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In a first, Mumbai corporators unite over civic officer's demotion

After the civic chief demoted deputy municipal commissioner Ramesh Pawar to assistant commissioner, the opposition and ruling parties have joined forces to oppose the move

In an unprecedented move, corporators cutting across party lines yesterday came together to oppose Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte’s decision to demote a deputy municipal commissioner.

Ramesh Pawar was demoted to assistant municipal commissioner on Monday. File pic
Ramesh Pawar was demoted to assistant municipal commissioner on Monday. File pic

Kunte had passed orders for the demotion of Ramesh Pawar to the rank of assistant municipal commissioner on Monday. After the matter came to light, the ruling party opposed the move and believed the opposition would be in favour of it. But, to their surprise the opposition also disputed the relegation.

The corporators are unanimous in their opinion that Kunte is acting undemocratic and dictating terms without the permission of the corporation. Congress opposition leader Devendra Amberkar took his concerns a step further, stating that he would propose a no confidence motion against the commissioner in the next General Body meeting, scheduled for next month.

Pawar was earlier the assistant commissioner of K-west ward and was later promoted as deputy commissioner (central purchase department) and was assigned charge of zone-II. Corporators opine that Pawar is an honest and hardworking officer and hence doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.

The corporators are also upset about the manner in which the orders were passed, as the promotion orders for other officers reached the General Body for approval, but the demotion order was directly given and not brought to the notice of the members, which according to them was an insult.

Amberkar said, “This is an extremely pathetic way to treat an honest and hard working officer. Pawar is known to do his work and get results, then why demote an officer of his calibre. The commissioner just wants to dictate terms and exhibit his powers. I am proposing a no confidence motion against the commissioner and would want the ruling party to support it, which I am sure they would.”

Manoj Kotak, BJP’s standing committee member, said, “We would surely support the no confidence motion against the commissioner, as he doesn’t believe in doing work and also doesn’t want good people to work. Given his position, he should not be biased. There would be many other options apart from demotion; it’s such a demoralising thing to do. The morale of other officers is also down now.”

BMC speak
Additional Municipal Commissioner, Mohan Adtani, who attended the standing committee meeting, said, “We have no doubts about Ramesh Pawar being an honest officer, but there were other seniors awaiting promotions. As there were less posts available for the post of deputy municipal commissioner, we had to demote him.”

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