Day after Uddhav Thackeray's visit, BMC's additional commissioner, Ashwini Joshi, transferred

Updated: Dec 07, 2019, 07:48 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Suresh Kakani, chief of Maharashtra airports development authority, who has worked very closely with the earlier Congress and NCP governments, has replaced Joshi

Ashwini Joshi has now been transferred as the director of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
Ashwini Joshi has now been transferred as the director of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan

A day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's visit to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Ashwini Joshi has been transferred as the director of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan within eight months of taking charge as additional municipal commissioner (AMC) of the BMC. Insiders said the CM might have transferred the high-profile bureaucrat, supposedly close to the earlier dispensation in Mantralaya, because the Sena corporators had planned to move a no-confidence motion against Joshi.

"Suresh Kakani, chief of Maharashtra airports development authority, who has worked very closely with the earlier Congress and NCP governments, has replaced Joshi. She had been working as commissioner of state excise before being shifted to project director of Mumbai district AIDS control society. She was considered very influential in the previous regime. Other two additional commissioners have been with the civic corporation for over three years but it was her turn to go first as she fell out of ruling party's favour despite being an efficient babu," a BMC official said.

Joshi who was transferred as Western Suburbs AMC in April 2019 was criticised by the corporators in various Standing Committee and Health Committee meeting by the corporators as many claimed that she was not approachable. It is the Sena leaders in BMC who have claimed that her transfer was needed as she did not listen to their suggestions.

According to sources, she first got into the black book of the corporators after she denied blacklisting the contractors who delayed the supply of medicines. Following this, she was then targeted by the corporators for favouring few officers in the health department and promoting them. Sources also said that the recent fire incident in KEM which resulted in the death of a two and half month boy — Prince, was the final blow on Joshi as many corporators accused her of lacking intent in taking action against those responsible.

Amey Ghole, health committee chairman and a Sena corporator, said, "This transfer was needed as the civic body needs an officer who is approachable and works for the betterment of the citizens and not just according to her will. When the elected representatives approach the administrative wing it is expected that they hear us out and also take our suggestions as they come from people who are representing the common public.

But she was always unapproachable and flouted various MCA guidelines during her tenure. This is a welcome move." On the contrary, a few officials believe that she was purposely targeted as she did not agree with whatever the corporators demanded and always went by the rule book. One of the officers on request of anonymity, said, "When she was forced by the Sena corporators for blacklisting the contractors, she was working towards the betterment of patients as she wanted the supply to continue at the earliest instead of going through the entire process of re-appointing someone else. She always agreed to send notices to the contractors and following the procedures instead of directly issuing blacklisting orders. She was an officer who was very efficient and always followed the rule book."

This was further backed by BJP, claiming that Joshi was singled out. Vivekanand Gupta, one of the BJP leaders, said, "Why is just one IAS being singled out and that too without following procedures. It is the first time an additional chief secretary has written a letter of transfer instead of issuing an official transfer order." When mid-day tried to reach Joshi, she said that she left the charge as AMC on Friday.

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