Vasai-Virar municipal commissioner suspends encroachment department officials for hobnobbing with developers carrying out illegal construction
The Vasai-Virar municipal commissioner has suspended 12 officials of the encroachment department, including the chief engineer, for allegedly attending a party thrown by a builder and even getting drunk and dancing.
The commissioner cracked the whip after a video of the party, where the civic officials can be seen drinking and dancing, went viral.
Cracking the whip
The video of the party at Vasai beach arranged by some builders and contractors to celebrate the birthday of chief engineer Swaroop Khanolkar went viral yesterday. Officials can be seen dancing to item numbers, with firecrackers being burst at the end.
Municipal commissioner Satish Lokhande suspended Khanolkar, Narendra Sankhe, Roshan Bhagat, Pravin Mulik, Yuvraj Patil, Indrajit Patil, Keyur Patil, Yogesh Sawant, Parmjit Vartak, Nilesh Kore, Kaustubh Tamore and Ninad Samant.
These engineers have been accused of helping the builders to carry out illegal construction and of providing the contractors with JCB and pokelane machines for demolition.
Khanolkar has landed in a soup in the past too – he was suspended in 2015 for not demolishing an illegal building.
Civic chief speaks
“I saw the video in the morning. On inquiring, I was told that this party had happened a month ago. I also found out that the organisers of the party were related to some builders and were the ones helping them carry out unauthorised construction. These engineers brought disrepute to the corporation with their action. Hence, I ordered their immediate suspension till the inquiry gets completed,” said Lokhande.
mid-day tried getting in touch with Khanolkar, but he remained unavailable for comment.