THIS IS the tale of one serendipitously married individual and three Government agencies. The lucky man is Assistant Engineer Subhash Chauhan, originally an employee of the now-defunct MP State Road Transport Corporation (MPSRTC), deputed to the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) in blatant violation of rules and currently housed in a Public Health Engineering department (PHED) bungalow in the swankiest part of town.
But why should three separate agencies work assiduously at keeping a lowly AE in good humour? Especially one being probed by the Lokayukta on graft charges.
Simple, Chauhan happens to be the son-in-law of former State BJP organising secretary Kaptan Singh Solanki. A qualification that not only helped him bag a deputation term in the IMC-thus avoiding the compulsory VRS fate that has befallen his erstwhile colleagues-but also a PHED bungalow reserved for officials of the rank of Executive Engineer.
Interestingly, the bungalow occupied by Chauhan is listed as being allotted to one Khan in PHE records. It also allegedly helped him escape being named in the list of deputation staffers forwarded to the Urban Administration Development department by the IMC recently.
Nor is this all. Thanks to pressure exerted by his influential father-in-law attempts are currently underway to get Chauhan’s services merged in the Corporation, thus safely ensconcing him in the civic body once and for all.
Sources in Bhopal say the Government is set to order Chauhan’s continuation in the Corporation for another six months-a manoeuvre that will allow him to escape the return of deputation officials ordered by the High Court until the proposal can be pushed through in the Assembly.
The merger move is said to have been prompted by fears that the 17-odd employees serving deputation terms in the IMC who were shunted back to their parent departments by the UAD on Saturday will move court against Chauhan’s continuance.
The apprehension is well founded. Section 58 (3) of the MP Municipal Corporation Act, 1956 states that only municipal corporation and nagarpalika employees and officials can be sent on deputation to civic bodies.
A criterion that Chauhan, who hails from the MPSRTC, obviously doesn’t fulfill. It may be noted that Chauhan is currently being investigated by the Lokayukta on charges of allegedly overlooking building permission violations at a structure on 576, MG Road in return for an apartment in the same building.
Repeated attempts to obtain Assistant Engineer Subhash Chauhan’s version over the phone proved fruitless as the instrument was switched off. Upon visiting his official bungalow opposite Yeshwant Club this reporter was told that the AE was ‘out of town’.