Updated: December 18, 2021 7:29:44 am
The Additional District Consumer Redressal Commission has admitted a plea filed by a civic activist against Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), alleging it did not “want to do the basic duty and discharge its responsibility”. The case was admitted on December 13.
Activist Qaneez Sukhrani had served legal notice to PMC Commissioner, mayor and topmost officers concerned on September 20.
“However, the situation became worse after that which clearly means that PMC does not consider itself accountable, does want to do their basic duty, does not discharge their responsibility,” Sukhrani said.
“All this while PMC expects citizens to pay property tax. This is clearly arbitrary and against the laws of natural and fair justice,” she added.
Earlier, as part of her protest against the PMC, Sukhrani had stated in her legal notice that she was withholding her property tax due for the financial year.
“She will hold the billed amount for property tax for 2021-22 in an escrow account as she does not see any logical reason for it to be paid by citizens in the absence of or lack of basic services…,” her lawyer Rajendra Palkar said in the notice serve to PMC on behalf of the Viman Nagar resident.
“She states that unless the services improve on or before 30th October 2021, the property tax amount will be held in an escrow account by her. After a month, she will start deducting 2% interest on monthly basis from the amount that has been held in the escrow account,” said the notice.
Sukhrani said there has been “complete dereliction” by PMC field staff and senior officers in discharging duties of basic services on a regular basis as mandated by Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act 1949, and related rules.
Sukhrani said she had approached PMC’s top officers through email several times and has also raised the issue with the mayor so that he can instruct the four BJP corporators of Prabhag 3, representing her area of residence, to monitor and supervise the alleged lapses in providing basic services.
The same was communicated to the Chief Minister’s Office too through email last year, she said. However, it did not yield any results, Sukhrani added.
The activist said the PMC has failed to maintain the condition of roads, allowing them to deteriorate rapidly leading to potholes, cracks and fissures. Most stretches do not have footpaths or the footpaths are either broken or not built according to norms, she added.
Her other grievances pertained to garbage disposal, “unwanted” cables hanging from trees and electricity poles, trees felled by the agency not being properly removed from the roads, and poor water supply.
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