All-party push for plan of 23 merged villageshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/allparty-push-for-plan-of-23-merged-villages/

All-party push for plan of 23 merged villages

Legislators from the city have united to push for approval of the Development Plan of 23 merged villages pending with the state government for six years now.

Legislators from the city have united to push for approval of the Development Plan (DP) of 23 merged villages pending with the state government for six years now. An all-party delegation of legislators is expected to take up the issue with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to get the DP approval expedited.

“The DP of 23 merged villages has been pending for long now and the delay is resulting in slow development work,” said NCP legislator Bapu Pathare. He said the issue is about the city and city legislators irrespective of political parties they belong to,would come together to urge the state government to speed up the issue.

Shiv Sena legislator Chandrakant Mokate said that an all-party delegation of legislators had sought time from the CM to discuss the issue. “The state government should accept the green DP as it is and retain the bio-diversity park (BDP) reservation on city hills. They are the city’s asset and need to be preserved,” he said.

The legislators’ move comes after environmentalists recommended the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to acquire private land under the BDP by paying compensation to land owners and protect the green cover.

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Political parties had been opposing BDP reservation saying land owners will not get their dues for the land to be acquired for maintaining the green cover.

There was a demand that land owners be compensated through cash or transfer of development rights,but the administration proposed that they be compensated for .04 floor space index (FSI) of the total land as it’s either hill top or hill slope land.

The suggestion of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to allow construction in the BDP for .04 FSI so that the rest of the land is protected from encroachment was welcomed by political parties but was opposed by environmentalists saying it would lead to destruction of nature.

Now,environmentalists have urged the PMC to seek funds from the state government and the union government to acquire BDP land.

“The union government and the state government have shown willingness to help the PMC retain the BDP as it’s an asset for the city. We want the civic body to send a proposal to the government for the purpose as soon as possible,” said NCP city chief Vandana Chavan,who is also a green crusader,in a recent meeting with civic officers.

They made a presentation to PMC officers on total cost of acquiring the land reserved for the BDP. According to the environmentalists,there are 1,646 hectares of hill land of which 688 hectares are owned by the government. The remaining 958 is private land and the total cost of acquiring it would be around Rs 1,000 crore and not Rs 3,000 crore as estimated earlier.