‘BMC is making scapegoats of junior officials’

There is a strong discontent brewing amongst the rank and file of junior officials with the arrest of three junior engineers in connection with the Dockyard Road building collapse, in which 60 people were killed. They have claimed that the civic body is making them scapegoats, while the higher ranked officials are going scot-free.
The BMC has suspended seven officials and initiated an inquiry against 11 officials in the Dockyard Road building collapse.
“We are just supposed to follow orders of our seniors whereas top officials are supposed to take decisions. But when it comes to take action if anything goes wrong, the axe invariably falls on us. In the Dockyard Road case too, just a probe has been ordered against senior officials, whereas juniors have been suspended rightaway. When a mishap of such a scale happens, action should be taken against all those involved,” said an engineer on the condition of anonymity.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Engineer Union (BMEU) has also alleged that the civic administration has adopted double standards in this matter. “The civic body has announced that action will be taken against assistant commissioner (markets), who is a senior officer, after conducting the inquiry. But engineers are suspended without conducting any inquiries,” said Sainath Rajadhyaksha, general secretary, BMEU.
In the corporation, engineers are executors of work and administration wing is the decision making authority. The BMC should ask the top officials what policy they have framed regarding the urgent repairs and evacuation of tenants of dilapidated buildings, he added.
The BMC has appointed two committees to probe the Dockyard Road building collapse incident. A two-member committee of additional municipal commissioners Rajiv Jalota and Mohan Adtani will probe administrative matters and a committee, headed by Laxman Vhatkar, director (engineering services and projects) will look into the technical aspects.

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