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MCG councillor succumbs to Covid-19

RS Rathee, Ward 34 councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), succumbed to Covid-19 late Sunday night, officials said on Monday
By HT Correspondent, Gurugram
UPDATED ON MAY 31, 2021 11:14 PM IST

RS Rathee, Ward 34 councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), succumbed to Covid-19 late Sunday night, officials said on Monday. The 56-year-old councillor, who had contracted the infection in early April, was admitted to a private hospital for the past four weeks. Despite showing signs of improvement, his health deteriorated over the last three days, and he died around 9.45pm on Sunday due to multiple organ failure.

“Our local councillor was responding to the treatment, and his health had started improving. However, his condition deteriorated all of a sudden, and he was put on ventilator support on Friday,” said Dhruv Bansal, official spokesperson of DLF Qutab Enclave Residents Welfare Association (QWERA) and Gurgaon Citizens Council (GCC). Rathee had founded these two RWA groups — QWERA and GCC — in 1987 and 2005, respectively.

The MCG councillor had lost both his parents to Covid-19 just two weeks ago. He is survived by his wife Rama Rani Rathee, a former MCG councillor, a daughter, and a son.

A Good Samaritan

Rathee played an active role in providing food, medicines, and oxygen cylinders to other relief operations for Gurugram residents amidst the pandemic.

He was also instrumental in leading a nearly two-year-long MCG investigation, which highlighted various discrepancies in the process of allotment, hiring, credentials of MCG workers, and also brought focus on the possibility of ghost workers. His investigation had prompted the MCG to initiate its own probe, and over 600 workers were terminated in this connection.

“He was the most proactive member of the MCG, and always brought up important citizen-centric agendas during the official meetings. He was perhaps the most informed councillor, and knew all intricacies of the MCG’s operations and shortcomings. Even though he was a member of the Opposition, he always lent support for any initiative that aided in Gurugram’s development,” said Madhu Azad, mayor, MCG.

Rathee had won the 2017 MCG elections as an independent candidate. He had contested the 2019 Haryana assembly elections on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket. During his tenure as an MCG councillor, he played a key role in the ongoing maintenance transferring process of DLF Phases 1, 2, and 3 from DLF to the MCG, highlighting discrepancies in the MCG budget and fighting against the allotment of forest land for a petrol pump, among other such issues.

Before becoming a councillor, he was the president of QWERA, which covered DLF Phases 1 and 2, and the GCC which dealt with the problems of RWAs and residents across the district.

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