Balwadi turned into a gymnasium in Bandra
Under the MLA development fund, projects totalling Rs. Two crores were authorised to the elected legislator from Bandra East, Prakash Bala Sawant, for the period 2012-13. Out of this amount, Rs. 15 lakhs were sanctioned for a balwadi near Kherwadi police station. However, reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has shown that though permission was obtained from a number of government agencies to develop a balwadi, now a gymnasium stands on the very same site. The gym even carries a board where the membership details and rates are displayed.
The legislator has claimed that initially, there was a proposal to build a balwadi. But the police said it would be nice if an exercise room was built in the area. Hence a permission from obtained from Mhada to build a gymnasium instead and there is nothing wrong in the whole exercise.
The RTI applicant has claimed that there is no such provision whereby the police can give an MLA permission to change the land use for projects sanctioned under the MLA funds. He has filed a case for criminal misappropriation of funds against the MLA. It has been claimed that by building an exercise centre, there has been a criminal misappropriation of funds and a loss of public money to the tune of Rs 15 lakh to the state of Maharashtra. The applicant has alleged that more cases of misappropriation of funds may be revealed out of nearly 20 projects sanctioned under the MLA funds for Bala Sawant.