BMC's Deputy Municipal Commissioner sent on forced leave
Civic chief orders probe into allegations that Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Environment) LS Vhatkar bent rules to allow tainted contractors to return
Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Environment) LS Vhatkar has been sent on forced leave by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner. Interestingly, this is not for conniving with contractors during road construction but for allowing three contractors to return to the BMC by issuing orders to demote them instead of blacklisting them.
Even as the road scam worth over Rs 300 crore shook the corporation and cost many officials suspension or demotion among other actions, its officials do not seem to be learning from their mistakes.
Vhatkar, who does not hold charge of BMC director any longer, still went ahead and exercised his powers as director and kept holding hearings against the contractors. Vhatkar was deputed to carry out the duties of deputy municipal commissioner of the environment department of the BMC for the past one year. But, despite this, last month, Vhatkar passed orders to demote these three contractors making them eligible to bid for below Rs 7 crore civic contracts.
This was picked up by additional municipal commissioner, eastern suburbs, and forwarded to civic chief Ajoy Mehta. Following this, Mehta immediately ordered an enquiry into the matter as he reiterated that the contractors have caused huge loss of public money along with troubling citizens by constructing inferior quality roads. Mehta has stated in his order, issued on Friday, that the powers under which the orders were passed by DMC (Environment) need to be investigated along with initiating an enquiry against Vhatkar and till then he should go on forced leave.
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