Pune, 2nd February 2024: Civic activists are expressing concern as the municipal body rushed to issue 138 tenders in the past two days, a move criticized for its potential impact on the quality of work. The surge in tenders is seen as an attempt to meet expenditure targets before the current financial year concludes.
Data from the Maharashtra e-procurement system revealed that 76 tenders were released on February 1, followed by 62 on January 31. Various departments, including electrical, road, municipal zones, garden, drainage, water supply, solid waste management, and the municipal medical college, were involved in the tendering process.
Critics, such as Vijay Kumbhar from Surjaya Sangharsha Samiti, raised concerns about the administration’s tactic of dividing tenders into smaller sections to evade scrutiny. Kumbhar urged citizens to verify whether the projects mentioned in the tenders were genuinely in progress.
Sanjay Shitole, another activist, condemned the hurried issuance of tenders, labeling it as a misuse of public funds. He emphasized that such practices compromise the quality of work, asserting that only essential projects should be permitted in the final moments.
Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Administrator Vikram Kumar had previously announced a budget of Rs 9515 crore for the financial year 2023-24. PMC aims to generate approximately Rs 1804.83 crore from development charges, with water charges contributing an estimated Rs 509 crore, and GST revenue projected at Rs 2316 crore. Property tax, a major revenue source for PMC, is expected to contribute Rs 2318 crore to the civic treasury.
Acknowledging potential delays in works due to factors like the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, a senior PMC official stated, “We are striving to expedite the tendering and issuance of work orders to mitigate any possible disruptions in the near future.”