Pune: The residents of Baner, Balewadi, Pashan and Bavdhan area have voiced their concern about the cosmetic touch-ups proposed by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in these areas under Smart City Project.
Calling electronic signage boards and free Wi-Fi towers as nothing but ‘wasteful expenditure’ several resident associations from these areas have handed memoranda demanding that the PMC stop wasteful expenditure in the Smart City project.
The citizens’ group handed over the letter to Guardian Minister Girish Bapat at Baner on Wednesday, stating, “We citizens object to the wasteful expenditure incurred and proposed to be incurred on projects which have absolutely no connection with ground realities and have no consideration of the needs and demands of citizens.”
Ravindra Sinha of Baner-Pashan Link Road Vikas Samiti said, “There is a proposal for electronic signages to be installed on various roads. We think this signages have no utility and no purpose. Therefore we do not want lakhs of our tax payers’ money to be spent on signages. This is utter waste of public funds.”
Sarang Wable of Baner-Balewadi Residents Association said, “There is a proposal to install Wi-Fi towers across Pune. We citizens don’t feel that free Wi-Fi is required using tax payers money. Let private companies provide free Wi-Fi as part of their CSR.”
It is mandatory to have public participation in the decision making process of Smart City projects. But authorities have not issued public notice of such meetings yet. The representatives of Citizen Forums of Aundh, Baner and Balewadi said they have not been consulted in any decision taken by Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited. The Smart City road from Bremen Chowk to Parihar Chowk is an example of how funds have been wasted on cosmetic touch-ups, they said.
The citizen groups are reaching out to citizens by holding public meetings and sharing posts on Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, SMS and email.