It took the loss of a life for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to move out chief of the Relief and Rehabilitation Department, who was facing allegations of bribery.
“Vandana Suryawanshi, deputy collector, who was handling the charge as chief, R&R, has been relieved of her duties and repatriated to her parent department,” MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathk-ar said.
Suryawanshi was in charge of providing houses to people who had been displaced by infrastructure projects run by the organisation.
There had been unsubstantiated allegations of bribery and high-handedness levelled against Suryawanshi earlier however the proverbial last straw was the suicide of Santosh Bhosale (43) outside MMRDA premises last Saturday.
Bhosale in his suicide note has alleged that Suryawanshi had taken money from him to provide houses to affected parties, however she renegaded on her promise and asked for more money.
Incidentally Bhosale himself acted as a middleman who would take money from residents assuring them that he would be able to procure houses for them due to his proximity to MMRDA officers.
Incidentally there have been incidents in the past where people have tried committing suicide on the MMRDA premises.
Umesh Bakaye (35) a Jogeshwari resident, tried committing suicide in October alleging he had not been rehabilitated.
Suryawanshi in December was booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in connection with the death of a person during a demolition drive at Kurla in November.
An official of the revenue department, Suryawanshi will head back to her parent organisation.
MMRDA officials however have tried to wash their hands of the case by transferring Suryawanshi but tagging the move a routine administrative transfer.