The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has finally woken up to the hazards of road-digs, it seems, after being condemned by corporators and citizens. As city roads are being dissected day in and day out for laying cables, installing pipelines and sundry other civic work, the PMC has now formed a special cell to dole out permissions and monitor such operations.
Additional municipal commissioner Omprakash Bakori elaborated on the announcement made on Wednesday, saying, “We have formed a cell of five engineers, who will scrutinise digging permission files and allow permission to respective agencies after inspecting sites. Ihave issued an order for that. It will help in co-ordination and ensure smooth digging work.”
Last Friday, all political party corporators had alleged huge revenue losses and inconvenience of citizens caused by road digging. After that, PMC mayor Dattatray Dhankawade had directed the civic administration to conduct a third-party inquiry into all road-digging operations in the city. They had also alleged that some of the companies are digging roads without permission. Illegal road digging has caused losses of around Rs 300 crore, but the PMC has failed to take action against these companies.
The cell has been formed to specifically check such anomalies and nip them in the bud. It is to be headed by the deputy engineer of the road department, Bharat Mohite. Four sub-engineers from other departments are also part of the cell, which will monitor the entire process of road-digs, from issuing permissions to reinstatement work.
Every year, the city roads are dug up by telecom operators, the electricity board, mobile phone operators, internet service providers and piped gas companies to lay cables or pipes. As many as 26 companies and operators carry out the road digging work and have to pay the civic body for its restoration. PMC also has its own share of road digging to account for.
Source: Punemirror, 27’March