Bandu Raut takes charge as Chairman of Standing Committee; highlights priorities

NMC Standing Commitee Chairman Sudhir Bandu RautNagpur: BJP Corporator Sudhir (Bandu) Raut on Friday took charge as Chairman of Standing Committee of Nagpur Municipal Corporation in a high-profile ceremony. Almost all top BJP leaders and office-bearers of city except Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari graced the function.

At the outset, the outgoing Chairman Ramesh Singare, addressing the function, said that development works worth crores were undertaken despite financial crunch owing to scrapping of LBT and insufficient Property Tax recovery. A network of cement concrete roads is being constructed across the city, said Singare.

The Leader of Opposition in NMC Vikas Thakre said that Bandu Raut is known as a true and gritty worker. This post is more important than the post of Mayor and Deputy Mayor. “Raut has been given the responsibility of taking all together in the election year (2016-17). The Mayor and Deputy Mayor don’t hold financial responsibilities. It rests with Chairman of Standing Committee. Therefore, the entire focus will be on adroitness of the new incumbent in the next coming year. There will be no scope for repeating the mistakes of the past nine years. Bandu Raut will have to maintain transparency in his working style and crackdown on corruption that has been thriving in the civic body,” stated Thakre.

Ruling Party Leader Dayashankar Tiwari said that the new Chairman will have to run the next 10 months of his tenure on the lines of 20-20 match meaning a tight walk on the rope. Code of Conduct will be in force for the remaining two months.

City BJP President and MLA Sudhakar Kohale said, “Expectations are high from Bandu Raut. He will do his best and leave the 25 lakh citizens satisfied on all the fronts. He should present the Budget soon according to the needs of the city and also take forward the people-oriented schemes of Fadnavis and Gadkari,” said Kohale.

Marathi film actor Vilas Ujavane said that Bandu Raut is an efficient man from the beginning. He will carry out this responsibility as well with aplomb.

At the end, Mayor Pravin Datke said that Bandu Raut is reputed caterer of the city. “He will carry out this new responsibility the best of the ways and cater to the needs of the citizens excellently. All the works in NMC are done in cooperation and coordination of Ruling Party leaders. Hence there is no scope for mistakes. All-party decisions are arrived at in Standing Committee. He should take all along and not indulge in discrimination,” cautioned the Mayor.

The newly appointed Chairman of Standing Committee, in his address, said, “I will have to work for 2-3 hours extra in my only 10-month tenure. The NMC officials and employees too should devote extra hours to cover up the gap of two months. In my Budget, stress will be on fulfilling the promises made in the past nine years and also completing the half-complete projects. I will desist from announcing new big projects. The dream of former Chairman Balya Borkar of unfurling tallest tricolor at Kasturchand Park would be fulfilled. The Corporators should also limit themselves on smaller but significant works and get them approved from me. Larger files consume time and could face difficulties in this short period of 10 months,” said Raut.

Raut further said that the NMC Budget will be presented on or before March 31. Those who have so far not been covered by Property Tax will be brought under the ambit for increasing the revenue. Stress will be on recovering pending water and Property Tax dues. “My efforts will to bring down penalty of 2 percent cess for late payment of Property Tax to one percent,” declared the new Chairman.

– RAJEEV RANJAN KUSHWAHA ( rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com )