At a time when Navi Mumbai lost out in the race to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first phase of smart city plan, encroachments are taking the reputation of Navi Mumbai to a new low and civic issues galore with several ambitious projects not meeting deadlines, citizens of Navi Mumbai were awaiting the arrival of a dynamic official in the office of the NMMC Commissioner. And the arrival of the dynamic and high on discipline standards Tukaram Mundhe has raised expectations of the citizens due to this. Tukaram Mundhe, a 2005 batch IAS officer, who took on politicians, sand mafia, land mafia in his career spanning just over 10 years and who has been transferred eight times during this period is the new civic chief. He replaces Dinesh Waghmare, who has been transferred as Commissioner of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Mundhe from a humble farmer’s family in Tadsonna village in Beed district, completed his school education in Zilla Parishad school before shifting to Aurangabad for completing graduation and starting preparations for the UPSC exams. His last posting was as Collector of Solapur. If his first interaction and visit of the NMMC HQ was anything to go by, there is reason to worry for both corporators and officials, as Commissioner Mundhe was strict in his approach towards everything. He stopped to ask questions, pointed out things that he found were not right and called for a long meeting with department heads to hear their roles and share his expectations from them. Speaking to the media, Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe said that he believes in transparent and result oriented functioning.
Ensuring that projects meet deadline is top priority for the officer along with giving full focus on an e-governance set up for NMMC. It remains to be seen that Commissioner Mundhe lives up to his rather commendable reputation of not bending under any political pressure or will the NCP in Navi Mumbai have their way with this Commissioner also, like they did with the last three Commissioners of the civic body. The first litmus test for the Commissioner is round the corner : disqualification of three NCP corporators from Digha who have been accused of selling illegal homes on land encroached upon is going to come on the Commissioner’s table soon. It may be noted that a show cause notice has been served to Airoli MLA Sandeep Naik’s confidante corporators from Digha : Navin Gavte, Aparna Gavte and Deepa Gavte. Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe will now decide the fate of these corporators.