the voters’ list for their name. It may have been classified as under the supplementary list or the ASD list of unaccounted for voters.” Collector clarifies City collector Shaila A has clarified that the one prerequisite for a citizen to vote is that their name has to be on the voters’ list. The voters’ list that is available online and that will be kept at polling stations on Thursday contain the names on the supplementary list and the ASD list. If an individual’s name is on the list, they can produce one of eleven prescribed proofs of identity and cast their vote. Shaila also clarified that the voters’ slip was merely to inform the voter about their designated polling station and serial number, and not a necessary document to cast their vote.
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Mira Bhayandar building project plan hits hurdle

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Bhayandar : One of the mandatory reforms under the JNNURM scheme, the Automatic Development Control Rules (Auto-DCR) mechanism launched by the civic body aimed at speedy and transparent building plan approvals, seems to have hit a road block in Mira Bhayandar.

While the town planning department has sanctioned only four plans since the launch of Auto-DCR last year, more than 100 proposals are biting dust in the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC). Reason: Applications are being rejected for lack of microscopic details. AutoDCR reads the building entities from drawings submitted by architects in soft copies and geometrically maps each and every entity and produces relevant reports embedded with drawings, once approved, the plan is supposed to be hosted on the MBMCs website showing the exact plan that had been approved and up to what level. However the advanced automated system doesn”t accept plans designed differently and follows only a single format.

In case of clear proposals, the architect is in no position to modify designs to get it sanctioned. ” I will look into the matter and take appropriate action to work out a solution in this regard.” said civic chief, Suresh Kakani.

The MBMC had projected an approximate revenue of Rs 14 crore, from local developers towards betterment and development charges in its annual budget, however the town-planning department has been able to generate a revenue of just Rs 35 lakh in the current fiscal, officials said.”The department should enable manual scrutiny when even clear and upto date proposals are rejected by the system.” an architect said.

A Call-to-Attention motion to this effect was moved by opposition members in the recently held general body meeting of the MBMC, however the ruling governance abruptly rejected the motion on the virtue of their majority in the house.

Suresh Golani

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