A low-profile taskmaster is your new BMC chief | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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A low-profile taskmaster is your new BMC chief

More than a decade ago, when the state faced crisis in the electricity sector, Ajoy Mehta was appointed incharge of the energy department. By the time Mehta completed his nine years in the department, the state had successfully tackled power shortage. This is the new civic chief for you: a taskmaster, who prefers to remain low-profile.

mumbai Updated: Apr 28, 2015 00:43 IST
Surendra P Gangan

More than a decade ago, when the state faced crisis in the electricity sector, Ajoy Mehta was appointed incharge of the energy department. By the time Mehta completed his nine years in the department, the state had successfully tackled power shortage. This is the new civic chief for you: a taskmaster, who prefers to remain low-profile.

It’s an encore for the 1984-batch IAS officer, who is now at the helm of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The civic body, too, is facing a number of problems, with the messed-up draft development plan topping the list.

According to sources, Mehta is a master at handling multiple responsibilities, while maintaining a good rapport with his political bosses. A perfect example of this could be his stint with the energy department. During his tenure from 2005 to 2014, Mehta reduced the leakage and thefts in power transmission, helping the state at a time it needed the most.

So impressive was his performance, that the department, which was then controlled by the NCP, allowed him to serve the post for nine years. Despite receiving flak for going against the rule, the party stood by him. The then energy minister Ajit Pawar trusted Mehta to such an extent that he asked the staff not to approach him to get the transfer orders issued by Mehta changed.

Mehta, who has served as the joint commissioner of the BMC from 1998 to 2000, has closely worked with BJP leaders like Gopinath Munde and Pramod Mahajan. He was the secretary in the office of Munde, who was the deputy chief minister from 1995 to 1997 during the Shiv Sena-BJP rule. Mahajan had picked Mehta to work with him when he was the information and broadcasting minister. Apart from his three-year term at the Centre with Mahajan, the officer has also served as the director with the agriculture ministry between 2003 and 2005.

Union surface transport minister Nitin Gadkari was keen on his appointment to the National Highway Authority of India, after taking charge last year. However, the party leadership reportedly rejected the proposal and the officer was transferred to the environment department by Fadnavis in January. Mehta has also served as the collector of Ahmednagar and commissioner of Nashik in his early years.