PMC turning blind eye to charges against Shelar?
Corporators claim that the civic administration is trying to gloss over the matter concerning deputy municipal commissioner and head of anti-encroachment department Ramesh Shelar's alleged illegal property, which was revealed recently through an RTI query.
In case the stalemate continues, these councillors intend to send a letter to the chief minister, seeking a probe into the matter.
Shelar’s wife owns 13 flats in the Waraje area, which do not have completion certificates and even the stamp duty has not been paid. The RTI reply also revealed that PMC’s Tax Assessment and Collection Department had not assessed the dues on the 13 flats since 2003.
“These flats are located on a 6,400-sqft plot in Warje-Malwadi. Construction work commenced in 1999. In 2006 the developer sold and transferred all the rights to Shelar. Since 2003, property tax has not been paid, but after this RTI query, his wife Shardha Shelar tendered Rs 6.11 lakh,” said Vinayak Phadake, an RTI activist.
“According to The Maharashtra Civil Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, officials should reveal all properties owned by them, but Shelar has shown ownership of only two flats. The market price of the plot is more than Rs 6 crore. I have been pursuing this issue for the last two years, but PMC is not taking any action,” said Phadake.
Meanwhile, civic commissioner Mahesh Pathak has said he will conduct a proper inquiry into the matter. “There are significant financial irregularities in the payment of hoardings. Lakhs of rupees are pending and accounts are not properly maintained. Encroachment department does not have a list of legal and illegal hoardings. Shelar is responsible for all the mess in the anti-encroachment department. After we raised this issue in the General Body meeting, the Sky-Sign Department’s charge was removed from Shelar last month. But this is not enough. There is need for appropriate departmental enquiry in this matter,” said Congress corporator Avinash Bagwe.
“We are going to meet senior leaders regarding this issue, and in case no action is taken, a letter will be sent to the chief minister on behalf of all councillors,” Bagwe added.
The other side
Ramesh Shelar refuted all the allegations. “ Phadake is doing all this because of personal rivalry. It is proper conspiracy against me. His flat was demolished for road widening, and according to the provision, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given a substitute dwelling to him. To take revenge he is trying to defame. Someone paying property tax does not mean he or she is owner of that property. We own only two flats. The rest belong to our relatives. I am ready for any inquiry.”