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HISTORIC HIGH COURT DECISION MAKES CORRUPT OFFICIALS ACCOUNTABLE AS OFFICIALS AND CORPORATORS MADE TO PAY MONEY WASTED ON ILLEGAL GARDEN AT VASHI’S HOLDING POND

holding-pond--2History has been created in NMMC – courtesy a historic High Court decision that has made corrupt officials responsible for criminal wastage of public funds in the case of the illegal garden built inside Vashi’s holding pond. The petitioner who challenged the NMMC in court in the case Sandeep Thakur spoke to Dy. Editor Sana Warsia for an insight. Perhaps for the first time in NMMC history, corrupt officials and corporators responsible for wasting public funds have been made to pay for their negligence and ignorance or probably deliberate connivance, in the case of the illegal garden built at the holding pond at Vashi. It maybe recalled that in a historic decision, the Bombay High Court, hearing a PIL filed by social activist Sandeep Thakur, had ordered the administration to not just restore the holding pond at Vashi to its original capacity but had also ordered NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata to recover the public funds wasted on developing and restoring the garden. NMMC Commissioner Vijay Nahata had to face the wrath of the court who pointedly asked the commissioner why the expenditure should not be incurred from the civic officials. Hence, the city chief has initiated the rather extraordinary recovery action from his own staff, as well as corporators, in order to file a compliance affidavit for the next hearing of the case. The civic officials made to pay include City Engineer Mohan Dagaonkar, DMC Jagannath Sinnarkar along with junior officers. There are 22 corporators who have been included in the list to pay up for their negligence. NMMC administration had said that there was a total of Rs 1,11,000 to be recovered out which 9,00,000 was spent on the garden while the remaining amount was transportation charges. The affidavit mentions that the amount had been recovered from the concerned civic officers while amount has to be recovered from corporators who have to pay Rs 1300 each. The incident has brought shame to the NMMC administration where even the municipal chief failed to follow his own orders. And the reason why the situation today has become such an embarrassment for the corporation that a High Court order forced them to follow their own orders. Infact, the petitioner only appealed to court to restore the holding pond. But the High Court itself was so annoyed with the matter, that they ordered the Commissioner to be personally present during the hearing and asked them to even recover the money. Sandeep Thakur says that as the commissioner was to be personally held responsible if the money was not recovered, Vijay Nahata ensured that the money was recovered. However, due to the negligence of Commissioner Vijay Nahata, it was the junior civic officials that have to face the brunt. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.

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