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Civic administration has failed Punekars despite absence of political interference

Citizens and activists alike expressed the view that despite the civic administration being solely in the hands of the government-appointed administrator since completion of the elected members tenure last year, the municipal administration has failed to fulfil the Punekars expectations in terms of road digging, encroachments, corruption and grievance redressal among others.Both groups said that while citizens had expected effective work from the civic administration under government-appointed administrator Vikram Kumar, there had been no major change in functioning since the past one year. Usually when corporators serve the civic body, citizens assume that the administration is not able to do effective work owing to political pressure or interference, citizens and activists said.Activist Vivek Velenkar said, After the appointment of the administrator, both citizens and us expected that some work which was otherwise obstructed by elected members - would be expedited. For instance, action against encroachments; illegal banners and hoardings; and repeated road digging. But it did not happen and there has been no accountability.Velenkar said that while the civic administration did conduct a massive anti-encroachment drive in the first few months after Kumar took over as government-appointed administrator, and it was supported by political leaders as well, the drive was soon rolled back and encroachments appeared once again in various localities.Furthermore, activists said they were curious to know when the civic budget would be presented.An activist on condition of anonymity said, Its March second week and the municipal commissioner has not yet presented the budget. Usually, the civic budget is expected to be presented in the month of January. Now, the state government too has tabled the budget even as the civic budget continues to remain pending. During the G20 meeting, various beautification works were carried out just to spend the money.Congress leader Arvind Shinde said, All these years, the citizens and media used to criticise politicians for everything. It was the general assumption that political leaders create obstacles in the path of anti-encroachment drives, give illegal water connections, take bribes for all works et al. But there are no corporators in the PMC for one year and the end result is there for the citizens to see. Nothing has changed. Rather, works are not being carried out at all.Ramesh Wagh, a citizen, said, When there were elected members, we used to file complaints with corporators for various issues and they used to try and resolve our problems or at least follow up. Now we are not getting any response from the administration. Let alone response, we dont know where to file complaints to begin with.IT professional from the Bavdhan area, Sujit Chhabriya, said, We are facing water and garbage problems. Despite filing online complaints, the issues are not getting resolved.Ramesh Dodke, a hawker, rued, How come hawkers still have to pay bribes! Many food stalls too are getting illegal water connections

Monday, March 13, 2023 at 5:32 pm

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