While the Maharashtra government has decided to merge developed areas of Pimpri-Chinchwad Newtownship Development Authority (PCNTDA) or Pradhikaran with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and undeveloped areas with the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), the civic body is staring at an ungainly sight— thousands of illegal structures on Pradhikaran land. According to a rough estimate, of the 2,000 hectares of Pradhikaran land, at least 200 hectares have encroachments on them.
“There are at least 200 hectares of land in Thergaon, Rahatni and other suburbs where illegal buildings and houses have come up. The government will have to take a decision in this regard,” Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar told The Indian Express on Saturday.
On Thursday, the state government decided to do away with the PCNTDA, which was set up in 1972, primarily to construct houses for industrial workers. “The chief minister announced that the PCNTDA will soon be scrapped. The government has decided to merge developed areas of PCNTDA with PCMC and the empty spaces with PMRDA,” said PMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner Suhas Diwase.
Diwase said as per available information, the state cabinet will take a decision in this regard. “The process of scrapping PCNTDA has begun. I don’t think it will go before the Assembly….the cabinet will take the final decision. Since both PMRDA and PCNTDA have to perform similar roles, the state government decided to do away with one,” he said.
The PCMC chief said the civic body has been providing amenities to areas developed by PCNTDA. “We are providing amenities and collecting taxes… these areas are already within our boundaries. So, there is not going to be much change as far as our role is concerned,” he said.
Hardikar said the PCMC would be watching what decision the government takes regarding the encroachments that have come up in Thergaon, Rahatni, Walherkarwadi and Kalewadi. “Otherwise, we will have to tackle the encroachments in these areas. We are already saddled with thousands of illegal encroachments in our area. In PCNTDA, the task is much more difficult as there is high density of encroachments…,” said a civic official.
Diwase said, “The government will work out the modalities before these areas are merged with PCMC. I think some decision will be taken regarding the encroachments.”
Welcoming the government’s decision, BJP leader Sarang Kamtekar claimed that because the PCNTDA “failed to perform its duties”, the housing problem became a serious one in Pimpri-Chinchwad. “The Authority should have been disbanded a long time ago. After initially doing good work, it failed to act decisively in the last 30 years,” he said.
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