Pay-and-use toilet scam: State to initiate action against Damse

PMC elected representatives had denied permission to chargesheet him.

The state government on Friday decided to initiate proceedings against Pune Municipal Corporation Deputy Municipal Commissioner Laxman Damse who had been booked by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for his alleged involvement in the pay-and-use toilet scam. Earlier, the elected representatives in the PMC had denied permission to chargesheet him.

In 2005, a cheque amounting to Rs 10 lakh was issued to a contractor to construct pay-and-use toilet at Salisbury Park, the work for which never took off. The case was referred to ACB, which unearthed major irregularities committed by the civic staff. The ACB submitted a report to the civic body in 2009 and sought permission to file chargesheet against Damse, but the elected representatives kept the proposal pending.

In 2011, the then municipal chief Mahesh Zagade sought intervention of state government as there was no decision on the proposal seeking chargesheet against the officer. The government ordered the civic body to decide on the proposal within 30 days, but the elected representatives favoured the civic officer and rejected the proposal.

The decision of the elected representatives was conveyed to the state government.

"The government said the decision of the PMC general body to reject the chargesheet proposal against Damse was against the rules. Thus, the civic body's decision has been cancelled as per the powers with the state government," said Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak at the standing committee meeting.

He said the state government has issued directives that if anyone has objections to the government's decision, they should file their say within 30 days.

"The civic administration should communicate the state government's decision to the standing committee and general body immediately so that the members can file their say on the decision," said a release issued by the state government.

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