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PMC withholds funding till forest dept submits details on utilisation of amount sanctioned

The PMC had started funding the project from 2007-08 and allocated Rs one crore for the next four years as per the agreement.

PMC withholds funding till forest dept submits details on utilisation of amount sanctioned The PMC and state forest department had signed an agreement in 2006 to protect the forest within the civic jurisdiction where the civic body.

After disbursing Rs 9.8 crore to the forest department over the last ten years for the protection of forest within the civic jurisdiction, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has withheld further sanction of funds till the department gives details of the spending of civic funds sanctioned so far.

The PMC and state forest department had signed an agreement in 2006 to protect the forest within the civic jurisdiction where the civic body will fund the construction of the forest boundary wall. The PMC had started funding the project from 2007-08 and allocated Rs one crore for the next four years as per the agreement.

According to civic administration, the forest department had failed to spend the funds provided by the civic body over the last five years, due to which there was no extension of the agreement for two years in 2012-13 and 2013-14. In 2015, the project was given an extension of five years as per the demand of the forest department, with sanctioning of Rs three crore each year. “The PMC disbursed Rs 2.4 crore each in 2015-16 and 2016-17. No funds were disbursed for the previous financial year as the forest department failed to give details of the spending of civic funds,” said Ashok Ghorpade, garden superintendent, PMC.

The civic body has been making budgetary provisions of Rs three crore each from the last five years for a project on protecting urban forest but had to hold the sanctions as the forest department was yet to furnish information about the use of funds to the PMC, he said.

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Meanwhile, the forest department said the paucity of funds has slowed down the work. “We would provide all details to PMC on the spending of funds… There are other reasons for the delay as well, and efforts are being taken to remove all the obstacles and proceed with the work,” said A Shreelaxmi, deputy conservator of forest. The project for protecting urban forest is being funded by the PMC and the state government, she added.

The state forest department had, on June 11, issued a government resolution directing construction of a boundary wall in six areas of the city to protect the urban forest. A work costing Rs 3.35 crore to construct the wall has been undertaken from the funds provided by the PMC.

The work to construct wall at the cost of Rs 49.50 lakh was been taken up in survey number 39 of Katraj, Rs 52 lakh work for survey number 60, 62 in Handewadi-Hadapsar, Rs 1.01 crore work in survey number 69 in Dhanori, Rs 49.51 lakh in survey number 120 in Warje, Rs 49.58 lakh in survey number 94 in Bhamburda and Rs 49.51 lakh in survey number 1 in Pachgaon-Parvati.

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Meanwhile, the elected representatives in PMC have been urging the civic administration to form joint forest committees, comprising a local corporator, a resident, and staff members of the forest department and the PMC, in different parts of the city.

First published on: 19-06-2018 at 10:01:52 am
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