Pune: The State government has given directives with reference to the High Court order that public money cannot be utilised for cultural events. Yet Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator Arati Kondare has given a proposal to give Rs 10 lakh for conducting a cultural programme in her ward. She wants to divert funds from the development work to the religious and cultural programme.
This was revealed after Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Standing Committee agenda was published on Friday. In the agenda, Khadakmal Ali-Mahatma Phule Peth area corporator Arati Kondare gave a proposal to divert development funds of Rs 10 lakh for conducting religious and cultural programmes in her area.
Last year, the State government issued an order on the basis of Mumbai High Court ruling of August 2, 2017 that municipal funds should not be used for celebration of cultural functions. Based on that, last week, the PMC refused to spend money on installing pandals for Warkaris - pilgrims going to Pandharpur. Wari is a 21-day annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur.
Mayor Mukta Tilak Made it clear that the corporation will provide basic services like water, sanitation, fire brigade and medical aid. For raising pandals to welcome pilgrims, the corporation will not spend money. However, local corporators can raise pandals from their side. It is the individual corporator’s decision.
BJP party corporators however want to spend money on cultural events too. Yogesh Mulik, Chairman of Standing Committee said, “I have to see the proposal and we will take appropriate decision at the meeting after a detailed discussion.”
The committee’s weekly meeting will be held on Tuesday.
Repeated attempts were made to contact Kondare, but she did not take the calls.
High Court order
A writ petition was filed by Pradeep Jangam against Bhayandar Municipal Corporation over the issue of spending public money by the corporation on celebration of different festivals. The Bombay High Court Bench of AS Oka and Vibha Kankanwadi issued the order on August 2, 2017. The court said municipal corporations shall follow the law laid down by court in the judgement and ensure that municipal funds are not utilised for other than for providing basic services mentioned in section 63 and 66 of Maharashtra Municipal Corporations Act.