Despite uncertainty over its financial situation given that the local body tax (LBT) is due to be abolished, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is all set to purchase new cars for the mayor and the deputy mayor by diverting funds allocated in the budget for the replacement of utility vehicles for civic purposes.
In a proposal tabled by the civic administration, it has sought that Rs 23 lakh be diverted for the purpose citing the demand made by the office-bearers.
“Around Rs 38.16 lakh had been allocated in the budget to replace worn-out utility vehicles. However, only Rs 15.16 lakh would be required for the purpose and the rest should be diverted to purchase cars for the mayor and the deputy mayor,” said the proposal.
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At present, mayor Dattatraya Dhankawade uses a Toyota Altis, bought in August 2012, for official purpose and a Toyota Corolla purchased in July 2006 as a spare car. Similarly, deputy mayor Ulhas Bagul is using Tata Manza purchased in 2014 as an official car and an Ambassador, bought in 2012, as a spare car.
As per the proposal, the mayor and the deputy mayor have been complaining of poor performance of their cars. “These cars need regular maintenance as they are used frequently,” said a civic officer.
While the mayor is seeking a new Toyota Altis that costs betwen Rs 13 lakh and Rs 17.7 lakh, the deputy mayor has his eyes on Maruti Ciaz that costs somewhere between Rs 7.2 lakh and Rs 10.3 lakh. The car being used by the mayor has already run over one lakh km and that of the deputy mayor has completed 21,000 km.
In November last year, the standing committee had approved the diversion of Rs 30 lakh for the purchase of new cars for the mayor and deputy mayor but criticism over spending funds for the luxury of office-bearers made them withdraw their demand. However, the demand has cropped up again within six months.
The mayor had said the demand for a new car in the past came up to match the status of ‘A’ class municipal corporation, while the deputy mayor had said the present car was consuming a lot of fuel.