Mhada’s Secretary Dr. B.N. Bastewad –Guilty or Not Guilty?
A written complaint against now Mhada’s Secretary Dr. B N Bastewad, our Minister Vidya Thakur’s ex Private Secretary, has reached all the way to the PMO in Delhi. The copy was then forwarded to the CMO and now an independant inquiry is being carried out on the same by the department. An anonymous person has levelled some serious allegations on Bastewad that range from making Rs. 50 crores per annum to ‘demanding’ sexual favours from lady officers in lieu of transfers; the letter has many more such shocking revelations. Known for transparency, clean image & intolerant towards corrupt officials, CM Fadnavis has acted on such complaints in the past. It has been more than 3 years Mr. Bastewad or BNB ( in close circles and at Mhada Bastewad is referred to as BNB) is sitting at an important post of Mhada, so anyway he is due for transfer. It is an honest effort made by the CM & his team to handover responsibility of such an important housing department to a clean imaged CEO & VP Milind Mhaiskar and CM also placed able hands like Deependra Singh Khushwah under him to make the team strong. What is this message by the CM? It is a message that Mhada will henceforth be guided by only able officers and work will happen only if merit is there…(even though it is almost next to impossible to remove that Minister Mehta due to his connections with Amit Shah)….NOW again if the government machinery decides to continue BNB at Mhada inspite of his 3 years getting completed and complaints against him at such levels, then a lot of answering has to be done. Guilty or not guilty, in my views there is no smoke without fire; hence if there are allegations against you, something somewhere is surely wrong. I have received a written explanation to counter the various allegations from BNB but I leave it to my readers and the CM to decide if he is guilty or not…Also I hope the revenue department does take some cognisance of such complaints against this Additional Collector. Why an officer is kept at the same post for more than 3 years? Shriniwas Jadhav too will act, who has been his mentor…
Anyway, to begin with allegations, Dr. BNB is a Doctor-(Veterinary Doctorate) and it is alleged he has been instrumental in removing Dy Chief Engineer Mr. Ade incharge of Computer Cell of Mhada & Senior Computer Engineer Sachin Wadgaye from the post of Chief ICT officer and gave the important post to much junior officer Smt. Savita Bodke. Then, the second allegation is Dr BNB has purchased a flat in JeevanShila Building at the Government colony, Bandra and the letter says a huge amount of cash was given to the flat owner for which the estate agent can be called upon and testified too. We all know this , that no flat can be purchased without a BLACK & WHITE component. Then, one Mr. Pandirkar who was in Mhada’s Vigilance and Quality Control cell was transferred in few months and the charge was given to BNB’s own man Mr. Sadhwani. BNB has fallen to such a level, as per the complain letter, that he asks for sexual favours from engineering and non-engineering staffs and if they don’t willingly handover themselves to him, he threatens them to transfer out of present district. Also an officer by the name of Dr. Ramod from Aurangabad board who is BNB’s man too, there are complaints against him (on record) and BNB for taking sexual favours for not transferring them outside Aurangabad board even if they had completed 3 years. BNB issued show cause notices in frivolous case of inquiry in bogus testing reports of construction materials in MHADA laboratory . The said complaint was presented before the Women Harassment Cell of Mhada, but BNB hushed up the matter and closed the file with a good ‘settlement’. The post of deputy Chief Engineers in Vigilance department & Zone II of repair board are not ben filled in for past two months and now since BNB has found the right officer, “negotiations” are on to ask him to come on board.
Also now there are Junior, Assistant, Deputy and Executive engineers in Mhada who are in hand-in-glove with BNB, claim other sources. One particular Engineer since years is an Asst Engineer under him and has not been transferred ever since. Mhaiskar immediately transferred that engineer within a month he took charge at Mhada into other department but it is heard Bastewad made some serious efforts to cancel the order, but all in vain. Little did he knew perhaps of Milind Mhaiskar, I think! What I particularly gather is that a retired official from Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil’s team is Dr. BNB’s mentor, and it is this official on the 2nd floor of Mantralaya, that gives extensions to Dr. BNB after every 3 years.
As a journalist, it is my duty to look at the other side too. Bastewad has obviously denied all the allegations against him, but again there cannot be smoke without fire, I feel. The complaint is of such serious nature that I’m sure it must has risen eyebrows of the Anti Corruption Bureau. And Bastewad too, claiming to be the man of integrity, should immediately ask his mentors to get him out of Mhada, as now his name and all his achievements & handwork he has put in Mhada are at stake, and secondly he has completed his term. Maharashtra’s VET posts in various districts remain unoccupied for years. He should go back to his parent department and serve with honesty like he did in Mhada.
Vikrant Hemant Joshi