Pune: Cricket World Cup Excitement Grips Senior Officials, Leaving PCMC in Chaos

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Varad Bhatkhande

Pimpri, 20th October 2023: Cricket enthusiasts among senior officials in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, including Commissioner and Administrator Shekhar Singh, two Additional Commissioners, and one Deputy Commissioner, succumbed to the allure of the ongoing Cricket World Cup on Thursday, temporarily diverting their attention from municipal affairs. The commissioner, along with his fellow senior officials, attended the World Cup cricket match at Gahunje Stadium, creating a momentary void in the administration that led to chaos within the municipality.

The Cricket World Cup has captured the imagination of fans around the globe, and the first match of the World Cup in Pune, featuring India and Bangladesh, unfolded at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Gahunje on Thursday. The occasion drew a massive surge of fans clamouring to purchase tickets. However, some individuals have found themselves in hot water due to alleged involvement in the black market sale of tickets, resulting in registered cases against them.

In an intriguing turn of events, numerous senior officials, including the municipal commissioners, reportedly secured VIP tickets for the match. Rumours abound that these tickets were provided to select officers by high-ranking members of the police force. It’s important to note that the municipality has been under administrative rule for the past one and a half years, following the end of the five-year tenure of the corporators on March 13, 2022. Commissioner Singh has been serving as the administrator during this period.

This incident underscores a recurring issue where the commissioner has limited control over the actions of officers and employees within the municipal corporation. On a typical workday, Commissioner Singh, along with Additional Commissioner Pradeep Jambhale-Patil, Vijaykumar Khorate, Deputy Commissioner Ravikiran Ghodke, and other senior officials, left their duties to attend the cricket match. Consequently, their decision to watch the match sparked discussions and raised questions within the municipal corporation.

While reports suggest that some of these officials had taken official leave for the cricket match, conflicting sources have claimed otherwise.

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