Mumbai/Nagpur: After the announcements in public and also in the state assembly by the state government, the state Cabinet on Tuesday decided to bring out an ordinance to include sand as well as essential commodities and foodgrain mafias in the ambit of Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act 1981. The ordinance would enable the government to put such mafias behind the bars without any bail for one year by amending the MPDA 1981 Act.
The ordinance would be issued to amend the act and include sand smuggling as well as smugglers in the section II of the act. At present the act vows to prevent the disruptive activities from slumlords, bootleggers, drug offenders and video pirates while the amendment would enable government to act against the sand mafias and food-grain mafias.
The rationing scam in Surgana Taluka in Nashik district had created uproar in the state assembly during the December 2014 Winter Session in Nagpur. Acting against the same food and civil supplies minister Girish Bapat had announced to bring the foodgrain mafia under the ambit of MPDA provisions. The same had happened with growing incidents of attacks on government servants trying to prevent sand mafias. The revenue minister Eknath Khadse had time and again replied on the floor of the House that sand mafias would also be brought under the ambit of MPDA by amending the act. Accordingly, the state Cabinet on Tuesday decided to amend the MPDA and include sand and foodgrain mafias in MPDA provisions.
Khadse informed that this decision would go a long way to prevent sand mafias while Girish Bapat said that he has delivered what he had announced. He said that the Cabinet decision would enable the department to ensure that the foodgrain reach to those for whom it is meant. Additional chief secretary (home) KP Bakshi said that the amendment would enable government to arrest such people without any formality and ACS home would have to be informed in ten days of the arrest. He informed that the advisory board headed by sitting high court justice would hear government and the detained person after which such people could be put behind the bars for one year as per the ordinance.