Proving the apprehensions regarding Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s performance on the day of the bandh wrong — considering NDA partners BJP, Shiv Sena are at the helm of affairs —, the civic agency’s offices appeared to be adequately staffed yesterday. Over 77 per cent of employees were on the job. The remaining may be in trouble, with the administration threatening action. There were no complaints about disruption of emergency services like water supply, fire brigade, hospital or conservancy. Attendance in these departments was over 70 per cent. However, turnout in the early hours was about 50 per cent, with many employees showing up late.
Highs and lows
100 per cent attendance was recorded at the civic eye hospital in Kamathipura. The lowest turnout was in H-East (Bandra East) ward, at 49.88 per cent. BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte had issued a circular to every department and all 24 wards in the city on Wednesday, warning that no employee should participate in the Bharat Bandh.
“The municipal employees participating in the bandh should not be granted any leave like casual, earned or any other leave,” Kunte had said.
Attendance of assistant and deputy municipal commissioners, and other supervisory staff, was reported to be over 90 per cent. However, many from the clerical staff didn’t reach work in the morning.
“We’ll ascertain the causes behind the absenteeism and will then decide appropriate action. But, we came to know that there was no strike or participation in the bandh from the employees’ union. So, we will consider any genuine reasons for not coming to work,” said Mohan Adtani, addl municipal commissioner.
Merriment in Mantralaya
As compared to the earlier bandhs, most departments in the state secretariat saw a rather high staff turnout. However, the employees were seen having a gala time, as there were hardly any visitors.
When we visited Mantralaya around 11.30 am, guards stationed at various entry points said that the attendance was strong, but was below normal as staffers who reside in the distant suburbs had skipped office, fearing violence while commuting.
— Berges Malu
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