PMC rewarding students' hard work with outdated cheques?
Thousands of cheques distributed recently to students securing above 80% in SSC and HSC bear February date
It seems that the PMC is not aware that a cheque cannot be encashed 3 months after the date of issuance. Since the past few days, the department has been distributing cheques bearing an issuance date of February 17, 2014, to thousands of students, leading to anger and resentment.
PMC’s Urban Community Department (UCD) distributes Rs 15,000 to students securing above 80% marks in SSC,
and R25,000 to those scoring above 80% in HSC, as financial aid for them to pursue higher education.
As many as 9,500 students had applied under the scheme after the results last year, and are only getting their cheques now.
“While collecting the cheque, I didn’t notice the date on it, as I didn’t think the PMC could make such a mistake.
However, when I went to my bank to deposit the cheque, they bluntly refused to accept it as the cheque was issued on February 17. PMC officials are now telling me to submit a letter to get a fresh cheque. This is very frustrating,” said Abhijit Patil, a Std XI student, who is supposed to receive a cheque of Rs 15,000 for securing above 80% marks in SSC last year.
PMC officials are, however, blaming the delay on the model code of conduct for the elections, which was in place until recently.
When contacted, UCD in-charge Hanumant Nazirkar said, “We were supposed to distribute these cheques in February and thus all these cheques bear a February 17 date.
However, cheque distribution got stuck after the model code of conduct came in to effect. We had restarted distribution on April 30. So, students and parents who had collected and deposited their cheques before May 17 received the amount, and the others are coming back to us. We are re-issuing those cheques.”
mid-day had reported on May 12 that the 7-year-old Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) scheme, to give financial aid between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 to students scoring above 80% marks in the SSC and HSC exams, has led to civic officials and politicians crossing swords.
mid-day report on May 12
While civic officials insisted that the scheme, which has seen its requirement burgeon to Rs 15.3 crore this year, should be restricted only to needy students and not to help fund luxuries, politicians have attacked the PMC for trying to curtail a student-friendly scheme.