Maharashtra government approves ordinance to amend MPDA Act

The state government today gave a nod to an ordinance for amending the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) Act, under which sand mafia will not get bail for one year after arrest. The decision was taken at the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

"Culprits arrested in illegal sand mining cases will not get bail for one year after their arrest," state Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse told reporters while informing about the government's nod for the ordinance to amend the MPDA Act.

Meanwhile, in view of acute water scarcity, the government is considering ban on sugarcane crushing and prohibiting water for its production, said Khadse, who is also the state agriculture minister. Cloud-seeding, a form of weather modification, is being conducted in the state for last one month.

"The procedure would continue till October end and so far there has been 60 per cent success," he said. To a question on the demand for renaming Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar, Khadse said the decision to rename the place was taken by the earlier Sena-BJP government.

"However, the decision could not be implemented as it was challenged in court. Later, the Congress-NCP assumed power and nothing was done," the minister said.

"I am of the view that the name should be changed. But, no steps are being taken at the government level as yet. I will request the Chief Minister to bring a proposal in the cabinet. If the need arises, we will ask for views of the people," he said.

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