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70 per cent of Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation land encroached upon

 According to the RTI information received, PCMC owns 1,167.79 hectares (unit of measuring land),out of which 772.50 hectares has been encroached upon.

pune Updated: Jan 22, 2019 16:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
PCMC,Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporation,RTI
The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has only 395.39 hectares under its custody. (HT REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO )

In a Right To Information (RTI) query filed by Pimpri-based activist Vijay Patil, it was revealed that 70 per cent of the land under the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC) control has been encroached. However, the civic body is yet to take action against the same.

According to the RTI information received, PCMC owns 1,167.79 hectares (unit of measuring land),out of which 772.50 hectares has been encroached upon, leaving the civic body with only 395.39 hectares under its custody.

“I approached the civic body multiple times for the information, however, civic officials refused to share the same. I obtained the information through a RTI query, which showed that the civic body has very less land under its custody in order to develop it as a part of the Smart City project. Due to political pressure, officials have failed to take strict action against encroachers and 70 per cent of the total PCMC land is now lying useless. Without proper land, how does PCMC intend on developing the township?”asked Patil.

As per the RTI information, E zone office (Panjarpol, Nashik highway, Bhosari) registered the highest number of encroachments with at least 277.35 hectares under seige. This was followed by F zone office (Nigdi) where the civic body does not have custody of149.81 hectares.C (Nehrunagar) and D (Rahatni) zone office of PCMC have the least amount of encroachment in comparison to the other PCMC areas, where the civic body has registered 60.23 hectares and 39.77 hectares of encroachment.

A civic officer from the encroachment department on the condition of anonymity, said,“We have taken necessary steps as and when required. As per information available,we have demolished 2,397 illegal constructions in 2018 and filed cases against 1,039 illegal encroachments for which we spent ₹1.66 crore. This shows that we are not turning a blind eye towards the issue at hand and that we are taking calculated actions to solve the problem.”

‘No water, no garbage, no tax’: PCMC residents’ new slogan

As many as 70 residents of Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) came together to hold a joint protest in Wakad on January 19 against the property tax levied on them.

Sudesh Raje, chairman, Pimpri Chinchwad Cooperative Housing Societies Federation said, “This rally was needed to show our strength so that the administration listens and finds a solution to our problems. We have submitted our demand note to the Commissioner (PCMC) and have asked for a solution but the Commissioner, as usual, sketched a rosy picture of future plans before us. No solution was offered for the present problems.We demanded solutions to curb the huge expenses being incurred by the societies merely by paying for tankers of water. We have also demanded for free supply of water through tankers.” The residents organised the rally to showcase their problems and force the administration to find a possible solution. Many gathered at the rally said that they were frustrated waiting for the proposed water lines from the Bhama Askhed projects and for the promised water tanks at Wakad. Proper disposal of garbage has also been a major issue for the PCMC residents.

“We have offered full co-operation for the segregation of wet and dry garbage but disposal of wet garbage within the society campus through compost plants is not possible due to lack of space. Also, such installations require heavy investments and we have expressed our inability to the administration,” said Sachin Londhe, a resident of Wakad and member of the Federation.

Another resident, Tejaswini Dhomse Sawai who is also the treasurer of the federation said, “No water, no garbage, no tax. The projection and planning of corporation has failed, and according to the PCMC commissioner, they will need 18 months to retrieve the situation. I live in Shonest towers, which gets only 30,000 litres per day from PCMC and we depend heavily on tanker. My demand to PCMC was for them to supply water through tankers as short term solution and also exempt us from paying the tax as we are burdened with extra expenses.”

The residents said that PCMC commissioner Shravan Hardikar has asked for three weeks time to discuss the issue with his team and with the elected representatives to come up with amicable solutions.

First Published: Jan 21, 2019 15:23 IST