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MBMC chief shunted out day after ED summons for probe | Mumbai News – Times of India



MUMBAI: Chief minister Eknath Shinde transferred Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) commissioner Dilip Dhole on Wednesday, a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issued him a summons to present himself as part of a probe into the multi-crore Urban Land Ceiling Regulation Act scam.

Sanjay Katkar, an IAS officer, has replaced Dhole as MBMC chief.
The ED is likely to issue Dhole a second summons after he failed to appear before it on Tuesday. Katkar, an IAS officer of the 2013 batch, was earlier the Nashik region deputy commissioner. A week ago, he was posted as the joint managing director, Cidco, and on Wednesday he was appointed the MBMC commissioner. Katkar has immediately taken charge of his new assignment in the Mira Bhayander civic body.

Dhole was deputy commissioner in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) department and during the previous three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi government, he was posted on deputation to the state givernment’s urban development ministry then headed by Eknath Shinde, who is now chief minister.
Subsequently, in August 2020, Dhole was appointed as additional municipal commissioner of MBMC. After six months, he was appointed as commissioner of MBMC. This appointment of his as municipal chief was challenged in the court by a local activist as Dhole is a non-IAS officer. However, Dilip Dhole remained in the post for two years.
The Urban Land Ceiling Regulation Act or ULCRA scam came to light in 2016. It was alleged that several developers, in connivance with state government officials, had used bogus documents to show that particular plots developed within the MBMC limits fell under the “green zone” and not the “residential zone”, which exempted the builders from handing over excess land portions of plots to the government. This caused huge losses to the state government, and the builders allegedly had bribed the government and civic officials for helping them commit the fraud.
There is no clarity on Dhole’s connection to the scam as his first posting was in 2020.
The case was investigated by the Thane police in 2016 under the then Thane police commissioner Param Bir Singh, and it led to several arrests being made. Subsequently, a builder wrote to the then MVA government headed by Uddhav Thackeray alleging that during Singh during his posting as Thane police commissioner had favoured many builders in the Urban Land Ceiling Regulation Act scam.
The state had ordered an inquiry into the allegation, and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to investigate the case. A town planner of Mira-Bhayander and an architect, along with a few others, were accused in the case. Based on the Thane police case, the ED had registered a money laundering case for investigation.



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