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News: Day of Vij-ilance: Drama, suspensions, FIR after minister’s surprise MCG visit-23-07-2021


Gurgaon: When MCG commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja walked into his office at 10.45am on Thursday, he had an unexpected guest, who had made himself at home in his chambers.
Anil Vij, the state home minster, had dropped in. And he wasn’t looking to just exchange pleasantries.
The unannounced visit had created a flutter at the corporation’s Sector 34 office as Vij stopped at desks, made inquiries about those he couldn’t spot in cubicles and seats, and picked up files to read. Miffed at what he saw, the minister, not known to mince words or shy away from asserting himself as his stance on replacing DGP Manoj Yadava showed, declared at one point to his aides, “In logon ne MCG office ko Chandni Chowk bana rakha hai (They’ve turned the MCG office into Chandni Chowk)”

As word about the minister’s mood and his inspections spread, there was a quiet scramble across the four floors of the corporation office. Some officials retreated to a safe place, away from the spotlight and the minister’s line of sight, while some others hastily removed nameplates from the desks should Vij find something amiss and haul them up by name.

Vij, who had spent the night at Haryana Bhavan in Delhi, was to return to Ambala on Thursday but made a detour to Gurgaon. He wanted to check for himself, he told TOI later, the functioning of the corporation about which he had been “receiving too many complaints”. Vij had reached Ahuja’s office on the third floor at 10.25am. “Jab main aaya, tab office mein na commissioner thhe, na joint commissioner (When I reached, neither the commissioner nor the joint commissioner was present),” Vij said.


In the 20 minutes till Ahuja reached, Vij had already interacted with various staffers to enquire about the “functioning” of the corporation. “Mantri ji ko dekh ke, officers me afra tafri mach gayi (there’s panic among the officers at the sight of the minister),” a bemused aide remarked.

The engineering wing on the second floor was the first one to come under Vij’s scrutiny. As he walked into the section where the offices of sub divisional officers Rakesh Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav are and found their seats empty, Vij asked for attendance records and the movement register. But none of those around were able to present either. “I am suspending both officials for being absent from duty without any intimation,” Vij ordered.

He then moved to another cabin, of executive engineer Dharambir Malik. Malik was present but there was a file on his desk that caught Vij’s eye. Related to water supply, it had a date from early in the year. “Itne mahinon ke baad bhi yeh kaam nahi hua? Kya log paani ke liye intezaar karte rahenge? (After so many months, the work isn’t done? How long will people wait for water?),” Vij asked Malik before terminating his contract (Malik was on a one-year extension).

Executive engineer Gopal Kalawat’s office was his next stop. Kalawat, who wasn’t around, had been probed earlier for allegedly trying to release payments for incomplete development work against fake satisfaction certificates from councillors.

Vij ordered an FIR to be registered against Kalawat.

In his meeting with Ahuja, Vij expressed displeasure about Gurgaon’s chronic waterlogging problem and sought a roadmap. Later, he told this reporter, “MCG needs a lot of improvement. The staff was seen just sitting without work. There is a need to rationalise staff and streamline the working of departments.”

He added, “I have directed all staff members to submit a report about the work done by them on July 20, the day the city faced waterlogging despite tall claims that it won’t.” Vij also said he had directed the commissioner to constitute a panel to study the causes of waterlogging and submit a plan to him identifying the solutions.

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