Pune’s public funds down the drain

A number of Pune Municipal Corporation projects are lying waste because of poor execution, follow-up and maintenance. Crores of rupees, hard earned by the tax payer, have been spent by the civic body on these projects. Who is accountable for this wastage of public funds? Can’t these projects be restored and revived? These are the hard questions that Hindustan Times and the people of Pune would like to ask the civic authorities.

pune Updated: Mar 12, 2018 12:33 IST
Team HT
Team HT
Hindustan Times, Pune
Biogas plant at Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Sansthan in Pune.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
One of the defunct biogas plants at Peshve park. (HT Photo)
Waste to energy biogas plant
PROJECT : A total of 25 plants were installed in various localities of the city starting with the first plant in 2010 to process kitchen waste or wet garbage and generate electricity through waste-to-biogas plants.
INVESTMENT : Rs 26 crore was spent in installing 25 plants and an additional Rs 1.5crore was spent towards annual maintenance besides the operational cost per plant.
RESULT : Five plants including two at Peshwe Park and one at Ghole road are defunct and the remaining plants are not working to capacity. The entire plan is to be abandoned and all plants are to be eventually scrapped.
ACCOUNTABLE: Suresh Jagtap, solid waste management department head, PMC:
"Due to technical problems, some projects are not working . Some plants are working but not up to their capacity."
Chikkalwadi hockey stadium in Khadki is now a hotspot for liquor parties and gambling. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Hockey Stadium, Chikhalwadi
PROJECT : Hockey stadium in Chikhalwadi was built in 2008, and was expected to be an ideal venue for the local hockey enthusiasts. The 21,200 square metre stadium with a spectator capacity of 1,000 used to be the venue for training of budding players. The stadium has also hosted local, state-level and national-level tournaments.
INVESTMENT : The construction cost of the stadium was Rs 1.25 crore. Two years later, Rs 3.25 crore was spent for renovation.
RESULT : The venue has turned into a hot spot for liquor parties and gambling. Even though PMC has allotted funds and installed security guards, the situation has not changed. While the local teams like Rovers Sports Academy, Railway Police and Super XI are struggling to find a training ground, it is disheartening that the stadium is not serving its purpose.
ACCOUNTABLE: Subhash Puri, PMC sports department head:
"It is true that the Chikhalwadi stadium is not in use. Local corporators have shown interest in the restoration of the stadium and it should be ready in a few months."
The velodrome in Balewadi is the only track in the entire state of Maharashtra, but is not operational. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Velodrome/ Cycle track in Balewadi
PROJECT : The velodrome in Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex with a 333.33m outdoor concrete track which was built in 1994, has undergone very few renovations in the past 23 years. No major cycling event has been held at the venue after the 1994 National Games and it stays neglected. During the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008, the venue was used as a media centre. The velodrome is the only track in the entire state of Maharashtra.
INVESTMENT : Initially Rs 1.3 crore was spent in building the velodrome and later in 2014, Rs 10 crore was allotted for the renovation and maintenance for the next 10 years.
RESULT : The concrete surface has worn out and there are innumerable cracks, which is risky for cyclists. The uneven surface on the lower and upper section of the track does not allow cycling federation to hold training camps at the venue. The cyclists of the state travel to Delhi for their training.
ACCOUNTABLE: Narendra Sopal, joint director, sports commissionerate:
"The cycling track proposal has been sent to the sports minister, but it will take time as it is a big project. We need to remove the existing concrete layer and then lay a new one. We have also thought about the option of repairing in parts, but this will not solve the purpose."
Overuse of the hockey ground at the sports complex for public events has turned the venue into a garbage pit. (HT FILE)
Khadki Cantonment Board Hockey Stadium
PROJECT : The Khadki Cantonment Board Hockey Stadium was inaugurated in 2013 by the then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan. Khadki is considered as the nursery of Indian hockey since it has produced several Olympians like Dhanraj Pillay. The stadium was expected to turn into a hot spot for hockey enthusiasts.
INVESTMENT : The stadium was built at a cost of Rs 1.25 crore and the proposal to install astro turf has been sent to the state government, which would require another Rs 5 crore.
RESULT : The overuse of the ground for holding public events has turned the venue into a garbage pit. There are even temporary toilets dug up at the sides. The gallery wall is broken and kids from the neighbourhood scaling the wall and playing cricket on the ground, is a common sight. In the late hours of the day, the place gets occupied by alcoholics.
