NMMC chief questions role for Naik?
Political circles abuzz about objections to NCP bigwig inaugurating the Ghansoli bus depot
CBD BELAPUR: Navi Mumbai municipal commissioner Tukaram Munde, who took charge this week, seems to have lost no time in making his policies loud and clear, especially with regard to politicians.
Sources in the civic body said that the commissioner has taken exception to the name of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former minister Ganesh Naik figuring in the invite for the inauguration of Ghansoli bus depot. Munde has asked his officials to follow protocol in such matters.
The Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) sources had earlier said that the depot would be inaugurated by Naik as is the case with the inauguration of most civic projects in the city. Naik was the chief guest last week at an NMMC education department function too.
The much- delayed inauguration of Ghansoli depot was planned for May 1 but was postponed due to the change in municipal commissioner. It has now been scheduled for May 16.
An NMMT of f i cial, who refused to be identified, said: “The commissioner struck down the name of Ganesh Naik from the invitation card. He ordered that protocol be followed.”
While there was no official confirmation of the incident and the municipal commissioner was not available for comment, the civic corridors are abuzz.
The NCP is obviously not happy. NMMC leader of the house Jaywant Sutar said, “The general body has earlier passed a resolution clearly framing rules on who can be called to inaugurate and so on. The protocol laid down will be followed.”
He added, “It is not the commissioner’s right but that of the mayor and the general body.”
Saying that Naik had every right to be invited to inaugurate the depot, Sutar said, “A flyover in Mumbai was recently inaugurated by Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in the presence of the chief minister. As per protocol, the chief minister should be given priority. Why can’t it happen in Navi Mumbai then?””
The opposition has repeatedly raised the issue of its leaders being sidelined by the civic body. While the Shiv Sena has demanded inaugurations be done by guardian minister Eknath Shinde, BJP MLA Manda Mhatre has often criticised the administration for not following protocol.
Dwarkanath Bhoir, in whose ward the depot is, said: “Often, the guardian minister is simply ignored or at most his name is mentioned in the invite of civic functions. He is not given the respect he deserves.”
He said: “I will once again demand that the civic body invite guardian minister Eknath Shinde as the representative of the state government, especially since the buses and depots have come from government grants and funds.”
The Ghansoli depot has been built at Sector 15. The NMMC has paid Rs6.49 crore for the 29,713.63 sqm plot