MARGAO: Is the Margao Municipal Chairperson Damu Shirodkar and the Chief Officer Gaurish Sankhwalkar engaged in a cold war?, this is a question of doing the rounds in the corridors of the Margao Municipality over the last few days.
Even as there seemed no end to the standoff between the MMC Chairperson and the Chief Officer, MMC BJP ruling councillor Mahesh Amonkar on Friday fired a salvo at the Chief Officer, pointing out that the CO cannot use two vehicles for his use.
Municipal Chairperson and Chief Officer at loggerheads
Both the Municipal Chairperson and the Chief Officer had crossed swords over a month ago over the question of cancellation of the recruitment process for the 43 posts of LDCs and workers. It’s an open secret that the Chief Officer had moved the file for the cancellation of the recruitment process as per the instructions from the Director of Urban Development. The file did not return back from the chamber of the Chairperson, prompting the Chief Officer to issue the cancellation notice without the nod from the former.
The Goan understands that when Margao MLA Digambar Kamat called a meeting of the MMC Chairperson and Chief Officer at his bungalow earlier this week, Damu Shirodkar is believed to have drawn the attention of the Margao MLA that the Chief Officer is not taking him into confidence.
Sources informed that the Chairperson told the Margao MLA that the Chief Officer did not keep him in the loop over the installation of the vegetable and green waste shredder and its trials currently underway at Sonsodo.
The Chief Officer, however, is believed to have maintained that he is not duty-bound to seek the nod of the Municipal Chairperson or to keep the latter in the loop on purely administrative matters.
2 vehicles are at disposal of CO
Meanwhile, Margao Municipal Councilor Mahesh Amonkar told the media on Friday that two vehicles are at the disposal of Chief Officer Sankhwalkar, including an electric vehicle. Questioning how the Chief Officer is using two vehicles for official use when the civic body is facing a shortage of vehicles, Amonkar demanded that the Chief Officer should use only one vehicle and leave the second vehicle for the use of the administration.
Chief Officer Sankhwalkar, however, asserted that of the two vehicles at his disposal, one is an electric vehicle, and the other one running on fuel. “I am using the two vehicles since the EV vehicle cannot run continuously with charging,” he said.
Sources in the ruling BJP council pointed out that they are now pinning hopes on the Margao MLA Digambar Kamat to intervene and ensure that the Chief Officer take the elected councillors into confidence.