Two PMC officials face suspension over funds

ST CORRESPONDENT
Saturday, 21 March 2020

Former civic chief Saurabh Rao issued an order to stop diversion of funds but it was not taken seriously. Now, Gaikwad has taken the issue seriously and initiated action against officials. 

PUNE: Municipal Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad has suspended two officials from Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) Drainage Department for diverting (locking) funds allocated to the Drainage Department to the Road Department. Though this practice is normal, the civic body has taken strong action for the first time to maintain financial discipline. 

On corporators’ demand, the Standing Committee allocates a certain amount to them for ward-level development works. However, the corporators put pressure on ward officers and department officials and force them to take a big amount (in crore) of development work. At the end of the financial year, they divert unused project allocation to unplanned work. Former civic chief Saurabh Rao issued an order to stop diversion of funds but it was not taken seriously. Now, Gaikwad has taken the issue seriously and initiated action against officials. 

In this case, the Drainage Department had Rs 12 crore meant for repairing drain lines in rain-affected areas. But Deputy Superintendent Pandurang Lohekare and clerk Mubarak Tamboli diverted Rs 12 crore to small unplanned development works and for Road Department work. When senior Drainage Department officials came to know about this, they sought action against those officials. Finally, they were suspended.  

Additional Municipal Commissioner Rubal Agrawal told the media, “The Drainage Department officials did not follow the rule and diverted allocation to other work. So we suspended them.”

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