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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Gram panchayat area worth $4 billion to India... has no water, street lights or traffic mgmt

The strong 3.5 lakh IT workforce employed at Rajiv Gandhi InfoTech Park is globally connected, most residents of Hinjewadi and Mann

pune Updated: Oct 17, 2019 16:06 IST
Archana Dahiwal
Archana Dahiwal
Hindustan Times, Pune
The Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, Hinjewadi Phase 1.
The Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park, Hinjewadi Phase 1.(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)

Residents and employees of the Rajiv Gandhi InfoTech Park, Hinjewadi, have logged on to the Assembly elections with a detailed charter of demands outlining basic civic infrastructure, and futuristic plans that will benefit the smart affix Pune is attempting to attach to its description.

The strong 3.5 lakh IT workforce employed here is globally connected, most residents of Hinjewadi and Mann.  

On behalf of the residents and employees, the Hinjewadi IT Park Residents Welfare Association (Hirwa) and the Hinjewadi Employees & Residents Trust (Heart) jointly released a poll manifesto highlighting problems, issues and concerns faced by the constituency.

The members have presented the manifesto to Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Sangram Thopte and Shiv Sena’s Kuldeep Tatya Konde, the contesting candidates from the Bhor constituency, under which the IT park falls.

And therein lies a key issue that the manifesto stresses on. The IT park, with its global status and earnings footprint falls under the gram panchayat and therefore struggles to access facilities - water, street lights, police - that a civic corporation would ensure.

Ravindra Sinha, member of Hirwa, said, “ Hinjewadi and Maan need a competent local authority to build and manage the infrastructure required for three lakh working professionals and one lakh residents. Hence, we are demanding municipal corporation status or industrial township status with central and state funds to ensure adequate roads,water supply,garbage management, security and public.”

The response to the demands has been, as expected, upbeat and positive.

Sena candidate Konde said, “My primary focus will be to resolve the traffic issue and provide basic amenities to residents, like pure drinking water, garbage pickups, street lights and road connectivity.”

Hinjewadi suburb has many large societies like Megapolis, Blue Ridge and townships like Life Republic and Xrbia, however, basic amenities are the issue for the one lakh people living in the area.

Then there are the issues that IT staffers face at work.

Dr Raghunath Kuchik, chairman, Maharashtra State Minimum Wages Advisory Board and founder, National Information Technology Employees Sena (Nites), said, “We will definitely help in the welfare of IT, ITES, BPO and KPO employees. We have successfully solved several cases of layoffs for IT employees. We even received a complaint that major IT companies do not send emails regarding mandatory leave on polling day. A follow up will be made with the deputy commissioner of labour in this regard.”

Pavanjit Mane, president, Forum for IT employees (Fite), Maharashtra, said, “We expect that the public representatives give a push for uniform policies for IT employees. They should create a data base of IT employees.  There is a need for a fast track court to deal with various cases involving IT employees. CCTVs, should be made a must for all IT firm corridors.”

Charter demands, by the quote

Ravindra Sinha, member of Hinjewadi IT Park Residents Welfare Association said,“Governance of semi-urban local bodies is the single reason for the pathetic living conditions. We demand necessary amendments to the laws. It is evident that Hinjewadi is an urban area which requires to be defined as a municipal corporation without any further delay. The duties of the local body should be made mandatory and citizens should have a say in the functioning of the mandatory area sabha implementation.”

Pavanjit Mane, president, Forum for IT employees (Fite), Maharashtra, and state member of the committee for IT employees, said, “The main problem here is no proper civic bodies. The total population in housing societies and townships is expected to cross two lakh by 2020. Hinjewadi region is an urban area and should immediately be included within municipal corporation limits.”  

Dnyanendra Hulsure, president, Hinjewadi Employees and Residents Association (Heart), said, “There are almost 66% of the IT employees who live in Hinjewadi, but living here is very difficult. The rest of the employees live in areas like Baner and Pashan and spend hours in traffic. There are multiple stake holders, but no coordination, so the issues keep pending. We say that we are living in the smart city of Pune and invite investments into magnetic Maharashtra, but here in Hinjewadi IT park, the locals are deprived of basic facilities.”

Swapnil Shinde, local resident of Hinjewadi, and an IT employee, said, “Street lights are off most of the time in Hinjewadi phase 2 and phase 3. There is no security at night and no police beat in phase 3. The road condition of Shivaji chowk is in a very poor condition. Illegal encroachments in Phase 3 abound opposite TCS and Tech Mahindra. We are living here at our own risk.”

Abhishek Nagarkar, IT employee, said, “Hinjewadi witnesses one of the worst traffic congestions in the city, day in and day out. At least 3,000 buses, one lakh cars and thousands of two wheelers enter and exit Hinjewadi daily. The absence of an effective mass transport system translates into high density traffic resulting in lengthy traffic jams, rising commuting time and much frustration. Alternate roads to be completed on priority.”