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Activists oppose BDP conversion to public zone

Green Pune Movement (GPM) activists have raised objection to a notice published yesterday by the Urban Development Department under the Town Planning Scheme (TPS) for development and town planning of over 1,400 acres of land in 23 fringe villages surrounding the city.

The activists allege that most of the proposed developments and town planning schemes were solely aimed at converting recreational areas into residential zones along with new reservations and road network.


We object: (From left) Green Pune Movement activists SCS Jatar, Anita Benninger, Satish Khote and Vinod Bhodankar, who have objected  to the contents of the notice issued by UDD. PIC/KRUNAL GOSAVI

Satish Khote of NSCC, urban planner Anita Benninger, Vinod Bhodankar of Jal Biradari and Maj Gen (Retd) S C N Jatar of Nagrik Chetna Manch yesterday accused the government of not being transparent.

The notice was published on April 29, but was created on April 4 and this has left the citizens with only four days to give suggestions or raise objections to the proposed development.

The activist’s main objection was over proposal to convert survey no 33 of Bavdhan Khurd, which is in the Bio-diversity Park (BDP), into a Public-Semi-Public (PSP) zone.

“The authorities are legitimising illegal buildings and colleges at Bavdhan as its land bearings are to be deleted from the Bio-diversity Park (BDP) plan and included in PSP zone. Most of the areas reserved for PGs and other amenities have been proposed for deletion from reservation and are being included in residential zones or educational institutions,” Benninger said.

The GPM activists objected to substantial changes as per Survey Nos 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14,15 and 19 of the notice, which are slated for conversion from garden reservations to residential zones.

“When substantial changes are to be made, the authorities have to provide rationale for recommending changes and there should be transparency and integrity. The law has been modified as the plan was submitted seven years ago and not deemed to have been submitted on April 4, 2011. The 20-year urban development (density) plan, which is delayed by seven years, cannot be sanctioned in a piecemeal fashion.

The alteration is being done without seeking public opinion,” Khot said.

He said that apart from one bio-diversity area to be converted to a residential zone at survey no 5, the major BDP area at survey no 4 is being kept in abeyance pending a separate study.

The GPM activists also claimed that though a 36-metre-wide River Protection Belt is designated on both banks of rivers and nullahs, the civic authorities have built roads in the rivers.
“We have decided to launch a public movement and go to court over this matter to save the BDP and rivers from such proposed developments,” Jatar said. 

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