Congress leaders including Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole and MLA for West Nagpur Vikas Thakre demanded the transfer of Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe. As soon as various reports on social media of Mundhe getting transferred anytime soon surfaced, Nagpur residents started an online petition – People’s Confidence Motion – on social media to show solidarity towards the NMC Chief. However, we couldn’t get Patole’s comments on the same as his phone was switched off. Apart from Congress leaders, Nagpur Mayor Sandip Joshi too had earlier lashed out at Mundhe.
When we spoke to Vikas Thakre, he said, “More than transfer, I feel whatever issues we have against him, should be discussed in the Legislative Assembly; he should be punished.”
Thakre further said, “Before declaring an area as a containment zone in Nagpur, he should ensure he’s providing facilities to the residents. He just deploys police outside the areas but what about their roles and responsibilities? Is he providing the residents with ration? If people aren’t allowed to visit ATM, is there any mobile ATM? People are suffering great deal because of his attitude. Are we going to get scared of Mundhe and sit at home? He has to take into consideration every concerned person’s opinion. He’s just washing his hands off his responsibility.”
Soniya Pohare Patil, a homemaker from Nagpur, is of the opinion that Munde has proved himself to be an able administrator especially in COVID-19 pandemic. She said, “His vigilant attitude towards every alarming situation has certainly helped Nagpur stay safe especially for mothers like me. His skill to trace chain of positive patients is commendable. He’s been proactive in making quarantine centres ready at the right time. His discipline speaks volumes about his attitude and work ethics. His transfer will only topple a steady structure; not to forget, it will create panic among residents. Moreover, his ability to not to succumb to any political pressure makes him respect worthy.”
Shailaja Prasad, who runs Rags Boutique in Nagpur, said, “I’m grateful to Mundhe for ensuring we don’t become another Mumbai or Pune vis-à-vis number of COVID-19 cases; he’s the right person to tackle this pandemic. Though my staff did face financial difficulties during lockdown, but they still feel Mundhe did the right thing. He ensured there was a complete shutdown. No two ways about it; he has saved us, for sure!”
Nagpur businessman Rahul Gupta said, “I don’t think he should be transferred. I’ve met him a couple times; he comes across sincere. Moreover, if he’s transferred, it will lead to huge panic among residents. People have to realise he’s been relentlessly working since months. A lot of planning and hard work has gone into the controlling the COVID-19 situation in Nagpur. We’ve seen results; waiting for more!”