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PCMC chief angry with Newsline reports,but promises to push sloppy civic officials into action

Pimpri-chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma is an angry man,these days. Angry with Pune Newsline reports on civic deficiencies which he is describing as personal attack on him.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
July 30, 2009 3:52:48 am

Pimpri-chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Asheesh Sharma is an angry man,these days. Angry with Pune Newsline reports on civic deficiencies which he is describing as personal attack on him. The report,headlined ‘Nightmare for citizens as PCMC sleeps and snores…what is this Mr Sharma?,’ in Monday’s edition highlighting the pathetic state of roads which might claim innocent lives seems to have hurt and angered the municipal commissioner,who is otherwise known for his cool and calm composure.

“The reports are hitting out at me personally,but I should not be responsible each and every happening in the town,” said Sharma,sounding perturbed. The commissioner said compared to Pimpri-Chinchwad,Mumbai has large number of potholes.

“The BMC has a Rs 16,000 crore annual budget,yet it is struggling to set the roads straight. Actually,no civic body should be held responsible. These are on going works. Every day we try to set things right where they have gone wrong,” he said.

Sharma said every officer has different aptitude and skill of work. “Some are fast and some are not. When you are working in a team,you have to carry everybody together. But you cannot expect same results from everybody,” he said referring to the criticism of his officers for being slow while he himself has shown speed of work right from the day he took over as PCMC commissioner. “Though city engineer Eknath Ugile is under attack,I think he is an officer with a clean image,” he said. When contacted,Ugile was at his ignorant best. “Where are the potholes? Show me…or call up our engineer,” he said. Ugile’s comments come in the backdrop of “pothole festival” which is on in several suburbs of the twin industrial town.

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Civic activists allege that the city engineer and his team basically operate from their cabins,that’s why they hardly know what is wrong with city’s roads. Activists are also questioning the logic behind setting up of the maintenance cell. Seething,but regaining his composure,the commissioner said he will ask his maintenance cell to get on with the job.

The Municipal Commissioner said he will direct his maintenance cell to give regular updates about the number of potholes or craters filled up on day-to-day basis. “This will happen immediately. You will get the updates of the work carried out every day by the maintenance cell,” Sharma said. When Sharma set the cell six months back,he had the pious intention of getting potholes or craters fixed in no time. “However,his idea seems to have fallen flat with officers taking time to react to life-threatening potholes,” says activist V Narute.

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