Mumbai: 'Sent to COVID ward for complaint against VVCMC commissioner,' says Vasai-Virar civic employee

Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 12:12 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

Civic employee says her complaint against Vasai-Virar municipal chief for alleged ill-treatment at his home has landed her a 'punishment posting'

The alleged ill-treatment took place at the commissioner's rented residence as his official residence (pictured) was undergoing repairs
The alleged ill-treatment took place at the commissioner's rented residence as his official residence (pictured) was undergoing repairs

AN employee attached to the Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) has claimed ill-treatment at Municipal Commissioner Gangatharan D's residence when she was on duty there. The woman was allegedly made to cook and clean at the house, yelled at by the commissioner's wife and then sent for work to a COVID centre as 'punishment'.

In her letter dated June 9 to the VVCMC Mayor Pravin Shetty, Yogita Jadhav has alleged that she had to face rash behaviour while on duty at the residence of municipal commissioner Gangatharan D.

"The commissioner's wife used to constantly yell and was very loud and rude," the complainant told mid-day over the phone.

A 31-year-old art graduate from Nashik, Jadhav joined the VVCMC in 2014 and was posted at Sir D M Petit Municipal Hospital.

'Made to do house chores'
On May 18 she, along with two other employees, was asked to join the civic commissioner's residence for work. Accordingly, on May 19, the three reported for work at Gangatharan's residence.

"I was instructed orally to join the municipal commissioner's residence for work, no official written order was given. I was asked to clean utensils, maintain and clean the house and even cook food. I had no objection to the work. But, the nature of treatment meted out to me by the commissioner's wife was inhuman. Fed up with the treatment given on duty, I finally complained about the same to my superiors and the Mayor," Jadhav said.

On May 23, Jadhav was relieved from duty at the commissioner's residence and asked to join a COVID Care centre, which she feels was "punishment". "I feel the new post was the outcome of raising red flags against the commissioner," she said.

'Can't treat staff like this'
On Wednesday, Pravin Darekar, leader of the opposition in the state legislative council, during his visit to the VVCMC was briefed about Jadhav's case. "I told the municipal commissioner that treating any employee, especially a graduate in this manner is not a good sign. I will take up this issue with the state government," Darekar told mid-day.

The BJP leader has been visiting different municipal corporations in the MMR to take stock of the COVID-19 situation. As part of his visit, Darekar inspected areas within the VVCMC's jurisdiction.

Speaking to the media after his visit, Darekar said, "I had an interaction with the municipal commissioner and have asked the IAS officer to treat civic employees, media and public representatives with respect."

When contacted, Gangatharan said, "I am not aware of any such complaints."

Mayor Shetty, though, confirmed having received the letter. "I have written to the commissioner asking for clarification on the matter. So far the VVCMC commissioner has not replied. If the IAS officer doesn't reply, we will have no choice but to take up the case with higher authorities [at Mantralaya]," Shetty said.

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