December 7, 2010; Source: The Times of India | In Pune, the eighth largest city in India, NGOs are demanding an end to their own funding by the Pune Municipal Corporation. Says The Times of India, “They do not want the civic administration to make non-mandatory expenses in the budget especially when there is a financial crisis.”

One spokesman said, “It is clear that the PMC’s annual budget of Rs 3,196-crore ($7.1 million U.S.) this year will face a deficit of around Rs 800 crore ($1.8 million U.S.). It is likely to impact the development works. In order to complete the development works next year, the PMC should stop its donation and sponsorship spree.”

The NGO community is apparently very concerned about the community’s overall development and health. A few days ago the NGO community joined with concerned individuals to call on citizens to take more responsibility for their surroundings overall. Organizers want to have a series of public meetings to envision changes to the city’s physical environment, including noise and vehicular pollution, traffic regulation, garbage disposal, and traffic safety.—Ruth McCambridge