Rs 2 crore sports complex in Pune’s Bibvewadi area lies unused due to politics in PMC corridors

A game of one-upmanship between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has left a badminton court, built in Bibvewadi by Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) by spending Rs 2 crore, lying unused for the past one year.

It was Asmita Shinde, the then MNS corporator, who took the lead to set up the sports complex, that took three years to build, and was inaugurated by her party chief Raj Thackeray in November 2016. The PMC-built multipurpose sports complex Shakuntala Shinde Krida Sankul was built at the open space of Yashwantrao Chavan middle school at Bibvewadi. The school is run by the municipal corporation.

As it was election year, the then municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar under his powers gave permission to operate the sports complex and gave the badminton hall to private contractor on leave and licence basis for a year.

As it is a civic project, PMC has to float a tender for giving out the badminton hall to a contractor and it has to be cleared by PMC standing committee. Kumar had exercised his powers to do away with this process because of polls.

However, after the one-year contract period, the BJP-led civic administration has not put the hall into use with residents claiming that the abandoned sports complex is used by anti-social elements.

Kishori Shinde, PMC sports officer, said, “It is true that the sports complex is lying idle. The PMC school board has transferred the hall to us. We have completed the tender process and forwarded the proposal to PMC standing committee. After getting the committee’s nod, the civic administration will reopen the sports complex.”

Yogesh Mulik, PMC standing committee chairman, said that the standing committee will discuss the court reopening issue at the meeting scheduled next week. “We will try and resolve the issue in that meeting,” said Mulik.

Former corporator Shinde said, “I lost the polls in 2017. The sports complex was built as per international standards and many national level players were using the facility and the sports complex was also appreciated and used by residents. However, instead of keeping the sports complex open, BJP elected members ensured to seal the facility stating that it was in operating without carrying the tender process.”

MNS leader Vishal Shinde said, “After the 2017 polls, the sports complex was handed over to the PMC school board and now tenders have been floated for it. The proposal is lying pending before the standing committee for the last one month.”

Shinde said that as per the proposal the sports complex would be used by students for free during school time and the contractor will utilise it before and after school time.

As per the proposal, the PMC plans to rent out the sports complex for three years and one of the contractors has offered Rs 4.30 lakh annual rent to PMC for running the complex. Seven parties have participated in the tender process.

“There are a few stadiums constructed by PMC, but as far as Poona District Metropolitan Badminton Association (PDMBA) is concerned we have no idea about this complex. If it is closed since last one year, then it should start at the earliest,” said Ranjeet Natu, PDMBA honorary secretary.

Facility is the symbol of civic neglect

Asmita Shinde, former MNS corporator, took the initiative to build the sports complex Shakuntala Shinde Krida Sankul and it inaugurated by her party chief Raj Thackeray in November 2016.

Then municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar under his powers gave permission to operate the sports complex to a private contractor on leave and licence basis for one year.

Shinde lost in 2017 polls and BJP public representatives did not use the complex after one year stating that it was operating without carrying the tender process.

Kishori Shinde, PMC sports officer, said that civic administration will reopen the sports complex after PMC standing committee clears the tendering proposal.

First Published: Dec 06, 2018 14:25 IST

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