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PMC mantra: Plan projects,forget them the next year

civic budget No fund provision made for several projects planned last year

civic budget No fund provision made for several projects planned last year

In 2011-12,the Pune Municipal Corporation proposed a number of projects that included medical college,free bicycles to school children,luxury buses for IT professionals,‘glass train’ for a zoo safari,home delivery of birth certificates and mobile toilet facility for women and exhibition and convention centre for the IT industry. However,the budget for 2012-13 is tabled with new initiatives,but most of the projects in the previous budget have failed to take off.

Among the prominent projects and schemes that remained non-starter included starting a medical college,free distribution of cycles,exhibition and convention centre,luxury buses from across the city to IT parks and airport,traffic lessons to school children,home delivery of birth certificates,14 mobility maintenance van,amusement park,aquarium,toy train at Rajiv Gandhi zoological park and science park.

A few projects did take off,but the work on them has been stalled. They include the construction of Warkari Bhavan,Haj House,Valmiki Bhavan and welcome signages in four corners of the city.

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“There are lot of schemes in the civic budget. However,the implementation of the scheme is done only after they are individually given a go-ahead by the standing committee and general body,” said Ulka Kalaskar,chief accounts officer of PMC.

There is a budgetary provision made for each scheme in the civic budget,but sanctioning of funds has to be done individually in the financial year,she said. “There are many projects for which no funds have been sanctioned in the year.”

If the projects don’t take off,then there is no financial provision in the next civic budget. But if the process for some schemes is started,then the provision is made for its continuation,Kalaskar said.

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Civic activist Vijay Kumbhar said,“The tabling of civic budget has become more of a publicity event for the elected representatives. There is no study on the schemes beforehand,which results in them not being implemented. It is nothing but cheating the public.”

Political leaders and parties suggest schemes based on their whims without taking the ground reality into consideration,he said. “The schemes are later forgotten and the corporators don’t even take the schemes or projects to logical conclusion.”

The corporators,after approving the civic budget,divert the funds to new proposals of their choice,Kumbhar added.

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Lack of political consensus is considered to be main reason for failure in implementing the schemes. “The civic budget is proposed by one standing committee while it is implemented by another. Therefore,the budget implementation is done according to the priorities of new committee as against the priorities of the committee that tables it,” said a corporator,adding that politics hampers the implementation of the budget.

Former standing committee chairman Nilesh Nikam said the lack of cooperation by the civic administration creates hurdles in the implementation of schemes. “The civic administration should prepare proposals for implementation in the first month of the financial year. Only then can the schemes be implemented successfully. However,that does not happen,” he added.

First published on: 12-04-2012 at 02:51 IST
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