Jail authorities in the Thane prison are in a fix over a special request. Chintan Upadhyay, a prisoner, has sought permission to meet the chief minister to gift him a painting. Prison officials say such a request has never been made before. Upadhyay, a noted painter, sculptor and installation artist, is in jail in connection with the murder of his wife Hema and her lawyer. He has been painting in the prison to overcome depression.
Refusing To Budge
There is a buzz in the corridors of power how the Chief Minister’s Secretary Pravin Darade, a 1998-batch IAS officer, and wife Pallavi, an IRS officer and Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration, are occupying a spacious Malabar Hill bungalow meant for the additional civic commissioner of the Mumbai municipality. It is learnt that when the civic bungalow was being allotted to Darade in 2014, the then civic commissioner Sitaram Kunte had opposed the move. Another bungalow meant for the additional civic chief in Byculla is now reserved as the Mayor’s new residential address.
A chief engineer with the Koyna hydro power station had to pay a heavy price for an irresponsible post on a WhatsApp group. V M Khokle has been suspended from service for posting an ‘obscene’ picture on the ‘Energy minister live’ whatsapp group, which also has Energy Minister Chandrasekhar Bavankule as a member. While the objectionable image was posted on the group post-midnight on Friday, suspension orders were issued the following day. In his defence, the engineer has been saying that the image had been inadvertently posted on the group. Further inquiry is in progress.
Baldev Singh, a 1989-batch IAS officer currently serving as the Principal Secretary of the Labour department, will proceed on a five-year deputation with the Union Ministry of Commerce this month end. Singh has been appointed as the Development Commissioner of Santacruz Exclusive Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) under the ministry. The key post of Secretary (Financial Reforms) in the state could also soon fall vacant, with the incumbent Principal Secretary Sujata Saunik (1987-batch) likely to go on a year-long study leave.
Solace in Nature
Minister of state (Agriculture) Sadabhau Khot is under fire for the ‘poor’ handling of the farmers’ agitation. Also, his own party, the Swabhimaani Shetkari Sanghatana, has initiated the process to expel him. Khot’s aides informed The Indian Express that their minister has been feeling the pressure. We are told that he is presently seeking a week-long naturopathy course in Pune, where he is being treated for body purification and rejuvenation.
While Shamlal Goyal, a 1985-batch IAS officer, was promoted to the additional chief secretary-rank this past week, his continuance as the secretary of the appeals and the revision wing of the revenue department has stirred up a debate. While Manu Kumar Srivastava, a principal secretary-rank officer of the 1986-batch, heads the department, Goyal and another additional chief secretary, Medha Gadgil, heads branches within the department. Gadgil (1983), also the senior-most serving ACS, heads the relief and rehabilitation wing.