With neither of the two NCP factions willing to give up,the issue of reservation of the bio-diversity park (BDP) within the civic jurisdiction has reached top party leaders as high as Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar,who decided to give the corporators opposing BDP a patient hearing,despite the partys city unit chief Vandana Chavan taking up the issue with the chief minister to retain the reservation.
The issue of BDP has been a bone of contention from the day the civic body started preparing the development plan of the 23 merged villages. Congress with its then majority in the civic body ensured the city hills are kept away from the infrastructure development by making BDP reservation in the area. But,the opposition against BDP led to delays by the state government in approving the development plan.
Meanwhile,the environmentalist launched a drive in support of retaining reservation of BDP in the city.
Recently,Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan,on the basis of a committee report,decided to retain the BDP in return for increase in compensation. This has not gone well with the now ruling NCP corporators. The party during formation of DP voted in favour of it. City NCP chief Vandana Chavan have been in favour of retaining BDP and even took up the issue with the chief minister.
Currently,most of the NCP corporators come from the 23 merged villages and have been opposing the BDP reservation. With city unit chief not paying any attention to their demand,they recently submitted a memorandum to party president Sharad Pawar,seeking his intervention.
NCP MP Supriya Sule,representing Baramati Lok Sabha seats that has most of the fringe villages of PMC,has now taken up the party corporators side and met the chief minister regarding this. To pacify the agitating party corporators,deputy chief minister called a meeting on the issue in the city.
We asked the deputy CM to take up our case with the chief minister as it was unjust to local people,who wont be compensated as per market rate for the land coming under reservation. As a lot of the area is reserved under BDP,there is fear that this will have an adverse effect on the party during elections, said party corporator Vikas Dangat.
The meeting saw a good turn-up by corporators,both sitting and former,along with party office-bearers. The deputy chief minister assured us that the top brass would look into the matter, he added.