Published On : Sat, Oct 20th, 2018

Gandhibagh Zone Ward Officer suspended for ‘height of negligence’

The Ward Officer demolished a new school building instead of dilapidated old school building

Nagpur: Acting tough the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) administration on Saturday suspended Gandhibagh Zone Ward Officer who is also Chief of Enforcement Department Ashok Patil for utter negligence in demolishing portion of a newly built school instead of dilapidated old school building. However, the Head of Malaria and Filaria Department escaped punitive action despite a number of deaths due to dengue, malaria, swine flu and other diseases.

The decision to suspend Ashok Patil was taken in the General Body Meeting (GBM) of NMC held at Town Hall, Mahal, on Saturday. Mayor Nanda Jichkar chaired the meeting. The ruling party, on the basis of brute majority, approved many of the subjects on the agenda amid uproar by Opposition members over one issue or another.

During the Question Hour, former Mayor Pravin Datke raised the issue of negligence in demolition of Badkas Square-based Kayande Primary School building. Datke informed the House that Gandhibagh Zone Ward Officer and Assistant Engineer, sitting in the premises of the school, ordered demolition of a portion of a newly built school building instead of dilapidated, old school building. The official initiated the action without going through and confirming the facts stated in a memorandum submitted by the ‘bogus’ Secretary of the school.

The Assistant Commissioner of the concerned department failed to give satisfactory explanation to the issue raised by Datke. Subsequently, on the demand of Datke and Ruling Party Leader Sandeep Joshi the Mayor ordered the NMC administration to suspend the Ward Officer and Assistant Engineer and carry out a probe into the matter.

Ongoing recruitment not to be stopped: Mayor
BJP member Balya Borkar charged that recruitment is going on in Fire Brigade instead of regularising Aiwajdars who are in service for the past two decades. He demanded regularisation of Aiwajdars and other temporary employees instead of new recruitment. The NMC administration clarified that due to the non-fulfilment of rules and regulations of recruitment process, the Aiwajdars serving in the department were not considered for regularisation.

Replying to a question raised by BSP Corporator, the Mayor asserted that the ongoing recruitment for four posts will not be stopped.

Special meeting on water crisis on Nov 3:
A Congress Corporator from North Nagpur Kamalesh Chaudhary wanted to know steps taken by NMC administration to deal with the current and impending water crisis in coming summer. He said that many areas are experiencing water shortage. The Water Works Department maintained silence to the volley of salvos on water shortage front. BJP member Deepak Chaudhary lost control and said “They should perform havan for water.” Enraged by the retort, members of Congress and BSP started creating uproar in the House. They marched to the well of the House created ruckus.

An explosive situation was averted when Chaudhary too rushed to the well and tried to attack the Congress and BSP Members. Timely action by Joshi and Mayor in stopping Chaudhary and taking him to his seat averted a scene. However, sensing the volatile mood of the members, Joshi urged the Mayor that a special meeting to discuss the water crisis issue should be convened. The Mayor agreed to the request and informed the House that the special meeting will be held on November 3.

Mayor assures to resolve problems of contractors soon:
Members across the party lines raised the issue of ongoing agitation launched by NMC contractors for their various demands. The agitation has entered ninth day. Taking serious note of the issue, the Mayor assured the House that pending bills of contractors would be cleared as soon as possible.

Charges on various services reduced by 50%:
The NMC has notified around 15 public interest services under Maharashtra Right to Public Service Act 2015. The services include birth, death certificate, marriage registration, constructions, maps, water connections, no objection certificate from Fire Brigade, etc etc. The NMC administration fixed the charges for general and urgent services and sent the proposal to GBM. The Ruling Party Leader Sandeep Joshi recommended reducing the charges by 50 percent. The Mayor accepted the recommendation forthwith.

Relief for lease holders:
The GBM of NMC also debated the issue of lease levy. Currently, NMC is levying 24 percent for transfer of residential properties without taking permission of competent authority. Now, the local body has proposed to levy 5 percent of ready reckoner for transfer of residential property with prior permission of the NMC. However, NMC has proposed 25 percent of ready reckoner for transfer of commercial properties having permission of competent authority and 50 percent for transactions done without obtaining permission. However, the Chairman of Estates Committee Sanjay Bangale gave a positive suggestion in the interest of citizens as well as administration. The Ruling Party Leader Joshi directed the concerned department to reduce the rates by 50 percent and issue new demand notices to the concerned citizens.The last date for payment of new rates sbeen fixed as December 31. NMC has given a big relief to lease holders while allowing renewal of their leases. Now, they do not have to pay interest on pending dues, however, after issuing notice, if they fail to pay the dues within prescribed limit, then they will have to pay a levy with 2 per cent interest per month. The proposal was approved by the Mayor.

Dengue, malaria outbreak:
A host of members including Leader of Opposition Tanaji Vanve, Chhotu Bhoyar, Rajendra Sonkusre, Pintu Jhalke, Mohd Jamal, Zulfekar Bhutto and others came down heavily on NMC administration and Malaria and Filaria Department chief for large number deaths due to dengue, malaria, swine flu. The members even demanded suspension of head of Malaria and Filaria Department. However, the ruling party in a well-planned strategy maintained radio silence over the issue. The Deputy Mayor directed the Municipal Commissioner to investigate the matter thoroughly. Not satisfied, the Congress and BSP members created furore and marched to the well of the House. Tang advantage of the situation, the Ruling Party approved remaining subjects on the agenda and adjourned the meeting.