If all goes as planned, very soon ACP Vasant Dhoble may be deputed to the BMC and become every hawker’s worst nightmare. Days after ACP Vasant Dhoble was transferred to the police main control room from Vakola division after a hawker died during one of his eviction drives, there is talk of deputing him to the civic body as a deputy municipal commissioner to handle the encroachment removal section.
The suggestion comes after MNS chief Raj Thackeray opposed Dhoble’s transfer and a letter written by MNS Corporator Sandip Deshpande was submitted to Mayor Sunil Prabhu. Deshpande, said, “Why should we waste Dhoble’s resources in a control room while we can get him to work in the BMC.
The government allows any person who has passed the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examinations to work with the civic body. Hence, I wrote to the mayor asking him to ask that Dhoble be deputed to the BMC so that he can continue his drive against illegal hawkers.”
According to BMC figures, 3,139 hawkers were removed by the civic body with the help of Dhoble from July to December, while the BMC alone only managed to remove 2,566 hawkers from the H (east) ward prior to Dhoble’s transfer i.e from January to June.
Officials from the Licence department, which is responsible for the removal of hawkers and illegal banners, also said that there had been a rise in the number of hawkers that were removed from the streets in the H (east) ward after Dhoble’s transfer.
“There have been thousands of cases booked against illegal hawkers and those who put up illegal banners. In the H (east) ward there was certainly a growth in the removal of hawkers in the later half of the year,” said S B Bande, Licence superintendent, BMC.
When MiD DAY approached Mayor Prabhu and asked if the deputation could be possible, he said that the decision was up to the state government. “If BMC officials would do their job properly, there would be no need to depute him.”
When asked if he would welcome Dhoble into the civic body, the Mayor added, “Sure, we will welcome him, if the state government deputes him to the BMC.” And while the Mayor said that Dhoble would be welcomed in with open arms, some weren’t so happy about the news.
A senior official said, “He cannot be deputed from the police force to the BMC service. If he wants to come he should clear the MPSC exam.” Meanwhile, Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte was remained unavailable for comment.
Residents and locals of Santacruz (East), Khar (East) and Bandra (East) feel that he should stay put and continue his work.
Why move him to the BMC? Let him do his job as he is doing right now. He is doing a great job.
Anandini Thakoor, chairman of H (west) federation
Appoint anyone to the post but make sure that there is no political interference in this matter as this is an administration duty and this needs to be done by the administration. As long as Dhoble is contributing to the city, it doesn’t matter if he is in the BMC or police
Nayana Kathpalia, Citispace, an NGO fighting for open spaces
The total number of hawkers that were removed from the streets in the city in 2012