Pune: It’s been seven years that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has introduced the concept of participatory budget. However, going by the response from the citizens over the years, one would conclude that the concept has not gained the desired popularity.
Citizens blame the civic authority for this. According to them, since the civic authority fails to bring the desired projects to reality, citizens lose interest in the initiative.
Now, the citizens demand results from the civic body.
At the workshop organised in association with the National Society for Clean Cities (NSCC), Pune and Janwani at the Anandpur Charitable Trust’s hall on NIBM Road on Sunday, residents of NIBM Road and Wanowrie contributed their bit to make participatory budget a successful concept.
Sushil Kumar, NIBM Road resident and joint secretary of NSCC, said, “It’s been four to five years that we have been giving our suggestions to PMC but so far they have not sanctioned the suggestions. Participatory budget is a good concept where citizens are given facility to suggest the work they want to be carried out in their locality. But it will get response only when they will see that the work they are suggesting is actually being undertaken by the civic body.”
Kumar also demanded change in the scrutiny process of the suggestions where citizens are not allowed to participate.
“The suggestions are scrutinised by the Prabhag Samiti consisting of the corporators of the area and the PMC engineers. They decide which suggestions should be accepted and which to be rejected. But as citizens, we are never allowed to participate in the procedure. Hence, we demand that the procedure should be changed and it should be made more transparent,” Kumar added.
GS Mani, joint secretary of NIBM Road Residents’ Forum, feels that the citizens’ groups need to constantly pressurise the PMC to accept their proposals.
Mani said, “It is disappointing that the number of suggestions approved by PMC are too little but we should not lose hope. It is the responsibility of the citizens’ groups to maintain constant pressure on the PMC. Only then will the civic body be compelled to accept the suggestions.”
Earlier, Saylee Jog of Janwani gave a presentation on participatory budget. “PMC is allocating Rs38 crore for the participatory budget which is nearly one per cent of the total budget. Now citizens need to come out in big numbers to suggest their works through participatory budget for public good. Only then will the amount be utilised,” she said.