Pune: For the last six months, various measures are being taken to curb the spread of COVID-19, including lockdown. At present, the highest priority is being given to health care.
However, the government has given the green signal to the tenders of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation for water supply, water purification centre, power repair and environmental works worth Rs 1682 crore. Despite the financial slowdown, it is surprising that the proposals worth around Rs 1700 crore were approved during the lockdown.
Considering the global outbreak of COVID-19, States have directed local bodies to maintain focus on providing health facilities on priority.
Therefore, in the first phase of the lockdown, in May, the Maharashtra state government had ordered that no more than 33 per cent should be spent on other essential development works in any city.
Meanwhile, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has been able to finish various works such as - set up sewage treatment plant, drainage and sewage treatment and reuse, drainage centre near Bhama Askhed Dam, drainage of water pipes in various parts of the city.
Additionally, work of the newly added Chikhli, Moshi, Talwade, Choviswadi, Vadmukhwadi establishment of water supply system in Dudulgaon, Chaholi area, the arrangement of electricity in Bhakti-Shakti Chowk flyover and grade separator, carrying out necessary works at Balewadi, Ravet and Chaholi under Prime Minister's Housing Scheme, Electrical works on Metro line and related to Environment worth of Rs 66 crore tendered for the works.
Despite the condition of not imposing the financial burden on the Maharashtra state government, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar on June 26 has sent proposals for tenders for water, electricity and transport services in the city to the Chief Secretary for final approval.
On July 28, a written understanding has been taken from the commissioner that the financial condition of the Pimpri-Chinchwad should be reviewed and no additional funds would be demanded from the Maharashtra state government.
Taking the opinion of the finance department, the government gave approval to PCMC to carry out development works worth about Rs. 1700 crores. While giving this sanction, it had been stipulated that no financial burden of these works will fall on the government. This has paved the way for the city to carry out development work worth crores even during the lockdown.
"COVID's crisis is getting worse day by day across the country. During such NMC issued tenders for development works worth about Rs. 1700 crores. In this, when more than 50 per cent of the work was not urgent, a proposal was sent to the government for approval as an essential service. What is special is that the government has not done any verification. The government took an inconsistent stance by approving the order not to spend more than 33% on development works during the Kovid period. There is a need to find out the secret of all coming together for economic issues when the power in the state and the municipal corporation belong to different political parties." Maruti Bhapkar, a social worker.
"The financial position of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is strong. Therefore, the tender process was implemented for basic services related to electricity, water, roads and environment in the city. The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has sent proposals for essential development works to the government. Moreover, no funds have been sought by the government. The government has approved all the proposals as the corporation will bear all the expenses from its own funds." Said Shravan Hardikar, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner.
Following were the essential tasks
Laying of drainage line for sewage treatment plant
Improving the drainage system
Sewage treatment, recycling, reuse
Upsa center for Bhama Askhed project
Arrangement of waterways in the included villages
Works of Pavana River Rejuvenation Project
Power and solar system to the pumping station
Electrical works for Bhakti-Shakti flyover Basic facilities for Prime Minister's Housing Scheme