Activists have written to the governor and the chief minister asking for the resignation of newly appointed chief secretary and former Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority chief, Ratnakar Gaikwad.
The HT had in its January 5 edition reported how Gaikwad, when he was MMRDA chief, overruled the Navy’s security concerns over the controversial Adarsh society.
“There is a clear case of Gaikwad overruling all the objections that naval personnel had made about Adarsh being a security concern,” Activist GR Vora said. “Instead of rejecting their concerns outright, Gaikwad should have paid more heed to them and withheld the occupation certificate [OC].”
Adarsh society is under the scanner for allegedly violating environmental norms and for giving flats to politicians and bureaucrats in return for clearances. The HT has documents showing that the Navy wrote to the state on June 25 asking it to withhold the OC to Adarsh, citing security concerns.
The state forwarded the letter to Gaikwad on August 30. Gaikwad did not reply. Instead, he issued the OC to Adarsh on September 16 and replied to the Navy’s letter only two weeks after that.
Despite repeated attempts, Gaikwad could not be contacted. Right to Information activist Anil Galgali, who wrote to the CBI asking for an inquiry into the scam, said: “The MMRDA kept giving regular floor-wise completion certificates and never bothered to ask about the building’s green clearances. As the head of such a body, Gaikwad’s role in needs to be scrutinised.”
Viren Shah of the Federal Retail Traders’ Welfare Association also signed the letter.
“Just like CM Prithviraj Chavan seems to targeting bureaucrats like Subhash Lalla and Ramanand Tiwari, he shouldn’t forget that Gaikwad too had a major role to play,” Shah said. “How can the first two be punished, while Gaikwad is rewarded with a plum posting?”