Civic engineers went on a flash strike on Tuesday to protest the assault on a BMC junior engineer who refused to release more water to a tanker brought by Shiv Sena activists.
On Monday, local Shiv Sainiks assaulted Dyaneshwar Yadav, a junior engineer with the hydraulic department in the Chembur ward office, after he refused to give more water to a tanker at a municipal filling station in Ghatkopar.
BMC officials said there are two filling stations in Ghatkopar, from where 150 tankers are filled, to supply six neighbouring wards.
“On Monday, when Yadav was at the spot, four Sainiks walked up to him and said he should allow more tankers to be filled that day since Chembur was not getting enough water. Yadav told them he was not at liberty to decide if more tankers should be filled, and that they should approach the M-east ward office, but they assaulted him,” said an engineer from the M-east (Chembur) ward office.
To condemn the assault, the ward office’s engineers went on a flash strike on Tuesday, which was called off after the municipal corporation assured them of additional security.
Chirag Nagar police have booked the Mankhurd deputy shakha pramukh, Yuvraj Elenjay and three other Sainiks for assault and rioting.
“Elenjay, a Mankhurd resident, along with three of his accomplices, assaulted Yadav to have their demands met,” said Police Inspector Uttam Kolekar of the Ghatkopar police station.
The Sena-led BMC has issued strict orders to its staff asking them not to release more water to private tankers.
The city is reeling under a 15 per cent water cut due to deficient rainfall.
Elenjay was arrested on Monday and released on bail after being produced before a metropolitan court. His accomplices are still at large.
“I was pressured not to file a police complaint against them but I decided to, because this is not the first instance of the political arm-twisting of civic officials,” said Yadav, who said he has felt political pressure twice before. “What was my fault? I was just doing my duty,” he asked.
The Sena blamed it on the water shortage. “Beating up a civic servant is not correct. But in Mankhurd, the situation is really difficult – people hardly get water there. I have brought up this issue with the Standing Committee as well,” said Ravindra Waikar, Sena leader and Standing Committee chairman. The city has five filling stations from where private and municipal tankers are filled every day.