Vashi: Addressing the media that observed all social distancing norms and wore masks, legislator Mandatai Mhatre alleged that after 2 years of the State Government’s  resolution of July 18, 2018, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation officials refuse to comply with the amended Act for all government grant receiving special schools for the divyangs (specially challenged) run by the government or non-government organizations in the State.

Referring to NMMC’s ETC (Education and Training Centre), she alleged that all municipal commissioners, guided by the deputy officials in the corporation refused to acknowledge the ETC to be a school and under the garb of it being a training centre deliberately played into the hands of the director of the Centre, Varsha Bhagat, and blatantly flouted the provisions of the Act.

With Manda Mhatre from left Vinay More, Vijay Ghate, Sampat Patil and Rajesh Patil.

Mandatai alleged that she has been fighting for the rights of the students of ETC and their parents since 2015 after she found the Centre misappropriating funds of the municipal corporation, exploiting and harassing the employees, indulging in nepotism in the appointment of staff, failing to provide requisite education and training to the divyangs, making purchase of books, uniforms and other materials for the students and not distributing them and reducing school hours to almost one third of the required 6 hours.

She added that the amended Act was a result of her relentless follow up with the parents, media, officials and the then chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis. She expressed confidence that the present chief minister too will respond to the sensitivity of the demands for the Divyang school and initiate necessary action.  

Manda Mhatre warned that she will make a plea on this issue to the present civic chief, Abhijit Bangar, on the issues plaguing the Centre and if no compliance of the State Act is forthcoming, she will have no choice but to move a calling attention motion or breach of privilege motion in the State Assembly to enforce the State GR.

Presently the Centres in Vashi and Airoli are being utilized as COVID-19 care centres and the legislator stated that she would request the NMMC chief to re-start the school as per provisions of the Act and shift the COVID care centre from the ETC premises.

Sampat Patil, representing the parents of the students of the school alleged that they have been knocking every leaders’ and municipal chiefs’ door for long and failed to get justice. He alleged that one civic chief, Tukaram Mundhe, was so rude that he refused to listen to any of their pleas.

Manda Mhatre stated that she will insist on a thorough enquiry into the fraudulent functioning of the Centre, that has won national awards and has been praised by several corporators and mayors in the civic general body. She added that she will raise the matter in the forthcoming Assembly session, if the municipal chief fails to take necessary action.

Navi Mumbai BJP leaders Rajesh Patil, Vijay Ghate and Vinay More and former Standing Committee chairman of NMMC Sampat Shewale were also present at the media briefing.