SHREE SAI BABA SANSTHAN TRUST`SHIRDI EMPOWERED WITH AUTHORITY TO GIVE GRANTS
01st June`2011 The Maharashtra State Cabinet has cleared a proposal seeking amendment to the "Shree Sai Baba Sansthan Trust (Shirdi) Ordinance 2004", to empower India's second-richest Temple Trust with the Authority to give Financial Assistance & Grants to the Boards, Companies or Institutions falling under the control of the State. This Cabinet decision is spurred by the Government's requirement of funds to implement a slew of Infrastructure and Development projects at Shirdi, the holy land of one of the most revered Spiritual Gurus, Shri Sai Baba, whose devotees span across not only India, but all continents, and Baba's Temple is visited by lakhs of people throughout the year. The Temple falls under the jurisdiction of the State Department for Law & Justice (L&J) and is managed by the Trust, formed under the "Shree Sai Baba Sansthan Trust (Shirdi) Act 2004", which was amended by way of an Ordinance, the same year. According to the Shirdi Trust's Chief Accounts Officer, Shri.Hemant Jadhavar, 1) The Temple's annual Income through Donations, Rent and Interests, among others, is close to Rs.300 crore. 2) The Temple's Investments in Bank Deposits etc., are to the tune of Rs.529 crore. 3) The overall worth of the Temple's Property is nearly Rs.1,000 crore. Utilisation of the Trust funds is governed by section 21 of this Ordinance. As of now, the section does not empower the Trust to extend funds to State-controlled Boards, Companies or Institutions for purposes like Development Projects. Responding to a proposal moved by the L&J department, the State Cabinet has decided to amend section 21 of the Ordinance to facilitate the Trust to fund Infrastructure & Development Projects. In 2010, the Government had launched the construction of the Rs.118-crore phase I of the Shirdi Airport project over a 750-acre land at Kakdi village, about 10 km from Shirdi, but the same has been held up for nearly 6 months now owing to paucity of funds. The Government had urged the Shirdi Temple Trust to provide financial assistance of Rs.50 crore for the Airport project, which is being implemented by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company, a special purpose vehicle headed by the Chief Minister. It's not just the Airport, but funds are also required to operationalise a Rs.200-crore makeover plan for Shirdi, mainly through the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation. The plan was cleared in July 2008 by the government, which had also announced formation of the Shirdi Development Authority to recast Shirdi Township on the lines of Tirupati. Things haven't progressed much on the makeover front, barring few steps like acquisition of land for the Ring Road project and some Road-widening works. Overall, the Plan mentioned projects like construction of a 6 km long Skywalk around Shirdi Temple, Footpaths, Pedestrian Pathways, a 10-level-high multi-layer Parking lot, Ring Road and a bypass road for the Traffic. Similarly, widening and reconstruction of around 25 km of road in and around Shirdi finds mention.
Labels: Latest News from Shirdi for 2011