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PMC to conduct audit of all amenity spaces, jolt to corporators managing them

by Team Deccan Express
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Pune : Deccan ExpressPune Municipal Corporation (PMC) | In a setback to all-party corporators, the civic administration has kept on hold the ‘proposals’ approved by the ruling BJP to lease out amenity spaces to its corporators. Now, an audit of all past proposals will be done. There were allegations and counter-allegations from the BJP and the opposition parties over the amenity spaces belonging to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

 

The BJP had released a list of amenity spaces in possession of corporators belonging to the Congress and the NCP during their respective rules. Later, the BJP itself generously leased out spaces to its own corporators at the fag end of the previous civic body’s term.

 

The PMC builds civic amenities such as hospitals, schools, swimming pools, badminton halls, playgrounds and multi-utility centres on its land. It is not possible for the civic body to manage all such activities. Hence, it floats tenders to run these amenities as joint projects, with help from social organisations. Rates at these utilities are kept affordable for common citizens.

 

The PMC built hundreds of such centres across the city in the past. Crores of rupees have been spent on building and maintaining them. According to regulations, spaces up to 1,500 sq ft are managed by the respective ward offices while spaces measuring above 1,500 sq ft are managed by the respective departments.

 

A few months ago, the civic administration had put forth a proposal before the standing committee to develop and lease out for long-term its amenity spaces on the public private partnership (PPP) basis. The then standing committee chairman Hemant Rasane and the ruling BJP supported the proposal while the NCP supported it within the committee but opposed outside it. This resulted in a tussle between the BJP and the NCP. Rasane released a list of amenity spaces held by current and former public representatives belonging to the NCP and the Congress. He also flayed the NCP’s ‘double standards’. However, the BJP put the proposal on the back burner after it was criticised by citizens. However, the BJP generously distributed these spaces to corporators later. BJP corporators got a major share in it. Some leased out spaces’ agreement terms were supposed to end in a couple of years. The BJP extended some of these agreements by 30 years.

 

Though these proposals were approved by the general body, they did not reach the estate department. All these proposals have been kept on hold. Meanwhile, the civic chief took over the entire civic administration as its administrator after the term of the house ended on March 14. He has decided to conduct an audit of all properties belonging to the PMC, said sources.

 

“The PMC built many buildings for civic amenities on its lands in the past. The management of these buildings was done as per the civic body’s rules and regulations. The respective ward offices manage buildings up to 1,500 sq ft. The spaces for which agreements have either ended or have not been done will be taken over by the PMC. An audit of the buildings and their utilisation will be conducted and a plan will be prepared to manage them,” said Vikram Kumar, municipal commissioner and administrator.

 

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