The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is playing lottery. Not for any jackpot. But to choose officers for plum posts.Last week, executive engineers SS Chavan, AB Bhoir and deputy chief engineer YS Dalvi were posted in the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) using the lottery system.The BMC logic is that the new system will introduce transparency, reduce lobbying and political pressure.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BMC chief Ajoy Mehta, who initiated the lottery postings, has also asked his staff to check engineers’ track record on corruption charges and pending inquiries.According to civic officials, apart from the SRA, the Building Proposal (BP) and Vigilance departments are the most sought-after by engineers.The SRA and BP departments are considered plum since they deal with building construction and real- estate proposals while the vigilance department oversees all civic work.”The BMC has sent three senior engineers to SRA. There is hectic lobbying and political pressure. This time, there were over two dozen applications. However, the BMC chief directed us to hold a lottery of eligible engineers,” said a senior civic official.”For lower level appointments, there is an exam. These postings are made on the basis of the exam results and seniority. For senior posts like executive engineer and deputy chief engineer, there is no exam. So, we held a lottery.”According to the new system, any civic engineer who wishes to apply for the post must have some prior experience in that department since it is a highly technical job. However, they must not be posted in the same department,” the official explained.”This system will help boost transparency as we don’t have to pick and choose. We will extend it to other departments if there are many eligible candidates for the same post. We will see if there is any pending or previous Anti-Corruption Bureau inquiry (ACB) or any other case before the posting. This is a fair mechanism,” Mehta told dna.Former bureaucrats have welcomed the move. “Conceptually, the lottery is a fair system and a good idea. MHADA uses lottery to give flats, so why not for postings? It will put an end to favouritism and nepotism. The engineers won’t be able to complain of discrimination, too. Political interference will reduce as well,” said former BMC chief V Ranganathan.However, former BMC chief Subodh Kumar expressed caution. “It’s good that there will be transparency. However, in a lottery, one can’t be sure if the best man is being posted. The BMC must verify the integrity and character of the applicants before making the appointments, especially when sending engineers on deputation to SRA. Even if there is no lottery, political pressure or influence must not play any part in postings and appointments,” he said.Soon after taking over, Mehta had pulled the plug on post-retirement appointments in the BMC. After it came to light that post-retirement appointments had cost the BMC Rs 2.38 crore, Mehta terminated such appointments.

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Mumbai: BMC takes the lottery route to fill plum posts