In a major reshuffle in the civic administration, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has transferred the heads of two scam-tainted departments — roads and stormwater drains.
According to officials, Sanjay Darade, chief engineer of the roads department, has been transferred and posted as chief engineer of the development plan (DP) department. Meanwhile, Laxman Vhatkar, chief engineer of storm water drains (SWD) department who held additional charge as director of engineering services and projects (ESP), was transferred as deputy municipal commissioner in charge of environment.
Vinod Chithore, chief engineer of the DP department, has taken over as chief engineer of the roads department.
He has also been given additional charge as director of ESP. In the SWD department, Vidyadhar Khandkar, a deputy engineer, was appointed the chief engineer. All three officers took charge of their new postings on Wednesday, said an official.
Darade termed the transfers “routine”. “It is a routine transfer as I have completed three years in the department. There is nothing beyond that,” he said.
Vhatkar was unavailable for comment. “Vhatkar has also completed around five years on both posts. Besides, he has been promoted as deputy municipal commissioner,” said an official.
A senior official said action against the two had been due for some time.
In June 2015, the city was brought to a standstill after a heavy downpour led to flooding in various parts. Subsequently, Mehta ordered a probe against contractors and civic officials, which “revealed” that contractors forged documents and provided fake bills to support their claims of work done.
Besides, in October 2015, Snehal Ambekar, then mayor, wrote to Mehta, alleging corruption in road works and demanding an inquiry. The inquiry was ordered, and it revealed irregularities “from 38 per cent up to 100 per cent”. The inquiry had said that the entire process of issuing tenders to carrying out the road works” saw a complete failure of the administrative machinery”.
In both the incidents, several engineers were suspended, contractors blacklisted and departmental inquiries ordered. FIRs have also been registered against contractors and engineers in both the scams.