Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, a 1989-batch IAS officer, who has received praise for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis in Mumbai, shed tears last year on the phone with CM Uddhav Thackeray, as lives of about 150 Covid-19 patients were at risk due to oxygen shortage in city hospitals. 

CM Thackeray while releasing a book on Chahal on Monday said, “This strong man cried, saying it was the worst night in his life. But he and his team managed to shift patients and there was no death because of oxygen shortage in Mumbai” said Thackeray, adding that Covid-19 management in a city like Mumbai was the biggest challenge before his government. 

“There was not a single death due to shortage of oxygen in Mumbai. The government’s efforts to control the Covid-19 in Dharavi received praise at the international level” said Thackeray. 

CM said in November 2019, when he took charge as Chief Minister, he had no administrative experience. “ I put full faith in my team and officials, and gave them the freedom to make decisions. Encouraging them was necessary. If the CM is anxious, the entire team will react in the same way” he said. 

Thackeray said the central government was not taking a quick call on providing trains to send migrant workers to their home States during the first Covid-19 wave. “We repeatedly asked the Centre to provide railways, so migrant workers could go back to their States, ” he said.        

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