Pune: The 2019 Lok Sabha election is a year away. Members of Parliament (MPs) in the city and district have focused on development work in their constituencies. They are also spending money from the MPLAD fund to provide better facilities in the Pune railway division.
MP Anil Shirole has spent Rs 40.35 lakh from his MPLAD fund for the Pune railway division, which is the highest amount, among the other MPs including Supriya Sule, Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil, Shrirang Barne and Vandana Chavan. Baramati MP Supriya Sule has spent only Rs 1.44 lakh in the past four years, while Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Kakade has not spent a single penny from his fund in the past four years for the sake of railway passengers.
According to data provided by the Pune railway division, the MPs have spent a huge amount to provide facilities such as chairs, basic amenities at goods shed, satellite PRS locations and CCTVs within their constituency during 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 fiscal years.
BJP MP Shirole has provided 80 steel benches at the Pune railway junction (75) and Shivajinagar station (5) by spending Rs 14.38 lakh from his MPLAD fund in 2015-16. The benches were placed in January 2016. He also spent funds for basic amenities at the circulating area at the goods shed at Pune Junction.
Almost 95 per cent work has been completed. He announced to spend Rs 51.97 lakh, of this 25.97 lakh is already spent. The rest will be used by end of this year.
Baramati NCP MP Sule spent only Rs 1.44 lakh at the Kedgaon station to provide only nine steel benches in December 2016. The authority expects her to spend more money for better facilities.
NCP Rajya Sabha member Vandana Chavan has provided steel benches at the Pune junction and Satellite PRS location (Passengers Reservation System). The amount has been provided in the 2017-18 financial year, which is yet to be released.
Maval Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne has spent Rs 19.98 lakh to install steel benches at various stations between Dapodi and Malavli. Earlier, he had announced that money would be provided to install CCTV cameras in ladies coaches of local trains, which run between Pune and Lonavla.
The amount was received by the railway authority and a tender was floated on June 1, 2017. However, the tender was later scrapped on a recommendation of the TC committee. This amount was then spent to purchase 135 steel benches.
Khed Shiv Sena MP Adhalrao Patil spent only Rs 2.96 lakh on fitting steel benches at the Uruli station in 2016-17. The benches were supplied in December 2016.
Anil Shirole told Sakal Times, “I have decided to allocate money from my MPLAD fund to various sectors. I spent Rs 40.35 lakh for providing steel benches and basic amenities at the good sheds. I will spend the remaining amount by end of this year. Lakhs of people visit Pune junction. As an MP of the city, it is my responsibility to provide more facilities to railway passengers.”
Supriya Sule said, “I had provided Rs 2.5 lakh to purchase 15 steel chairs at Kedgaon in 2015-16, Rs 3 lakh for a badminton court at the Daund railway station in 2016-17, Rs 5 lakh for CCTV at the Baramati station, benches for passengers and other facilities from my MPLAD fund. There are some plans for railway stations within my constituency, which will be executed later after discussion with my local party office-bearers.”