Ruckus in PMC general body: Oppn claims civic body ‘stalling work in Muslim-dominated areas’

The issue was raised by local NCP corporator Gafur Pathan of Kondhwa Khurd-Mithanagar after the civic body held its first offline meeting after a long gap due to the pandemic.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) general body on Friday witnessed ruckus over the decision to stall ongoing development of the Cultural and Community Centre in Kondhwa Khurd, after the opposition alleged that the BJP-ruled civic body was stalling work in Muslim-dominated areas.

The issue was raised by local NCP corporator Gafur Pathan of Kondhwa Khurd-Mithanagar after the civic body held its first offline meeting after a long gap due to the pandemic.

“The PMC has spent Rs 1.5 crore and constructed two floors of the civic cultural and community centre on a 10,000 sq feet plot but the tender work is being deliberately stalled without any reason. I have been taking up the issue at various levels but there are only assurances given on it and no progress is made on the issue,” he said.

Pathan said the PMC had started work on the project after getting all necessary permissions for it so there was no reason to stall now.

City NCP chief Prashant Jagtap said the foundation stone of the project was laid by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar five years ago after the PMC decided to take up the infrastructure project. “The civic body should not discriminate on the basis of caste or religion while carrying out development work in the city. The project was approved by the civic body and not any outside agency,” he said.

Congress leader Ulhas Bagul said the civic body should not spoil the secular status of the society in the city. “The stalling of the work signifies that the minority community and its corporators are being targeted. All communities have worked together in containing Covid-19 and proved unity. This should not be affected,” he said, adding that work can be easily restarted with intervention of the court or the state government but it should be resolved here itself.

Opposition leader Dipali Dhumal said, “It seems the project file was deliberately hidden. He had to approach the police for the missing file. This raises doubt over the intention behind the stalling of the project,” she said.

Congress leaders Arvind Shinde, Avinash Bagawe, NCP corporator Subhash Jagtap and Shiv Sena leader Prithviraj Sutar also raised the issue, saying it was wrong to stall approved civic work.

Leader of house and BJP leader Ganesh Bidkar said the ruling party was not against the project but some people were trying to create a misunderstanding. “There were concerns raised over its possible misuse. We would clarify its specific use and then resume the ongoing project work,” he assured the general body.

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