Is CDP just a numbers game?
Congress corporator takes on municipal commissioner over the feasibility of the plan, with funds at a premium
When PMC commissioner Mahesh Pathak was striving his utmost to secure the sanction of the General Body over the City Development Plan (CDP), Congress corporator Aba Bagul had many heated arguments with him.
The councillor alleged that the civic administration has already made an excess expenditure of Rs 498 crore in the ongoing JNNURM projects, and the proposed CDP is also nothing but a numbers game, as it is practically impossible to generate Rs 88,000 crore in funds.
“Since 2005, the Pune Municipal Corporation has received Rs 1,325 crore from central government under JNNURM to complete different projects. When the corporation’s share in this was expected to be just 30 per cent, the administration has spent 60 per cent, amounting to Rs 498 crore of taxpayers’ money. So, what is the point of receiving funds from the centre?” Bagul argued.
While questioning the proposal of CDP, she said, “In the past five years, PMC has received only Rs 1,325 crore under JNNURM, and that too because of Commonwealth Youth Games scheduled in the city. So PMC cannot get much more from either central or state government.
Consequently, the CDP will remain only on paper, as in the project plan PMC has not offered any propositions on how to generate funds.” While replying to Bagul’s arguments, the commissioner clarified that out of the 11 projects sanctioned under JNNURM, seven have already been completed, and only four remain.
“BRT phase 1, riverside road and Sangamwadi underpass are some of the ventures yet to be completed,” Pathak said.