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Infra Watch: Khed Panchayat Samiti’s administrative building project stuck over NCP-Sena tussle

With NCP opposing the construction at the planned site by proposing that the existing Panchayat Samiti building be demolished to construct a new one, the cost of the project has also escalated to Rs10 crore from the sanctioned Rs5 crore.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
January 13, 2022 5:44:09 pm
The likes of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut have got involved in the tussle.

Political interference appears to have grounded the Khed Panchayat Samiti’s project for a new administrative building. Although a new state-of-the-art building for the Panchayat Samiti was sanctioned in January 2019, there has been no progress on the construction front as NCP and Shiv Sena leaders jostle for taking credit for the project.

With NCP opposing the construction at the planned site by proposing that the existing Panchayat Samiti building be demolished to construct a new one, the cost of the project has also escalated to Rs10 crore from the sanctioned Rs5 crore. The NCP MLA from Khed, Dilip Mohite, has proposed that a “central administrative building” be constructed at the empty plot where the Panchayat Samiti building was earlier planned.

Politics over the relatively small project intensified to the extent that Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif, Minister of State for Rural Development Abdul Sattar also got involved in the tussle, with one group trying to ground the project and the other trying to push it ahead.

Pushed by Suresh Gore, the then Shiv Sena MLA who died last year, the new administrative building for the Panchayat Samiti was approved by the Shiv Sena-BJP government. A land-breaking ceremony was also held after the government gave administrative approval to spend Rs4.99 crore on the project.

However, after the government changed and Dilip Mohite won the Khed assembly constituency, work on the project was cancelled despite strong opposition from Shiv Sena leaders such as Shivaji Adhalrao Patil and Sanjay Raut, who had also approached minister Abdul Sattar seeking his intervention.

Sena leaders say MLA Mohite used his influence to suspend the work and got the NCP-ruled Pune Zilla Parishad to pass a resolution in March 2021 requesting the government to rescind the approval for the new building. The NCP also recommended that a “central administrative building” be constructed at the proposed site and that the existing Panchayat Samiti building be demolished to construct the new building. The Zilla Parishad in December 2021 sent a revised proposal to construct the new Panchayat Samiti building by demolishing the existing structure. The revised proposal will cost the government Rs 10 crore, exactly double the amount sanctioned for the initial project.


A senior officer in the district administration said the future trajectory of the project seemed unclear, with the rural development department on Thursday sending a list of queries about the revised proposal.

MLA Mohite, however, is confident the project will take off soon. “The queries raised by the state government are of technical nature. The site of the project has changed and the budget has also gone up. The queries will be addressed soon and a new tender will be floated. Both the projects–the new Panchayat Samiti building and the new ‘central administrative building’–will take off soon,” said the NCP leader.

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