Manhandled by Mumbai mayor's men, says SWD engineer

Updated: Jun 26, 2019, 08:25 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

Engineer had visited nullah near Matoshree in Bandra East for inspection where he allegedly got into an argument with the mayor

A number of engineers rushed to the civic chief to complain against the incident. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
A number of engineers rushed to the civic chief to complain against the incident. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Called to inspect a drain near Kalanagar junction on the Western Express Highway, Bandra East, a civic official was allegedly manhandled by some unidentified men. The chief engineer of Storm Water Drains, Vidyadhar Khandkar was manhandled allegedly in front of Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar who has, however, denied any such incident.

A nullah that runs into the Chamdawadi nullah of Bandra East was not draining water owing some ongoing work around it. This was affecting commuters and even the residents of Matoshree, where Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray resides. According to sources, Aaditya Thackeray had thus summoned the Mayor to look into the issue and arrange for quick relief.

Director of BMC VP Chithore, along with SWD chief engineer and other engineers were soon informed about the issue. However, upon visiting the site, a heated argument took place between the chief engineer and the Mayor, along with an exchange of abusive language.

An official said that during the argument, a man standing close to the Mayor manhandled the chief engineer. The Mayor too allegedly threatened to hit the chief engineer after which the Mayor was manhandled as well.

Following the incident, all the engineers of the SWD rushed to BMC headquarters to complain to Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi. But to their dismay, Pardeshi only met the senior officials and no official complaint was registered anywhere. The commissioner asked officials to calm down and get back to work since even the engineers had argued, sources said. “No complaint was registered as it was also the engineers’ mistake of answering back to the mayor. However, engineers said that manhandling was done by the Mayor’s men in his presence,” s senior civic official said.

While VP Chithore refused to comment on the issue, Mayor Mahadeshwar said, “We had called for a visit as the pending work on that nullah was causing traffic and water-logging. Upon visiting the place, civic officials told me that the problem will be resolved as the work is almost complete.” Over the manhandling issue, he said, “There was no such incident and I am not aware why engineers spoke to the commissioner about something that did not happen.”

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