Mumbai: The BMC has appointed Ramesh Pawar, the joint commissioner of its improvement department, as a coordinator between the special investigation team (SIT) and the civic body to probe the alleged Rs12,000 crore irregularities reported by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). Chief Minister Eknath Shinde last month had ordered the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to form the SIT for the probe.
Pawar is considered as a trusted officer of Uddhav Thackeray and was elevated as Nashik municipal commissioner when the Shiv Sena (UBT) leader was chief minister. However, when the Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government was formed, Pawar was again demoted and brought to Mumbai at the earlier post. Appointing him as a coordinating officer in a key probehas now raised many eyebrows.
Pawar calls EOW office visit routine
Pawar has seen the Covid-19 administration work during all the earlier pandemic waves. The agency will procure all the required documents from Pawar so as to coordinate with other departments. As part of this new job profile, Pawar visited the EOW office on Tuesday and met with officers.
When asked, civic chief IS Chahal told the Free Press Journal, “I cannot figure out any particular reason. It’s a routine appointment, considering his seniority.”
On September 30, 2022, Shinde directed investigation of all contracts and transactions in the BMC during the pandemic. The CAG submitted a report to the government, which Fadnavis put forth in the state assembly in March this year. The report alleged irregularities worth thousands of crores in several contracts given by the BMC during the pandemic.