People in four of the 34 villages proposed to be merged with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) have decided to file a PIL in the Bombay High Court once the state government issues the merger notification.
Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan approving the merger did not go down well with villagers of Wagholi, Manjri Budruk, Phursungi and Urali Devachi who have been opposing the move all along.
“The move to merge our village with PMC is not acceptable to us,” said deputy sarpanch of Wagholi, Ramdas Dabhade. He said representatives of the four villages along with others who do not want the merger will take the legal option if the government does not rescind its move. “We had very categorically told the district collector that the municipal corporation was incapable of taking additional burden. When PMC has not been able to resolve the issue of providing infrastructure and water in areas in its limit, how can it take additional responsibility of these villages?” Dabhade said.
Residents of Phursungi have been agitating for shifting the garbage depot, but received only assurances. The villagers are not convinced that the civic body would initiate action for shifting the garbage depot. “We have been agitating but in vain. It is harmful living here,’’ said a resident from Phursungi. The view is echoed by residents of Urali Devachi and Manjari Budruk.
“At the village level, we are capable of looking at every issue in greater detail. The growth is controlled. But the moment these villages come under civic limits, the area will see a realty boom and the scenario will change. We are happy with the existing situation. We at least have water supply. With the merger, we are not going to get the required water supply as the city is already burdened with water supply demands,’’ said a resident of Phursungi.
The merger of the 34 villages would increase PMC jurisdiction from 243.84 sq km to around 560 sq km. The BMC is the biggest corporation with an area of 437 sq km.
Villages on the city’s fringes, proposed to be merged include Mhalunge, Sus, Bavdhan, Kirkitwadi, Pisoli, Lohegaon (portion not already under PMC), Kondhwe-Dhawade, Kopre, Nanded, Khadakwasla, Shivane, Mundhwa, Manjari, Narhe, Shivane, Ambegaon (Budruk), Undri, Dhayari, Ambegaon (Khurd), Urali Devachi, Mantarwadi, Holkarwadi, Handewadi,Wadachiwadi, Shewalewadi, Phursungi, Yeolewadi, Nandoshi, Vadgaonsheri, Mangdewadi, Bhilarewadi, Gujar Nimbalkarwadi, Jambhulwadi and Kolewadi.
“It will be a long process before they are actually merged with PMC. We would be calling in suggestions and objections and the fate of that would decide the merger,’’ said a senior PMC official.
The district administration said the villages during hearing had stated that the limited resources and manpower would not be able to cope with the population and infrastructure burden. In October 2012, the state government had notified its aim to include 28 villages in PMC jurisdiction and received a demand for adding six more villages to the list, for which it sought opinion of the civic body.
These villages were Nandoshi, Mangdewadi, Bhilarewadi, Gujar Nimbalkarwadi, Jambhulwadi and Kolewadi.