January 20, 2021 8:21:13 pm
Unable to take decisions on important development projects and policy matters owing to restrictions in holding general body meetings in the physical presence of elected representatives citing the pandemic, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to set up video conferencing facilities at each of the 15 ward offices from where corporators can attend meetings.
As per the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, the PMC’s general body meetings are held every month to decide on development issues and policy matters. However, the elected representatives have been asked not to physically attend the meetings and instead join via video conference from their homes and offices. However, technical issues have been creating problems for representatives from doing so.
Opposition parties have been urging the ruling BJP in PMC to allow the physical presence of elected representatives in the house, but it is being turned down citing the pandemic and with no permission having come from the state government also. “Mayor Murlidhar Mohol has written to the state government on allowing PMC to allow general body meetings in the physical presence of elected representatives in the general body hall. There has been no response from the state government,” said Shivaji Daundkar, acting municipal secretary in PMC.
Congress leader Ulhas Bagul said the BJP is deliberately avoiding holding the general body meetings in presence of elected representatives. “The mayor has been saying the state government has not given permission for allowing elected representatives to attend general body meetings. However, there are no specific directions from the state government to not allow general body meetings,” he said.
Bagul said, “Schools and coaching classes have been allowed to resume physical classes for students of Class IX to XII. Many other activities are also allowed, but general body meetings are not taking place as usual, despite a demand for it.”
The PMC is now trying to streamline the proceedings of general body meetings by setting up video conferencing facilities in ward offices for the convenience of elected representatives to attend general body meetings without technical problems.
“Proposals and resolutions related to development work and policy matters, tabled in the general body meeting for approval, have piled up in large numbers due to an inability to hold meetings in the physical presence of elected representatives. Thus, the PMC would be providing video conference facilities at every ward office for corporators of respective jurisdictions to attend the meetings without technical issues,” said PMC Chief Engineer Shrinivas Kandul.
As per the plan, the general body meetings would now be held with corporators joining via video conferencing at their respective ward offices, office bearers from the mayor’s office, leaders of political parties from their respective offices and civic officers from the standing committee hall. All 15 ward offices, the mayor’s office, offices of political leaders and the standing committee hall would have large LED screen walls and video conferencing facilities using which they can join the general body meeting. “Latest technologies would be utilised to ensure there are no technical issues,” Kandul said.
The system will be set up soon and a mock drill will be performed next week, Kandul said adding, “The facility will be set up on a rental basis as the meeting is held only once a month and hardly extends to three days.”
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