Pune, 13th January 2024: Protests led by activist Manoj Jarange Patil persist in the state, advocating for Maratha community reservation within the OBC category. Simultaneously, the State Backward Classes Commission plans to conduct a survey to assess the Maratha community’s backwardness. In Pune city, 1,500 Municipal Corporation employees have been designated for this task. However, the survey initiation is pending as the commission has not yet provided the required survey software.
Recent months have witnessed widespread protests and large meetings across the state, with Jarange Patil at the forefront demanding reservation for the Maratha community. Despite the government’s assurances during two hunger strike halts, the reservation matter remains unresolved. Jarange Patil advocates for Maratha reservation under the OBC category, specifically as Kunbi. However, OBC leaders oppose this stance.
The state government has affirmed its commitment to maintaining OBC reservation levels while assuring the Maratha community of a separate reservation, legally defensible. Yet, rejecting this proposition, protests are slated for January 20 in Mumbai.
To assess the Maratha community’s backwardness, the Backward Classes Commission plans to conduct a survey, with government-level meetings held to discuss the initiative. In a recent video conferencing meeting, municipal commissioners were instructed to allocate personnel for the survey. Consequently, Additional Municipal Commissioner Ravindra Binwade issued an order appointing 1,500 employees for the task, assigning one supervisor for every 15 employees. Deputy Commissioner Chetna Kerure has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the survey and submitting the report.
Although Binwade appointed the employees on January 11, the survey has not commenced due to pending software from the commission. The software is currently undergoing testing, and details regarding whether it will be mobile-based or tab-based remain undisclosed by the municipal corporation.
The survey aims to cover 100 families per employee within a 10-day timeframe. With 1,500 employees appointed by the municipal corporation, officials estimate surveying approximately 150,000 families in the city.