Mumbai: Even as prospective contenders eager to contest the civic polls in Navi Mumbai and the voters eagerly await the announcement of dates of the general elections in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, the High Court here is learnt to have ordered the holding of the NMMC polls only after the decision on a petition alleging foul play and irregularities in the demarcation and reservation of electoral wards in the city.

Grave allegations of civic officials conniving with vested political powers to manipulate the demarcation and reservation process for obvious considerations have been made in the petition, which if proved could lead to a political and bureaucratic earthquake in the city.

NMMC is already under a cloud over allegations made by legislator Manda Vijay Mhatre about the appointment of one contractor for the maintenance of gardens in the city by removing the 91 local contractors and the payment of Rs. 8 crores to the said contractor for works not done during the lockdown months.

The latest scam alleged by the leader of the opposition in the State Legislative Council, Pravin Darekar on the expose by Ankush Kadam, core committee member of Maratha Kranti Morcha, about 10,000 people in Navi Mumbai listed in the ICMR’s website, as COVID-19 negative when they have never been tested at the NMMC COVID testing centres, has sent shock waves in the State. One person listed in the website as having tested negative is known to have died 10 years ago.

Manda Mhatre has also made serious allegations against the functioning of the ETC school in the city.   

Abhijit Bangar, the NMMC municipal commissioner has constituted an enquiry committee to probe the allegations. He suspended Dr. Nemane, in charge of the NMMC COVID testing centre till the enquiry is completed and assured Manda Mhatre that justice would be meted out to the PAP contractors in the city who have been wronged.

While State, civic and local body elections are taking place all over the country in spite of the corona pandemic crisis, Navi Mumbai citizens are denied the democratic right of an elected civic body for nearly 7 months and are asking if those guilty would be booked for this constitutional offence too?