Mubarak Ansari & Sumit Singh
Camp, 10th February 2024: The longstanding demand for the merger of Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has gained momentum once again, as the Central Government seeks a comprehensive report from the board.
In response, PCB CEO Subrat Pal has taken the initiative to form a committee tasked with preparing a detailed report on the potential merger, sparking optimism among cantonment residents.
The committee, led by CEO Pal, includes Pune Cantonment Board Joint Chief Executive Officer Rohit Singh, Office Superintendent Anita Sayyanna, Asst. Executive Enggr (I) Sukhdev Patil of engineering department, Asst. Executive Enggr (Electricals) Vijay Chavan, Health Superintendent Pramod Kadam, Record Room Clerk Sunanda Dighe, Computer Assistant Sunila Nair, Senior Clerk Witwekar, Sampada Mhetre, Visakha Jana, and Ajay Patil.
CEO Pal is set to present the merger proposal, specifically focusing on Pune and Khadki Cantonments, at the Ministry of Defence in Delhi. The potential merger is seen as a solution, by the central government, to several challenges faced by citizens, offering access to central and state government schemes and increasing the share of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in municipal revenue.
The merging of Pune and Khadki Cantonment Boards into the Municipal Corporation is expected to streamline development efforts and address the financial challenges currently faced by the Cantonment Board. The diminishing revenue due to the discontinuation of Local Body Tax (LBT) and the absence of GST share has led to financial strain, impacting development projects within the board’s limits.
While the Aurangabad (Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar) Cantonment Board has already agreed to a merger, the situation in Pune and Khadki is under consideration. The potential merger is not only anticipated to address financial challenges but also accelerate development works in the merged cantonment areas.
Pune Cantonment Board Vice President Sachin Mathurawala has expressed dissatisfaction with his exclusion from the main committee formed in Delhi to discuss the merger. As a concerned citizen and vice-chairman of the board, Mathurawala had expected to voice citizens’ issues in the committee. He voiced his displeasure and hopes that his name will be considered for inclusion in the primary committee during future discussions.
As deliberations continue, citizens, officials, and stakeholders are keenly observing the developments, hoping for positive outcomes that will benefit both Pune and Khadki Cantonments.