Ensuing the state government’s advisory to comply with High Court’s order, Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will no longer sanction funds for different festivals like Chhhat Puja, Ganesh Utsav, Navratra, Bakri Eid, Ramzan, Gudi Padwa, etc. In addition, funds will not be released for the celebrations of occasions, such as Guru nanak Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti and other days of national prominence, including May 1, January 26 and August 15.
Pradeep Jangam, who is a resident of Bhayander, had moved to High Court (HC) in the year 2016 by maintaining that public funds were not misused by the corporations to organize festivals, celebrating occasions and days holding national prominence. Jangam stated to the HC that the municipal funds meant for public welfare were used by private contractors for erecting platforms, pandals stages and for offering public address system.
As per the order passed by a HC bench consisting of Justices AS Oka and Vibha Kankanwadi, the municipal funds are needed to be disbursed fundamentally for availing the citizens with basic amenities. The HC also drew the attention on how this issue causes loss to the public exchequer.
The HC has pointed out that the municipal funds meant for public welfare are being used for the matters, which are not covered under section 63 and 66 or under any other provision of Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act 1949’s Chapter VI.
Ganesh Salve, the Public Relations Officer of PCMC said, “We have received a communication from the state government along with copy of the HC order which has been sent to 27 civic bodies as well.”
Salve added that PCMC will stop releasing funds for any such festivals or occasions in the future. “This will resolve many issues such as political interference and pressure tactics,” stated Salve.