Here's how sloppy corporators spend your money

Apr 08, 2013, 01:39 IST | Sukirt D. Gumaste

In a symptom of a larger malaise, Shiv Sena councillor asks for funds she had sought for development of gardens gymnasiums and power connections to be diverted for concretisation of roads.

Planning, or the lack of it, is palpable in the way our corporators implement and spend on development plans. For instance, the Pune Municipal Corporation budget — which crossed the Rs 4,000-crore mark for the first time — was approved by the general body on March 1 and was implemented on the 1st of this month. But on April 3, the civic body received a reallocation proposal for Rs 1.15 crore from Dipali Oswal, councillor from ward no 72B, Appar Indiranagar.

Change of mind: Councillor Dipali Oswal had initially sought Rs 1.15 crore for gardens, electricity work and  gymnasiums. She has now demanded that the entire amount be diverted for concretisation and drainage work

While initially the Shiv Sena leader had sought Rs 15 lakh for development of gardens, Rs 20 lakh for gymnasiums and the remaining Rs 80 lakh for electricity work, she has now demanded that the entire amount be diverted for concretisation of small lanes and drainage work in her area. 

Money mantra: General body meeting in progress at PMC where the 2013-14 budget was tabled and passed. (Inset) Dipali Oswal, councillor from ward no 72B, Appar Indiranagar, who sent a reallocation proposal for Rs 1.15 crore to the municipal corporation on April 3. File Pics

“Proposals for budget reallocation are expected at the end of the financial year. But it is quiet appalling that this has happened in less than three days of the budget being implemented by PMC standing committee. Funds are apportioned based on development work urged by corporators. Actually reallocation should only be done in case of cost escalation in a project, or if a court stay order necessitates this,” said Ranjeet Gadgil, civic activist.
A senior PMC official, on condition of anonymity, told MiD DAY that every year they receive reallocation proposal more than Rs 200 crore. Vishal Tambe, chairman, PMC’s standing committee said, “We received a proposal of reallocation much earlier this year, which was not expected. In Tuesday’s committee meeting, we will take a decision on the request. The administration’s role will be crucial in such a case. The allegation of ward-level discrimination against opposition parties is baseless. As a committee, we prioritise overall development in the city.”  

Rs 200 cr Amount of PMC budget funds reallocated every year


The other side
Speaking to MiD DAY, Dipali Oswal said, “Corporators of opposition parties have not received enough funds for their wards. We had suggested all these works pertaining to concretisation and drainage in the budget. But instead, electricity and garden development work was included, which are low on priority. While preparing the budget, ruling leaders reject projects suggested by opposition party councillors. A large part of my ward is occupied by slums, and basic amenities like proper roads and drainage are essential. So, I don’t have any other option, but to demand for reallocation.”   

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