Nearly four months after Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government had transferred Ashwini Bhide, the Managing Director (MD) of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited for taking on Shiv Sena prince Aditya Thackeray over Aarey Metro Rail car shed issue, the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government has brought back the IAS officer to handle the out-of-control coronavirus crisis in the state.
On Friday, the Maharashtra Government, facing massive criticism over their failure to contain the coronavirus spread in the state, had transferred Brihanmumbai Municipal corporation (BMC) commissioner Pravin Pardeshi. The transfer of BMC commissioner was seen as an act of shifting the blame on the bureaucracy for the misdeeds of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
Soon, Pravin Pardeshi was replaced as Mumbai commissioner by Iqbal Chahal. Ashwini Bhide, who was shunted out from Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation for taking on Aaditya Thackeray, was soon appointed as the additional commissioner in the BMC by the Maharashtra government.
Aaditya Thackeray vs Ashwini Bhide
Senior IAS officer Bhide was the former MD of MMRC, who was at the forefront of implementing the Mumbai Metro 3 project. There were reports that Aaditya Thackeray was unhappy over Bhide’s insistence on Aarey Metro Car Shed Project.
The previous state government’s plan to cut about 2,700 trees in Aarey Colony in north Mumbai for car shed of the metro had green activists and citizens’ groups up in the arms including Sena heir-apparent Aaditya Thackeray. However, Bhide as the head of MMRCL had vociferously defended the metro project at Aarey by stating that it was impossible to shift the car shed anywhere else as suggested by Shiv Sena leader Thackeray and few other green activists.
Thackeray had even expressed his anger and annoyance at Bhide for her staunch support of the car shed project. Following the displeasure of Aditya Thackeray, she was removed from the post.
With Maharashtra government facing massive criticism over handling the coronavirus crisis, perhaps Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray seems to have to realised that utilising services of honest, upright officers could save him from further embarrassment.