Opposition says reversal of transfer orders under govt pressure, BMC chief denies

In a notable trend in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the civic body has reversed transfer orders of at least five senior civic officials who were transferred for the past one month to their original departments. The revision orders were issued barely weeks after their transfers. The move is being perceived by the Opposition as indicative of the indecision of the civic administration, apart from the allegation that it is functioning under pressures from senior authorities.

In one such case, Vijay Balamwar, deputy municipal commissioner who was in charge of zone IV in the city till Friday last week, was transferred to the position of Sanjog Kabare, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (special charge), who among other responsibilities was in charge of the BMC’s election department. Kabare was asked to take charge in Balamwar’s position.

However, on Wednesday this week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation reversed the transfer order, sending Balamwar back to his original position as the in-charge of zone IV while retaining special duties of the legal department. Kabare was given his original departments as the DMC (special charge). However, the civic administration withheld the election department from Kabare’s special charge and handed the authority to Balamwar, instead.

Similarly, Sangeeta Hasnale, deputy municipal commissioner in charge of the BMC’s solid waste management department was put in charge of zone 1, in an earlier transfer order. On August 18, however, the order was reversed and Hasnale was put back in charge of the SWM department while being given additional charge of zone 1.

However, it is not just officers of the deputy municipal corporation level, but also assistant commissioners in charge of the BMC’s ward offices whose transfers have been reversed. Sanjay Sonawane, assistant commissioner of the N ward in Ghatkopar, was transferred back to the same ward on July 28 while Vishwas Mote, assistant commissioner of the M/West ward, was also transferred back to the same ward after briefly being given charge of the assessment and collection department.

The Opposition alleged that the civic administration has been acting under pressure from the state government while passing the transfer orders.

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Rais Shaikh, MLA and former corporator from Samajwadi party said, “The civic administration has been jeopardizing the prestige of the institution by blindly following orders.”

However, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal denied the allegations, saying, “All transfer orders have been issued keeping the administration’s requirement in mind. For instance, the city will undergo large-scale beautification work and I thought Sanjog Kabare would be the right officer to be in charge of it.”

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