• PMC yet to receive Smart Cities Mission funds from state

    The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is still waiting for funds for the Smart Cities Mission even a month after the allotment was announced.

    The Union government had announced that Rs 194 crore would be given to Pune under this mission as part of the first instalment. The funds were to be deposited in Pune smart city project’s account within one week.

    Along with funds from government, PMC and the state government are expected to raise funds for the actual implementation of this project. The civic body wants to give thrust to involving private investors. The funds will be used for starting the projects in area development section i.e. Aundh-Baner-Balewadi and pan-city areas.

    PMC would start 15 projects under this scheme in the next three months. Smart city initiatives are estimated to cost Rs 3,480 crore.

    As per PMC officials, the funds were handed over to the state government on April 6. They confirmed that the funds should have reached PMC in a week’s time.

    “We have come to know that the funds will be dispatched soon. They are expected this month. We are following up at the state as well as the Union government level,” said PMC official Ashish Agrawal, who is working on the smart city project.

    Speaking about the delay, he said that the process of making budget allotments and other formalities, such as approvals from different stakeholders, are under-way, leading to the delay.

    The special purpose vehicle (SPV), which was registered in March, would implement the project. Named ‘Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited,’ it has seven stakeholders. Of them, six include the mayor, standing committee chairman, leader of the House, leader of opposition, PMC commissioner and additional commissioner. The divisional commissioner would be the seventh stakeholder as a state representative.

    “If the PMC has to participate in the process of allocation of funds, we will be informed accordingly. We are yet to get the details about status of funds,” said Ulka Kalaskar, chief accountant of PMC, replying on what role PMC will play to utilise the funds. Conor Sheary Authentic Jersey

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