AFTER ISSUING orders for adopting austerity measures, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) administration is set to face flak from the ruling NCP. Reason: it has proposed renovation of the garden lawn in front of the main building at an expenditure of Rs 46 lakh. Congress leader and deputy mayor Ulhas Bagul is pushing for implementation of the project.
The PMC administration has prepared the proposal for renovating the garden lawn and has planned to table it in the next standing committee meeting to seek approval. However, this has not gone down well with the NCP, which rules the PMC.
Standing committee chairperson Ashwini Kadam from the NCP, has objected to the proposal reminding the administration about austerity measures announced by the municipal commissioner himself.
“The committee has received the proposal of renovating the garden in front of the civic headquarters. However, I am surprised at the administration’s decision to propose expenditure for the same when it recently decided to take up austerity measures,” Kadam said.
Kadam said she would seek a clarification from the administration for giving so much importance to garden renovation. “It’s mainly beautification work…it should not be taken up as it goes against the austerity plan,” she said.
Kadam said that the administration had taken the decision on austerity measures without taking the committee into confidence and is now violating it. According to the administration, the process of taking up the renovation was started before the decision on austerity measures. “The municipal commissioner’s order on austerity measures is for the work which hasn’t been initiated yet,” an official said.
On the other hand, the staff at the PMC garden said that they are under pressure to speed up the process of renovation. “The deputy mayor has been pushing to take up the work while there is opposition from the ruling NCP,” said a staff.
“PMC has undertaken expansion of the main building. Therefore, the garden lawn in front of it needs to be renovated and given an attractive look,” Bagul said. He said that the standing committee could take a decision on the expenditure.
“I have worked hard in forcing the administration to take up the work and the credit should be given to me. I don’t want it to be announced by anyone else,” Bagul said, when pointed out the unsual hurry in announcing the project as it is yet to be cleared by the standing committee.
The deputy mayor said there should not be any fund shortage for renovation work as sufficient provison was made for it in the annual budget. While the bugetary provision is Rs 64 lakh, the tender is a mere Rs 46 lakh, he said.
The garden renovation project includes changing the lawn, installing statues of the first mayor and municipal commissioner of PMC, a waterfall, sitting arrangements for visitors, and reconstructing the entrance and exit gates of the premises. This would be done without damaging the trees, officials said.