Armed with anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare's blessings, 120 people come together to launch body called Pune Lokpal Group to monitor functioning of 14 PMC ward offices and works undertaken by corporators

Corporators and municipal ward officials better get their act together. Their diurnal activities will now be under scrutiny by a group of 120 people from the city who, following a meeting with Anna Hazare in Ralegansiddhi, have formed the Pune Lokpal Group (PLG). The group started with five wards, encouraging many others to join the mission, and it has now extended its activities to 14 offices.

Together for a cause: Tanmay Kanitkar, Pradeep Dixit and
Pradnya Shidore, who are part of the Pune Lokpal Group

To begin with, the PLG has started monitoring the wards of Warje, Karvenagar, Sahakarnagar, Dhanori and Tilak Road. Works related to new roads in their wards, cross-checking of voters' list and parking arrangements at various spots by the civic body will be some of the issues taken up. The members of the group proudly claim to have Hazare's stamp of approval.

Anna Hazare's signature of approval for the newly-formed group.
Pics/Krunal Gosavi

"If the ward offices are doing something irrelevant, we can openly object to it and raise the issue with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) administration or the commissioner," said Pradnya  Shidore (27), a core-committee member of Pune Lokpal Group. "This is made possible by using the 74th amendment in the constitution that allows forming of a group for social cause. Hazare was happy to support us for this cause and gave us his blessings," she said.

Shidore was joined by Tanmay Kanitkar (23), RTI activist, Vinita Tatke (37), environmentalist, and Sanjay Risbud (38), engineer, as core-members. "This is a totally non-political forum and citizens shall participate directly in the functioning of the PMC and the respective elected corporators from each ward," said Shidore.
The first meeting of the PLG was held on Saturday evening. People responded positively to the meeting with 120 already joining the group.

"We received 70 calls from different parts of the city to join the PLG," said Risbud. "The response is amazing and we shall have a more powerful team. This can also help us keep an eye on local corporators and their promises." Sandesh Shirodkar, Mandar Kulkarni from Kothrud, Madhav Mutalik from Tilak Road, and Dr Neha Date from Paud Road joined the PLG yesterday. "This is a good option to follow up on what the PMC is doing. We can work like a watch dog and help the media," he said.

PLG rulebook
>> Every PLG member has to take an oath before joining the forum.
>> A meeting every fortnight to monitor the assigned works.
>> Every PLG member should get himself introduced to the PMC ward office employee first.
>> Member should develop cordial relationship with each employee and discuss the expectations of the group with them.
>> Member should involve the ward office employee and local citizen in important projects.