A day after they protested against the MNS corporators who made Sanjay Darade, Chief Engineer of the roads department, take the blame for the potholes on city’s roads, 4,200 engineers of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai called off their strike Friday. The engineers had submitted their resignation to Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on Thursday and had threatened to go on a strike until action was taken against MNS corporators Sandeep Deshpande and Santosh Dhuri.
The engineers had held a protest meet at Azad Maidan earlier in the day. However, they decided to call off their strike after the Shivaji Park police station registered an FIR against the two corporators. The civic body also assured the engineers of further action against the corporators. “We carried out a strike on Friday but have now called it off since his arrest order is out. The commissioner has assured us that he will look into our demand for his disqualification as a corporator and non-bailable offences will be added to the list of charges against him,” said Sainath Rajadhyaksha, President of the Municipal Engineers Association.
The Shivaji Park police stated that they have been unable to trace either Dhuri or Deshpande throughout the day. “We visited their residences to arrest them but were not able to find them. We have stationed policemen at their homes,” said Gangadhar Sonawane, adding that a case of criminal intimidation and wrongful restraint has been registered against both of them. Despite several attempts, Deshpande could not be reached for comment.
On October 5, MNS party workers took Sanjay Darade, chief engineer of the roads department, to a spot near Sena Bhawan in Dadar and forced him to hold a placard which read that he was responsible for the poor condition of the roads. Meanwhile, an organisation named Friends for Dadar has submitted a complaint to the Shivaji Police against the engineers for not repairing the potholes in Dadar. “Our complaint extends to all the potholes in the city’s roads but our priority is Dadar. We are fed up with the potholes which are causing troubles to the citizens. Instead of fixing the potholes, the engineers are going on a strike and holding the city to ransom,” said Anup Bhingarde, member of the organisation. He added that an FIR is yet to be registered in the matter.