BMC to give its ward officers commandos for their security | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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BMC to give its ward officers commandos for their security

After the assault on Santoshkumar Dhonde, assistant commissioner, R-north ward (Borivli, Dahisar) on Tuesday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to take strict measures to safeguard the security of its officials, reports Poorvi Kulkarn.

mumbai Updated: May 04, 2013 18:12 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni

After the assault on Santoshkumar Dhonde, assistant commissioner, R-north ward (Borivli, Dahisar) on Tuesday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to take strict measures to safeguard the security of its officials.

The BMC said all assistant commissioners of each of the 24 administrative wards that the city is divided into would be provided with personal security commandos for their protection.

Dhonde was allegedly slapped and assaulted by functionaries from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over a fight on an issue of road repair in Borivli.

Dhonde, who also lodged a complaint with the Borivli police, met municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte on Thursday, raising safety concerns of civic officials.

“It has been decided that the system of providing personal commandos for the assistant commissioners of all wards will be revived. The practice was stopped a few years ago, but it will be put into place again,” said Kunte.

Officials from the BMC’s security department said the system of appointing ‘zebra commandos’ for assistant commissioners existed until around six years ago.

“There was a severe manpower crunch in the department later, owing to which the system must have been stopped. Though there is a guard stationed outside the office of the assistant commissioner in every ward office, it is not their mandatory duty to escort the officer on site visits,” said an official from the civic security department.

An assistant commissioner is the highest authority at the local ward level who is in charge of crucial ward-level local issues under his/ her jurisdiction such as illegal constructions, road repair and garbage collection, among other civic amenities.

Kunte added that he would request the police to take stricter action against the culprits so that a precedent could be set for those who misbehave with civic officials and hamper them from doing their duty.

“I will also write to the commissioner of police to make sure the culprits are booked and action against them expedited,” he said.