Ashwini Bhide part of CM’s special task force
She was removed as MMRCL chief
Former Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) managing director Ashwini Bhide, who had locked horns with the Shiv Sena over the Metro 3 car shed project in Aarey colony, was named in the 11-member task force set up by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to tackle COVID-19.
The ‘controversial but efficient’ bureaucrat has been tasked with the responsibility of managing transport and traffic arrangements in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and coordinating with the agencies concerned. The Maha Vikas Aghadi government had moved Ms. Bhide out of MMRCL. She was replaced with Ranjit Singh Deol, an IAS officer of the 1998 batch, owing to her stand on the chopping of trees inside Aarey colony to make way for the Metro 3 project’s car shed. Ms. Bhide was not assigned a new posting in the interim period.
“We have handpicked our best officers for this task force which will run the control room in these tough times. She has also been asked to coordinate with private transport services like Ola and Uber to ensure smooth vehicular movement for essential services,” an official said.
The order to set up the task force, which was handpicked by the CM, was issued by Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta. The team consists of some of the seniormost officers. The other members are additional chief secretaries Manoj Saunik, Nitin Kareer, and Rajeev Jalota; health secretary Pradeep Vyas; and secretaries Bhushan Gagrani, Sanjay Mukherjee, Sanjay Khandare, Prajakta Lavangare, Anup Kumar Yadav, and Kishore Raje Nimbalkar.
The team will prepare an interim action plan for the State for the next three months, including dealing with the social and economic impact of the virus