The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) top brass and Pune Cantonment Board officials, including army officers, held a meeting over merger of latter area in municipal limits on Thursday. While both parties remained tight-lipped regarding the meeting details, an official said transfer of civilian assets and other modalities related to transfer of staff, official documents and civilian area (real estate) belonging to the board administration was discussed at the talks.
Sachin Ithape, deputy commissioner (general administration), PMC, said, “The meeting between PCB and PMC was attended by higher officials of the administration.”
PCB chief executive officer (CEO) Subrat Pal did not respond to calls or messages on the merger issue. Pune cantonment residents have been demanding that either their area be merged with PMC or funds be provided from the Centre to tide over the financial crisis since 2017.
The board currently faces a revenue deficit of ₹700 crore and civic works like road repairs, infrastructural upgradation and development, including upkeep of the board area, has been hit hard because of financial bankruptcy.
During the past few years, there have been reports when the board had no money to pay the staff salary. The board had made a few resolutions wherein it has decided to lease their urban properties on 99 years lease to meet the financial crisis.
Cantonment resident Rajabhau Chavan said, “Why is there an inordinate delay in merger and, if not merger, then funds are not being released for the development work in the area. Area residents are suffering since 2017. The road infrastructure is pathetic while gardens are in a mess. The Centre must pitch in and save the cantonment residents from the downslide.”.