Corporators’ chorus: ‘We are being sidelined, humiliated’

Corporators all 133 of them, are miffed with the PCMC administration for launching SARATHI, which they say has reduced their standing in the public eye.

"Residents are rushing to SARATHI rather than to corporators," says Navnath Jagtap, chairman of the PCMC's standing committee. "This is because officials due to the fear of getting memo from the commissioner are attending to the complaints in no time. When we take up citizens' complaints with officials, they take eight days to resolve them. But when citizens complaint to SARATHI, officials ensure that the complaint is resolved in two days," he adds.

Jagtap, whose party (NCP) rules PCMC, says corporators are not opposed to SARATHI, but not like "being bypassed". "Corporators have a say in the ward's problems and development. How can they be ignored?" Jagtap asks. He says corporators, whether in the standing committee meetings, general body meetings or divisional office meetings, have registered their protest and adjourned the meetings on the issue.

Says Bhausaheb Bhoir, Congress corporator and Pimpri-Chinchwad Congress president: "SARATHI initiative is good for resolving citizens' complaints, but at the same time corporators should be taken into confidence. Some people from a particular ward might be deliberately lodging complaints to show the corporator in poor light. Therefore, it is important that the PCMC administration take corporators into confidence."

NCP leader Yogesh Behl, a four-time corporator and considered right hand man of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, claims the system has flaws. "People are settling their personal grouses through SARATHI... Without cross-checking whether the complaint is genuine, PCMC officials are directly taking action. This is a dangerous trend."

Senior Shiv Sena corporator Shrirang Barne says: "The PCMC commissioner, by implementing SARATHI, is trying to give justice to the common man. But at the same time, he is humiliating the elected representatives by directing officials not to resolve the complaints of citizens that we take up on priority."

... contd.

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