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BMC commissioner Chahal, Pune municipal chief Vikram Kumar likely to be shunted out soon

Feb 23, 2024 07:40 AM IST

State chief electoral officer Shrikant Deshpande confirmed the move citing the transfer policy

MUMBAI: The state government is likely to announce transfers of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) commissioner I S Chahal and Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) commissioner Vikram Kumar soon. Others officers up for transfers from BMC are additional municipal commissioners (AMC) P Velarasu and Ashwini Bhide, as they have completed over three years in their positions.

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State chief electoral officer Shrikant Deshpande confirmed the move citing the transfer policy and added, “We received a letter from the election commission on February 22, which has been forwarded to the general administration of state government for further action.”

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Additional chief secretary, in-charge of general administration department, Nitin Gadre, however chose not to comment on EC’s letter.

Chahal was appointed municipal commissioner on May 8, 2020, replacing Praveen Pardeshi. Pardeshi was shunted from the post after he courted controversy for alleged mis-management during the Covid-19 pandemic. Soon after Chahal slipped into the position of BMC chief, he projected himself as top Covid-19 warrior. Shiv Sena leaders in the then ruling MVA government had instructed Chahal not to take orders from Eknath Shinde, then UD minister who was at loggerheads with Aaditya Thackeray. However, after the change of government, Chahal, an IAS officer from the 1989 batch, was retained in the position.

Bhide was appointed as AMC on May 9, 2020, and was transferred as managing director of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation in 2022. However, she continued to hold the charge of AMC to oversee the work on Coastal Road. Bhide is an IAS officer of 1995 batch and is of principal secretary rank.

Velarasu was AMC in-charge of projects in the BMC. He is an IAS officer of 2002 batch and was posted in the civic body on January 17, 2020.

PMC commissioner Vikram Kumar was appointed to the position on July 12, 2020, and he played a crucial part in handling the pandemic. The municipal commissioner of Akola, Kavita Dwivedi who was posted on September 3, 2020, is also due for transfer.

The state has already begun the hunt for a candidate to fill BMC’s top post. It is believed, additional chief secretary Bhushan Gagrani who heads the CM secretariat is one of the contenders for the post.

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