Why Arun Desai was transferred from the Transport Department – the report

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Arun Desai - Image Credits: The Goan

The transfer of Arun Desai from the transport department is making news in Goa. Transfer of government servants and bureaucrats is regular affair in the state and nothing vague in that. But why the transfer of Arun Desai is trending in Goa? And why this issue is taking the political contour? What is the reality behind this story? This report will try to clear some of the cloud congregated over this subject, read here…

Before we come to some conclusion let’s take a small tour of the background of this matter. According to the sources Arun Desai joined the department of transport as Director of Transport in 2010 and during his 5 years tenure he was involved into many controversies including the one in 2010-2011 in which he was allegedly involved in recruitment scam of 15 Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspectors (AMVI’s). According to the report published in daily herald “The Anti-Corruption Bureau investigating alleged corruption in the recruitment of 15 Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspectors (AMVI’s) between October 2010 and March 2011, submitted its report in 2013, during Mr Parrikar’s tenure as Chief Minister, in a complaint against role of the Dhavlikar brothers, Arun Desai and Officer on Special Duty Milind Bhobe, it highlighted irregularities in the recruitment of the AMVI’s. The report however made no mention of the role played by the above named in the scam which involved the fraudulent recruitment of the 15 AMVI’s, eight of whom produced their experience certificates from the same motor garage “Maruti Chari” in Usgao Tisk. Mr Parrikar had silently protected the Dhavlikar’s then”.

It is the known fact that during the tenure of Arun Desai as a Director of Transport many irregularities took place in the department. The stories of the close relations between politicians and director are well known and had been published by many publications in Goa. According to the one such news “Desai and Transport Minister Sudin Dhavlikar were working as a team in the transport department and functioned through a wide network of “karyakartas” who were given important positions within the PWD system either officially or kept in the periphery with massive powers. The transport department has been run as an extension of the MGP party office for years, or to put in more bluntly as an extension of the personal office of the Dhavlikar brothers”.

According to the reports, Arun Desai was also grilled by the ACB on September 4, 2015 as earlier vigilance director in connection with the bribery case against the peon Dattaram Gawde. It may be recalled that on August 28 the Anti Corruption Bureau had arrested Gawade from the Transport department in Panjim while accepting Rs 1 lakh from an Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector (AMVI) to settle service issues he was facing. Meanwhile Gawde during his interrogation had disclosed that Deputy Director Vishram Govekar was linked to the bribery case. With the needle of suspicion pointing up the hierarchy and beyond, Desai’s role and involvement has definitely come under the ambit of investigation.

The story does not end here, now there are charges on the Desai for pressurizing the office peon Gawde, who was arrested in bribery case. According to the news published by the Goa News “The police department confirmed that Desai was pressurizing the arrested peon as well as son of Vishram Govekar, assistant director of transport”.

The sources have also revealed that the assistant motor vehicle inspector Alister Fernandes, who tipped off the ACB into this matter, against whom the internal enquiry was pending and been asked to pay five lakh to close the inquiry. It was the Fernandes who told ACB that the peon had taken the bribe amount on the directions of Desai, however peon had denied the allegation and named the deputy director Govenkar in this matter. It was confirmed that Desai was pressuring the peon Gawde to not to reveal his name but Govenkar.

Meanwhile, ACB has quizzed both Desai and Govenkar and also raided the house of Govenkar but Govenkar has denied his involvement and countered the ACB saying “Why I would strike any deal with the peon attached to transport director’s office.

In this entire episode another angle of internal disputes between BJP and MGP has came up. Sources have told that BJP government is targeting the transport department to settle the scores with the MGP’s Sudin Dhavalikar, as the department of transport his headed by the Dhavalikar and the party insiders have confirmed that Dhavlikar and Desai, are headed towards becoming relatives, with their children likely to tie the knot. It means that Desai is being treated as scapegoat in this entire episode.

There are also the reports about the peon being given more than required importance in the department. According to the sources Damu Gawde started his career as a humble party worker at Dhavalikar’s office and later been given the position of Peon in the transport director’s office where apparently nothing would mov without his consent “Insiders in the department revealed that very little moved without the Gawde touch. Gawde attained the same level of importance or notoriety (depending on which side of the fence you are) as Arun Nayak, another MGP ‘karyakarta’ who became a parallel power centre in the Ponda RTO”.

Rampant corruption has corroded the image of transport department with number of cases of bribery been witnessed this year In July, the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) arrested Assistant Director of Transport Uday Gawas and Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector Vaman Umbrascar of the enforcement wing of the Transport Department while accepting a bribe of Rs 90,000 from a transport contractor at Patto in Panjim. ACB officials  then said that the duo were demanding Rs 1.5 lakh from the contractor for him to operate in their jurisdiction though the operator has valid licenses and had made payments of various taxes to the State government.

According to one of the sources Govekar’s son, who apparently runs a transport business, has handed over recording of a mobile conversation between him and transferred transport director Desai in which Desai has reportedly told Govekar’s son that the BJP government is targeting transport department to settle political scores with the MGP, whose leader Sudin Dhawalikar is heading the transport ministry.

Whatever the sources may reveal but the people are aware of the corruption that takes place in transport department for years, people speak in suppressed voice about it all the time. Although it is the different story that everything is coming up now in media due to the rampant action being taken by ACB against the corrupt or say the opponents of ruling party? Whatever it may be, the truth prevails and that is “THERE IS NO SMOKE WITHOUT THE FIRE AROUND”. Please do not forget to leave your honest, unbiased and valuable comments and suggestions on this small news article.

Source: Various Sources

Edited by: Goa Prism News Desk

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