It’s been an annual tradition at NMTV to choose one personality from Navi Mumbai who has contributed in the progress and development of the city a notch more than the others working for the welfare of the city day and night. While the process has always called for brainstorming from the core editorial team of NMTV, 2016 was perhaps the easiest when it came to pick who deserved the honors. Unanimously, without any debate or discussion, NMMC Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe surpassed all bureaucrats and politicians, to be named as NMTV Personality of the Year 2016.
A 2005 batch IAS office, Mundhe is a student of a Zillah Parishad School in Beed district and completed his higher education in Aurangabad. In a career that spans over a decade, he has been transferred 8 times and no points for guessing why. Prior to his Navi Mumbai stint, he was district collector at Solapur. He tenure at Solapur earned him popularity and respect for fighting sand mafia on one hand and launching the Jal Yukta Shivar, a plan that makes Solapur drought free. His work did not go unnoticed as Chief Minister Devendra Fadavnis felicitated him for his work in Solapur. With this reputation he arrived in Navi Mumbai and changed the social and political fabric of the city in 2016 in an unprecedented way, never seen or experienced in Navi Mumbai ever before.
Here is why NMTV chose Tukaram Mundhe as NMTV Personality of the Year 2016.
- BRINGING DISCIPLINE IN NMMC
A typical government office – that was the impression of all of NMMC before the arrival of Tukaram Mundhe. From its HQ in Belapur to ward offices in each node, empty chairs, coming late to office and delaying public work for under-table money ruled the functioning of NMMC. Within hours of coming to NMMC, Tukaram Mundhe sent civic officials in a frenzy with his personal visit and clear message : either work like public servants or leave. The city immediately fell in love with the new civic chief for this.
- WALK WITH THE COMMISSIONER
Not bothered how he made politicians and corporators insecure, Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe launched walk with the commissioner in all nodes of Navi Mumbai. With officials of NMMC, he went out for walks and jogs to directly meet people and know what the city of the 21st century expected from their civic chief. Crowds came in large numbers as each went back with praises for the Commissioner and his no-non sense approach .
- EXIT OF NMMC’S CORRUPT
This is the biggest factor why Tukaram Mundhe is NMTV Personality of the Year 2016. So before Mundhe, its not like no other Commissioner performed or were not worthy of praise. But while every single Commissioner failed at booking NMMC’s most corrupt, Tukaram Mundhe succeeded and how. Officers who once ruled departments of NMMC without being transferred for years silently exited the corporationincluding Deputy Municipal Commissioner Prakash Kulkarni, Chief Medical Officer Sanjay Pattiwar and Dy. Municipal Commissioner Jagannath Sinnarkar. 10 officials were suspended for dereliction of duty.
- VALUE FOR EVERY PENNY PAID BY TAX –PAYERS
Making one of the strongest cases of stopping criminal wastage of public funds, Tukaram Mundhe scrapped three multi-crore projects approved previously, terming them as “unnecessary”, as is often the case when parties involved have monetary or political ambitions. These include a Rs 20 crore marble statue of BR Ambedkar in Airoli and a solar project at Morbe Dam worth Rs 163 crore. The funds have been redirected to making the city disabled-friendly, and building pavements and gardens.
- THE NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION PHASE
First MLAs demanded action against him in the state assembly and then corporators approved a no-confidence motion against him in NMMC.Chief Minister Devendra Fadavnis however rejected the “No Confidence” motion. The ruling NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena had joined hands in NMMC to vote in favor of the motion while the BJP voted against it. The phase was a testimony of the insecurities of politicians across political parties who had no answer for the accountability and work ethics that Mundhe launched in Navi Mumbai.
- OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE APPROACH AND ATTITUDE
He is an aam aadmi’s dream hero and an officer par excellence. For being an officer of the people, for the people and by the people, NMTV honors NMMC Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe as NMTV Personality of the Year 2016.