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One year in PMC: BJP scores many hits with a few misses

Among the biggest achievements of BJP, according to its leaders, is the approval to 24x7 water supply scheme for which the civic body floated municipal bonds and collected Rs 200 crore.

pune Updated: Feb 21, 2018 16:08 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
PMC,BJP,Pune
While the win for BJP was anticipated by many, winning 98 seats in the 162-member civic body was considered a smashing victory for the party.(HT FILE )

Exactly a year ago, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), having wrested power at the Centre and in the state, surprised everyone by dislodging Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) by a massive majority. While the win for BJP – first in PMC’s history - was anticipated by many, winning 98 seats in the 162-member civic body was considered as a smashing victory for the party.

A year after coming to power in PMC, BJP has many things to show the voters of Pune even as the party has failed to execute some plans. Among the biggest achievements of BJP, according to its leaders, is the approval to 24x7 water supply scheme for which the civic body floated municipal bonds and collected Rs 200 crore thus creating history.

Among the other things that went to BJP’s credit are pushing the Metro rail project by making available land, approval to Swargate multi-modal hub, work under Smart City mission, bicycle plan for city and building footpaths at multiple locations.

The BJP leaders, while claiming credit for some of the works carried out in the city, said that they will be able to complete all the things promised in the manifesto in the next four years

“We have launched various projects after completing just one year in PMC. While 90% work is either in pipeline or yet to start, we are sure to complete it in the next four years,” said Murlidhar Mohol, outgoing chairman of standing committee at PMC. Among the other issues Mohol listed as the party’s achievements were approval to Chandani chowk flyover and renovation of Jungli Maharaj road.

To the BJP’s discredit, the burning issue of garbage disposal as well as work on the cleaning of Mutha river are not been sorted out yet, said opposition leaders. NCP leader Chetan Tupe said, “BJP has failed to rule and control the administration in PMC. Though BJP is ruling in the PMC, virtually opposition parties are controlling the administration and bringing them on right track and saving citizens money.”

Tupe while taking dig at BJP’s slogan about transparency, alleged of cartel in tender process. “BJP assured to give transparent administration in Pune but it is sad that within a period of one year, the same party’s leaders had to recall tenders for 24x7 water scheme and Katraj kondwa Road after allegations of corruption. As oppositions parties were alert, it forced to bring down project cost of both the 24x7 water scheme and Katraj Kondhwa Road.”

During the campaign for PMC elections, BJP offered ward-wise manifesto to Pune voters. The manifesto included local issues based on the needs of citizen from the respective locality besides eight common points for all the wards.

The ward-wise agenda has kept common points such as Metro rail, work under Smart City project, Wi-Fi facility, senior citizens’ centre, gardens, skill development centre, business development groups, yoga centres, cultural centre and garbage processing units.

While the BJP ran PMC like an experience player, it was not unaffected by factionalism as cold war between guardian minister Girish Bapat and Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha Sanjay Kakade led to the creation of two sections within the party.

Despite the internal problems, the BJP, according to its leaders, have started on strong note amid balancing act by sharing the power among leaders belonging to different castes and communities.

Mayor Mukta Tilak said that residents gave a clear majority to BJP and the party is giving justice to it. One year is a short period but within this duration, BJP has been able to solve many issues pending for last 10 to 15 years.

“Metro was pending for last 12 years but within the period of a year, BJP not only approved the project but also started the work on the ground, and so is the Shiv Shrushti project.”

‘One year of corruption and poor show’

Abhay Khairnar

PUNE: Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) one year record of ruling Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has exposed the party’s poor show and failure on various fronts. Many times it was the opposition parties that forced BJP to rethink on their decisions and saved taxpayers’ money, blamed leader of Opposition in PMC and Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Chetan Tupe.

BJP city unit president Yogesh Gogawale took a press briefing on Tuesday to state the party’s performance as it completes one year of heading PMC on February 23. Meanwhile, opposition parties took the opportunity to point out BJP’s failures and attributed the party for cheating voters.

Tupe said that the BJP had promised a transparent and corruption-free government but the 24x7 water scheme tendering process laid bare its functioning as the plan was approved at 26% above market cost. Even BJP leaders admitted to alleged cartel of contractors. “The same case was observed regarding water tankers. BJP had given stop work for water tankers but allowed the contractors to function again without any new restrictions, after the latter met the party leaders,” Tupe said.

The NCP leader said that when supporters of a BJP leader vandalised the office of the BJP leader of the house in PMC headquarters, a first case in the history of PMC, the ruling party did not file any case. But BJP has filed cases against opposition parties for holding peaceful agitations.

“As against their promise to provide free bus service and efficient public transport, BJP has hiked bus passes rates for senior citizens and students. Even buses for students have been stopped,” he said.

Chetan Tupe (opposition leader in PMC) (HT PHOTO)

The opposition leader claimed that BJP forced the chief minister to transfer the good officer Tukaram Munde. Blaming the party for politicising the Shiv Shrushti issue, Tupe said BJP has given special status to the Shiv Shrushti constructed by Babasaheb Purandare and also made provision for new Shiv Shrushti memorial at Chandani chowk that falls under Biodiversity Park (BDP).

“BJP guardian minister Girish Bapat and chief minister claimed that they would sort out the city’s garbage issue in nine months but the ground report is nowhere near the truth. They promise to establish garbage processing plants in all corners of the city but have set up all plants in Hadapsar assembly constituency only,” he said.

The NCP leader said that Pune elected eight MLAs from BJP but these leaders are only interested in the functioning of PMC and are not raising issues in the assembly.

No consultant for one year

According to NCP leader Chetan Tupe, Union human resource development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar was felicitated by BJP at Balgandharva Rang Mandir for approving the river development project with the help of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The minister took the credit for it but failed to appoint a consultant for almost one year, thereby showing the efficiency of BJP and its leaders. “A small thing like appointing a consultant was not done by BJP for a year. So, one can ascertain the party’s efficiency,” he said.

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 16:07 IST