Posted On Thursday, July 05, 2012 at 08:16:16 AM
When the state government amended the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation (BPMC) Act, 1949 allowing civic bodies to hold Area Sabhas on the lines of Gram Sabhas in 2009, all it had intended to do was facilitate participation of citizens in governance on policy matters at the ward level.
However, the same amendment has now not only led to a confusion as to who should head these Area Sabhas but it is also likely to cause a heartburn among the elected representatives when the meetings begin in a couple of days.
With the introduction of multi-member system or the panel system, every ward within the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits has two corporators while there is a provision for only one working president for Area Sabha.
During the civic elections early this year, candidates had contested from 76 wards in the city and two corporators from either same or different political parties were elected. According to the provision of the Act, the concerned member of the municipal corporation from the area would be the working president of the Area Sabha.
Leader of the House and group leader of the ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Subhash Jagtap said that when the legal provision for Area Sabha was made by the State government, only one corporator used to represent a ward.
But from this year, two members are representing a ward in the PMC. Thus there is a confusion as to who among the two members should be the working president. The State government must clarify, he asserted.
Jagtap also informed that the NCP, in its election manifesto, had promised to hold Area Sabhas .
The selection of working president of the Area Sabha may see intra party competition in wards where both representatives are from the same political party.
In ward no. 24, Dahanukar Colony, both the seats were won by Shiv Sena candidates — Yogesh Mokate, nephew of Shiv Sena MLA Chandrakant Mokate and Sangita Deshpande, wife of former chairman of standing committee Sham Deshpande.
The post is likely to become a bone of contention for others too as it is considered an important political platform.
As per the amendment in the Act, the working president of Area Sabha is supposed to call the meeting to discus civic issues like water supply, sanitation, storm water drainage, maintenance of roads and streetlights in the area and suggest remedies. The area sabha consisting of all voters in the ward.
• Ward no. 44, Gliding Centre, Hadapsar - Mayor Vaishali Bankar (NCP) and Vijay Deshmukh (Shiv Sena)
• Ward no. 76, Katraj area — Leader of Opposition in the PMC Vasant More of (MNS) and Bharati Kadam of NCP
• Ward no. 24, Deccan Gymkhana —Deepak Bodake of NCP and Nilima Khade of BJP