A week before deadline, government receives 49 objections to merger of 23 villages
The Pune divisional office has received as many as 49 suggestions and objections to the proposed merger of 23 areas – known as villages in government records – in to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits.
The process, to receive suggestions and objections on the inclusion, began on December 22, 2020, after state government issued a notification for the same.
Officials said most of the responses received under “suggestions” and “objections” are opposing the proposed merger, although the quantum is too small as compared to 2017, when 11 areas were merged into the PMC.
In its notification issued by state government related to the merger of 23 areas into the Pune corporation, the state government’s urban development department had given a month’s period to register views.
Prashant Khandkekar, deputy regional director, municipal administration, Pune Division, said, “Till date (Friday), we got 49 suggestions and objections from local residents of the 23 merged areas. The number is less as compared to 11 merged areas notifications in 2017. At that time, we had received 2,900 suggestions and objections. However, only 265 people were present at the time of hearing.”
According to Khandkekar, the process to sort out the objections area-wise has not started yet.
“It will be done on January 22. In 2017, when large number sent their views and opposed the merger of 11 areas, most residents raised objections expressing concern of increasing property taxes, uncertainty of getting services, and that there was no need for a merger due to lack of urbanisation,” he said.
As per the 2011 census, the population of 23 merged villages is 1,90,619. According to PMC officials, it may have now reached half a million given the rapid grown of real estate in these areas.
On the other hand, the Pune corporation limit has grown to 518 sq km, from the existing 331 sq km, which become the first corporation in the state in terms of geographical area.
The PMC had also informed state government that if these 23 areas are to be merged, the PMC has to be given ₹9000 crore to provide basic amenities to these parts.
On the political front, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has given full support to the merger of 23 areas. However, the Shiv Sena and Congress party have taken a stand to prepare a detailed plan for development, manpower and funds before final decision.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has insisted that first the PMC carry out development of the 11 areas it merged in 2017 and then, step by step, include these 23 areas in the PMC limits.
Shrinag Chavan, who had filed a public litigation for merger of villages in the Mumbai High court, said, “Fewer suggestions and objections show that people are happy with the decision. They want the inclusion of 23 villages. They need better infrastructure to live a better life.”