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1,000 acres for NSG to set up regional hub

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said here on Thursday that 1,000 acres of land would be given near Mumbai for setting up a regional hub of the elite NSG.

Chavan says VIP security needs to be scaled down

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said here on Thursday that 1,000 acres of land would be given near Mumbai for setting up a regional hub of the elite NSG.

Speaking at an interaction with citizens at Juhu,Chavan said he agreed that wherever there was no need,VIP security needed to be scaled down. However,there were some people in Mumbai and Maharashtra who had a threat perception,and in case no security was provided,there could be a mishap with the government being blamed for it.

He said people with a threat perception also needed to employ private security. Home Minister Jayant Patil had been asked to review the need for security for VIPs provided with it,and those with less threat perception could see it being scaled down.

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Noting that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had,during his recent visit to the city,been taken from Santacruz to Colaba in a military helicopter so as to do away with the inconvenience to the common man owing to traffic getting blocked for his cavalcade,Chavan said he had asked permission from the Centre to ensure that as far as possible,the VIP movement in the city had to be made by helicopter. Moreover,the police too would not be saddled with bandobast duty.

Chavan said the construction of the regional hub of the NSG is expected to begin in two-three months. The work on the state security guards (SSG),to be set up on lines of the NSG,would also begin soon,and the usual procedure of recruitment to the force through the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) had been bypassed to complete the process soon. An amount of Rs 127 crore had been released for the modernisation of the police force,he said.

On questions about encroachments on open spaces in Mumbai,Chavan said an analysis would reveal that most encroachments had taken place where people had been posted to remove them. When a person is posted in the wing,it is necessary to conduct an audit every one or two years to reveal whether the encroachments had increased or decreased,and this would reveal whether the concerned officials were hand in glove with the encroachers.

Chavan said he had asked chief secretary Johny Joseph to review the situation. In case it was revealed that the encroachments had increased,action would be taken against such “test cases.” In case of encroachments increasing in Mumbai,the ward officers and additional commissioners concerned would be held responsible and action taken.

The Chief Minister said the Middle Vaitarna dam,work on which is due to begin soon,is expected to resolve the water woes of Mumbai.

Tense moments

The first public interaction by Chief Minister Ashok Chavan also saw some tense moments. Chavan,who was scheduled to arrive at 4 pm,came almost 40 minutes late,leaving those assembled agitated.

And after a few presented their problems,it was announced that Minister of State for Home Nitin Raut would speak,which again rankled some who demanded that Chavan should listen to their problems.

Chavan then took the mike and said he would answer questions on policy matters,but not on individual issues. He asked them to mail individual issues at his e-mail id. After the people demanded they get a hearing,some of them were allowed to speak. A few citizens also tried to interrupt the programme seeking redressal of issues raised by them and it was left to some deft handling by the organisers to defuse the tension.

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