Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation officials staged a walk out at the Standing Committee meeting, compelling the Standing Committee Chairman Vijay Chougule to adjourn the meeting. This is the 1st time that NMMC officials have taken this extreme decision to send the message that they cannot be abused or disrespected by the corporators. Congress Corporator Ramakant Mhatre queried the revenue earned from thousands of hoardings put during Ganesh festival in the city. Divisional Officer Diwakar Samel informed that 29 individuals and mandals were granted permission for hoardings, giving revenue of only Rs. 12, 000 to NMMC. Irked and shocked by this, Shivram Patil and Ramakant Mhatre alleged that concerned officials were causing huge revenue loss to the corporation, to serve interests of some political power in the city. Reacting to the allegations, Vijay Chougule in an obvious attempt to underplay the same, quested whether Ramakant Mhatre himself had not put up banners and not paid for the same. The opposition members brushed aside the issue, seeing that they were cornered, as several of them and their leaders including the Chairman had put up several large hoardings and evidently neither sought permission nor paid NMMC for the same, causing losses running in several lakhs annually. Then opposition members Ramakant Mhatre, Shivram Patil, Vithal More and Vilas Bhoir accused DMC N N Alhat of giving false replies to questions raised by members. When Vilas Bhoir questioned why action was not taken against illegal garages in his ward, the DMC allegedly lied that action was taken twice earlier. This angered the members and Shivram Patil banging the mike on the table threatened to beat up the liar. On this N N Alhat decided to leave the meeting and even as all the officials stood up to follow suit, Vijay Chougule began the national anthem and adjourned the meeting. Justifying their behavior Ramakant Mhatre alleged that the officials were licking the boots of some political interests in the city. DMC N N Alhat said that they cannot be disrespected by corporators. Standing Committee Chairman Vijay Chougule on the other hand said that the officials of NMMC are there to answer to queries of the corporators and their boycotting the meeting isn’t justified.


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