Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan on Monday announced that the government has decided to give approval in principle to four per cent construction in the bio-diversity plan of hill slopes and hilltops,a move likely to be opposed by environmentalists who have been pressing for no construction.
Addressing Congress workers and leaders at Congress Bhavan here,Chavan also said the state has given in-principle approval to the citys Metro rail plan . Chavan also revealed that his government has taken certain policy decisions concerning Pune. Pune Metro is essential and will happen. Currently,we are looking into financial engineering aspect of the plan. It will be set up on build-operate-transfer basis,” he said.
Chavan said before taking the decision on allowing four per cent constructions on hilltops and hill slopes,he has held discussions with a number of people. Only after that did we decided to allow permission for constructions, he said.
The Chief Minister however did not elaborate on or cite reasons for his decision to allow the constructions. Congresss alliance partner in the PMC,the NCP too has been divided on the issue. However,NCP city unit president Vandana Chavan said,As an environmentalists,I not happy with the announcement made by the the CM to allow four per cent constructions. As many as 90,000 Puneites had submitted their opposition to any sort of constructions on hills, she said. Chavan said the extended Development Plan for Pune city was pending with him and would soon approve it.
The Chief Minister also announced that his government was worried over pollution in the Mula-Mutha river passing through the city. We have submitted a plan of Rs 811 crore to the Centre to free Mula-Mutha river of pollution right from its beginning to end. We are awaiting sanction from the government, he said.
On the new airport for Pune,Chavan said that in-principle approval for land acquisition has been granted. The project which was key to Punes development would be speeded up, he said. The CM said his government has also decided to provide interest free loans up to Rs 1 lakh to farmers in the state.
Refuting claims that industrialisation in the state was on a slow path,Chavan said as many as 40 MoUs have been signed recently with several big firms,including multinationals. These firms are coming up in Pune,Mumbai and Satara. Therefore,claims that Maharashtra is lagging behind are incorrect, he said.