Biometric buzz in civic corridors to keep corporators in placehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/biometric-buzz-in-civic-corridors-to-keep-corporators-in-place/

Biometric buzz in civic corridors to keep corporators in place

PCMC seems keen to keep tab on corporators in civic general body meetings,but PMC chief dismisses the idea

Biometric attendance seem to have emerged as the new idea to keep truant corporators in place in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The proposal of video recording and audio recording of civic general meetings has also come up. If the suggestions are implemented,the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will become the first civic body in Maharashtra to implement biometric attendance.

The suggestions came forward following the revelation that only 17 out of the 133 corporators were present for all 14 civic general body meetings of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. The civic general body meeting took oath in March 2012. The civic general body meetings are held every month.

Civic officials said seven corporators remained absent for at least three consecutive general body meetings which disqualifies them from PCMC membership. However,when contacted,Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi on Saturday said,“I got to know about this today. I will verify the allegation and then take proper action.” Given his track record of sticking to rules,the possibility of Pardeshi initiating action against the errant corporators is not being ruled out in civic circles.

Since the revelation,Pimpri Chinchwad Shiv Sena mooted the proposal of biometric attendance of corporators. Shiv Sena corporator Seema Salve said that a corporator might indulge in some illegal activity outside the PCMC and might later say that he was attending a PCMC general body meeting. This might land the civic body in trouble. “If biometric attendance is made compulsory,it will show the time when a corporator entered the civic general body meeting and the time when he went out of the meeting. At present,records are maintained in the civic register but exact entry and exit timings are not noted,” she said. “To avoid future embarrassment,biometric attendance should be made compulsory for corporators,” she added.

Shiv Sena leader Sarang Kamtekar said video and

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audio recording of civic general body meetings should also be made mandatory. “When it is done in Parliament,why can’t it be done here?” he argued.

Civic activists have welcomed the move. Activist Rajendra Verma said,“The civic body should waste no time in implementing these. The corporators will not take the civic general body meetings for granted. They will attend and at least keep themselves abreast to the decisions being taken for the city. They will also prepare themselves for the next meeting,” he said.

Activist Shridhar Chalkha said the PCMC should also put up the proceedings of a general body meeting on the website. “People should know what their corporators are doing and what issues they are raising in the meetings,” he said. PCMC chief said that he might consider the suggestions. “Let me go through the suggestions,we will take the right step.”

Civic officials said Pardeshi might implement the suggestions since he is keen on bringing in discipline in the functioning of the PCMC. “Since he assumed charge,Pardeshi has taken several steps to bring in discipline among employees and officials. And there is no reason why he would not come hard on corporators,” an official said.

However,Pune Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Pathak dismissed the idea. “We have a register to maintain the records. We don’t need the biometric system.”