Senior Bureaucrat Annasaheb Misal is the fifth civic commissioner from Mumbai Metropolitan Region to be removed from his post, owing to a surge in Covid-19 cases in areas under his jurisdiction.
Misal, a 2003-batch IAS officer, was on Tuesday shunted out from the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray replacing him with 2008-batch IAS officer Abhijit Bangar, who was serving as additional divisional commissioner in Nagpur.
Navi Mumbai has witnessed a substantial spike in cases, and since the rollout of the first phase of resuming public and economic activities in June, it has reported 7,982 new cases, which accounts for 72 per cent of its total caseload.
Sources said the Chief Minister’s Office was “not happy about the state of affairs”. “We felt that the municipal corporation needs to make more effort towards testing, tracking, and isolating. Despite instructions from the state administration, it was felt that the civic body’s response in isolating those who may have come into contact with the virus wasn’t aggressive,” said a senior official.
The general administration department had issued the transfer order on June 23, but it was later stayed following representations by local political heavyweights.
Amid the massive surge of new cases in Thane region, Thackeray also transferred civic chiefs of Thane, Mira Bhayandar, and Ulhasnagar municipalities last month. In May, Thackeray had abruptly transferred then Mumbai civic commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.
The state government has yet again asked all corporations in Thane district, which now has maximum active cases in Maharashtra, to intensify contact tracing efforts.
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