9,439 people sign their opposition to changes in DP for 23 merged villages

Jul 05, 2012, 06:56 IST | Adnan Attarwala

Activists from the Green Pune Movement (GPM), who have been campaigning against the changes proposed by the state government in the Development Plan (DP) of the 23 villages merged with the city, yesterday submitted to the deputy director of town planning 9,439 signatures of people opposing the modifications.

The activists have decided to collect at least a lakh signatures to oppose the changes proposed by the government in the DP. The last day of filing objections and suggestions also saw the activists submitting a list of suggestions and demands pertaining to town planning.

While sanctioning the DP of the merged villages last April, the state government had suggested 21 changes in the gazette. The state had proposed to convert certain portions of the land, which falls under the bio-diversity park (BDP) reservation, for residential use without giving any reason.

The environmentalists had demanded that the areas should be developed via town planning schemes which they have crafted as it would ensure rational and just development.

FSI objection, water issues
One of the main objections submitted by the GPM activists include the government move to allow construction of full floor space index (FSI) in areas facing water scarcity, which the activists disagree with.

The activists suggested that the previous condition of allowing 33 per cent construction until full and sustainable water supply is available should be reinstated, saying that will ensure people are not misled into believing that full and sustainable water supply is available in the zone previously designated as Low Water Availability Zone.

“The government should annul all permissions granted to builders, as a couple of projects are proposed in areas including Kharadi, Bhosari and Viman Nagar, among others, which face shortage of water,” GPM activist Satish Khote said.

BDPs and slum rehab
The activists have also asked for high-density housing reservation to accommodate slum-dwellers from the areas reserved for BDP to ensure that they are rehabilitated properly in the same ward.

“We have also asked for 15 hectares of fertile agricultural land in areas including Balewadi, Baner, Varje, Vadgaon and Ambegaon to be reserved for creating biotechnology and agri-business hubs, as it would ensure promotion of these activities leading to diversification of the city’s economic base and promote organic farming,” GPM activist Sujith Patwardhan said. “It’s a democratic process and we can object if we are not satisfied with the plans. Positive or negative, the government has to note everything we say, or what we feel about it.”

An official from the deputy director’s office said that they were yet to receive the authenticated copies of the maps for the town planning from the Urban Development Department. “It is only after we get the maps that we can go ahead and consider the signatures and objections,” he said.  

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