PMC’s jurisdiction set to reach 518 sq km as state issues notification for merger of 23 areas
The area under the jurisdiction of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) area is all set to grow exponentially - upto 518 sq km from the existing 331 sq km - surpassing the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s 437.71 sq km, as the state government, on Wednesday, issued a notification for the merger of 23 areas (referred to as villages in government records) into the civic limits.
The notification officially paves the way for initiation of the merger process for the 23 areas, which are highly urbanised, although lacking in basic amenities like road, water supply and waste management.
These areas, as a result of rapid real estate development due to cheap land prices, are currently being treated as Pune’s suburbs.
The state government’s Urban Development Department’s deputy secretary S J Moghe, in his notification, stated that the said draft will be taken into consideration by the government of Maharashtra, after expiry of a period of 30 days from the date of its publication in the Maharashtra Government Gazette.
During the 30 days, the government has invited suggestion and objections from citizens about the merger.
“Any person who entertains any objection to the said public statement in writing, with reasons, therefore, to the Divisional Commissioner (Revenue), Pune Division, Pune, within a period of 30 days from the date of publication of this public statement in the Maharashtra Government Gazette. Any such objection may be received during the said period and will be considered by the government,” stated the order.
As per the 2011 census, the population of the 23 merged villages is 1,9,0619. According to PMC officials, it may now be in the region of five lakh.
Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, while welcoming the notification, said the BJP has never opposed the merger of these areas into PMC. “However, we have always insisted that first the PMC has to carry out development of 11 areas merged in 2017 and step by step, include these 23 areas in the civic limits. The PMC had also informed state government that if these 23 areas are to be merged, it has to be given Rs 9000 crore to provide basic amenities to these parts.”
Prashant Waghmare, city Engineer, PMC, said, “As per state government directives, the divisional commissioner will follow the objection and suggestion procedure. Government has set a period of 30 days, after which, state government will carry out the final procedure of merger of 23 areas. The entire process will take around two months.”
The latest move is also being seen as political, as the 23 areas are under the control of the NCP and Congress, who want these parts to be part of the PMC, as civic polls are lined up for early 2022.
To prepare the party for polls, the city BJP chief Jagdish Mulik has also started meeting residents from these areas. Currently the BJP controls the 165-member PMC house with 98 corporators.