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Your Space: Lot more is expected from BJP corporators

A year after coming to power in PMC, BJP has many things to show the voters of the city even as the party has failed to execute some plans.

pune Updated: Mar 04, 2018 14:19 IST
HT Correspondent
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.
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.(HT File Photo)

This is with reference to your report ‘One year in PMC: BJP scores many hits with a few misses,’ published on February 21.

Prior to the 2014 and 2017 elections, all electoral aspirants made tall promises of being ‘different’, and even got citizens’ inputs for preparing their manifesto. Soon, after getting elected, they started behaving and continue to behave like VIPs, asking the citizens to come and stand in line outside their office if any work is required to be done.

On completion of one year, BJP listed their achievement in getting financial approvals on high value projects. What about monitoring and governance on daily basis, about tracking what the administration is doing or not doing on general civic amenities, which is the main aspect of being peoples’ representative?

The following points may please be noted: By not withstanding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s social networking skills, most of the BJP leaders in Pune are not even email savvy to correspondence sent on their ids which are published in public domain. While Modi uses the internet effective for his outreach to citizens, Pune’s BJP leaders want citizens to line up outside their office growling for favours.

Majority of BJP leaders have not taken the effort to push for Area Sabhas to be formed, which would include residents for their suggestions, ideas and initiatives. No one can deny that there exists a wide chasm between what politicians want after being elected and what residents expect from/of them. Situation of civic amenities in every prabhag has worsened during the past one year.

When citizens do attempt to suggest/recommend, these elected representatives perceive the suggestion as a threat to their position. So these suggestions are simply forwarded to administrative officers for action.

Why have sanitation bye-laws not been approved as yet by the Maharashtra government? What we see around us is solid waste mismanagement instead of management. Elected representatives need to go around their wards with the PMC’s conservancy staff to see whether their prabhag is being cleaned or not and whether a system is being followed or not.

The elected corporators have not tried to solve the issue of inequitable supply of water to different parts of Pune by installing automated valves, pressure and measurement gauges. Why has no action been taken against rampant illegal connections and boosters installed?

Corporators don’t seem to be monitoring the construction or repair works undertaken on footpaths, roads, streetlights and water supply. They need to ensure at the least that the roads and manholes are levelled, footpaths are continuous and constructed according to according norms.

Are the corporators ensuring that public spaces, roads, streets, footpaths and cycle tracks are not being used illegally by commercial parking, hawkers, vehicles, stalls, beggers and hutments? After residents cry themselves hoarse about traffic jams and congestion (albeit artificially created), politicians will press for construction of flyovers, grade-separators, bridges and under passes involving huge amounts of public funds to be used which the standing committee will take credit for.

Unfortunately, the comprehensive mobility plan, hawker policy and scheme, pedestrian policy, parking policy, Pune cycle plan, trenching policy, skysign guidelines and sanitation bye-Laws are just seen on paper and complete implementation gets put onto the back burner. These policies and plans then get outdated with the passage of time.

It is necessary for corporators to ensure that recovery of property tax is according to a quarterly schedule and that rentals on PMC properties are recovered thoroughly.

High value public projects remain incomplete for years on end, increasing project cost and inconvenience to public. Prior to budget approval and commencement, it is necessary for the elected representatives to ensure that DPRs (development project report) are prepared along with project feasibility reports and environment impact assessment.

Ever since Pune announced its Smart City aspirations, the trend is in favour of outsourcing activities to third party consultants from oversees and/or out of Pune who have no clue about the characteristics and behaviour of the city of Pune and it’s people. So project planning is a mess at high cost. Doesn’t Pune have a qualified professional consultant who understand the city better?

On all these points listed above, BJP’s report card has been abysmal. One year’s time was more than enough for the BJP to root out systemic failures and make a difference.

Qaneez Sukhrani

Residents’ issues needs reportage

I wish to thank you and team HT for bringing to the public eye a very vexatious issue that is plaguing our society, Clover Highlands, off NIBM road. Doubtless that this would be an unpleasant circumstance shared by many other housing societies in Pune.

I would like to clarify here that the execution of ‘ Deemed Conveyance, as proposed by the builder,’ would not solve our problems; rather it would exacerbate them.

It would be based on the 2016 plan which our society is contesting in court due to the inclusion of two new 22-storey towers that are now being built in lieu of 6/7 storey buildings as was originally envisaged.

The row houses which are in effect ‘Guest Rooms’ even in the 2016 plan, which is an illegality committed by the builder, will become our liability.

The large number of residents of the new towers being constructed on our land will become ipso facto users of our limited amenities.

We wish to point out that a similar proposal received from builder Raj Bhansali has earlier been rejected by us in totality on legal advice.

It would be a great help to us if you carry this letter since it will clarify our situation.

Mahendra Pratap Taneja

Good coverage on Dr Salim Bird Sanctuary

With reference to your story ‘Pune collector commits to ‘protecting’ bird sanctuary’ (March 3), I am surprised at the depth with which Hindustan Times has carried the report relating to the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. I am happy that some have taken up the issue seriously.

Daud Khan

Bird Sanctuary needs attention

It is good that Pune district collector has responded positively on the issue of the complete neglect of the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. We hope that Hindustan Times follows this issue right till the time that it is resolved completely.

Shripad Patki