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Kalyan-Dombivli civic body chief fired days after blaze at dumpyard

P Velarasu allegedly asked residents to move out to some other place during the fire, instead of taking preventive measures

mumbai Updated: Mar 17, 2018 01:18 IST
Sajana Nambiar
Sajana Nambiar
Hindustan Times
P. Velrasu took charge as commissioner of Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation in May 2017. (HT FILE)

Within a year of joining as the chief of Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), IAS officer P Velarasu was transferred as joint managing director to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) on Friday.

Sources from Kalyan-Dombivli claimed that his sudden transfer is the result of the recent incidents of fire at Adharwadi dumping ground in Kalyan. They also alleged that Velarasu had asked residents to move out to some other place during the fire incident instead of taking preventive measures to curb the fire.

Last week the old, saturated Adharwadi dump yard in Kalyan (West) caught fire three times , releasing thick smoke into the air and making it difficult for the residents to breath.

“I have not received any official order as of now, however there are possibilities of my transfer,” said Velarasu.

In a notice served by additional chief secretary, general administration department, Mantralaya, Mumbai , Mukesh Khullar, it is stated that civic officer Govind Bodke is appointed as the new commissioner of KDMC.

Velarasu joined KDMC in May 2017. During his tenure he did not take up any major projects for the city, which has been a matter of concern among the local politicians and residents of the twin city.

Prior to his appointment as KDMC chief, Velarasu was the collector of Thane district. His appointment to KDMC was his first as municipal commissioner.

An IAS officer of the 2002 batch , Velarasu has served as collector at Nashik, sub-divisional officer at Nanded and CEO of Zilla Parishad at Parbhani.

A senior leader of Shiv Sena said on condition of anonymity,”Velarasu had failed to take up any remarkable work for the city since he joined. He was adamant about not approving any new projects for the city, which irked many of the local politicians and officials.”

Velarasu had succeeded E Ravindran as KDMC chief. Earlier, when Ravindran was transferred as KDMC chief, many activists, local residents and the civic body mayor Rajendra Devlekar raised objections as Ravindran had undertaken major works in the city during his 22-month tenure.

“Earlier I had raised objections against the transfer of Ravindran as he was doing a lot of good work for the city. This time, I am not against the transfer of the civic body chief as the decision is correct,”said KDMC mayor Devlekar.

Ravindran, an IAS officer of the 2008 Tamil Nadu batch, managed to set an example soon after joining as KDMC chief by cracking down on latecomers in the civic body. He was also called the ‘demolition man’ as he carried out major demolition drives in the city within six months of taking charge of the civic body.

One of his standout achievements was decongesting the Shivaji Chowk area in Kalyan (West) through road widening and concretisation. However, Ravindran also faced criticism in the later stages of his tenure, as he failed to make any improvement in major issues like solid waste management, closure of Adharwadi dumping ground, the hawkers menace,traffic congestion and illegal and dangerous structures in Kalyan-Dombivli.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 01:18 IST