Amassing disproportionate assets is not the sole domain of corrupt netas. Babus in the municipal corporation also have the wherewithal to pile up wealth patently at odds with their known sources of income, as an engineer in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stands to demonstrate. BMC assistant engineer Bandu Kulkarni draws a monthly salary of Rs 25,000 but has managed to collect properties allegedly worth Rs 7 crore.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau and the civic officials should be racking their brains to solve the puzzler. Kulkarni’s wide-ranging assets came to light after a complaint was filed against him in 2012 by none other that his second wife, after he decided to leave her.
Anjali Kulkarni, who stays in Lokhandwala complex in Kandivli (East) has alleged that her husband owns many illegal properties in her name. Anjali says she wants the BMC and the ACB to find out how a government employee managed to buy property worth crores in Mumbai.
In 2012, Anjali investigated the worth of the properties owned by her husband through the Right to Information Act, and submitted the documents she received in reply to her RTI query to the BMC. Based on the papers, civic body officials are carrying out an investigation.
The documents submitted by Anjali mention a house owned by Bandu in Meghwadi in Jogeshwari (East), three shops in MHB Colony and Meghwadi, a house in Sarvodaya Nagar in Jogeshwari (East), a shop near Oberoi mall in Goregaon (East), two flats in Lokhandwala and National Avenue on Akurli Road in Kandivli (East).
“I just want to expose to the government that their employee is the owner of several illegal properties which they are not aware of,” said Anjali, adding, “Also, for two years, Bandu did not inform the BMC about a “gift” of more than Rs 25,000 which he allegedly got in the name of his daughter and his first wife Sunita.”
As per BMC rules, any employee receiving a present worth more than Rs 25,000 is required to inform the authorities of it. Anjali has alleged that she submitted all the documents to the BMC in 2012, but the civic authority has not taken any step against her husband. “Due to the slow progress of the investigations, the BMC recently asked another officer to handle the case,” said Anjali.
Recently, the civic authorities directed her to submit the accusatory documents to the Anti-Corruption Bureau. But a graft case can be lodged only after the BMC completes its probe in the matter. When contacted, the officer in charge of the investigation in the case, named Shishupal, said, “I was given the case two months ago. I will conduct the investigation and submit my report to the BMC.”
The other side
Speaking to MiD DAY, Anjali’s husband Bandu denied all the allegations. “I will give a reply to the investigating officers about the property. I had not informed the BMC about the gift for two years but later I did,” he said.