Mumbai: BMC to show the door to Devendra Fadnavis's fellows?

Updated: Dec 03, 2019, 07:30 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Around 15 of CM's fellows were recruited allegedly as 'watchdogs' in the Shiv Sena-led civic body, by the Fadnavis-led state government

The fellowship programme was the brainchild of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis
The fellowship programme was the brainchild of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis

With the change of guard at the CMO, the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) might consider doing away with the Chief Minister's fellows appointed by the BMC commissioner. Corporators and officers had said then that it was the state government's strategy to keep an eye on their work. Now, with the Sena ruling in the BMC and the state, this won't be needed.

The BMC had hired 15 fellows, who had completed the CM's fellowship programme, at a monthly salary of R75,000 in September. It had claimed to use their expertise and help get out-of-box ideas from them. Many department heads in the civic body, along with the mayor and the standing committee chairman were, however, hesitant to recruit them. The fellowship programme was a brainchild of former CM Devendra Fadnavis.

"We had appointed the fellows as per the need of the departments concerned. Some of them desperately needed the fellows while others didn't," said a senior civic official. While they cannot be removed immediately, a one-month notice will be given to them or they will be transferred to another project, said another officer.

"There is absolutely no need to recruit such fellows in the BMC as there are so many experienced officers doing their work sincerely. Many of the employees in the BMC with over 15 years of experience don't get Rs 50,000 salary. It was the ex-CM's idea to recruit the fellows and was of no use in the civic body," said Yashwant Jadhav, chairman of the standing committee meeting.

"The existing officers of the BMC can do their job efficiently. Why doesn't the commissioner trust them? Why do they need watchdogs? The BMC is spending the taxpayer's hard-earned money on such useless ideas," said Rakhee Jadhav, group leader of Nationalist Congress Party.

While ex-mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar was hesitant to employ the fellows, the current mayor wishes to give them one opportunity. "If the fellows do not fulfill their duties, then there is no point in appointing them. I need some help in implementing five to six projects for my ward and the city. Let's see how they can help," said Mayor Kishori Pednekar.

CM's fellowship programme was initiated three years ago. Through it, graduates work with government departments. So far, 150 youngsters have completed the fellowship.

Rs 75k
Monthly salary received by each fellow at BMC 

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