“This is not IPL Twenty20, but India Municipal Vision 2020 (IMV 2020), and the municipal elected representatives should take it seriously! Why none of the 154 corporators are seen in the audience?”
This question was raised openly by Minister of State for Urban Development Bhaskar Jadhav at IMV 2020, who inaugurated the event at Balgandharv Rangmandir yesterday even as over 40 per cent of the chairs in the theatre remained empty. The inaugural event was attended by senior officials of the PMC, sponsors, journalists, photographers, invited delegates and artists, who put up a cultural show before the event.
Mayors and commissioners from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi were also present. Missing at Hotel Marriott on the first day of the two-day symposium were corporators from the city. Urban infrastructure development schemes for small and medium-sized towns was the agenda for discussion at the event. Jadhav asked from the dais why there was lack of awareness about a useful programme like IMV 2020 even though PMC, which spends Rs 3,600 crore annually on various civic projects, was the host.
“The whole exercise of discussion on sustainable development on civic issues will be futile if none of the 152 elected representatives are seen in the audience,” he said. NCP MP Vandana Chavan, a former mayor, was one of the key speakers at IMV 2020. She claimed she had informed others about the event and some of her party corporators were present at the inauguration of IMV 2020.
“I will soon convey the message to all the corporators to attend the symposium,” she said. BJP MLA Girish Bapat admitted his party corporators were absent at IMV 2020. Congress MLC Mohan Joshi could give no answer on the absence of Congress elected members at the PMC-hosted programme. MNS city president Prakash Dhore, an elected representative from Bopodi, said he was invited to a wedding and so could not attend IMV 2020. Deepali Oswal of the Shiv Sena said she had to attend her daughter’s wedding.
Mayor Bankar speaks in Marathi
Mayor Vaishali Bankar chose to speak in Marathi instead of using Hindi or English, though most of the delegates were from non-Marathi states in the country. “I am comfortable speaking in Marathi instead of Hindi or English,” she said. Her husband Sunil Bankar said, “We can provide the Hindi or English translation of the Mayor’s speech, if required.”