Even before the newly-elected corporators settle down,the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is all set to begin its term with a tussle on inclusion of villages surrounding the city in the civic jurisdiction. In 2007,the civic administration had proposed to include 15 more villages. The proposal has been pending due to lack of consensus. The NCP,along with the Congress,had opposed it. It came up for discussion in December but a decision was delayed by corporators.
Now,the NCP,which has emerged again as the single largest party,has decided to give priority to the issue following instructions from senior party leaders. The Legal Committees decision to postpone the decision by six months should be reconsidered so that it can be taken up as soon as possible, said leader of house Subhash Jagtap in the proposal tabled before the Legal Committee.
Due to rapid urbanisation,the PMC had decided to include 38 villages in civic limits but 15 were dropped from it after opposition from villagers. The decision of merging 38 villages was taken in 1997 during the regime of the saffron combine in the state while the Congress-NCP alliance,after coming to power,decided to include 23 villages instead of 38 in the civic jurisdiction. Shiv Sena leader Ashok Harnawal said that it was the saffron combine that had proposed the merger long back but it was then turned down by the Congress-NCP alliance.
Though the ruling NCP-Congress is likely to push for inclusion of 15 villages in civic jurisdiction with the hope of getting support from the saffron combine,MNS is likely to challenge it. We are not against extending civic jurisdiction but the civic administration has not been able to meet demands of the 23 merged villages. Civic facilities to 23 merged villages should be provided before deciding on including more villages in PMC area, said Vasant More of the MNS and leader of opposition in PMC.
Former mayor Mohansingh Rajpal said problems related to redevelopment of Phursungi and Uruli Devachi village would be resolved if included in the civic limits.