A visit to check the cleaning of a drain located near the residence of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray turned ugly after a verbal altercation between Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and chief engineer of storm water drain (SWD) department V H Khandkar. It was also alleged that Khandkar was manhandled by men accompanying the mayor.
The drain connects to Chamdawadi nullah and due to improper receding of water, the area around Kalanagar, including Matoshree where Uddhav resides with his family, have witnessed flooding during rains.
There had been various complaints in the past over the frequent flooding of the junction. According to BMC sources, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray had also personally interceded and asked the mayor to resolve the issue.
With Mumbai gearing up for rains, a visit was organised for the mayor on Monday to the said drain with BMC Director V P Chithore, SWD chief engineer Khandkar and other officers in attendance. A heated exchange followed with both sides — the mayor’s and the chief engineer’s — using abusive language. Meanwhile, a man who was accompanying the mayor allegedly manhandled Khandkar. A source said that even the mayor allegedly abused Khandkar, to which, Khandkar replied back.
After the incident, a group of engineers, along with Khandkar and Chithore, met Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi. Officials said the commissioner asked the engineers to get back to work.