Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pune Citizens to be smart without knowing anything about Smart City Projects....

Critics believe that smart city is just a buzz-phrase that has outlived its usefulness’ it is the wrong idea pitched in the wrong way to the wrong people. Some also believe that, In the end, they will destroy democracy. And that’s what exactly happening in Pune. Lack of Transparency, Confidentiality, one sided agreements, Conflict of Interests and mockery of the democracy are the key issues involved in the smart city projects. Pune Municipal Corporation PMC has resorted to a limited transparency policy by not fully disclosing matters related to the smart city projects.

Initially making governance citizen-friendly was the key objective of smart cities projects, and public participation was said to be core tool to achieve it. However, afterwards instead of transparency, the secrecy became the buzzword for smart cities mission. And Pune city was on the forefront of mission secrecy. The smart city mission had already killed basic principles of the 74th amendment to the constitution of India that was brought to strengthen urban local bodies. The secrecy clause in Smart city Mission  has taken the soul out of Right to information act.

There were several irregularities in the process of selection of Consultant & in the preparation of the proposal for participation of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the Smart Cities Challenge. There were serious violations of the Model Request for Proposal (RFP) and the irregular concessions were granted to Mckinsey against public interest.

Now to keep citizens in the dark from the activities of smart city projects,   they have coined new idea of code of conduct for directors and senior management Personnel of the company Pune Smart city Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL). PSCDCL is the company formed as Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under Smart City Mission for implementation of Smart City Projects in Pune. This code of conduct prevents Directors and Senior Management Personnel of PSCDCL from disclosing anything with any member of the Press or Media in the matters connected with the Company or its business unless specifically permitted by the Board of Directors of the Company or the Chairman/Managing Director of the Company.


This Code of Conduct is applicable and binding on the Directors and Senior Management Personnel of the Company and other officials of the Company as may be identified

Code of Conduct — The Board Members and Senior Management shall:

(a) Always act in the best interest of the Company;

(b) Adopt highest standards of personal ethics and integrity in their dealings with the Company:

 (c) Make disclosures, to the Board of Directors, relating to all material financial and commercial transactions or other dealings in which they have personal interest, and may have a potential conflict with the interests of the Company or are required to be disclosed as per applicable regulations:

(d) Ensure security of all confidential information made available to them in the course of discharge of their duties or otherwise

(e) Follow all prescribed safety and environmental norms:

(f) Not engage with any member of the Press or Media in the matters connected with the Company or its business unless specifically permitted by the Board of Directors of the Company or the Chairman/Managing Director of the Company;

(g) Conduct themselves and their activities outside the Company in such a manner as to not adversely affect the image or reputation of the Company;

(h) Accept and act according to this Code of Conduct and affirm compliance with this Code on annual basis.

In addition to the code of conduct specified above, Independent Directors shall abide by the duties as specified in Schedule IV to the Companies Act, 2013 or any amendments thereof.

This code is subject to review by the Board from time to time.

The code of conduct will be discussed in PSEDCL’s next meeting. The past experience of Smart City mission in Pune is not satisfactory. The democracy was nowhere on the agenda of Pune Smart City Mission and hence this code of conduct will also be passed in the meeting.

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