The participatory budget activity of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has gone online from this year. The process involves participation of citizens in allocation of ward-wise budget.
While the activity was accessible in hard copy as well as downloadable form till last year,the online submission for 2010-11 is expected to increase citizens response.
The participatory budget activity,now in its fifth year,has been receiving satisfactory response from the citizens. However,the earlier versions needed physical submission of the form. While that method is still on,the online form on our website,punecorporation.org,has been made available to increase citizens participation, said Ulka Kalaskar,PMC chief accountant.
With a budget of Rs 25 lakh per ward allotted for the participatory budget,citizens can suggest the developmental works in their wards. With 144 wards in the city,the budget will be worth Rs 36 crore for the city and every citizen can suggest work costing up to Rs 5 lakh. Suggestions such as construction of public urinals in the ward,provision of lamp posts,repair of pavements and so on can be included and submitted online till November 9. Applications will then be sent to Prabhag Samitee for approvals after which works will be included by the PMC in the yearly budget scheduled in February next year.
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The initiative also involves participation of NGOs like Centre for Environment Education (CEE),Janwani,National Society for Clean City (NSCC) and Pariwartan. To help citizens assess the feasibility of their suggestions,our website janwani.org has links that gives suggestions put forth in previous participatory budget activities, said Kishori Gadre,director,Janwani.
While the citizens involvement in the suggestion stage has been satisfactory over the past few years,mutual participation in the process,after scrutinising the suggestion has not found many takers,primarily because of the lack of knowledge amongst common people about accessing civic administration data. We are working towards ensuring that the citizens get to view the status of their suggestion and the reasons behind acceptance or rejection of their suggestions online, said Sanskriti Menon,CEE programme director.
With over 270 PMC schools in the city,special meetings are being held with the education department to encourage teachers and principals participate in the budget activity. Work such as construction of toilets,repair work of classrooms can be suggested by school staff. We are working towards propagating the idea that the staff members can fix meetings with corporators in their area to get such work done, said Avinash Madhale,programme officer,CEE.
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