Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Despite cash crunch, unlimited budget' for festivals

Notwithstanding the municipal commissioner's proposal suggesting cuts in budget works with civic treasury facing cash crunch, Pune mayor Mohansingh Rajpal on Tuesday said that PMC had unlimited budget' for cultural festivals and events like the Queen's Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

The Queen's Baton Relay for the CWG will reach Pune on September 9 and the PMC has decided a grand welcome.

"The PMC has organised various cultural festivals and events to welcome the baton relay. Various sponsors have come forward to support us. There is no question of budget. We have unlimited budget for such events," said mayor Mohansingh Rajpal, speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

The Baton relay will arrive at Bharati Vidyapeeth at 3.30 pm on Thursday, and will travel from Swargate, Sarasbag, Vishrambagwada, Laxmi road, Alka talkies, Agriculture college, Pune University, Baner phata to Balewadi.

"The PMC appeals to citizens to participate in the event," said the mayor. A Congress leaders in the PMC claimed that MP Suresh Kalmadi will also be present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the PMC standing committee on Tuesday approved Rs 25 lakh to celebrate cultural events for Shaniwar wada festival' during annual Ganesh festival starting this week end.

"The PMC will organise events in all parts of the city, so that citizens can enjoy the festival," said standing committee chairman Arvind Shinde, who added that the provision of Rs 25 lakh was made in the annual budget.

As per the BPMC Act, the state government had issued directions to municipal bodies that institutions should not be given donations exceeding Rs 3 lakh and the total annual civic donation amount should not exceed Rs 30 lakh.

However, the PMC had shelled out the massive amounts of Rs 51 lakh for the 83rd Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan and Rs 30 lakh to celebrate Baisakhi. Meanwhile, only 60 per cent of budgetary works for 2009-10 have been completed due to a cash crunch.

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