Published On : Fri, Mar 6th, 2020

Mayor hits back MVA Govt: “Play politics but don’t dent image of Nagpur”

4 Shiv Sena MLAs had moved Call Attention Motion demanding dissolution of NMC

Nagpur: Hitting back at the four Shiv Sena MLAs who moved a Call Attention Motion in State Assembly demanding dissolution of Nagpur Municipal Corporation, the Mayor Sandeep Joshi sarcastically asked the MVA Government to play politics but do not sully the image of Nagpur.

Addressing a hurriedly called press conference on Thursday, Joshi said, “Today itself I held discussions woth Congress MLA Vikas Thakre. He also agreed that the tactics of MVA Government will dent the image of Nagpur city and this is illegal.

The angry retort from Mayor came after four Shiv Sena MLAs from Mumbai — Sunil Prabhu, Prakash Phaterpekar, Ramesh Korgaonkar and Ajay Choudhari — on Wednesday moved a Call Attention Motion in Legislative Assembly demanding dissolution of Nagpur Municipal Corporation. The MLAs charged that the NMC has conducted a crime of law by utilizing money of pension fund and GPF of employees in clearing dues of contractors. Bills of Rs 500 to Rs 800 crore are due on NMC, which has come to fore on March 2. NMC failed to complete projects approved by government due to lack of its share. Projects meant for completion in five years are incomplete in 8-10 years. NMC has approved works much more than its revenue. Government overlooked all these issues of NMC. Citizens of Nagpur are deprived of basic amenities and development due to all these issues. Therefore, it is very essential to dissolve NMC immediately, the MLA said.

The Mayor, hit back at the four Sena MLAs and MVA Government for this and accused them of maligning the image of Nagpur city for the sake of politics. Joshi further said that NMC’s financial health was good as was indicated from the fact that the civic body had not defaulted on payment of even a single instalment of loan. He accused MVA Government of trying to create hurdles in development of the city, which was placed on fast track when Devendra Fadnavis was Chief Minister and under the leadership of Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister. “If MVA feels that there is any irregularity in civic body’s affairs, it can order probe. Since we have not committed any wrong, we are ready to face any probe. But, if there is an attempt to malign the image of Nagpur city, elected representatives, corporators, and the people, we will take to streets,” he said.

The Mayor also warned that if MVA Government was aiming at dissolution of NMC, he would not take it lying down. Joshi took a dig at Tukaram Mundhe, Municipal Commissioner, also. “Everything was working well for NMC and developmental works also were being executed properly. But, suddenly there seems to be a realisation in the administration that NMC’s financial health is bad,” he said. In the past 37 days, he added, since when the new Municipal Commissioner has joined, several works have been stopped citing financial reasons. “We are not opposed to the discipline instilled by Mundhe in functioning of NMC, but we are surprised as to why he did not inform in detail about NMC’s financial health under relevant provisions of law to the general body of NMC,” said the Mayor. “If the Municipal Commissioner knew about the financial position, why did he not place it in writing before Standing Committee or general body,” he wondered.

Regarding various points raised in the call attention motion raised by Shiv Sena MLAs, the Mayor said that no MLA from Nagpur city, of any party including that of MVA constituents, had raised concern over NMC’s financial health. “It is surprising that the MLAs from Mumbai and Dindoshi, that too of a party which does not have a single MLA from Nagpur city, have expressed concern over NMC,” he remarked. In fact, he said, BJP, Congress, and BSP corporators from the city had been complaining to the Mayor about works coming to a standstill despite issue of work orders.

Making its intentions clear, Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government of Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP replaced Municipal Commissioner Abhijit Bangar with Tukaram Mundhe in January despite the former having completed only 14 months in NMC as against normal tenure of three years. Mundhe, who is seen as taking NMC office bearers head on, was in Mumbai on Wednesday. Citing exactly the issue raised by the four Sena MLAs in LAQ, Mundhe had some days ago stopped execution of all works which are yet to be executed.