Fate of 28 villages to be known in 6 months

Published: Nov 09, 2012, 07:14 IST | Vivek Sabnis |

Grievances, suggestions and objections by villages opposing merger already forwarded; hearings by state principal secretary likely to start soon

The fate of 28 fringe villages proposed for merger with the city will most likely be known in the next six months, a town planning official said. Merit of the decision to merge the villages will solely depend upon whether these villages are agro-based or have become urbanised. The state government had declared its intention to merge the villages into Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits through a notification on October 11, giving the villages a month’s time to make their grievances known.

Goodbye to village life? Nanded village, which is one of the 28 villages proposed for merger with the city. Pics/Imzanglu Aier

Avinash Patil, deputy director, Town Planning, Pune, said, “At present, villagers from these 28 villages should send their written suggestions and objections to the following address – Principal Secretary (2), Urban Development Department, Ground Floor, “Mumfra”, CR-2 Building, Br Rajani Patel Road, Nariman Point, Mumbai—400021. The correspondence is permissible till November 11, 2012, as against the notification issued in October this year.”

Overseeing the merger
“Merger of these villages will be made after observing if the villages are agro-based or urban based,” said Sadhana Naik, former deputy director, Town Planning. Under the aegis of Shrikant Singh, principal secretary, the hearing will take place in Mumbai. “These hearings will not take more than six months. Generally, time is scheduled for each village, so that their queries can be addressed. The list of written suggestions and objections from these villagers is with the Principal Secretary,” said Naik.

Inclusion essential
Experts are of the opinion that since there is no control over illegal constructions in all these villages, merging with PMC would ensure proper planning, administration and efficient control. Vaishali Kamble, former woman sarpanch, Bavdhan Budruk, said, “None of the villages are agrarian anymore, as many farmers had made their lands non-agricultural.

For merger: (L to R) Ujwal Keskar, Pune Janhit Aghadi; Vaishali Kamble, former sarpanch from Bhavdhan; Bhimrao Tapkir, BJP MLA and Kirkitwadi Sarpanch Deepti Sonawane

Rampant illegal construction is a major problem all over, despite some villages excluding themselves from the first merger in 1997. To have better roads and water supply, all earmarked villages from Mulshi should go into PMC limits.”

Deepti Sonawane, sarpanch, Kirkitwadi, said, “Basic amenities like roads, water supply are lacking. Villages will certainly develop if it merges. But, till the final decision regarding the merger is taken, the government should allow village heads to govern till the next municipal elections.”

Bad timing
Shrirang Chavan, Congress leader and former grampanchyat member, Dhayari, said, “Earlier grampanchayats in Haveli Taluka had unanimously taken a decision to merge by passing a resolution in May 2012. But, the new body of village representatives that were elected in June reversed the decision to merge. To avoid this, the state government should not have decided to conduct grampanchayat elections in the first place. Earlier many villages in Haveli District were excluded from the merger in 1997. History may repeat this itself this time.”

Politician all smiles
MLA Bhimrao Tapkir, Bharatiya Janata Party, welcomed the merger of all 28 villages in the municipal limits. He said, “These villages will also grow with Pune. Nine villages in my constituency are ready to merge. Even a remote village like Nandushi located off Sinhagad Road, is demanding for the same.”
Ujwal Keskar, Pune Janhit Aghadi, also supported the merger. He said, “This merger will ultimately help PMC and also these villages, thereby ensuing a development for the future Pune Megalopolis.”

Larger than BMC
Existing area under PMC: 243 sq km

Total area with 28 fringe villages: 560 sq km

Area under Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation: 416 sq km 

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