NMMC chief ques­tions role for Naik?

Po­lit­i­cal cir­cles abuzz about ob­jec­tions to NCP big­wig in­au­gu­rat­ing the Ghan­soli bus de­pot

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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

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