Differences within the ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) have come to the fore with senior party corporator and former standing committee chairperson Vishal Tambe offering to resign from the membership of the general body. He said this was in protest against the deliberate effort of Mayor Dattatraya Dhankawade and Leader of House Shankar Kemse to delay the reservation of a plot at Chaitanyanagar for a garden in Dhankawadi to favour a builder interested in the plot for constructing a building.
Residents of Dhankawadi area have been urging the PMC to develop the one-acre open plot at Chaitanyanagar into a garden saying there are no gardens in their region. Tambe, who is representing the area, has been pursuing the issue with the civic body for the last eight years.
The residents had approached the court which directed the PMC to complete the procedure for putting reservation of the garden on the plot in 90 days, which would come to an end on December 11. Accordingly, the proposal after completing the administration process was tabled for approval of the general body on November 17. The meeting was adjourned till November 30 but it was again postponed further to December 17.
“Mayor Dattatraya Dhankawade along with party leader Shankar Kemse deliberately ensured there is no decision on the proposal for reservation of garden as a builder is planning to construct a building on it. This is injustice to the struggle of local residents for a garden in their area. I have decided to stand by the residents and offered to resign from PMC membership by submitting a letter to party chief Sharad Pawar,” said Tambe.
He alleged that the mayor and party leader were working in the interest of a builder despite the court direction to put reservation of garden on the open plot. “I will also file a contempt petition against the PMC for not following the court. I have decided to resign to pursue the matter,” Tambe said, adding he would continue to work for the party.
Tambe said he pointed out to senior party leaders that postponing the decision would lead to delay in ensuring a garden in Dhankawadi area but they did not give importance to it.
“The decision on the proposal was postponed due to lack of quorum. There is a need of at least 52 corporators but only 44 members were present in the house at the time and it would have created a technical problem,” said Dhankawade. The mayor said he would inform the party leadership of the issue while denying the charges that it was done to favour a builder.