Satish Lokhande, commissioner of Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC), suspended a dozen civic engineers with immediate effect after a video showed them dancing and drinking at a public place.
The officers were attached to a demolition team of the VVMC. The drunken revelry has tarnished the image of the VVMC, said Lokhande.
“I saw the video today (Sunday) morning and spoke to my officers. After a preliminary inquiry, I came to know that the video was shot in January this year during an engineer’s birthday. A government servant should maintain decorum while behaving in public. This has maligned the image of the VVMC and hence, we have taken the decision to suspend them with immediate effect,” said the commissioner.
The video went viral. It showed a DJ playing Bollywood music and bursting of firecrackers at night.
One of the engineers was identified as Swaroop Khanolkar, said VVMC sources.
“Earlier too, Khanolkar was suspended because of his alleged proximity to the reality mafia. He recently resumed his duties,” said sources.
Sources said the building mafia leaked the video to avenge the VVMC’s demolition drive, tearing down nearly 4,500 illegal structures in the twin cities of Vasai and Virar in the past one year. The 12 engineers are part of the crackdown.
The commissioner did not specify the time frame of the suspension.
Source said that the suspension may hamper the demolition work and give a leeway to the building mafia to continue their construction and to sell off the flats to the gullible.