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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Pune Cantonment Board in precarious financial condition, says new CEO

If the Centre does not provide adequate grants in the next two months, giving salaries to the staff would also be difficult, said Subrat Pal, who took charge as the new CEO of the board recently.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
July 7, 2022 12:26:49 pm
Subrat Pal, new CEO of Pune Cantonment Board

Subrat Pal, who took charge over a month ago as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Pune Cantonment Board, the administrative body for the region of Camp Cantonment, has expressed worries over the financial crunch the board faces and the delay in executing projects as a result.

“The board is in a precarious financial condition,” Pal told The Indian Express, adding that if the Centre does not provide adequate grants in the next two months, giving salaries to the staff would also be difficult.

The Pune Cantonment Board is under the administrative control of the Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE), New Delhi and principal director, Defence Estates, Southern Command, Pune.

A multi-level parking project is at a standstill and the rolling out of basic services, like street lighting at certain stretches in the cantonment area, have been affected, he said. The board has also been unable to cough up adequate funds to pay an outstanding amount as water arrears to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the CEO said.

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The monthly expenditure of the board, including establishment costs and others, is estimated to be Rs 6 crore. Revenue generation sources are mainly limited to grants from the Centre which is approximately Rs 25-30 crore per year. Income from vehicle entry tax, property tax and other service charges is to the tune of Rs 30 crore.

The board has been facing this issue for a while now which has been compounded by the non-release of their share of Goods and Service Tax (GST) compensation by the state government. GST dues worth more than Rs 500 crore are pending with the state government and the matter is being heard in court.

“Unfortunately we have become a deficit Cantonment board and it is challenging to take up development works or even ensure adequate maintenance of civic amenities,” the new CEO said.

Joint solid waste management project of PMC-PCB

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Meanwhile, the PMC has tied up with the Pune Cantonment Board for processing solid waste (to the tune of 100 metric tonnes of waste per day) at the board’s plant in Hadapsar. The project includes PMC allocating funds to the board to augment the capacity of its processing plant. It also entails setting up a sanitary landfill at the trenching ground site under Section 89 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, 1949.

The board officials said tenders were invited for the project. The proposal of augmenting the processing plant by 100 metric tonnes is estimated at Rs 7.39 crore and the utilisation of the site is to be in the ratio of 70:30 in favour of the PMC.

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First published on: 07-07-2022 at 12:26:49 pm

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