Nagpur: The present scenario prevailing in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) could adjectively be called “eerie” but “cheerful” for two reasons. ‘Eerie’ because the hustling and bustling corridors of civic body have turned ‘silent’ as the ‘powerful’ Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Standing Committee Chairman show up their faces for few seconds in Headquarters and vanish within no time leaving the vital work unfinished and to the mercy of babus. And “cheerful” because the officials and employees are cherishing the moments as they have been spared of hours of hard work the top office-bearers would have forced upon them. However, the only saving face is the Ruling Party Leader who spends hours in his chamber and handling citizens’ problems, development works and other administrative chores.
The future of amiable and hardworking Mayor Pravin Datke holds good. He was saddled in Mayor’s chair in lieu of MLA’s ticket he was cherishing for. He is a man of help out of the way if exigency demands. But the big drawback is that the Headquarter rarely sees the Mayor’s face. Many feel that he is neither interested in increasing NMC’s revenue nor active in initiating newer development works. The ‘busy somewhere’ Mayor drawing flak from ruling, opposition office-bearers and workers for his attitude towards main official work. But not all are unhappy. A section of officials and employees have gone cheerful for a busy Mayor in HQ would have made their lives ‘miserable’ with hard work. Ostensibly, the Mayor is losing grip over Administration with every passing day thanks to his absence in HQ.
It would turn out a challenge if one accepts to keep a tab on Deputy Mayor’s visits to the NMC Headquarters. It is the Deputy Mayor Munna Pokulwar alone who knows when he comes and goes. His face is seen only when some function is held or the ruling party asks for his service. Otherwise, the Deputy Mayor is an “alien” to the HQ.
Writing on Standing Committee Chairman is lesser the better. Ramesh Shingare is NIT Trustee, too. So he has an excuse to spend more and more time in NIT. Shingare pretends ignorance about his responsibilities in NMC. When files are thrust upon him then only he ‘wakes up’ to his duties. Problems of citizens are dealt in disdain. In NMC, the Chairman is seen only when “beneficial’ matters come to his table. The outcome is that forget the Municipal Commissioner no other babus take the Chairman ‘seriously’ and treat him disdainfully. In this sordid situation Shingare runs to other ruling party office-bearers for getting the work done.
Same is the case with other ruling and opposition office-bearers.
The only saving grace for officials and citizens is in the shape of Ruling Party Leader Dayashankar Tiwari. He is at the helm of affairs at any given time. He is emerging a subtle substitute for positive development in NMC and city as well.
In all fairness, the corridors in NMC used to be hustling and bustling when representatives of people strived and slogged for welfare of their city and citizens. The atmosphere used to resemble Deepawali and Dussehra festivities. But the time, it seems, has changed. Now, only the time will tell when the NMC will return to its glorious past.
Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha(rajeev.nagpurtoday@