Updated: December 14, 2015 12:39:31 am
A DAY before the Pune Municipal Corporation holds special civic general body meeting to discuss threadbare the Smart City Plan, positive voices emerged among the corporators — especially NCP-Congress — indicating that they would soften their stand on approving the much-needed plan that holds out the promise for a developed city.
The Kunal Kumar-led civic administration is looking forward to allaying all the doubts and fears of the corporators before getting their approval in Monday’s special general body meeting. The corporators, however, may not approve the Smart City Plan if the civic administration fails to satisfy their queries, especially those related to PMC’s identity, its autonomy and powers.
“Before the general body meeting is held, the administration will hold a meeting with the corporators, especially party heads, seeking to clarify the doubts raised by them. We had earlier tried to do that but would do it again on Monday,” Pune Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar told The Indian Express on Sunday. Be it on the issue of the setting up of Special Purpose Vehicle or on the issue of PMC losing its powers, Kumar said, he will discuss it all with the corporators and address their concerns. “I have got enough indications from the party leaders that the Smart City Plan will get their unanimous approval in tomorrow’s meeting,” said Kumar. The approval will be sent to the state government which will be sent to the central government, officials said.
Congress city president Abhay Chhajed too said Smart City Plan will get the approval. “But before that PMC has to clarify about setting up of the Special Vehicle Purpose and the representation of corporators on it,” he said. Chhajed said nobody was opposing the Smart City Plan, but corporators are apprehensive over issues like PMC losing its autonomy and it powers. “If there is a clarity on these issues, corporators who are all in favour of the SCP would give their approval,” he said. Chhajed said currently the plans seems like the PMC is being side-tracked while the Central government is trying to take all the credit for carrying out the development in the city.
NCP city chief Vandana Chavan, MP, was emphatic that the Smart City Plan will be approved by corporators, but only with amendments. “I have had a telephonic conversation with civic chief. I have conveyed to him the objections of the party and the corporators. One of the biggest objections is regarding Special Purpose Vehicle. Of the 15 members on SPV, corporators want maximum representation — that is 10,” she said. Chavan, however, feared that if corporators are not given adequate representation on SPV, they will not give their approval to the Smart City Plan.
“In the docket placed before the civic meeting, it is mentioned that the municipal commissioner will be chair the SPV. But the Smart City guidelines said it will be either divisional commissioner, district collector, municipal commissioner or chief executive officer. What if the state government decides to appoint the divisional commissioner? Which means PMC loses its power,” said Chavan, seeking clarification on this point.
Chavan said she asked Kumar a number of questions regarding his inablility to resolve several issues relating to garbage, traffic, roads, water. “Most of the time, he was unavailable to discuss and resolve the issue. And now if he is appointed to head the SPV, then he will further remain unavailable to resolve the entire city’s issues,” she said.
The issue had come to fore after PMC general body meeting had postponed its the decision on the Smart City Plan (SCP) till January 4 last Wednesday. A day later, the state government had asked the PMC to take a clear stand on the SCP by December 14 or face action.
Meanwhile, the chances of the Pimpri-Chinchwad making it to Smart City Plan brightened last week after the state sent a proposal to the Central government. PCMC officials said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has sent a letter to the Central government to include PCMC on this list. When contacted, PCMC chief Rajeev Jadhav said, “Actually, a letter requesting the Central government to include Pimpri-Chinchwad in Smart City Plan was sent by the CM over a month ago. Now, we have learnt that the government has again made a similar request. We are now awaiting official initimation on the same,” he said.
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