January 17, 2024

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Pulled up by high court, PMC invites applications to form body of experts on road development, maintenance | Pune News

2 min read

Dragged to the court for the poor condition of city roads, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), on the directions of the Bombay High Court, has invited applications from experts and citizens working in the field of road construction and maintenance to become members of an expert committee that would provide the civic body with guidance on maintenance of roads.

The deadline for the applications is January 19.

Last month, the high court, on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by activists Qaneez Sukhrani and Pushkar Kulkarni, had directed the PMC to make a functional Road Development and Road Maintenance Committee (RDRMC).

The petition raised concerns over the poor condition of the roads and the non-implementation of the recommendations made by the earlier RDRMC, which was formed in 2016 to make recommendations on technical issues. The petitioners also pointed out the negligence of the PMC in repairing, maintaining and layering of roads in the city as per standard techniques.

Notably, in a public notice, the PMC had said that the RDRMC is an expert committee to provide guidance in road development and maintenance works. “The RDRMC has the task to review the current road development and maintenance, identify lacunae in current system and implementation of standard guidelines while suggesting practical solutions to stem out the problems related to road infrastructure maintenance and safety standards,” it had said.

The earlier RDRMC was active till 2019 but it has not been functional since the Covid pandemic in 2020. It consists of nine members, out of which three are from the PMC as ex-officio members while the remaining six are selected through applications.

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“The RDRMC had submitted a detailed report on road development and maintenance in August 2016 after it was first constituted in April 2016. However, the PMC never called a meeting of the RDRMC thereafter and never consulted or communicated on the suggestions made by the committee,” said activist Prashant Inamdar, a member of the previous RDRMC.

He added, “The civic administration is starting once again from scratch as it has neither informed the previous RDRMC about adopting the report nor called a meeting of the committee after the submission of the report. If the PMC is serious, then they should first reach out to the members of the previous committee. It is of no use to repeat the same exercise of studying and preparing a new report.”

Meanwhile, an officer of the civic body said, “The new committee will take forward the work of the previous one. The previous committee members can also apply for membership. The final decision will be taken by the PMC.”

The PMC has set an eligibility criteria for the members which include an active candidate in construction and maintenance field with experience of at least 10 years or a retired senior level government officer active for at least 10 years in the field and citizens of Pune and its vicinity with 10 years of experience in public works related to roads.

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