The ruling NCP along with the BJP and the Shiv Sena on Thursday managed to get the civic administration proposal for Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for implementation of the smart city project approved in the general body meeting, even as the Congress and the MNS opposed it.
The special meeting on the proposal began with the MNS raising objections to the failure of the civic administration to give the translated copy of the proposal, including the memorandum of understanding and article of association for the formation of SPV.
Initially, Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar explained the proposal in Marathi as per the demand of the MNS corporators. He also said that the formation of SPV before March 31 was necessary to get funds sanctioned for the project from the Union government.
Congress leader Abhay Chhajed hit out at the civic administration, saying, “The SPV formation would mean a separate municipal corporation within an existing municipal corporation. This will lead to development of one region and keep the other region underdeveloped.” He added that it seemed that the project was being pushed for the benefit of private companies rather than the city’s residents.
“There are many clauses in the Article of Association applicable for a profit-making private company,” Chhajed said, adding, “The PMC is into providing service and not profit-making. The residents were kept in the dark over the user charges while seeking participation in priorities in development.”
Shiv Sena leader Prithviraj Suttar said that there should be powers with the PMC to make the state government shut down the company within three months if the civic body was not satisfied with its work.
BJP leader Madhuri Sahastrabudhe said the SPV was good for implementing smart city project, but the civic administration should define the geographical area that would come under SPV.
MNS leader Vanita Wagaskar said there was the likelihood of the entire city coming under the powers of the SPV as the maintenance of the civic infrastructure would be with the private company.
“There is no clarity on whether the taxes incurred by PMC would increase after the implementation of the smart city,” she said.
Leader of Opposition Arvind Shinde said it would be a black day in the history of the PMC if permission was given for the formation of SPV. “We are not against smart city, but against the formation of SPV as that would take away the powers of the PMC,” he said.
Incidentally, there were not many speakers from the NCP and the BJP that supported the proposal. However, many corporators of MNS and Congress expressed their opinions on the matter.
Earlier, the municipal commissioner had informed that there would be a 15-member board of directors for SPV, including mayor, deputy mayor, opposition leader, chairperson of standing committee, leader of house and three members of political parties from the general body.
The other members would include municipal commissioner, district collector, police commissioner, PMPML managing director, two independent directors and an Union government deputed officer.