According to reports, the newly formed Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government has accorded the additional charge of Managing Director of the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to Ashwini Bhide, IAS Officer. It is claimed that the said decision was taken by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
This move comes in the midst of controversy surrounding the Metro 3 project which looks to connect Navy Nagar and Seepz. The work has held up because the then state environment minister Aaditya Thackeray wanted the Metro car shed in Kanjurmarg as opposed to Aarey Colony.
In his earlier tenure as CM of Maharashtra, Fadnavis had picked Aarey Milk Colony. However, the move received stark opposition from environmentalists. Now, with Fadnavis back in power, he wants it to be reinstated in Aarey and the project fast-tracked.
Based on accounts, Bhide, an IAS officer of the 1995 batch is an additional commissioner at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). She looks after the work in the eastern suburbs in the civic body. Now, the post of the MMRC Managing Director will be her additional charge.
Bhide had previously headed the MMRC from 2015 to 2019 during which she garnered stark criticism from environmentalists.
While the MVA government wanted the car shed to be moved to Kanjurmarg, the centre opposed it causing the project to hit a roadblock. With the Metro 3 project being handled by the MMRC, the body’s MD post was left vacant since Ranjit Deol was transferred earlier this year.
Following this, the additional charge of MMRC was given to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Corporation commissioner S V R Srinivas. On Tuesday, July 12, the new state government gave the charge to Bhide.
On the other hand, IAS officer Shrikar Pardeshi has been appointed as secretary to Fadnavis, and Thane Zilla Parishad CEO Bhausaheb Dangade has been appointed Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Commissioner. Aziz Shaikh has also been appointed the Commissioner of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation.