In a major development, the civic administration has abruptly stopped development works worth Rs 1 crore initiated under the mayoral funds allotted to the former mayor of the city. Vaishali Bankar had sanctioned the projects in the last phase of her tenure, using the funds allotted to her as part of the budgetary provision.
Bankar had to leave the post in September before the end of her tenure to make way for incumbent mayor Chanchala Kodre, after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) decided to put another corporator in her place. But, after taking charge, Kodre got a rude shock when she found out that Bankar had utilised the entire Rs 5 crore allocation in just six months of the ongoing financial year.
At the time, without taking Bankar to task, Kodre requested the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) administration for an additional Rs 5 crore to take up development works of her preference. She got the amount after the standing committee diverted Rs 5 crore to her funds.
PMC sources claim that Kodre has played a vital role in stopping the development works sanctioned by the former mayor. But Kodre refuted the allegations, saying, “Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak has taken the decision. The developmental works amounting to Rs 1 crore, undertaken from the mayoral funds, have been stopped by the administration. The commissioner himself has issued the letter in this regard.”
When contacted Bankar said, “It is ultimately the authority of the commissioner and he has taken his decision. Since I was not present in the PMC HQ today, I don’t know exactly which developmental works sanctioned by me have been stopped by the administration.”
Elaborating on the works stopped, a senior PMC official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The commissioner recently issued written directives about stopping the development works sanctioned by Bankar in the last days of her tenure. The development works brought to a halt include fixing permanent benches, installing CCTVs and various other projects, which were coming up to around Rs 1 crore,” Despite repeated attempts, Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak remained unavailable for comment.