Watch video: Officials play garba at BMC ward office, turn citizens away

Oct 02, 2014, 11:10 IST | Chetna Yerunkar

People visiting water department at K-East ward office in Andheri were sent back yesterday; employees were 'busy' with Navratri celebrations, which went on for nearly the entire working day

It seems officials at the BMC K-East ward office are getting paid to play garba instead of catering to citizens’ needs. Navratri fever and the anticipation of the long weekend, which begins with Gandhi Jayanti today, had paralysed operations at the BMC ward office in Andheri (East) to such an extent yesterday, that citizens were turned away during working hours because the employees were busy celebrating. mid-day has a video of the celebrations.

BMC employees (in kurtas) during the celebrations yesterday. The water department, which is in the basement of the office, was decorated for the occasion
BMC employees (in kurtas) during the celebrations yesterday. The water department, which is in the basement of the office, was decorated for the occasion

When citizens visited the water department yesterday to check their water bills or apply for new connections, they found that one of the gates leading to it was shut during work hours. The department, which is located in the basement of the K-East ward office, was decorated with flowers and had two huge speakers from which music was blaring, and employees were busy dancing. Citizens told mid-day that this went on for almost the entire day, beginning at noon.

Not only were people turned away from that department, ensuring that they would have to wait till next week to get their work done, the noise was affecting the working of departments on the other floors as well, including the citizens’ facilitation centre, which is on the floor right above the water department.

A similar problem was seen in the health department on Tuesday, where citizens who had come to collect birth and death certificates were sent away because a puja was being held during working hours. This puja also went on for nearly the entire working day.

Citizen speak
Gautam R, who visited the ward office yesterday, said, “I had gone to the ward office to get my water bills corrected and I tried entering the water department, but the grills were shut. There was so much noise and disturbance even on a working day.”

Another citizen, Maria R, said, “I don’t understand what is wrong with these people. The music was so loud that we could hear it on the second floor as well. I had gone to get clarifications on my water bill and I will have to wait for more than five days now because the officials were busy dancing instead of working in office.”

The other side
Ward Officer Bhagyashree Kapse said, “Usually all the departments take permissions, and I will have to check whether they did. There are no written rules, but as per tradition many offices play music.

It should not, however, be so loud that it disturbs people. I was in the office yesterday but I never heard loud music.” She refused to comment on why the departments weren’t functioning on a working day.

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