Corporators across party lines in the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) passed a resolution last month that proposes reinstatement of eight civic officials charged in the April 4, 2013, collapse of an illegal structure in Lucky Compound in Mumbra’s Shilphata area, that claimed 74 lives.
A proposal had been put forward by Congress corporator Vikrant Chavan last month, which received a clear majority from the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP combine and other parties including the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Republican Party of India (RPI).
Of the 130 corporators in the general body meeting of the TMC, 65 are from the Shiv Sena-BJP.
Sena corporator Sanjay More said, “Some officers cannot be held entirely guilty in the case. They should be allowed to come back on duty but we cannot suggest reinstatement of selected officers, and had to pass a resolution for all officials”.
Thane municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta said, “I have received the resolution and will consider all angles before implementing it. One must look at the merits of each case. We will ensure that any decision regarding this does not send out a wrong message.”
The Thane Crime Branch had arrested and chargesheeted 22 accused in the case, of whom eight were government servants. The civic officials include deputy municipal commissioner Deepak Chavan, assistant municipal commissioner Babasaheb Andhale, senior clerk Kisan Madke, NCP corporator Hira Patil, head constable Jehangir Sayyed of Diaghar police station, executive engineer-encroachment (Mumbra) Subhash Rawal, deputy engineer, encroachment (Mumbra), Ramesh Inamdar, and former assistant municipal commissioner Shyam Thorbole.
The officers and employees had been charged with accepting bribes, dereliction of duty and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Meanwhile, TMC has identified at least 6,179 cases of illegal construction in Thane. Civic officials said almost 6,000 such cases were in Mumbra itself.