What's for dinner? Here's what really goes on in BMC's offices

Bang in the middle of a work day, govt staff at BMC's T-ward office are caught tackling a mound of veggies for dinner

A video grab of Census department staffers cleaning leafy vegetables
A video grab of Census department staffers cleaning leafy vegetables

While the rest of the world takes its work home, government staffers in Mumbai bring their domestic chores to the workplace. Here’s what Chandan Sontakke, 27, found when he visited BMC’s T-ward office last week.

If there’s one thing government staff tends to be good at, it’s getting citizens to run around in circles when they need to get official work done. Not, however, because they have a challenge on their hands but because they are usually ‘busy with more important work’.

A video taken at BMC’s T-ward (Mulund) office recently reveals the shocking truth of what goes on in the civic body’s offices in the name of work.

Chandan Sonttake (27), a resident of Khar, had visited the office last week to apply for his father-in-law's death certificate. While being gruffly informed what he needed to get in order, he happened to pass a table where two staffers were cleaning a pile of spinach at a desk. A third male staffer was sitting beside them, joining the chatter. Frustrated at having been fobbed off, Sonttake brought out his phone and filmed the moment.

“On November 25, my wife Rani and I visited the T ward office of the BMC to apply for a death certificate for her father, who had passed away a few years ago. When I asked the officials concerned to take my application, they said since my father-in-law, Vilas Chavan, was cremated in Byculla, which falls under E Ward, I should be headed there. But first, I would have to makes inquiries at the shamshaan bhumi (crematorium) and then apply at the ward office concerned. I requested their assistance, but they told me to leave and head to Byculla. As I was leaving, I saw two staffers cleaning and cutting vegetables. I was shocked since they were on duty,” Sontakke recalls.

Sontakke hoped that the video evidence would bolster the complaint he was to make with the ward officer. However, Sontakke says that ward officer Prashant Sapkale, after seeing the video, said, “Oh, this is the Census office. They operate out of the T-ward premises. This is their staff.”

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