The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has recently suspended three officials of the garden department for irregularities in the maintenance of the gardens during the lockdown. The civic body has also terminated the contract of two contractors responsible for the upkeep and has asked them to refund ₹8.34 crore within 15 days.
The move came after Belapur MLA Manda Mhatre had last month taken up the issue of irregularities with Commissioner Abhijit Bangar.
Mr. Bangar first issued a show cause notice to 14 officials of the garden department and the two contractors. Then an enquiry was conducted following which administrative officer Chandrakant Tayade, deputy administrative officer Bhalchandra Gavali, and superintendent of the garden department Prakash Giri were suspended by the civic chief last week.
“An enquiry committee headed by the executive engineer was set up to look into the allegations. Based on its report, and reply from the 14 officials, three officials were suspended immediately,” an officer from the NMMC said.
As per the allegations, the gardens were not maintained from May to July. After conducting physical investigation for around two weeks verifying more than 360 locations, the committee found that the gardens were not maintained during that period. The panel has also recommended a departmental enquiry against nine garden assistants.
In the last week of November, Dr. Sachin Nemane, the nodal officer in-charge of conducting antigen tests, was suspended following a data entry error.