Nagpur: The sudden transfer of high-profile Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe amid Corona havoc has evoked mixed reactions from various quarters in the Second Capital.
It may be recalled that the no-nonsense bureaucrat Mundhe was abruptly transferred out of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation on Wednesday. Mundhe’s transfer was among the 16 bureaucrats in the State. The 2005-batch IAS officer had to bid goodbye to Nagpur after a stint of seven months.
In his short stint as the Nagpur Municipal Commissioner, Mundhe was at loggerheads with senior Corporators in the BJP-ruled civic body. Even Congress leaders from Nagpur had raised an issue against him with the ruling coalition.
The abrupt transfer of Mundhe evoked mixed reactions. Those angry with him rejoiced over the move while the supporters strongly opposed the State decision and demanded cancellation of his transfer. No doubt the Municipal Commisioner was honest and straight-forward but his working style was not taken well by not only many of the NMC babus but police, traders, and even the media as well. While some credit Mundhe for handling the COVID-19 situation adroitly, on the other hand he is being targeted for the rapid spread of the deadly virus in the city. This could be the main reason for Mundhe’s sudden transfer from Nagpur.
The shifting of Mundhe has given a cause of joy for the ruling BJP as the party was at the receiving end on one occasion or another over contentious issues.
According sources, the city police department was disappointed with the working style of the Municipal Commissioner. Such was the strange attitude of Mundhe that he would order police officials in a very rough tone. Amazed by the high-profile official’s “no team work” attitude of Mundhe, the top police officials started ‘cold shouldering’ Mundhe’s orders. This development could also be attributed to the rapid spread of the virus in the city.
The traders community had also become target of Mundhe’s “bizarre” working style. The decision of the Municipal Commissioner to mandatorily test traders evoked angry reaction. Moreover, Mundhe’s dictat to the traders register with NMC for licences left the traders flabbergasted. All the bodies of traders vociferously opposed the move and raised their voice at higher echelons.
The most pertinent reason for Mundhe’s transfer could be the sidelining of people’s representatives over the issues of public interest. Such was Mundhe’s style that even the Mayor felt the heat. The situation had reached the boiling point as differences between the ruling party and Mundhe continued to grab headlines routinely. The Mayor Sandip Joshi had said that they only expected that the Municipal Commissioner should work in co-ordination with the office-bearers.
The city unit of Aam Admi Party (AAP) too strongly objected to the transfer of Tukaram Mundhe. The party planned to hit the streets and demand cancellation of the move. “Mundhe was known to work by rule and did not succumb to the pressure of politicians,” the party said.
Mundhe’s transfers at a glance:
• Solapur’s Project Officer (August 2005 to August 2007)
• Nanded’s Deputy Collector (September 2007 to December 2007)
• Nagpur ZP’s CEO (Jan 2008 to March 2009)
• Nashik’s Tribal Department Commissioner (March 2009 to July 2009)
• Washim ZP’s CEO (July 2009 to May 2010)
• CEO of Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Mumbai (June 2010 to June 2011)
• Jalna Collector (June 2011 to August 2012)
• Assistant Sales Tax Commissioner, Mumbai (Sept 2012 to November 2014)
• Solapur Collector (Nov 2014 to April 2016)
• Navin Mumbai Mpl Commissioner (May 2016 to March 2017)
• Chairman of Pune Metro Transport Corporation (March 2017 to Feb 2018)
• Nashik Mpl Commissioner (Feb 2018 to Nov 2018)
• Stint at Planning Deptt, Mantralaya (2018)
• 2019: Director of AIDS Control Project
• 2020: Nagpur Municipal Commissioner
He is presently in home isolation. The Thackeray-led general administration department has now posted him as the member secretary of Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran, seen as a light posting.
Radhakrishnan B (2008) has succeeded him as the Nagpur civic chief. Among other major transfers, Lokesh Chandra (1993) was appointed as principal secretary, water resources, while Anshu Sinha (1999) will be the new skill development secretary. Shekhar Channe (2003) will be the new vice-chairman and managing director of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, while Avinash Dhakane (2010) has succeeded him to the transport commissioner’s post.
S M Deshpande (1991) will take over as the new principal secretary of administration reforms and operational maintenance, while Annasaheb Misal (2003) is the new Konkan divisional commissioner. N Ramaswami (2004), formerly chief executive officer, Maharashtra Maritime Board, was newly positioned as commissioner (family welfare) and director, National Health Mission. Other offices transferred include Vimla R, Naresh Gite (both 2009), Kailash Jadhav, Chandrakant Dange (both 2010), Deepa Mudhol Munde and S S Patil (both 2011) and Rohan Ghuge (2018).