THE STATE government, as per court directives, will submit an affidavit on its decision on the pending proposal to merge 34 villages in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) limits to the Bombay High Court on Thursday. The developments are likely to have an impact on the civic elections a few months away.
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Residents of the 34 villages had filed a petition in the high court over the state government’s delay in the proposed merging of the villages. The Bombay High Court in July had given three months for the state government to make a decision and recently rejected the demand for more time to submit an affidavit.
The case will come up on Thursday, where the state government stand on the merger of the 34 villages will be clear. The NCP, Congress, and Shiv Sena have been urging the state government to include the 34 villages in the PMC.
The elections for the municipal councils sharing boundaries of PMC have already started. If the state government rejects the merger of villages into the PMC then it will go against the BJP in the municipal council elections, while its approval is seen as trouble during the PMC elections, as the area is considered a stronghold of NCP and Congress.
The NCP, Congress, and Shiv Sena have been urging the state government to include the 34 villages in the PMC but the BJP has been reluctant to take a decision before civic polls. In May 2014, the then state government of the Congress-NCP alliance issued a notification for merging 34 more villages into the PMC jurisdiction, citing rapid urbanisation in the area.
The PMC too gave its consent for the same and the state government completed the entire process of accepting suggestions and objections on the proposal. In 2015-16, the civic administration proposed Rs 35 crore for development projects in the villages, if included under the PMC, but no budget was allocated in 2016-17.