Big savings as civic body takes back elected representatives' cars
These days, elected members of the civic body have been forced to use their own vehicles as a result of the election code of conduct kicking in. Prior to the Khadakwasla state assembly by-election, all 15 vehicles used by political party office-bearers have been called back by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) vehicle depot.
And with the poll code in force for 40 days, the PMC stands to save Rs 25 lakh that it would otherwise have spent on the cars in the period.
Such is life: Mayor Rajpal on his two-wheeler. Pic/Vivek Sabnis
The election code of conduct came into force from September 7. Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal, who had been given two cars by the PMC, is now using his private two-wheeler. On Friday he was spotted on his white scooter at the PMC. "I used to come to the PMC on my own scooter till I became the mayor. I don't mind using my own two-wheeler," he said.
Kishor Pol, Deputy City Engineer (Vehicle Depot), said considering all expenses, use of the vehicles that have been called back would in 40 days have cost the PMC Rs 25 lakh. "We have already taken back all the 15 cars. Just the driver's pay and maintenance cost goes to Rs 30,000 per month," said Pol. "Considering everything, the total cost incurred in 40 days comes to approximately Rs 25 lakh."
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), where the election branch took back 15 cars given to elected representatives, is set to make similar savings. "We have saved much money by taking back our vehicles," said Pravin Tupe, head, PCMC vehicle depot.
Sharad Naik, Tehsildar, Election Branch, District Collector Office, said, "We have already issued an order to take back all the 21 cars from MLAs and four cars from elected MPs from Pune city and district. We also have imposed many restrictions on them like non-use of any government guesthouse for their own purpose till October 18. This is a routine practice and it shall also save government money."
Anna event put off
The Standing Committee of the PMC has also postponed the felicitation of social activist Anna Hazare by two months. "The decision has been taken only because of the election code of conduct," said Ganesh Bidkar, Chairman, Standing Committee. "The felicitation shall be done in November now."
3 polls ahead
>> Khadakwasala State Assembly by-election: October 13
>> Municipal corporation elections: February 15 (tentative date)
>> Zilla Parishad elections: After February 2012