Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra CM
PUNE: Civic organisation Parisar has strongly opposed political parties' demand for another extension in the deadline for the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to submit the draft development plan (DP) to the state government.
To extend the deadline for the PMC yet again, the state will have to promulgate an ordinance to amend the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MR&TP) Act. Parisar has said that such an ordinance would set a precedent of delaying the approval and implementation of the plan for the old city limits.
Parisar members, in a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis dated March 2, have said that the MR&TP Act was amended in April 2011 after taking cognisance of the inordinate delays in the preparation and sanction of DPs by urban local bodies, which had led to unplanned and chaotic growth of towns and cities. This amendment was made with the specific purpose of setting time limits for each stage of the DP preparation process, specifically a cap on the number of extensions that could be granted by the state government.
Cities had six months after publishing the draft DP to submit the revised plan to the state government for sanction. Additionally, the maximum extension allowed was for six months. Since the Act was amended, the state has already promulgated three ordinances, each time increasing this time limit. The maximum extension that could be granted was increased from six to 12 months for cities with a population greater than 10 lakh. The time period lost due to any code of conduct or court orders was also allowed to be deducted.
"Using all these extensions, the PMC has managed to get two years to complete the revision of the draft plan (published in March 2013) and submit it to the state government. Yet it has failed to adhere to that time limit," Parisar stated in the letter.
The organisation added that the PMC has not even applied for the one-year extension to the state government as required under the Act and has simply assumed that it will be granted the extension retrospectively.
"We strongly believe that no public cause will be served by promulgating an ordinance and allowing the PMC more time. Instead, it would be better for the city to submit the plan, along with the reports of the planning committee (appointed to hear suggestions and objections on the plan), to the state government without any further delay," the letter stated.