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Head on leave,civic body hands overburdened

The Pune Municipal Corporation is running out of department heads. Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi is on a six-month leave...

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune |
May 5, 2009 10:17:11 pm

Five department heads say goodbye,temporary officers in

The Pune Municipal Corporation is running out of department heads. Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi is on a six-month leave,and as many as five heads of departments have retired,opted for voluntary retirement or resigned. The health,environment,computer,administration and municipal secretary’s departments are being looked after by officers who have been given temporary charge.

“There have been a few retirements,regular as well as voluntary. Therefore,their charge has been given to other officers,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner M S Devanikar,acting administrative head of the PMC.

Devanikar,however,said the new commissioner might exercise his powers to appoint long-term department heads,but the present appointments cannot be considered less important and should not hinder work.

He said officers given the new charge cannot shrug off responsibilities as they have been given the official charge. “There are a few departments like the municipal secretary’s where people have to be recruited fresh to head the department,” Devnikar said,adding,these appointments would be made soon. Devanikar said the appointments are regular but did not rule out any reshuffling of department heads.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Yashwant Khaire,who also headed the gardens department,and health chief Pramod Dhaigude opted for voluntary retirement while municipal secretary Sharad Samel recently retired. The acting health-in-charge is R R Pardeshi and acting municipal secretary is Sunil Parkhi.

Bhanudas Mane has been given temporary responsibility of the gardens department.

Ajay Ojha,appointed on contract and who headed the environment cell resigned from the post. The newly created post of chief information officer has fallen vacant after the term of Anupam Saraph ended.

Meanwhile,there had been further reshuffling of department heads with the chief accountant Virendra Jadhavrao being transferred as head of the vigilance section.

“The PMC has been unable to appoint a regular department head on the position vacated and the entire business is being handled by those either appointed as acting chiefs or given additional responsibility,” civic activist Vijay Kumbhar said.

“Regular reshuffling affects functioning of business. Temporary or additional charge does not help in giving good service to the public.”

The work is hit drastically if there is no department head,Kumbhar said. “The officers taking voluntary retirement or transfer should not be relieved unless someone is given regular charge in his place.”

“The responsibility of additional departments affects our performance. We are not able to give justice to all the departments,” said an officer saddled with additional responsibility of a department.

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