A day before the Pune International Marathon, organisers of the event are not sure if they will receive a cash reward for the winners from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), as the civic body is yet to clear a proposal on the matter. Members of the Organising Committee are, however, hopeful that the reward will be given as the civic body has already made a provision for the event in its budget.
The 34th edition of the Pune International Marathon will have 30,000 local participants across various categories, along with 150 foreigners and 2,500 national sportspersons. In its 2019-20 civic budget, the PMC had made a provision of Rs 30 lakh for the Pune International Marathon. “The PMC has already made a commitment by making a budgetary provision in the civic budget. We are confident that the PMC will give the cash reward after due clearance from the standing committee,” said a trustee of the Organising Committee.
On November 26, the civic administration had submitted a proposal before the standing committee, seeking approval to provide cash rewards to winners of the marathon, scheduled to be held on December 1. However, the committee decided to take up the proposal for discussion on December 3, two days after the marathon.
The proposal is based on a request by the organising committee, made on November 18, to provide cash rewards to winners directly on the day of the marathon. The marathon’s organising committee member said the civic body could transfer the cash rewards any time after the event. “There have been many instances when we have made the cash reward payment a few days after the competition,” he added.
On why the proposal was not approved before the marathon, a member of the PMC Standing Committee said, “The proposal for cash reward was delayed because it reached the committee late. The proposal came up when the meeting was getting over and it was decided to postpone the discussion till the next meeting on December 3.”
In 2017, the PMC had refused to pay the cash reward to winners of the Pune International Marathon, saying the competition didn’t have the sanction of the Athletics Federation of India (AFI). There was a controversy last year as well when the PMC offered its financial assistance to a marathon organised by another body in the city. The organising committee of Pune International Marathon had to procure funds from other sources to give cash rewards to winners.
“We had to collect money from other sources and have been distributing cash rewards to previous year’s winners as late as till last month,” said a representative of the committee.
The Pune International Marathon Organising Committee has submitted the sanction of the AFI and sought funds from the PMC, saying the marathon has been supported by the civic body for years and the event had put the city on the world map. It urged the PMC to provide the cash rewards through direct online transfers to the winners’ accounts.