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Why PCMC has set up ‘parallel machinery’ and will hold meeting with citizens

The PCMC administration, led by administrator Rajesh Patil, has set up the parallel machinery as the five-year term of the corporators has come to an end.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: March 18, 2022 8:31:09 am
The general body has been dissolved and an administrator has been appointed under the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act. (File)

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has decided to set up “parallel machinery” to redress citizens’ grievances and take up their suggestions. It will ensure smooth governance and help citizens get their complaints resolved in a much faster way, the civic body has said. It, among other things, envisages ‘jan sanvad’ with citizens.

What was the need for such a mechanism?

The PCMC administration, led by administrator Rajesh Patil, has set up the parallel machinery as the five-year term of the corporators has come to an end. The general body has been dissolved and an administrator has been appointed under the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act. Patil is serving both as the municipal commissioner and the administrator. As the corporators who take up the city’s and citizens’ issues in the civic general body are no longer a part of the civic body, the administration has decided to interact directly with the citizens.

“It is not that this was not happening before the general body was dissolved. It was happening in the past as well but many citizens also approached the corporators who then raised the issue with the administration,” said civic officials. The administrator has assured the citizens that there will be no delay in decision-making.

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‘Jan sanvad’ to resolve issues

For starters, the administrator has directed officials to hold face-to-face interactions with the citizens through the ‘jan sanvad’. Additional Municipal Commissioner Vikas Dhakane said that it will be held every Monday between 10 am to 12 pm at the zonal office level. Some of the grievances will be resolved at the zonal levels itself, said civic officials.

“Issues which need the intervention of higher officials will be resolved at the PCMC level,” said Dhakane. “Grievances of citizens which remain to be resolved at zonal levels will be taken up by me… I will hold a meeting of the civic officials every Monday. They will be given specific directives to resolve the issues in two days,” Dhakane said.

After two days or every Friday, the municipal commissioner, who is the administrator, will hold a meeting with officials to get feedback from them regarding grievances put forth by citizens and steps taken to resolve them. “The administrator will then direct the officials accordingly,” Dhakane said.

Panels for proposals

Besides holding the ‘jan sanvad’, the PCMC administrator has also decided to appoint a committee of officials that will act like what the corporators did in civic general body meetings or the members did in the civic standing committee meetings. The officials will put forth the proposals for any development works to be implemented in the civic standing committee meetings which will be held every week.

Similarly, a committee of officials will put forth proposals before the civic general body meeting where the administrator will preside and take the call. He might accept the proposals or reject them. The powers of the civic general body meeting and standing committee chairman have been vested with the administrator.

‘Corporators or middlemen?’

As the civic general body was dissolved on March 13, 128 corporators. The mayor and deputy mayor, besides other office-bearers, have returned their official vehicles. As the corporators left the civic body, they attacked the civic administration over what alleged attempts to belittle their work.

Former corporator Babu Nair said: “The civic administration has said that former corporators cannot use letterheads and monograms of the PCMC. I do not understand under what rule/provision, this communication is being implemented. The administration is calling us middlemen “who will not be required for the PCMC work. I fail to understand if corporators were middlemen or part of the PCMC functioning…The administration should set the record straight.”

To last till polls

Though the term of the civic general body ended on March 13, there is still no sign of the announcement regarding the civic elections. The PCMC administrator said he will function till the next elections.

“We are hoping that the elections will be held in the next two months. This is because corporators and bureaucrats are independent. They checkmate each other which ultimately benefits the citizens,” said Seema Savale, former standing committee chairperson.

The PCMC said till the next elections, it will remain at the beck and call of the citizens and try to resolve their grievances quickly.

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