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Mumbai: At least 1,130 BMC engineers quit as MNS corporators humiliate boss over potholes

MUMBAI: At least 1,130 civic engineers resigned en masse and more than 4,500 engineers went on strike on Thursday, a day after Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Sandeep Deshpande and corporator Sanjay Dhuri forced chief engineer Sanjay Darade to hold a placard reading that he (chief engineer) was responsible for the potholes in the city.

Chief engineer (roads) Sanjay Darade with the placard reading, “Citizens please note, I, Chief Engineer (Roads), am responsible for these potholes.”

Darade was forced by Deshpande and Dhuri on Wednesday to hold the placard, which read, “Citizens should note that I am responsible for these potholes” on the N C Kelkar Marg. The corporators even took the pictures and circulated them to the media.

On Friday, 3,000 more engineers are expected to resign. Civic engineers have decided not to take any more humiliation and have demanded that municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta disqualify both corporators. They demanded that the law which applies when doctors are attacked should be invoked here. Earlier in the day, Darade lodged an FIR against both the corporators at the Shivaji Park police station for mental torture and defamation.

While all engineers, including those from the water department, have gone on strike for an indefinite period, no work was done at the Worli Engineers’ Hub. They protested at the civic headquarters. Even deputy chief engineers have stopped working. However, the water department said that it will ensure that the city does not suffer during the strike. Engineers have decided not to fill any single pothole from now, until the issue is resolved.

Talks between the municipal commissioner and the engineers’ union failed, and engineers have not decided not to withdraw their resignations and strike. Deshpande, however, was adamant and held that he has not done anything wrong. In fact, he even went further and gave a 10-day ultimatum to the civic chief.

“If I am arrested, I will not apply for bail until all potholes are filled. The municipal commissioner should either ensure that the potholes are filled within 10 days or should resign,” said Deshpande.

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