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Mumbai civic officials irked over staff crunch, ambiguous work profile

This happened after some employees from the property tax and octroi department were assigned to general administration.

mumbai Updated: Sep 14, 2017 00:26 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation,Transfer
BMC officials protested outside civic body’s headquarters on Wednesday.(HT FILE)

Officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) assessment and collection department protested outside the civic headquarters on Wednesday against BMC’s decision to assign some employees of the department to the general administration department. They said the civic body’s decision makes their work profile ambiguous and that this is happening when the assessment department needs more hands.

The assessment and collection department includes the property tax wing and an octroi wing. When the octroi department was abolished after GST, there were talks of absorbing these employees into the property tax wing following a written exam. However, on Tuesday, some employees from the property tax and octroi department were assigned to general administration. There is no decision yet about the said exam.

Meanwhile, employees claim that the property tax wing is already short staffed and over burdened with work, so the reshuffle is uncalled for.

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta, who met the employees on Wednesday, said, “I have not accepted their demands. The employees have been asked to resume work. It is the management’s prerogative to dish out work as per need.”

Ramakant Bane, who heads the labour union and is an assessment official, said, “The property tax department is short staffed, so octroi officials can be assigned here. There are about 750 officials in my department presently, and each one handles work of about 1,100-1,500 properties. This is contrary to suggestions of a norms committee set up in 2014, which mandated that one employee be given work of up to 350 properties only. If the BMC includes all employees from the octroi wing into the property tax wing, we will still be short staffed.”

Bane said Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar wrote to BMC asking it to stay the transfer, until a decision is taken on their work profile. However, the administration has not paid heed to his letter, Bane claimed. The assessment department’s employees have decided to meet the Mayor yet again on Thursday.

An official, who participated in a protest on Wednesday, said, “There are presently 3 lakh properties in Mumbai, assessed by 750 property tax employees as each one handles around 1,100 properties. Norms committee calculated working days of a government employee, hours, and time required to assess one property. It then fixed that every employee should be given 305 properties. But suggestions of the committee weren’t followed. And now, employees have been reassigned.”

First Published: Sep 14, 2017 00:26 IST