Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte seems to have again succumbed to political pressure. This time, the civic body has transferred two upright officers for doing their duty. The transfer of two assistant commissioners (from B ward and R – central) comes closely after the deputy chief engineer from the roads department was shifted to the sewage disposal project he did not 'listen' to the political leaders in the BMC.
B-ward (Bhendi Bazaar and Masjid Bunder) officer Kishore Gandhi has been moved to R–central (Borivali) and will be replaced by Vijayanand Bole. Gandhi was transferred on Saturday.
According to civic officials, Gandhi had compiled a list of illegal structures, often committed by developers in connivance with corporators and politicians, and had sent out notices warning action. Congress corporators and the local MLA had vociferously demanded his transfer. Also, many civic staffers too are hand in glove with builders and netas, they said.
"Gandhi's list had all details pertaining to the illegalities, status of cases and what actions had been taken against the structures and the owners by the BMC. Also, complainants were not entertained by the ward office earlier. Unfortunately, the commissioner never supported the honest officer," rued a civic official.
After his posting in B-ward in November 2013, Gandhi had already created ripples within a week. Just ten days after his appointment, Congress corporator Waqarunissa Ansari and Javed Juneja, supported by Amin Patel, had protested against him outside the ward.
The other officer, Vijayanand G Bole, too fell prey to this game as certain corporators had claimed that he did not approve the plans proposed by them. "There is a constant tug of war between MLAs and corporators as both groups are trying to secure vote banks. In such a situation, officials find it difficult to manage the situation," said a civic official.
He added, "If an officer tries to show the rule he will face the same fate. Otherwise, he will have to compromise on moral grounds to suit to everyone's need", said a civic official.