Speaking to mid-day from Delhi, regarding the news of the BMC sending the Bhau Daji Lad museum’s management a show-cause notice, Tasneem Mehta, managing trustee and honorary director of Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum admitted that she learnt of this news via the press.
“All I can say is that if certain procedures need to be followed, the museum should be informed of it in writing. We have been following all norms expected of Government of India museums,” she said, in response to news that the administration at the BMC were planning to send her a show cause notice in light of certain irregularities at the museum.
Speaking about the BMC’s claim of the lack of an audit, Mehta mentioned that it was a lapse by the civic body, “If they felt there were irregularities, they should have taken the necessary steps.” “The claim that our inventory records are not maintained is incorrect,” she said, revealing that the 2015-16 SAP system was updated, and finally, in response to the claim of about the lack of daily checking at the museum, Mehta elaborated that a register was being maintained to ensure this practice was followed every day.
“Our first curator at the museum, the late Mr. Tiwari, was a retired Director General of Allahabad Museum, a Grade-1 museum. We had someone of his stature helping us set up this museum, and we had followed all norms,” she reiterated. “In fact, ten days ago, officials from CAG spent two days at the museum, and informally mentioned that they did not find any irregularities.”
Choosing not to react to the possibility of a notice against her, Mehta said, “I have not got anything in writing from the officials at the corporation and hence I prefer not to get into any detailed comment until then.
Everything that I have heard so far is from the media. A few days ago, I had written to the Mayor and the Municipal Commissioner requesting for a meeting of the Board of Trustees before the financial year ends. Let’s see what happens. Meanwhile, we will carry on with work at the museum – the common man and VIPs haven’t stopped coming here,” she said, signing off.