Ac­tion against se­nior of­fi­cial shakes up babus in the civic body

UN­PRECE­DENTED Of­fi­cials of the NMMC are used to hold­ing posts for years with no trans­fers

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

CBD BELAPUR: The sus­pen­sion of as­ses­sor and col­lec­tor, deputy mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner (prop­erty tax) Prakash Kulka­rni for ad­min­is­tra­tive ir­reg­u­lar­ity, on Wed­nes­day, by mu­nic­i­pal com­mis­sioner Tukaram Munde, has shocked the civic ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The de­ci­sion is be­ing seen as a sign of things to come in the civic body where sev­eral of­fi­cials have held their posts for years with no trans­fers hap­pen­ing.

Munde, im­me­di­ately on take charge, spelt out his plans on how the civic ad­min­is­tra­tion should func­tion.

He set out, de­tail­ing every­thing from dress code to style of func­tion­ing and re­port­ing. While there was im­me­di­ate ef­fect of the in­struc­tions, not many ex­pected him to take swift ac­tion, that too against one of the top civic of­fi­cials in the city.

Kukarni’s fir­ing on the ba­sis that he did not con­form to the stan­dards set by Munde has stunned sev­eral in the civic ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Kulka­rni has been head­ing the prop­erty tax de­part­ment for the past nine years. Such strong ac­tion against him has hit hard the con­cept of one of­fi­cer rule in var­i­ous de­part­ments of the civic body.

The of­fi­cers who have been hold­ing on to their posts for years are now get­ting the jit­ters.

A civic of­fi­cial, who did not wish to be named, said, “The prop­erty tax de­part­ment is an im­por­tant source of rev­enue for the civic body. With LBT and cess gone, its im­por­tance has in­creased even fur­ther as it is now the high­est rev­enue gen­er­at­ing de­part­ment,”

He said, “How­ever, for the past few years, the de­part­ment has been man­aged by a spe­cific few of­fi­cials and per­son­nel who seem to have a stran­gle­hold over it. Kulka­rni him­self has been at the helm since 2007.”

Ac­cord­ing to a civic source, “In the past three weeks, fol­low­ing de­tailed study of the de­part­ment’s func­tion­ing, the com­mis­sioner reached a con­clu­sion that there are se­ri­ous ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the func­tion­ing of the de­part­ment.”

He added, “He found that there are prob­lems with records of prop­er­ties reg­is­tered and other anom­alies. It was then that the com­mis­sioner or­dered the sus­pen­sion on Wed­nes­day and or­dered an in­quiry.” The prop­erty de­part­ment charge has now been given to LBT de­part­ment chief Umesh Wagh.

A CIVIL OF­FI­CIAL, who did not wish to be named The prop­erty tax de­part­ment is an im­por­tant source of rev­enue for the civic body. With LBT and cess gone, its im­por­tance has in­creased even fur­ther as it is now the high­est rev­enue gen­er­at­ing de­part­ment.

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