The Mayor Anil Sole, in the last GBM, had directed registering of criminal offences against the then Commissioner, Legal Consultant, and other officials, who had negotiated an extended agreement with Star Bus Company, which proved more beneficial to the Company and put the NMC at heavy loss.
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) General Body Meeting (GBM) today strongly snubbed the Administration when it refused the Commissioner’s request to change the minutes of Mayor’s directives issued in the House, and in a way, cornered the IAS Lobby which was adopting pressure tactics right from Mumbai to change the minutes of the House.
The Mayor Anil Sole, in the last GBM, had directed registering of criminal offences against the then Commissioner, Legal Consultant, and other officials, who had negotiated an extended agreement with Star Bus Company, which proved more beneficial to the Company and put the NMC at heavy loss. The Mayor’s directives had rattled the IAS Lobby as the then Commissioner, an IAS, faced registration of criminal offences against him.
The Mayor again firmly made it clear that the House is no mood to change the minutes and ordered implementation of his directives issued in the last General Body Meeting. The House showed an unprecedented unity cutting the party lines and opposed the Commissioner’s (IAS) request unanimously. It was for the first time in the history of NMC that a hot discussion was held over the minutes of previous General Body Meeting.
The Commissioner’s request triggered an intense debate with the Opposition Leader in NMC Vikas Thakre spitting fire on the Administration. “The extended agreement with Star Bus Company was in the interest of the Company only. When the House had okayed the agreement, the officials negotiated an extended agreement with the Star Bus Company and okayed it on their own thus misguiding and insulting the House. The issue was discussed by the House thoroughly and subsequently, the Mayor Anil Sole had issued directives to the NMC Administration to register criminal offences against the concerned officials. The Mayor had issued the directives after considering the feelings of the House. And, now the Administration has insulted the House by forwarding the request to change the minutes of the Mayor’s directives,” roared Vikas Thakre and requested the Mayor not to permit changes in the minutes.
“Moreover, two months have lapsed after the Mayor’s directives but the Commissioner has not started a probe by a retired Judge,” Thakre charged and posed a pointed question: “Is the Commissioner trying to save the guilty officials under the cover of law?” The Ruling Party leaders Bandu Raut, Sudhakar Kohale, Prof Girish Deshmukh cleared their position and asserted that there is no need to change the minutes. The Leader of Ruling Party, Pravin Datke said, “The Mayor’s directives clear the feelings of the House. The Administration’s attempt to dent Mayor’s image is not appropriate. If we change the minutes today, a wrong precedence will be created,” Datke clarified. However, the Commissioner expressed opinion that unless the motive behind a decision is not clear, registration of any offence is not right then he may be a Corporator or an official. However, neglecting the Commissioner’s opinion, Mayor ordered to maintain the minutes.
MASSIVE IRREGULARITES BY ADMINISTRATION IN DISTRIBUTION of TDRs:
A shocking development was noticed by the General Body Meeting in connection with the distribution of Transfer of Development Rights (TDRs). The Town Planning Department of NMC, selectively neglecting the rules and regulations, distributed TDRs of those lands which could have been transferred free of any charge thus causing a loss of staggering Rs 200 crore to NMC. The Mayor Anil Sole, taking the serious note of the state of affairs, directed the Commissioner to prepare a probe report in this connection.
Praful Gurdhe Patil and Satish Holey tore apart the Town Planning Department’s working system over the TDR issue. Satish Holey charged that the Town Planning Department never inspected the lands which were distributed TDRs. He said the TDRs were distributed for lands admeasuring 1.88 lakh square feet since 2001. The Department sanctioned TDRs of hundreds of files that were found irregular and were kept pending, Holey said and pointed his fingers towards the then Commissioner Sanjay Jaiswal.
Praful Gurdhe Patil, while charging the Town Planning Department with selective negligence of rules and regulations of TDR distribution and necessary Government permission, said the officials sent “invitation cards” for distribution of TDRs. “There are specific rules on distribution of TDRs. The share-holders of lands could be given TDRs. Only one person could be distributed it and the TDR could not be given to holder of Power of Attorney. However, neglecting all these rules, 30 TDRs have so far been distributed out of which many places could have been transferred to NMC without any cost. However, by distributing the TDRs, the Administration has caused a loss of Rs 200 crore to NMC. Now, will the Administration cancel the TDRs?” questioned Praful Patil.
The Mayor, after listening the points raised by the members, directed the Commissioner to prepare a probe report and table that report in the next General Body Meeting.