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'Take action against PMC education board chairman'

With PMC’s chief education officer Tukaram Supe being sent on forced leave over alleged corruption in the purchase of sapling pots in civic schools, MNS leaders on Monday demanded similar action against board chairman Ravi Chaudhari

After PMC Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh sent the PMC education board’s chief education officer Tukaram Supe on a forced leave for 15 days in connection with alleged corruption in the purchase of sapling pots in civic schools, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Monday demanded similar action against board Chairman Ravi Chaudhari, who happens to be an NCP member.


UP IN ARMS: MNS workers protested over the sapling pot issue yesterday, saying that Chairman Ravi Chaudhari was responsible as well, as he had put pressure on Supe to approve the work order for the pots. Pic/Mohan Patil

Last week, there was news that the PMC education board had issued cheques of Rs 3,000 to each school to purchase sapling pots, violating ongoing model code of conduct in the process. There was also some controversy about the price paid to the contractor for delivering these sapling pots to schools, at Rs 1,000 per pot.

“Education board Chairman Chaudhari is responsible for it. He pressurised Supe to approve the work order for these pots during the model code. But the PMC Commissioner has only fixed an inquiry against Supe. Chaudhari should also resign from his post on moral  grounds,” Rupali Patil, MNS Corporator demanded.

When contacted, PMC Commissioner Vikas Deshmukh said, “I directed the inquiry against Supe, who, as an administrative officer, comes under my jurisdiction. The mayor would decide whether to fix an inquiry on the education board chairman.”

Meanwhile, the staff of education board has sided with education officer Supe.

“Supe sir had taken charge just a couple of months back. The chairman always asked him to issue cheques to school principals in a hurry, so that funds would not lapse,” a senior official said, on condition of anonymity. “Despite the model code, after getting specific instructions we have issued funds to school improvement committees, through which schools are going to purchase sapling pots from the specific contractor,” the official added.

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