Puneites come together for Chalo PMC Pune Samvad Initiative to raise civic and environmental issues

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By: Pune Pulse

September 12, 2023

Pune: The Chalo PMC Pune Samvad initiative was launched by a group of concerned citizens following the #PMCgherao movement on Kranti Diwas on August 9.

The campaign aims to empower citizens to voice their concerns and demands regarding civic and environmental issues in Pune and its surrounding areas. 

Gangotri Chanda, one of the campaign initiators, stressed the importance of citizen engagement in democracy. She highlighted that democracy extends beyond voting and includes the right to question and evaluate the actions of elected officials who are funded by taxpayers.

Further, she added, ”Despite the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) having a yearly budget of Rs. 10,000 crores, the city still faces challenges such as water scarcity, inefficient public transportation, flooding, waste disposal, drainage and sewage problems, river and air pollution, power outages, deteriorating footpaths, potholes, limited accessibility, inadequate cycle lanes, and ecological degradation. These issues raise doubts about the effectiveness of the city’s administration. To address this, the Chalo PMC Pune Samvad initiative provides a platform for ordinary citizens to express their concerns and assert their rights within a competitive livelihood system.”

Form Link :- https://tinyurl.com/PuneCivicIssues

Ameet Singh, an economist added, ”Pune contributes over a lakh crore rupees in direct taxes alone. Yet we suffer all of these because our issues aren’t represented across the board through data. The middle class is systematically emasculated. We have no voice to call our own because we are made to survive on tidbits thrown at us by those in power. ”

Manoj Dudhankar added, ”We would like to make an important point here that Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) charges the property tax from every flat of society as soon as it is formed or completed, and the amount of annual property tax ranges between Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 18,000 per flat per annum depending upon the area and occupancy (self-occupied or rented). Considering the amount of property tax paid by members of society in the vicinity, the basic facilities provided by PMC in the area are incomparable. The biggest concern remains the quality of public goods. Traffic, road quality, garbage, and water elicited maximum interest and feedback. After collecting the forms, we get to know the genuine difficulties faced by the residents of Pune, which are listed below:

  • Lack of adequate water supply (almost 30–35% of the maintenance amount is blocked in the utility water supply from tankers in each society). Over and above that, residents have to pay water and water benefit taxes as a part of their property tax.
  • From decades together, we have only seen roads on the DP plan, but they don’t exist. If there are roads, they are to be widened. Road connectivity and bad roads are a major concern.
  • Existing roads are not cemented, made new, or repaired properly. Levelling of the road sideways is much needed as vendors and PMC have dug the roads for laying the water pipelines and cables, and they are in damaged condition only.
  • On the walking tracks, there are encroachments by unauthorized hawkers and shops, and they consider that that road space is owned by them. Residents, school-going children, and senior citizens are risking their lives by walking on the roads, besides illegal parking.
  • Dry garbage is not picked up from the society by PMC, and we have to employ a private contractor at our cost to collect the dry garbage.
  • Street lights are not working and are not operated properly daily, even though infrastructure is available.
  • Lots of traffic issues/ public transport/ drainage issues all over Pune.

Still, collecting the issues from all over Pune and submitting the letters to PMC on behalf of citizens.

“As of now, 300 issues have been collected from all over Pune, and we found that the major issues are road, garbage, and traffic issues, ” added Manoj.

Madhupriya Dhanwate