Ashwini Bhide, the managing director (MD) of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) and an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer who was spearheading the implementation of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Mumbai Metro 3 project, was transferred by the Maharashtra government in an administrative reshuffle that it effected yesterday (21 January).
Bhide earned tremendous appreciation for not only deftly dealing with the complex engineering challenges posed by this humongous infrastructure project which involves constructing a 33-km long Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ (Mumbai Metro 3) line but also for taking up the cudgels for the proposed Aarey metro car shed that is critical to its timely completion.
Bhide repeatedly busted the alarmist claims made a small group of affluent residents of the city who attempted to stop the shed construction.
Bhide will be replaced by Ranjit Singh Deol, currently the vice chairman and managing director of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation. Deo is an IAS officer of 1998 batch and belongs to Maharashtra cadre.
Bhide’s transfer was a foregone conclusion after the ascension of Sena scion Aaditya Thackeray (son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray) as the state environment minister. He had publicly demanded her ouster.
"The concerned officer is not only disrespecting the elected representatives and citizens of Mumbai but her statements also seem to threaten the common man and the courts," Aaditya had said.
In November, Thackeray had announced a halt on the construction of the car shed. He had, however, claimed that he had not stayed the work of the Mumbai metro rail project itself.
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