“I am a very small man, yet the Municipal Commissioner and the Standing Committee Chairman personally requested me not to resign from service,” said an overwhelmed Dr Sanjay Oak, Dean of the KEM Hospital, while coming out of a three-hour-long Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday evening.
Dr Oak, who was seen sitting quiet and impassive throughout the proceedings, could not control his feeling of relief once he came out exonerated. He said, “Glad to learn that they believe in my honesty and integrity. Actually, I have resigned for personal reasons. I am still thinking...”
According to a close friend of Dr Oak, “One of his family members has taken ill, and needs to be taken care of. Dr. Oak feels bad that he could not give the ailing person enough time, so he is thinking of quitting from service.”
It may be recalled that Samajwadi Party councillor Rais Shaikh had alleged that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had over quoted the price of MRI machines in its proposal. However, after deliberations and crosschecks, the Standing Committee gave a clean chit to the civic body in the matter.
Speaking for the administration, Additional Municipal Commissioner Rajiv Jalota said, “We have followed all the stipulations of the tendering process. Three international producers of MRI machines out of a total four have participated. There was no third person or contractor involved.”
Jalota admitted to a small difference in the price, which he justified saying, “The BMC being a civic body cannot bargain on the price unlike private parties. As per the central government guidelines, bargaining is the last and final measure in the tendering process but that too, in rare cases.”
Standing Committee Chairman Rahul Shewale who, on behalf of the committee requested Dr Oak to rethink on his decision, said, “We did not find any proof or evidence of over-pricing in the proposal. All allegations are baseless and wrong.”
Shewale added, “The monsoon is just approaching, and the Public Health department needs such a dedicated doctor. At least for the sake of the city, he has to take back his resignation.” Additional Municipal Commissioner (Public Health) Manisha Mhaiskar, said, “Dr Oak is the most competent head of the department I have worked with in the BMC. I look forward to his presence in major projects which we have chalked for execution in the next two years. Earlier, he had also told me of his desire to resign but he shelved it. We hope that this time too, he will stay back.”