Pune: PCMC holds one-day workshop in Lonavala, activists say civic body wastes public money


As many as 70 officials and employees of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) traveled to the tourist town of Lonavala for a workshop organized by the civic body on “Swachch Survekshan, 2023”.

The one-day workshop, which will entail an expenditure of over Rs two lakh, has come under the scanner of civic activists who have criticized the PCMC administration. Activists argue that PCMC should have held the workshop at any of its premises instead of spending public funds in a tourist town.

Justifying the workshop in Lonavala, Additional Municipal Commissioner Vikas Dhakane told the Indian Express: “Since Lonavala has been ranked as the top town on the cleanliness front, we thought it would be appropriate to hold the workshop there. the one-day workshop. Civil servants and employees involved in the cleanliness mission will receive training on the toolkit used for cleanliness purposes in the city.

Dhakane said that in addition to the training, officials and employees would travel around the city to witness first-hand the actions taken by the Lonavala civic body, which led to the city getting the top spot in cleanliness in the country.

Civic activist Manav Kamble said the PCMC declared four days of vacation for schools due to heavy rains and alerted citizens living along the rivers. “At a time when civil servants and employees are called upon to deal with any emerging situation, what is the need for them to leave the city? Instead of going to Lonavala and splurging, the PCMC administration could have used any of its premises where more than 100 and even 500 employees at a time can be accommodated,” Kamble said.

Another civic activist, Maruti Bhapkar, said, “According to information released by the civic administration, the PCMC will spend around Rs 2.5 lakh for the trip to Lonavala. Whose is this money? It is public money and does not belong to any official. Why should they waste public money? The aim seems to be to take advantage of the famous Lonavala monsoon where people from all over the country descend every year. It’s a clever way to beat the established standards.

Bhapkar said Lonavala is much smaller than Pimpri-Chinchwad. “Instead of Lonavala learning from PCMC, PCMC is trying to learn from Lonavala. It’s like an adult learning from a child. It’s actually an embarrassment to PCMC,” he said.

City officials said that during the day-long workshop, which is taking place in a fancy hotel, tea, breakfast and lunch will be served to the approximately 70 officials and employees.


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