Former chief of PMPML, Tukaram Mundhe, gets no-confidence motion in Nashik
A tug of war seems set in the Nashik municipal corporation (NMC), with political parties pulling against Tukaram Mundhe, commissioner, NMC; with the commissioner holding to his reins.
The elected representatives led by BJP have submitted a no- confidence motion proposal to the corporation, a vote on which is likely in the special general body meeting of the NMC on Saturday.
Mundhe, an IAS officer with some all-action history, took charge as the bureaucratic head of the NMC in early February 2018. After six months of his posting the commissioner began with a series of cleansing works; clearing desks, systems and methods.
While setting his agenda and priority as the people’s interests, Mundhe saw to it that work in the Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan, the NMC head office, began on time with utmost efficiency. He did receive some flak on his changing of methods suddenly, but the results were welcomed by citizens.
Working on waste management – particularly segregation of waste, water supply, street lights, sewerage lines, health care and taking steps to make Nashik a smart city, he did earn some ground. However, not all went well on the political side.
Elected representatives said they were being ignored and insulted and not allowed to work with the people in their wards. With people complaints in Nashik being addressed on an App and not through the corporators or the officials now, the elected representatives became uncomfortable. Mundhe is also said to have taken a stern and straight stand with the politicians, not entertaining them unnecessarily.
Working towards making the system process driven, transparent and result oriented, Mundhe also curbed the extra expenditure of the corporation. This included a curb on the corporator’s funds as now he allowed the funds as per the law and according to the budget.
Talking on the issue, Tukaram Mundhe, said, “I believe that this no-confidence motion is not against me but against good governance. Last six months I have been trying to put the systems in place. I have been working with utmost transparency. This work is process driven and result oriented.
“I think the objection to my work is because it gives no scope to be individually driven. What I am implementing is only as per the law and not outside its purview. If work becomes process driven it will reduce the importance of people and system and will work efficiently, this is being seen as harming some vested interests. The elected representatives getting together termed Mundhe style of working as arbitrary and alleged that he does not take elected representatives in confidence while taking decisions of the NMC.”
The last straw came when the commissioner increased the rateable value for property tax from 3 paise per sq foot to 40 paise per sq footand likewise in differing categories.
This value was not increased for many years in the past. This increase now brought buildings and open spaces which included playgrounds, parking, and agricultural land in the city under its purview. The elected general body of the corporation reacted by not accepting the resolution. The commissioner maintained that as per law this right to fix the rateable value is given to the commissioner while the elected representatives maintain that if the general body has decided not to accept it, it can’t be done.
After a lot of hue and cry on this, the commissioner has agreed to bring down the rise to 5 paise from 40 paise now, however, the notification to this effect is yet to come.
Sambhaji Moruskar, the BJP corporator and leader of the house, said, “Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe does not regard the elected body. There have been many instances where even the mayor has been insulted by his behaviour. He has no regard for the traditions of this city and calls meetings on his own.”
“The rateable value for properties increased by the commissioner is absolutely arbitrarily done. He has not taken the standing committee, nor the elected representatives in consultation or confidence while doing this,” Moruskar added.
The fall out to this standoff has come in form the standing committee members except for the chairman signing a letter to table the no confidence motion.
The mayor, deputy mayor and the BJP leader in the house have been vocal to protest against the working style of the commissioner. The BJP has claimed that all parties have supported their move. NCP even while questioning the BJP has shown its support for the no confidence motion, however, Congress is not speaking about it.