Transport czar who brought in several reforms transferred

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 15, 2015 17:02 IST

Barely a month after the transfer of Sanjay Pandey, controller, legal metrology organisation, resulted in an outcry, transport commissioner Mahesh Zagade, who has earned applause for curbing corrupt practices in RTOs, has been shifted to Pune.

Zagade had launched a drive against illegal agents operating in regional transport offices (RTOs) and applied breaks on the overloading of trucks.

He was transferred as the chief executive officer of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), on Thursday, barely eight months after taking charge.

Sonia Sethi,a 1994-batch IAS officer, has taken over from Zagade. Sethi, who took charge of her post on Thursday evening, was earlier the chief of the Maharashtra Jeewan Pradhikaran.

Zagade’s transfer is being seen as the result of his boss, transport minister Diwakar Raote, being unhappy with his functioning. Raote had even publicly contradicted Zagade over the agents’ row.

Known as an efficient officer, Zagade is from the 1993 Indian administrative services (IAS) batch. He joined as transport commissioner in September 2014, when the department was notorious for being corrupt.

Insider sources said relations between Zagade and Raote have not been cordial after the first few months of his tenure. Trouble between the two started in December last year, when Zagade announced a crackdown against taxi aggregators in the wake of the Delhi Uber rape case. Zagade had advocated banning the aggregators without keeping Raote in the loop, which irked the minister.

The problems between the two reached a flashpoint when he banned agents from entering RTO premises in mid-January.

After that, there was hardly any interaction between the two, sources said.

Among the other transfers, Amitabh Joshi was appointed the secretary of state human rights commission. He was the commissioner of small
savings and state lotteries. Rupinder Singh was appointed as the director general of the Maharashtra Energy Development Authority.

Sheetal Ugale will be the new collector of Raigad district in place of Sumant Bhange. Vikram Kumar has been appointed as joint CEO of Maharashtra Industries Development Corporation.

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