May 8, 2021 10:31:43 pm
WITH the state cabinet giving a final green signal for the merger of PCNTDA or Pradhikaran with PCMC and PMRDA this week, activists and voluntary organisations in Pimpri-Chinchwad, as well as the ruling BJP in PCMC, have strongly opposed the move. They have decided to bring all the groups under the banner of ‘Amhi Pimpri-Chinchwadkar’ and launch an agitation.
“We are strongly opposed to any move to merge PCNTDA areas with PMRDA. If the government does not withdraw its decision… we are launching an agitation against the move,” said activists Maruti Bhapkar and Manav Kamble.
The activists have sent a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis, opposing the merger decision.
Bhapkar said the decision of the state government to merge part of PCNTDA with PMRDA and another part with PCMC will adversely affect Pimpri-Chinchwad. “PCNTDA has been part of Pimpri-Chinchwad since its inception in 1972. If PNCTDA areas are merged with PMRDA, the progress of Pimpri-Chinchwad will slow down drastically,” he said.
He claimed the state government has decided to merge developed areas of PCNTDA with PCMC and non-developed areas with PMRDA. “Thousands of acres of vacant plots will go to PMRDA and this will hit the development process being carried out in Pimpri-Chinchwad. All big projects planned by the civic body will be hit,” he said.
Alleging that the decision has been taken in the interest of builders, Kamble said, “PCNTDA has several acres of vacant plots on which it could not take any decision… These plots were acquired from farmers at cheap prices for the purpose of carrying out development projects. Now, the government intends to hand them over to builders… this is nothing but cheating of the farming community.”
The BJP has also strongly opposed the merger. “The state government seems to have decided on the merger due to the financial constraints it is facing. The decision to merge vacant plots with PMRDA and developed areas with PCMC is not right. PCMC should get top priority… entire PCNTDA should be merged with PCMC. If this is not done, Pimpri-Chinchwad’s progress will slow down. All ambitious projects launched by PCMC will be affected severely,” said BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad president and MLA Mahesh Landge.
Another BJP MLA, Laxman Jagtap, said, “I have opposed the merger of PCNTDA with PMRDA for months. In fact, I had opposed the move during the budget session of the state legislature. As per my information, PCNTDA has Rs 700 crore deposits and 2000 hectare land. This is worth Rs 20,000 crore in total. The state has its eyes on this wealth. The government has taken this decision without taking local
representatives and people into confidence. We also suspect that the move is intended to benefit the builder community.”
PCNTDA CEO Bansi Gawli, however, said, “The state cabinet has approved the decision of the merger. Now, we are waiting for the official notification…Once it happens, we will come to know which area is going to PCMC and which one to PMRDA.”
As for the fixed deposits and vacant plots, Gawli said, “We will soon let you know about it.” He said he was not sure about the number of illegal structures on PCNTDA terrain.
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