Mula-Mutha riverfront development project approved without discussion

Pune municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar submitted the proposal for the Mula-Mutha riverfront development project at the eleventh hour, and all parties have given a nod for the same. Many elected members have raised voice against the decision of the standing committee
The standing committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given nod for the Mula-Mutha riverfront development project worth Rs2,619 crore within a few minutes and without enough discussion, debate and consultation. (HT FILE PHOTO)
The standing committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given nod for the Mula-Mutha riverfront development project worth Rs2,619 crore within a few minutes and without enough discussion, debate and consultation. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 14, 2021 10:03 PM IST
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By Abhay Khairnar

The standing committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given nod for the Mula-Mutha riverfront development project worth Rs2,619 crore within a few minutes and without enough discussion, debate and consultation.

Pune municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar submitted the proposal at the eleventh hour, and all parties have given a nod for the same.

Many elected members have raised voice against the decision of the standing committee.

Vandana Chavan, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP, has raised objections against the ‘hasty’ decision regarding the megaproject.

NCP’s former standing committee chairman Vishal Tambe said, “This is the city’s biggest project, but the municipal commissioner did not send any brief to elected members, and many are not aware of the project. How can he submit a proposal without following a proper channel? Even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the ruling party, approved the project within few minutes.”

“We are not opposing the project, but there should have been proper discussion and debate, and experts should have been involved,” he said.

BJP’s senior leader Ujwal Keskar said, “The Mula-Mutha riverfront development project is a megaproject. Ideally, in such cases, it is expected that there should be consultations with elected members, experts in the field, citizens and media.”

“I am surprised how the municipal commissioner brought the proposal at the eleventh hour. If it came on the docket, elected members would get time at least to read and study it. It will even create awareness among the citizens,” he said.

Congress leader Arvind Shinde said, “These are the side effects of massive majority in the PMC. BJP got a huge majority, and now they are considering that they know everything. Without any consultation, a project got approved.”

Shinde said, “The project will impact the city in the long term. Pune has many experts, and they can give suggestions to improve it. We oppose how the project was bought in at the eleventh hour and approved without proper discussion. Ideally, the municipal administration should send brief to all elected members.”

Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said, “The general body had given nod for the project in 2017 and submitted it to state government when I was standing committee chairman. The state government has given approval for forming Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for it. Now we need to start execution. The proposal came in front of standing for starting work on ground. How many days we should wait?”

Pune municipal commissioner was not immediately available for comments.

Many elected members within BJP alleged that they were not aware of the project. But only a few leaders are making decisions.

Many senior leaders raised questions about the municipal commissioner’s role. Elected members from across parties said that it is understood that the ruling BJP had a clear majority, but why commissioner coming under their pressure. Ideally, for any proposal, the municipal commissioner submits it a few days before. It will then appear in the agenda and the meeting subjects will be announced to all party members and the general public.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021