Cable duct scam tainted Executive Engineer seeks voluntary retirement

The cable duct scam tainted Executive Engineer of Water Works Department of NMC Sanjay Gaekwad has reportedly sought voluntary retirement. Gaekwad is the second official of the Department to apply for voluntary retirement. Earlier, a senior official R D Jadhav too had applied for the same about three months ago and his application was accepted. Interestingly, Jadhav is scheduled to retire on July 31.

The Executive Engineer, who is facing charges in cable duct scam, is ailing since past few days. Gaekwad had found himself on sticky grounds after allegations of drastically reducing penalty levied on four mobile companies for illegally digging cable ducts in city. The tainted official had reduced a penalty of Rs 54.59 crore slapped on the 4 cellular companies to mere Rs 14.01 lakh in January, 2010. However, a subsequent probe had given him a clean chit. But the scam allegations had taken its toll and Gaekwad had taken ill with the affliction of spondylitis. Because of the illness, he has sought voluntary retirement, Gaekwad says.

The allegations leveled against the Executive Engineer were that as per guidelines, Gaekwad was supposed to facilitate removal of the optical fibre cables laid without permission, blacklist the companies and also recover the penalty amount. Following the allegations, the Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar had initiated an inquiry against Gaekwad but he was given a clean chit. Gaekwad otherwise has two more years of service. Though he has submitted his voluntary retirement application on Monday, Hardikar has not forwarded it to the General Administration Department (GAD). On the other hand, the NMC administration, has however, accepted the application of Jadhav who is slated to retire on July 31.

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( )