PCMC Commissioner to Decide Fate of Proposed Rs 550 Crore Loan for Infrastructure

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Reported By Varad Bhatkhande

Pimpri Chinchwad, July 6, 2024: The “wealthy” Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) had planned to take a loan of Rs 550 crore to construct an 850-bed multispeciality hospital in Moshi and beautify the road from Nigdi to Dapodi. Proposals were invited from banks for this loan, which sparked significant criticism of the PCMC Commissioner. However, the Accounts Department of PCMC has now advised that taking a loan may be unnecessary as PCMC already possesses adequate funds. Therefore, the final decision on proceeding with the loan now rests with PCMC Commissioner Shekhar Singh.

The multispeciality hospital in Moshi will span 15 acres and feature an eight-storey building with 800 beds, costing a total of Rs 740 crore. The construction will follow sustainable and green principles. Additionally, the beautification of the road from Dapodi to Nigdi will include the construction of footpaths and cycle tracks under Urban Street Design, along with landscaping and electric lighting at various points. The first phase of this project, covering a distance of 5.16 km from Pimpri Chowk to Bhakti-Shakti Chowk in Nigdi, will cost Rs 60 crore. A further Rs 110 crore will be allocated for the 6.54 km stretch from Pimpri Chowk to Haris Bridge in Dapodi.

PCMC had announced its intention to secure a loan of Rs 550 crore for these projects through a notice issued on Christmas last year. The loan was to be supervised by Chief Accounts and Finance Officer Praveen Jain, with a private agency appointed as financial advisor for its acquisition. Banks were invited to submit proposals until 7th March, offering loans at competitive interest rates for a tenure of approximately 15 years. However, given PCMC’s stable financial position, it has now been decided not to proceed with the loan. A proposal to this effect will be presented for approval to PCMC Commissioner and Administrator Shekhar Singh, as confirmed by Chief Accounts and Finance Officer Praveen Jain.

PCMC has already taken a loan of Rs 200 crore for the river improvement scheme and previously secured loans for other infrastructure projects, including a World Bank loan for the JRD Tata double-decker flyover at Nashik Phata Chowk in Kasarwadi and a municipal bond for the river improvement scheme. Plans are also underway to raise funds through green bonds amounting to Rs 200 crore for the Harit Setu project, following which the PCMC had intended to pursue the Rs 550 crore loan.

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Among the banks that responded, the Bank of Baroda proposed the lowest interest rate of 8.1%. However, with PCMC’s existing financial resources deemed sufficient, the Accounts Department has recommended canceling the loan proposal, pending approval from the Commissioner.