In the last weekend before the end of five-year term of civic general body, elected representatives of all political parties of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are going all out to hold inauguration and foundation stone-laying functions for civic works in their electoral areas ahead of the forthcoming civic polls.
Over 50 functions have been organised Saturday and Sunday. Corporators are rushing to hold functions before their terms end on March 14. The PMC will be having an administrator to look after all the civic affairs till the formation of the new general body after the civic elections.
The polls were delayed due to the pandemic and also the state government’s decision to hold the elections after ensuring the political reservation for the Other Backward Class community is restored before the polls.
Last week, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pune Metro rail and laid the foundation stone of various mega civic infrastructure projects, BJP has also roped in former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil to inaugurate or lay foundation stones of civic projects across the city.
Fadnavis will open a flyover on Karve Road which was constructed by Maha-Metro for the PMC. It is a double-decker flyover with vehicles on the first floor and the Metro route on the second floor. The 550-metre-long flyover is expected to tackle the traffic chaos at Nal Stop. The BJP has also planned functions at Shivajinagar, Nagar Road and Solapur Road.
BJP is also planning to hold a function to inaugurate the Bharatratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical College of the civic body in the coming week by inviting Union ministers for the function.
On the other hand, the main Opposition, NCP, will be getting in deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar for the inaugurations and foundation stone-laying functions of various civic works in the electoral ward represented by NCP corporators. It is planning functions on Nagar Road, Solapur Road, Satara Road and Warje. Earlier this week, NCP chief Sharad Pawar inaugurated a civic hospital in Warje.
The Congress and Shiv Sena corporators are trying to rope in their respective state leaders for functions too in their electoral wards. “These functions would be the last and as for us, they will send a good message ahead of the civic polls,” said a Congress corporator.
A civic officer said, “Most importantly, the functions are being held through civic funds as it is for PMC. Such functions cannot be organised by the corporator once the term ends on March 14. They will have to hold political functions with their money from March 15 onwards.”
The ruling BJP is trying hard to retain its hold over PMC which it managed to get singlehandedly for the first time in 2017 whereas the NCP wants to regain its lost power in 2017. The Opposition parties are undecided over continuing their state level alliance for the civic body election but local NCP and Congress leaders are pushing to contest the elections separately.