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City Mayor apologises for ‘charging’ Rs 500 fee

Panaji: While apologising for collecting a fee of Rs 500 from the shopkeepers seeking to reopen their establishments in the city, the city Mayor Uday Madkaikar said that, “it was done by mistake by the clerk who was entrusted with the responsibility of collecting fee from those seeking special permission for vehicles or permission to conduct business during the lockdown.”

“But in all we charged only four persons a fee of Rs 500. We had charged 20 others a fee of Rs 500 earlier while special permissions for vehicles or  permissions to conduct other businesses were sought. So, CCP has decided to return all the money charged within the next 2-3 days,” he added.

Addressing the media, Madkaikar said, “Those who paid the money are around 24 in number and their money would be refunded provided they either surrender the receipts or provide their bank account numbers.”

He said, “All the businesses are allowed to function without taking prior permissions from the Corporation of the City of Panaji, but they should maintain social distancing and ensure use of face masks and above all limited staff should be working.”

He apologised for the inconvenience caused to them.

Madkaikar also clarified on receiving the delivery of new Innova car for Mayor during this “odd time” when the people are fighting coronavirus.

The Mayor said that the vehicle was booked in May 2019 and was due for delivery but he was disturbed when some of his arch-rivals started circulating the news on the social media.

He said, “To be very frank, Mayor’s car is 7-year-old, and the provision of Rs 20 lakh was made by the government.  Yesterday that showroom was open and they delivered the vehicle to the CCP and I took the delivery unintentionally. So, I apologise to the public for having brought the vehicle during this odd time.” 

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