Questions raised over move as the 2005-batch IAS officer is currently in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.
Bowing to pressure from various quarters including its own ministers, the Mahavikas Aghadi government on Wednesday announced the transfer of Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe, who took charge of the post just eight months ago, to Mumbai. Mundhe is currently battling Covid-19 and is under isolation.
Known as a no-nonsense officer, Mundhe will take charge as Member Secretary of Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran in the city.
The 2005 batch officer has been transferred 15 times in his career.
When Mirror called Mundhe, he said that he is under isolation and did not wish to comment.
Mundhe, who has been facing opposition from a section of political leaders in Nagpur, has been replaced by Radhakrishnan B.
The BJP, which is in power in Nagpur, has been gunning for his removal. Even ministers in the ruling coalition have reportedly complained to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that Mundhe does not pay heed to their suggestions.
Sources say, his iron-handedness in dealing with issues especially the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the Orange city had earned him even more adversaries. Politicians across party lines had united against him.
Retired IAS officer Avinash Dharmadhikari called the transfer arbitrary, “There is a proper policy for transfer of officers according to their tenure, but it exists only on paper. They often cite administrative reasons for such transfers.”
A close friend of Mundhe said it was shocking that an officer who had been at the Covid-19 frontline, has been shunted out while he is himself suffering from the virus. “Many of his own staffers had ganged up against him,” he said.
The state government has also transferred Nashik Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishna Game and appointed Kailas Jadhav in his place.
Among other officers, Avinash Dhakne has been posted as Transport Commissioner in place of Shekhar Channe who will take charge as head of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation.
IAS officer M Ramaswami, who played a key role in expanding the capacity of SevenHills Hospital from 300 beds to 1,800, has been made the chief of National Health Mission. Former CIDCO chief Lokesh Chandra is the new head of irrigation department.
The Konkan division commissioner post, which was vacant since June 1 after the retirement of S Daund, has been filled by former Navi Mumbai commissioner.
Additionally, SJ Kunte, an IAS officer from the 1985 batch, has been given the full-fledged charge of the Home Department as the Additional Chief Secretary, while Sujata Saunik is now incharge of the general administration department.
In Photos: Politicians who tested positive for coronavirus
Congress MLA from Kolhapur South Ruturaj Patil announced on social media that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on August 20. He also said that he is doing fine and there is no need to worry about his health. “I request everyone who has interacted with me please take due precautions necessary,” his post further read. The youngest MLA of Kolhapur, Ruturaj, has been actively raising awareness about coronavirus and the things to keep in mind amid the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases. Image source: Twitter/@ruturajdyp
Back in May, Maharashtra PWD Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan had tested positive and was hospitalised. The former Chief Minister’s condition was asymptomatic in nature and initially was treated at Nanded. He was later admitted to a private hospital in South Mumbai and he made a full recovery. Photo: BCCL
Earlier this week, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and his wife tested positive for the virus. The leader tweeted, “Me & My Wife Prof Dr Medha Somaiya are tested COVID Positive. Both r hospitalized, treatment started (sic).” Photo: BCCL
On June 12, Maharashtra social justice minister Dhananjay Munde tested positive for COVID-19. He was later discharged from Breach Candy after making a recovery. He said, “My second test report came negative thanks to your good wishes and prayers. I am heading to my village after getting discharged.” Photo: BCCL
AYUSH Minister Shripad Naik tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. He tweeted, “I underwent Covid-19 test today & it has turned out assymptomaically positive. My vitals are within normal limits and I have opted for home isolation. Those who have came in contact with me in last few days are advised to get tested for themselves and take required precautions.” Photo: Facebook/Shripad Naik
Earlier in April, Maharashtra housing minister Jitendra Awhad tested positive for the infection. Post recovery, he said that he will be donating his plasma, which is used for treating COVID-19 patients. Photo: BCCL
Former President Pranab Mukherjee is in a critical condition on ventilator support at the Army R&R hospital in Delhi. Prior to a surgery, he took a Covid-19 test, which later came out to be positive. He son tweeted, “My father is & has always been a fighter ! He is slowly responding to medical interventions & all his vital parameters are stable. I urge upon every well wisher to pray for my father’s speedy recovery ! We need them (sic).” Photo: BCCL
Amit Shah tested positive for the infection last week. The leader is currently recuperating at a hospital in Gurgaon. Amidst rumours, his team clarified that Shah had not taken another COVID-19 test. Photo: ANI
Manohar Lal Khattar
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. “I was tested for novel coronavirus today. My test report has returned positive,” Khattar said in a tweet. “I appeal to all colleagues and associates who came in my contact over the last week to get themselves tested. I request my close contacts to move into strict quarantine immediately,” he added. The development was significant as the two-day monsoon session of the state legislative Assembly is scheduled be held on August 26-27.