Union Agriculture Minister and President of the Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar on Friday morning called on Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and suggested that the reconstruction of the state secretariat building be undertaken by the state government,and not through any private-public-partnership or on a Build-Own-Transfer basis. One of the wilder conspiracy theories floated in the aftermath of the fire is that vested interests wanted to expedite the long-pending redevelopment of the Mantralaya building. He also asked the chief minister to ensure that alternative offices,telephone lines there and basic infrastructure for government staff be put in place urgently. He said 2 lakh sq ft of space was available in GT Hospital and in the high court premises for staff to operate from.
BMC orders removal of scrap from offices
A day after the Mantralaya fire,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has asked for the immediate removal of unnecessary scrap from all its offices,starting with its head office in Fort. Additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said that unnecessary files and papers will be shifted to a godown on priority basis after which digitisation of records will be taken up. In addition to a fortnightly fire drill to check the functionality of internal fire fighting installations of all BMC offices,the Fire Brigade will carry out an audit of all passages and emergency exits. We have already directed the City Engineering Unit to start with the file removing work and replace wooden furniture where possible, said Mhaiskar.
Oppn leaders call for special session
Opposition party leaders met Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and other top ministers on Friday,and demanded a three day special session of Assembly to discuss Mumbai-related issues.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse claimed that a fire safety report prepared by the former PWD secretary was gathering dust.A special session of the Maharashtra Legislature should be called to discuss issue comprehensively, Khadse said. He was accompanied by Sena and MNS leaders during meeting.Khadse had demanded an independent inquiry perhaps by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday night.