ACTIVIST Vishwambhar Chaudhari has reiterated his stand on “malpractices” on government land and questioned the government’s stand on continuing with the lease for Poona Club despite violations of norms.
In a letter forwarded to the Chief Minister, he has questioned the benefits given to bureaucrats and demanded a CID inquiry on why such benefits should be given and whether such land should not be given to deserving school children who are bereft of a play area.
Last year, Chaudhari had got details under RTI and questioned the membership rules given to revenue officials under the Government Resolution (GR). He had written the letter questioning the GR and after receiving no response, has again sent a fresh letter to the government. “I am aware that the Poona Club lease is being readied and is up to be renewed. Ahead of the renewal, there is a need to look into several issues,” said Chaudhari.
The district collectorate officials on their front have said they have laid strict guidelines for the renewal and are in the final stages of the lease renewal.
He has asked for a thorough investigation into the matter. With the government leasing land to the Poona Club in both Bund Garden Road and Yerawada, the lease rules have mentioned that revenue officials should be given membership. The government, in its terms and conditions of renewing lease in 2011, had set terms and conditions for giving membership to revenue officials and again in 2013 they had reinforced that these officials should “enjoy all the facilities provided to the club members”, Chaudhuri said.
He said that earlier, the membership apparently was only five and limited to those posted in Pune for three years.
“This kind of order compelling a private institution to give membership amounts to corruption,” stated Chaudhari in the letter to the Chief Minister.
He said he has been following up with the state government and has been told that the file was pending with the home department. From 1996, the Poona Club has been accommodating five members of the revenue department as permanent members and in 2011, the government made it mandatory to give membership to 15. While they have been doing so, it is only in the last two years that the said membership has been put on hold with the lease renewal till 2037 getting delayed. However, the lease is said to be renewed, to which Chaudhari objected.