To tackle the growing number of coronavirus cases in Pune, the Maharashtra government has announced building three jumbo Covid care facilities at an estimated shared cost of Rs300 crore. However, the Pune Municipal Corporation has said it does not have any funds for the hospitals.
"The Pune Municipal Corporation has already spent Rs 250-300 crore in managing the epidemic. We don't have enough money now, and have requested the chief minister to release some funds," PMC mayor Murlidhar Mohol said.
The statement comes days after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray went to Pune to take a stock of the city's preparedness and took the decision to build three jumbo Covid facilities at a meeting with officials of the PMC, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, and other development agencies.
The BJP-led PMC's statement is being seen as an attempt to politicize efforts being made to tackle the epidemic with Congress saying BJP representatives should co-operate with the government.
"If anything happens in Mumbai, BMC is responsible. Similarly, for Pune, PMC should take the responsibility. It can't just be the state government's responsibility. This is no time for politics," Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said.
Earlier, Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray had appealed to all public representatives to work collectively and to serve as "links" between the state government and citizens.
Pune's one Lok Sabha seat and five of the six assembly seats are governed by BJP, including state party president Chandrakant Patil.
As the city continues to register an average of 2,000 new coronavirus cases every day, these facilities would be vital in fighting the surge. There have been reports of hospitals turning away patients over lack of coronavirus beds.
The Pune district has nearly 90,000 total coronavirus cases, with 60,000 from areas under the jurisdiction of the Pune Municipal Corporation, the state government's health bulletin showed.