Ajit Pawar vetoes PMC decision to expand road width
Pune guardian minister instructs officials to allow additional TDR on existing six-metre-wide roads with riders.Updated: Jun 17, 2020, 16:11 IST
Days after the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) ratified a proposal to convert roads with six-metre width to nine-metre, deputy chief minister and Pune guardian minister Ajit Pawar has stayed the decision pushed forward in civic corridors by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Pawar on Tuesday held a meeting with officials at Mantralaya and instructed the urban development secretary Pravinsinh Pardeshi and Mahesh Pathak to scrap the PMC proposal.
He, however, instructed officials to allow additional TDR (transfer of development rights) on existing six-metre-wide roads by keeping some riders, a move considered to boost redevelopment of old buildings and individual bungalows in the city. Higher TDR enable builders to use additional floor space index (FSI) which in turn will create more flats. FSI indicates how many floors a developer can build on a plot. It is the ratio of total built-up area to the size of the plot.
Earlier, the proposal approved by PMC standing committee where BJP is in majority, was limited to 323 roads, most of them from central parts and areas like Kothrud and Baner. The decision that time was opposed by the NCP and the Congress. The BJP incorporated suggestions from opposition parties and decided to widen all the six-metre-wide roads in the city into nine metres.
The deputy CM, however, instructed officials to allow additional TDR on existing six-meter-wide roads by keeping 1.5 metre free space on either side for road widening. Pawar also put the condition that TDR will be utilised only after widening the road.
NCP MP Vandana Chavan, city MLA’s Chetan Tupe and Sunil Tingre were present at the meeting along with urban development officers. PMC commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad and city engineer Prashant Waghmare joined the meeting through video conferencing.
The purpose of widening the roads is that old housing societies and individual bungalows can go for redevelopment. As there is no provision for using the additional TDR below the road width of nine metre, it was not becoming affordable to do redevelopment for builders and property owners.
BJP state unit president and Kothrud MLA Chandrakant Patil supported the standing committee’s decision for widening the road width from six metres to nine metres.
Ajit asserts his authority in Pune again
PMC is ruled by the BJP which has a clear majority. For the last five years, the BJP enjoys power at all the three levels — Centre, state and city. The change of guard in state has powered Pawar to take control over PMC. Earlier, he made changes in former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis dream project High Capacity Mass Transit Route (HCMTR).
Hemant Rasane (PMC standing committee chairperson, BJP) – I heard that Ajit Pawar scrapped our decision, but we did not get any written order. PMC is yet to forward the proposal to the state government for final approval. The decision was taken for the city to generate more revenue for PMC. It is better to make comments after reading the order.
Chetan Tupe (MLA and NCP city unit president) – Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis himself took a decision earlier not to give extra FSI or TDR on roads below 6 metres. The BJP leaders took a U-turn and passed the proposal for widening of roads. They put it only for selected roads. Irony is that BJP’s city unit president Jagdish Mulik earlier used to give letters to minimise road width in Pune and now his party is approving a proposal for widening of roads.
Arvind Shinde (Congress party leader in PMC) — The BJP came out with the proposal by keeping specific housing projects in their mind. First they did the fixing with builders and came out with the proposal for only those roads where redevelopment is in the pipeline. From day one, we were demanding that the policy should be for the whole city and not for specific areas.
Prithviraj Sutaj (Shiv Sena leader) — We opposed the proposal in the standing PMC committee, but the ruling BJP approved it by majority. We warned them that though they would approve it, we would ask for justice from the state government. The proposal put by the BJP was only for vested interests.