Mumbai Underground

The fact that corporators and BMC officials treat their ‘official trips’ more as a vacation rather than an opportunity to do beneficial work was apparent recently

Written by Express News Service | Published:June 17, 2013 12:56 am

Working on junkets

The fact that corporators and BMC officials treat their ‘official trips’ more as a vacation rather than an opportunity to do beneficial work was apparent recently. During a trip to Singapore,a senior Shiv Sena corporator lamented that just two days were not enough. “What can one do in just two days?” he cribbed to anyone willing to listen. Meanwhile,another senior civic official,who was on his first foreign trip,took his wife along on an official visit to Istanbul. “It is the best utilisation of resources and time. After all,they are both on their first visit abroad,” said a colleague.

Dress ‘sense’

NEWLY APPOINTED Maharashtra NCP working president Jitendra Awhad is known for his casual dressing style. Awhad,who has a habit of leaving some of his shirt buttons undone,got some haute couture advice from senior party leaders,who advised him to “sober up”. The adviser-in-chief was Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,who suggested that Awhad,‘as working president’,should start wearing khadi. Awhad,never at a loss for words,was quick to respond that his seniors should be more concerned of how he is as a person instead of worrying about his external appearance.

strained relations?

SENIOR officers in the Mumbai Police traffic department are miffed with assistant police inspector Sachin Suryavanshi,as he has cut off all contact with them since his suspension — following an altercation with MLA Kshitij Thakur on Bandra-Worli Sea Link — nearly three months ago. Suryavanshi,who had returned to his village Bambawde in Sangli after he was suspended,has chosen not to keep any of his seniors in the loop about his present situation and this has been perceived as a snub by some. With the state government informing Bombay High Court recently that it would review Suryavanshi’s suspension in two weeks,the police top-brass is,however,likely to recommend that the suspension be revoked. Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh had reportedly opposed initial demands from the state to suspend Suryavanshi. He was suspended nonetheless as the order was issued directly by the legislative assembly. Police are expected to file a chargesheet against Bahujan Vikas Aghadi Party MLA Thakur and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena MLA Ram Kadam by June 30 for assaulting Suryavanshi inside Vidhan Bhavan on March 19.

Getting personal

IN a standing committee meeting,chairman Rahul Shewale deplored the city’s condition during monsoon. Not wanting to miss a chance,Shewale also took a personal potshot against additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta that stunned everyone,with the room going silent. “Gupta is in charge of the civic roads department,the gardens department,the stormwater drains and the estates department — all important for the city’s functioning. Whatever work comes under his jurisdiction is pending. God help Mumbai at this rate,” said Shewale dramatically adjourning the meeting.

Joggers advisory

FOR policemen,chain-snatching is a cause for concern on a personal level as much as professional. At a recent conference on tackling crime,the issue was discussed at length. A senior IPS officer later said,“My mother had come visiting from our native place recently. I made it a point to tell her to be careful every time when she left for her morning walk on Carter Road.”

No ‘strike’,please

AUTO union leaders have been careful while making announcements about the proposed indefinite agitation from midnight June 17 by omitting the word ‘strike’ to avoid the imposition of Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act. As per the Act,‘strike’ is illegal. Union leaders,miffed with the state government for denying the annual fare hike of its drivers this year on May 1,are avoiding the word. For commuters,however,whether it is an agitation or a strike,the result is the same.

image management

At a police station,a sub-inspector took pains to speak in English with visitors as he greeted them and even ordered fruits for a senior citizen. Asked if the department would pay for the fruits,he cheekily replied,“Department only takes,it never gives”. This,he said,was his effort to ensure that people have a better image of the police.

Security concerns

CHIEF MINISTER Prithviraj Chavan and Home Minister R R Patil sent several proposals to the Centre asking for more funds and logistic support to upgrade security in the state. The Centre has given a positive response. However,basic security mechanism is often ignored — the scanning machines at Mantralaya are lying defunct for the past week. The security personnel on duty have to personally monitor the baggage of individuals,including VVIPs,who often walk past them citing important appointments. At Vidhan Bhavan,which is guarded by nearly a dozen police officers,it is the same story. The scanning machines are not functional. An employee said breakdown of scanning machines had become a regular feature.

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