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LAST WEEK’S NAMDEO BHAGAT IMPACT GETS STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN AND HIS BRIGADE ON TOES

standing-2Friction prevailed during the weekly Standing Committee between Chairman Sandeep Naik and Namdeo Bhagat post the last week Chairmanship controversy. Last week Namdeo Bhagat created a controversy by forcing his corporators in NMMC Standing Committee to propose his name for Chairmanship. Namdeo Bhagat got the chance to do this due to Standing Committee Chairman Sandeep Naik coming for the meeting 15 minutes late due to a pre-meeting he was having with the Commissioner on swine flu. As Chairman of the Standing Committee, Namdeo Bhagat received a lot of flak for approving Rs. 450 Crores worth tenders in a couple of minutes. But looks like there is a silver lining to the dark cloud. And that is a change of attitude in the ruling front as far as time discipline is concerned. Because for the first time in years, this week the monthly NMMC General Body meeting started on time and the Standing Committee saw Chairman Sandeep Naik and his brigade of corporators coming for the weekly Standing Committee meet before the scheduled time of 11 am. However, there was evident friction between the Chairman and Namdeo Bhagat throughout the meeting this week. The first time it was evident when the proposal of approving the Commissioner’s proposal of expenditure of above Rs. 50 thousand and below Rs. 10 lacs came for approval. Technically this power of the Commissioner does not have approval of the general body making all expenditure above Rs. 3 lacs by the Commissioner technically illegal. Namdeo Bhagat pointed this out during the meeting. It was during this discussion that the first heated debate between the Chairman and Namdeo Bhagat took place. During the discussions, Namdeo Bhagat turned to the media gallery taunting journalists not to report that Bhagat spoke on tenders that were worth one or two Crores but passed over Rs. 400 Crores with discussions. This statement of Namdeo Bhagat irked Shivram Patil who was one of the few corporators to witness Namdeo Bhagat’s Chairmanship of Standing Committee last week. Shivram Patil blasted Namdeo Bhagat for the haste he had demonstrated last week in approving the proposals and said that the now speaking like this was inappropriate. The discussions were closed when the Commissioner assured the members of getting the technical details of his powers of getting work done above Rs. 3 lacs in the next week’s Standing Committee meet. On another proposal, Corporator Vijay Mane once again pointed out the need of a coordination committee to avoid digging of roads soon after they have been made. During the discussion of the last proposal, Commissioner Vijay Nahata made a rather startling confession that hinted that an industrial township for NMMC would become a reality soon. The Commissioner was speaking when J D Sutar demanded why civic work were not carried out in TTC MIDC area. To this the Commissioner replied that despite doing a lot of civic work in the industrial area including the concretization of the Thane Belapur Road, the industrialists had painted an unfair picture of NMMC in front of State Industries Minister Narayan Rane during the Minister’s recent visit to Navi Mumbai. The Commissioner added that it was important that the corporators take a policy decision on this as an industrial township was likely to be formed soon. Namdeo Bhagat on the other hand objected at the pattern of the proposal presented in front of the members. It was again during this proposal that the friction between Chairman Sandeep Naik and Namdeo Bhagat surfaced. The discussions of the meeting ended with members taking up the subject of preparations done by NMMC for Ganesh Utsav. When Namdeo Bhagat asked NMMC to give incentives to sweepers and cleaners like last year, the administration confessed that even last year’s incentives were still not given. After the discussions, Chairman Sandeep Naik asked the administration to ensure that all the precautions for a safe Ganesh Utsav were taken. The Chairman also asked the administration to make more artificial ponds and publicize their use in the interest of environment. The chairman ordered that the incentives of both last year and this year were given to cleaners and sweepers. With cameraperson Abhay Prasad, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.

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