ACCOUNTABLE: Manish Anand, former KCB president:
"The file that we submitted and followed up was rejected by the Indian sports ministry. A fresh proposal has to be submitted. We have tried our level best to get it sanctioned."
Baner health centre is left unfinished due to shortage of funds. (Inset) A white washed, but incomplete health centre building. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Primary healthcare centre, Baner
PROJECT : It was proposed in 2010 under PMC Corporator Baburao Chandere to have a medical centre in Baner. This centre was supposed to have a full-fledged outpatient department(OPD) and eight beds which could be of help to the residents. The centre was to be run by the PMC. The site on Survey No 164 in Baner gaon was identified and work began in 2016. The designated land is spread over 12,000 sq ft and the building is almost ready except for the final painting and panelling work. The project is left incomplete due to lack of funds.
INVESTMENT : Rs 1.5 crore
RESULT : A white washed but incomplete building stands in the area which is surrounded by garbage and parked cars. The site has become a haven for stray dogs and many residents of the nearby area use it as a parking lot.
ACCOUNTABLE: Mandar Dhaygude, engineerer, (bhavan department) PMC:
"We have floated tenders for interiors recently and the process has been initiated. We hope to get the interiors ready within two months."
Sanitary pad incinerator disposal plant on Ghole road is now completely defunt. (PRATHAM GOKHALE/HT PHOTO)
Sanitary pad incinerators
PROJECT : Pune Municipal Corporation had installed 12 sanitary pad incinerators as part of menstrual hygiene awareness campaign .However four of them including those at Koregaon Park, Ghole road, Vartak Garden in Shaniwar peth and Peshwe Park are non-operational, now.
INVESTMENT : As much as Rs 60 lakh has been spent on one incinerator.The PMC is now planning to erect sanitary pad incinerators at various locations of the city at the total cost of Rs 5 crore
RESULT : Many of the existing units are not working to its full capacity and plants at Ghole road and Koregaon Park are completely shut down.
ACCOUNTABLE: Suresh Jagtap, solid waste management department head, PMC:
"As the maintenance contract is over, four out of 12 plants are non-functional. We will soon start the tender process and the plants will start functioning thereafter."
The recreational centre is now completely taken over by stray dogs, and most of the paint and electricity fittings are in shambles. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Virungula Kendra/ Recreational centre for senior citizens
PROJECT : A recreational centre for senior citizens or a Virungula Kendra, spread over 1,500 sq metres, was planned on survey no 167 under Corporator Baburao Chandere. An incomplete building stands on the massive ground at the dead end of a plot with the river Ramnadi flowing along one of its boundaries. The access road is shared with a residential society, Saidutt Residency. It was inaugurated on 4 January 2017 by Ajit Pawar in presence of Kunal Kumar, PMC commissioner and then mayor Prashant Jagtap.
INVESTMENT : Rs 2 crore . The project seem to have been wrapped up in a hurry with work being done only on the ground floor. A separate approach road is in the pipeline.
RESULT : The amenity space is now completely taken over by stray dogs, and most of the paint and electricity fittings are in shambles. The first and second floors are incomplete with missing slabs and doors.
ACCOUNTABLE: Mandar Dhaygude, engineerer, (bhavan department) PMC:
"The project is yet to be completed due to lack of funds. We hope to start within a month."
Almost all selection trials for inter-school, district and divisional tournaments are held at the Chhatrapati Shivaji wrestling stadium. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Chhatrapati Shivaji Wrestling Stadium’smagic makeover
The Chhatrapati Shivaji wrestling stadium was built in Mangalwar peth, near Juna Bazar (Flea Market) in 1972, with a total cost of 16 lakhs. A couple of years back, the ground presented a pathetic sight with liquor parties and gambling happening on it. Lack of proper maintenance had turned the venue into a ruined structure.
However, Rashtriya Talim Sangh, who works for the benefit of the city wrestlers decided to change the scenario. Under the initiative of National Congress Party (NCP) leader Bapusaheb Pathare, funds of Rs 70 lakh was allotted to the stadium. The actual work of the stadium started in 2012 and was ready by 2017. Most interesting part was that the renovation work received huge support from the residents and they even willingly relocated to other places during the construction phase. The renovation work included construction of public gallery, centre stage and protection wall. Two international quality wrestling mats were also provided to the stadium and a multi-equipped gym was also opened in the premises.
The venue has now become a hotspot for upcoming wrestlers. Almost all selection trials for inter-school, district and divisional tournaments are held at the stadium, now. Even during winter season, several wrestlers come to this stadium for training.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 14:42 IST