Panel for housing zone over libraries, schools in Pune
Oct 29, 2013
Source : The Times of India


PUNE: The state-appointed planning committee has recommended that 1.71 lakh square metre land, which was reserved for 13 civic amenities in the draft development plan (DP) of Tathawade village in Pimpri Chinchwad, be earmarked as residential zone.

The six-member committee had held a citizens’ hearing on the draft DP. It submitted its report to the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation administration last week, in which it has stated that the reserved land in Tathawade should be released for residential construction.

The largest proposed reservation that the committee has recommended the deletion of is that of a retail market. An area of 90,000 square metre or nine hectares was reserved for this market. The committee said that it did not understand the objective for which the land was reserved.

“The land acquisition cost for such a huge plot will be enormous. It seems there is no justification for this reservation so it needs to be deleted,” the committee said.

The other reservations the committee has recommended for deletion include plots for schools, playgrounds, garden, libraries among others. The committee has reasoned that there are houses already located on these plots. The committee also noted that some of the reservations were not needed. Four of these 13 reservations are recommended to be either shifted nearby or included into other reservations.

The committee has also recommended that four roads going through different survey numbers proposed in the draft DP be also cancelled.

Tathawade village was merged with PCMC municipal limits in August 2009 and the civic body decided to prepare its DP a year later. The current land use map of Tathawade was published on October 1, 2011. The municipal commissioner tabled a proposal in February 2013 to seek permission to publish the draft DP. This proposal was approved, following which suggestions and objections were invited. Around 570 suggestions and objections were received from citizens.

A six-member committee for hearing suggestions and objections was then appointed. The hearing was conducted in August 2013 and the committee members later visited Tathawade village to meet local farmers to know their opinion and assess the impact of draft DP. The committee submitted its report to the civic administration last week, in which it noted the reservations were in excess and how some amenities should be deleted.

Some citizen activists have opposed the recommendations, and dubbed them as pro- builder. Manav Kamble of Nagari Hakka Suraksha Samiti, said the city was being rapidly urbanised to benefit builders and contractors. “They are converting agricultural land on a large scale to residential zone,” Kamble said.

However, others noted that the town planning department of PCMC had indeed reserved land for civic amenities in excess (of the village’s requirement) and it would have become difficult to acquire such land.

“We had demanded that the reservations on land having houses be excluded from the draft DP. So some decisions of the planning committee to remove the reservations for saving the houses from demoliton for land acquisition are good,” said Sarang Kamthekar, vice-president of Vidyarthi Sena’s state unit.

Earlier this month, the civic administration had tabled a short-notice proposal at the civic general body (GB) meeting, listing the planning committee’s report which is to be sent to the state government for final approval. The GB meeting, which was adjourned, will be held on November 16.

Meanwhile, PCMC opposition leader Vinod Nadhe has urged the municipal commissioner to withdraw the short-notice proposal and table it first before the City Improvement Committee.

Ramesh Waghire, general secretary, Maharashtra Pradesh Vande Mataram Sanghtna has also made a demand that the proposal should be withdrawn, and should be tabled once again but this time following a proper process.

Municipal commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi said, “I have submitted the proposal. It is for the GB to decide whether to accept it or not and later after discussion whether to approve it or not.”

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