Residents of the upmarket Concord Proxima Housing Society in Baner will express their anger at civic apathy in an unusual manner. On Saturday,society members will hold a mock traffic jam by parking their vehicles along the road leading to their society in a bid to highlight the chaotic traffic condition,which they feel will get worse if the PMC sets up an Otta market for vegetable vendors. The construction work for the market has already begun.
The society members said the PMC,which usually takes years to complete any public project,is working exceptionally fast to complete this project in Baner. They allege that the extraordinary swiftness is a ploy as the civic body is well aware that nobody will be able to do anything once the market is ready.
The residents said the PMC had held no talks with them before embarking on the work. They claimed that the land on which the construction is going on is an amenity space of the society,reserved for projects like parks.
The PMC had passed a resolution in August last year for an otta market at survey no 77 in Baner,which they later shifted to 85/A,which is an amenity space of our housing society. Actually,the PMC cannot do any concrete construction on the site. Furthermore,the residents of Proxima Concord were not informed about the plan and yet the civic body started the construction, said Mahesh Patil,a resident.
When the Express reporter visited the site,it was found that the construction work of a multi-storied building is in full swing. As per the information board put up by PMC at the site,the work falls under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The work began in October 2008 and has an one-year deadline.
As per the plan,hawkers from various places are to be rehabilitated under this scheme. But if we look at the construction so far,this is anything but an otta market,as it looks more like a commercial complex, said Satish Kumar,another resident.
Concord Proxima is located about 500 metres off the main road close to Orchid School in Baner. A tarred lane leads to the society. They also pointed out that the market is on the dead end of the road and has no other provision for exit. We have brought the issue to the notice of the PMC that if the market comes into being,it will pose a great hindrance to the society. We have decided to hold a mock traffic congestion situation in front of this market,as it will be in the future.
However,Municipal Commissioner Praveensinh Pardeshi criticised the approach of the housing society members.
The approach of the residents is not proper. The market is meant for the benefit of general public. It is an amenity space and the PMC is using for a noble purpose,for rehabilitating the hawkers and the society members cannot oppose such a public scheme.
The commissioner said he had a correspondence with the society members a number of times and there was no need to hold talks with them any more.