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Saturday, November 28, 2020

PCMC’s Rs 400-crore slum rehab project in soup, falls within red zone

Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said, “Now since the map of the area has been published showing the project within 2,000 yards of the ordnance depot, the high court will take a call on the project. We will wait for the high court ruling in this case.”

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune | Updated: November 23, 2020 10:33:23 am
PCMC’s Rs 400-crore slum rehab project in soup, falls within red zoneSlum rehab project in Nigdi.

The Rs 400-crore slum rehabilitation project of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) at Survey No. 22 in Nigdi area has landed in a soup what with the demarcated map showing that the project falls within the red zone or 2,000 yards of Dehu Road Ordnance Depot.

The demarcated map was published by the district collectorate on Friday. The collectorate surveyed the area and published the map on the directions of the Bombay High Court. The court had given a stay on the project in 2018 after PCMC corporator Seema Savale had approached it, raising the question of legality of the project.

When contacted on Sunday, Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said, “Now since the map of the area has been published showing the project within 2,000 yards of the ordnance depot, the high court will take a call on the project. We will wait for the high court ruling in this case.”

Hardikar said since the issue related to 2011 when he was not the municipal commissioner, he will have to find out on what basis the project was sanctioned. “We will have to find out how the project was sanctioned in that particular area,” he said.

Savale, a BJP corporator and former standing committee chairperson, said she had approached the high court and raised the issue of legality of the project. “I brought to the notice of the high court that the project was within the red zone area of Army and was therefore illegal. Accordingly, the court had directed demarcation of the area by the Land Records Department which has now published the map of the area. The map clearly shows that the project falls within 2,000 yards of the prohibited area of Dehu Road Ordinance Depot,” she said.

Savale said now the entire project has acquired the status of illegality and therefore Rs 100 crore spent on it so far will go waste. “Around 3,000 flats have been completed so far; 2,700 have been handed over. Rs 100 crore had been spent on constructing the flats,” she said.

Savale said the project was approved by PCMC on a 100-acre land under the central government’s JNNURM. The Centre was supposed to provide 50 per cent finance while the rest was to be shared by PCMC and the state government. The entire project envisaged construction of 11,760 flats for slum dwellers.

BJP leader Sarang Kamtekar said besides illegality of the project, the party had also pointed out corruption in the project. “As per the Detailed Project Report, the project was supposed to be for Rs 225 crore. However, the final cost of the project was pegged at Rs 400 crore which was a case of inflated tender cost. We had brought this to the notice of the high court,” he said.

Kamtekar said during the survey by the collectorate, it was found that the project was within 2,000 yards of the outer periphery wall of the depot. “We had raised this point then. However, NCP led civic administration had refused to listen to us which forced us to approach the high court. The court had given the stay in 2012,” he said.

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