Thanks to the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, a stenographer who was caught accepting a bribe of Rs 25,000 by the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Thane, is now an Assistant Municipal Commissioner in ward number 4.
Ganesh Shimpi says he is not the only employee caught by the ACB who is working on a temporary post for the municipal corporation
Ganesh Shimpi (36) had been caught red-handed while accepting a bribe to allow illegal construction. Later, an inquiry by the municipal corporation authorities found him guilty, but he was still given the post.
Shimpi is AMC (encroachment) and around 500 illegal constructions have been built in the one-year period since he took over, alleged one of his colleagues.
On February 1 this year, Prakash Loond, a resident of Ulhasnagar 5, wrote a letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, complaining about Shimpi, and asked that he be removed from his post as he was caught in a corruption case. Fadnavis gave him the marching orders two months ago.
Nagesh Kamble, president of the NCP, Ambernath, has also written a letter to the municipal corporation, complaining about Shimpi.
A departmental inquiry was carried out by the retired deputy secretary of UMC, KS Bodade, and officials found Shimpi guilty. They had asked for strict action against him. Municipal Commissioner Manohar Hire also gave an order of stopping his increment on December 31, 2015.
However, an official of the municipal corporation when contacted said the post was given by mistake. “The post of Assistant Municipal Commissioner was given by mistake. The higher authorities, including the Municipal Commissioner, have the right to take action against Shimpi and accordingly, he will be sent back to the original post of stenographer,” said Yuvraj Bhadane, Assistant Municipal Commissioner and public relations officer of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation.
Datta Karale, Superintendent of Police, Anti-Corruption Bureau, Thane said, “I will see the status of the case and check with my officers and then comment on the same.”
The other side
Speaking to mid-day, Shimpi said, “I was given temporary charge as the assistant municipal commissioner and not a permanent charge. Not only me, but more than 13 people who were caught by ACB are currently working on temporary posts.”
How ACB caught Shimpi in 2013
The Anti-Corruption Bureau of Thane received a complaint from Manoj Thakur, a contractor from Ulhasnagar.
In his complaint he had claimed that to continue illegal construction without demolition, a duo from the UMC demanded money from him.
Of them, one was Ganesh Arvind Shimpi who demand R50,000 and had accepted R25,000 one month before in his house in Guru Kripa building, Ambernath.
The other was Rizwan Shemle (46), a muqadam who used to take reports of illegal constructions.
He had demanded R1 lakh, of which he accepted Rs 50,000 one month before.
Lack of staff
Six posts of Assistant Commissioner in the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation are vacant. Around five officials at the level of clerks are working as acting Assistant Commissioners. Fifteen persons handling different responsibilities due to a shortage of staff have been caught by the Anti-Corruption Bureau taking bribes.