Pune, 10th January 2024: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is on track to save an estimated Rs 500 crore at the end of the current financial year, attributed to the absence of the ‘S’ list – a catalogue of various works proposed by local corporators. However, while the financial gain is significant for PMC, concerns are mounting among ordinary Pune residents as basic tasks and small projects crucial for public convenience remain unaddressed.
Public representatives, or corporators, typically suggest a range of works in their respective wards. These tasks, compiled in the ‘S’ list, often encompass minor yet essential civic projects. The absence of this list during the administrator’s tenure, resulting from delayed PMC elections and Lok Sabha elections, has led to considerable budget savings.
However, the flip side of this financial prudence is the palpable neglect of basic tasks impacting the lives of Pune residents. Citizens report that authorities cite budget constraints as reasons for not undertaking essential works, causing inconvenience and affecting public interest.
The delay in PMC elections has meant that an administrator has been in charge for the past two years. With the impending budget presentation due to the Lok Sabha elections, each PMC department is currently hastening to gather information on deposits and expenditures. Discussions are underway on the potential savings from the absence of corporators and how much expenditure would have increased if the ‘S’ list had been in effect.
While the Rs 500 crore anticipated savings are significant, citizens are grappling with concerns about the disregard for necessary public works. Issues such as collapsed drainage lines, malfunctioning streetlights, broken chambers, potholed roads, and inadequate library resources persist without resolution due to the perceived lack of budget.
As PMC expects total revenue of around Rs 2,400 crore for the financial year 2023-24, concerns about the impending increase in salary expenses due to recent recruitments and the implementation of the 7th Pay Commission for P employees are contributing to budgetary constraints. The citizens now find themselves in a dilemma, questioning whom to approach to address their grievances and ensure the completion of vital civic projects.