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Shiv Shiv Sena, Abu Azmi question details of civic body’s water bill defaulters’ list

Thursday, 30 January 2014 - 12:45pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

A day after dna revealed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) list naming late Bal Thackeray as a defaulter of water charges, his party Shiv Sena, one of the ruling outfits in the richest civic body, has questioned its details.          

Samajwadi Party’s (SP) state unit chief Abu Azmi, whose name also figures in the list, said he will file a defamation case against BMC, if the details turn out to be untrue.    

Besides Thackeray and Azmi, the list includes names of cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and relatives of former chief minister of Maharashtra AR Antulay.

Sena corporator and BMC’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said he checked the list and confirmed that there were no dues pending in Thackeray’s name. “We have checked the details at Matoshree (Thackerays’ Bandra residence). The details put online are untrue. We challenge the figures,” he said.

Shewale added that the details will be investigated. “We have already asked the officials concerned to probe how Thackeray’s name was mentioned in the list despite all the bills being paid. We are pushing for an inquiry into the entire list to know if there are more mistakes,” said the corporator from Mankhurd.   

A senior civic official, however, refused to comment on the inquiry order as claimed by Shewale. But he reiterated that the hydraulic engineer’s department takes action against defaulters case by case. “We do not differentiate among consumers based on whether s/he is a common person or big shot. We go case by case. Sometimes, there are technical issues involved. Matters are under dispute, and hence, outstanding are pending. But if a case deserves disconnection of supply, we will not shy away from doing that, irrespective of how big the name is,” the official said.   

Azmi said BMC has tarnished his image. “I have asked our party corporators to check the authenticity of the list. If the details prove to be false, I am going to serve a notice to BMC,” he added.    

While Naveed Antulay remained unavailable for his version on Wednesday too, Deepak Khade, the former CM’s associate, said he paid the bill as soon as the issue came to light. “We pay our bills regularly. But it is the BMC which doesn’t send bills on time. After learning about the pending dues, we have cleared the dues (of Rs48,777) on a priority basis on Wednesday,” Khade claimed.  

Despite several attempts, Tendulkar remained unavailable for comment.        

According to the list kept in public domain by BMC following the state information commission’s order passed last month, outstanding against Thackeray, Tendulkar (for two connections under separate categories) and Azmi are Rs1,15,625, Rs32,922 and Rs43,617 respectively.

True or false?
While SP’s state unit chief Abu Azmi said he will file a defamation case against the BMC, if the details turn out to be untrue, Sena corporator and BMC’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said he checked the list and confirmed that there were no dues pending in Thackeray’s name. Shewale added that the details will be investigated

A senior civic official refused to comment on the inquiry order, as claimed by Shewale, but reiterated that the hydraulic engineer’s department takes action against defaulters case by case and won’t shy away from disconnecting supply irrespective of who the defaulter is.




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