Civic body yet to release Rs 5.88 crore museum expansion fund

Jan 03, 2013, 06:53 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Over 12 years down the line, the Rs 5.88 crore approved by the Pune Municipal Corporation for expansion of the Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum (RDKM) at Bavdhan Budruk, is yet to reach the proper channel so work can begin.

The civic body had approved Rs 5.88 crore way back in 2000 and the project was okayed in 2001 during the Standing Committee and General Body meeting respectively. Sudhanva Ranade, honorary director, RDKM has a copy of the PMC’s resolution (number 46 dated 12/12/2000) and General Body’s final approval (resolution number 44 dated 24/09/2001).

That Royal feel: The music hall with its unique wood carvings recreated at Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum located in Shukrawar Peth

Under a provision of the Bombay Provincial Act, the civic body should help in improving socially useful activities, including the museum. “Under the expansion project, the state government gave us 6 acres of land at Bavdhan in 2003,” Ranade said. Ranade has been following up with the civic body to have the amount dispersed, but his efforts have not borne fruit till date.

Left guessing
“Nobody is saying no to us, but nothing has been done about making provision to ensure the amount reaches us. The amount would be useful for constructing a compound wall around the reserved land for RDKM at Bavdhan Budruk, which is five kilometres from Pune. Land levelling and the plinth work for the proposed construction could have also been started if we had the funds,” Ranade said.

Ranade had recently raised the issue during the international seminar conducted by PMC on Heritage and Economics. Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak gave assurance to personally look into the matter and ascertain what had happened to the approved fund. “I shall check and pursue the issue,” Pathak had said.

Not a problem
Baburao Chandere, chairman, Standing Committee, PMC, said, “This is an old issue and we need to find whether the money was diverted for any other expenses. However, it should not be a problem in getting the already approved money for restoring the rich heritage of our glorious history.”

During the release of a biography on Dinkar Kelkar recently, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar declared Rs 25 crore donation in part payment for the project at Bavdhan on June 3, 2012, on behalf of the state government.  “We are expecting that amount from the government,” Ranade said. 

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