Residents of Bavdhan Budruk, one of the merged villages in PMC, dispose of garbage in garbage collection van provided by the gram panchayat. BJP seeks legal recourse to keep DP for merged villages in PMC’s hands (HT)
Residents of Bavdhan Budruk, one of the merged villages in PMC, dispose of garbage in garbage collection van provided by the gram panchayat. BJP seeks legal recourse to keep DP for merged villages in PMC’s hands (HT)

BJP seeks legal recourse to keep DP for merged villages in PMC’s hands

PUNE On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government appointed the PMRDA (Pune Metropolitian Region Development Authority) as a “special planning authority” entitling the urban planner to prepare the Development Plan (DP) for the 23 villages recently merged into the Pune city limits
By Abhay Khairnar
UPDATED ON JUL 15, 2021 05:23 PM IST

PUNE On Wednesday, the Maharashtra government appointed the PMRDA (Pune Metropolitian Region Development Authority) as a “special planning authority” entitling the urban planner to prepare the Development Plan (DP) for the 23 villages recently merged into the Pune city limits.

The Maharashtra government, ruled by the Maha Vikas Ashadi (MVA) a coalition of the Shiv Sena, Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), among others, is now on a legal collision course with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power.

The bone of contention is the DP for 23 villages merged into the PMC limits on June 30, 2021.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has, meanwhile called for a special general body meeting of the PMC on Thursday, to start the process of developing a DP for the 23 villages.

Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, from the BJP, said, “We have decided to organise the general body meeting. The state government’s decision is illegal and we will challenge it legally.”

Meanwhile, NCP and Congress leaders welcomed the state government’s move, adding that there is no “meaning” for Thursday’s general body meeting now.

Mohol added: “It’s all a political decision. We feel the state government wants to hurry the call for elections and at the same time is showing an interest in the DP.”

Leader of the house in the PMC, the BJP’s Ganesh Bidkar said, “The state government is not giving any funds, but has authorised the PMRDA to collect building permission fees for the next two years. Why should the PMC provide water and collect garbage from these villages?”

There are several under-currents to the above scenario, not least the civic elections due later in the year.

Also, the PMRDA has already prepared a draft DP for the 23 villages. Pune district’s guardian minister Ajit Pawar, also deputy chief minister, had earlier said the PMC should accept this DP and invite suggestions and objections to it.

Chandrakant Patil, state unit president of the BJP, has taken a clear stand that it is the PMC’s right to prepare the DP.

The state, which supersedes the PMC’s authority in this case, has already issued the legal notification appointing the PMRDA as special planning authority for the 23 villages.

With the NCP and BJP in election mode, this battle is far from over.

Municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar drawn into the firing line

Recently, Pune municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar told the media that instead of wasting time on preparing a DP, the PMC will adopt the DP prepared by the PMRDA. PMC leader Ganesh Bidkar said on Thursday, “The municipal commissioner does not have the right to take any decision. The general body has the right to make decisions. The commissioner doesn’t need to expresses his opinion on it.”

Tit for tat

When the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was ruling the state, the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held back a draft DP for the PMC. The urban development department finally prepared the DP for the old city limits. At that time, the NCP was ruling in the PMC. Now the roles have reversed - NCP and Congress in the state, and BJP in the PMC. On Wednesday, the NCP seems to have used a trick from the BJP’s playbook.

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