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State govt extends time for submission of caste validity certificates for elections

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The Maharashtra government decided on Tuesday to extend the time for submission of caste validity certificates for contesting local body elections from the present six months to one year after filing of nomination.

The objective was to ease the workload of the Caste Validity Committee, as it will get more time to process applications filed by candidates, an official in the chief minister’s office said.

The proposal was approved at a weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis , he said.

The ‘Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra Municipal Councils, Nagar Panchayats and Industrial Townships Act’ will be amended for this purpose, he said.

The cabinet on Tuesday also decided to set up Mahanet’s Network Operation Centre at Navi Mumbai and Disaster Recovery Site at Nagpur.

MahaNet, a state government’s initiative, aims to digitally connect 12,740 gram panchayats in 172 talukas, the official said.

Under the project, a fibre optic network of over 50,000 km will be laid, and capacity of the existing Internet network will be enhanced from 100 mbps to 1 gbps.

With high-speed Internet, E-Health, E-education, E-agriculture services will be made available in villages, a government official said.

The cabinet also gave nod on Tuesday to implementation of the Centre’s National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems for clean-up and conservation of Koradi Lake near Nagpur.

The scheme, which contemplates desilting, removal of weeds and prevention of polluting effluents from entering the lake, will receive Rs 26.21 crore from the Centre.

Out of this amount, the Union government has already given Rs 8.74 crore to the state government.

State power generating company Mahagenco, which has a plant near the lake, will spend another Rs 17.48 crore on the project.

The cabinet also sanctioned Rs 3,978 crore for the Kukdi irrigation project which aims to bring 1.45 lakh hectares of area under irrigation in Pune, Solapur and Ahmednagar districts.

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