₹1,700-cr road scam in Mumbai: 56 guilty BMC officials appeal for leniency
BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta said a two-member panel, which will include deputy municipal commissioner Chandrashekhar Chore and deputy municipal commissioner Kishore Kshirsagar, has been formed and it will hear the appeals of the 56 officialsUpdated: Dec 09, 2018 00:43 IST
Fifty-six of the 169 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials, who were found guilty in the ₹1,700-crore road scam of 2015, have appealed to the civic body to reconsider their punishment.
The enquiry initiated in 2015 examined 234 roads and it concluded that the construction and repair work on these roads was substandard.
BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta said a two-member panel, which will include deputy municipal commissioner Chandrashekhar Chore and deputy municipal commissioner Kishore Kshirsagar, has been formed and it will hear the appeals of the 56 officials.
“Those found guilty have the right to appeal, according to law. The hearing is on, but we cannot determine how long it will take to conclude,” said a senior civic officer, who did not wish to be named.
However, Ravi Raja, leader of the opposition in BMC, expressed displeasure over the BMC’s decision and said the administration is not serious about discouraging corruption. “Guilty officers should not be allowed to appeal. Stringent action is needed to send across a message to other employees,” he said.
Citizen activist Shailesh Gandhi said he was certain the officials will be “let go of” once the appeal is over. “Since it is permitted to allow them an appeal, BMC need not subvert the law. But, the civic body will take very long with the process until everyone has forgotten about the appeals,” Gandhi said.
In 2015, after the then mayor, Snehal Ambekar, wrote to Mehta, indicating a scam in road repair work, an enquiry was carried out. It revealed the involvement of officials and contractors.
Of the 169 officials held guilty, most were charged with lack of supervision or failing to do their duty efficiently. Six engineers were removed from service. These included the chief engineer, assistant engineer, and four sub-engineers.
The BMC demoted 12 officials and it reduced the basic pay and stopped increment for two years of 11 other officials; reduced pension for four officials; stopped increment of 123; and imposed a fine of ₹10,000 each on 10 officials.
First Published: Dec 09, 2018 00:43 IST