Terming the moves that are taking place against the department of Urban Community Development (UCD) of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) as negative,city-based non-government organisation,Mashal,had convened a meeting of slum-dwellers on Saturday at Shaniwarwada demanding no decentralisation of UCD. Hundreds of women attended the convention to extend their support to the body which primarily works for them and the poor.
Another body named UCD Bachao Kruti Samiti has also been formed to stop the decentralisation of the UCD.
Sharad Mahajan of Mashal told the reporters,Many slum-dwellers have benefited from the positive work done by the UCD chief Ashok Kalamkar. However,the recent criticism raised by the elected members against the UCD department has political overtones. These corporators demanded to decentralise the UCD department and the commissioner consented.
Mahajan said,If the department is decentralised,it will adversely affect the efficiency of the department. This convention has been organised to facilitate a healthy discussion on this issue.
Gerry Pinto,former UNICEF programme officer and president of Mashal,issued a statement over this,Radical changes have been proposed to split the UCD into fragments which will result in dismantling the outstanding achievements of Pune UCD. This,apparently,is being done in the name of decentralising UCD in the ward level. At ward level,the staff is not trained in community development.
At the convention,former union minister Mohan Dharia said,UCD has provided employment to thousands of women. When our country is grappling with unemployment,the work done by UCD department is commendable. Therefore,the disintegration of UCD should immediately be stopped.