The 14 civic officials named in the desilting scam will either lose their job, be suspended, demoted or won’t get paid — depending on the role they played in the irregularities found. These are the actions suggested in a detailed inquiry report submitted to civic chief Ajoy Mehta, who will take the final call.
If Mehta implements the report, this will be the first-large scale action against civic officials.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in September last year, had suspended the chief engineer of the vigilance department along with six sub engineers, four assistant engineers and three mukadams (workers) of the storm water drain department, after a detailed inquiry report on the June 19 flooding in Mumbai last year revealed a strong nexus between civic officials and the contractors appointed.
Following the suspension orders, Mehta had ordered a detailed report on the action to be taken and the role of each officer in the scam. The officers were suspended for lack of vigilance that led to shoddy work by contractors in desilting nullahs across the city, which in turn led to the flooding.
The report suggested terminating the appointment of one sub-engineer, who was on probation at the time of inquiry. The report suggested demotions for two assistant engineers to the post of sub-engineers and three sub-engineers to the post of junior engineers.
The report recommended deducting Rs25,000 from the retirement benefits to be given to a retired assistant engineer and another worker involved in the scam. Another worker could lose three increments every year. Two assistant engineers might also lose their yearly increments, while two sub-engineers’ salary could be brought down to the minimum.
The chief engineer (vigilance), who is already in jail following the road scam, was kept out of the inquiry.
Meanwhile, the BMC, which was hearing the case of 32 contractors named in the desilting scam, has sent notices to the contractors for 24 works undertaken by them in 2015. These 32 contractors cannot bid for desilting projects in the BMC, after they have been blacklisted.