PUNE: The state government on Wednesday issued the draft notification to fully merge the remaining 23 villages in the Pune municipal limits, increasing its total area to 480skm and making it the biggest corporation in the state.
“The process of calling suggestions and objections from citizens will be carried out. Then the hearing will take place. The process will be completed in two month,” Prashant Waghmare, city engineer of PMC, told TOI.
PMC officials stated that though there was a proposal to merge 34 villages in the civic body in 2013-14, it did not take place. Citizens’ group Haveli Taluka Nagari Kriti Samiti had approached the Bombay HC seeking speedy merger of the villages. After the court’s directives, the PMC merged 11 villages in its jurisdiction three years ago. Nine of the villages were partly merged, but Uruli and Phursungi were fully merged.
“The municipal wards now must be earmarked on time in the villages for planned development. Only merger is not enough. All issues related to revenue generation and funds allocation should be sorted out,” said Shreerang Chavan of the Samiti.
NCP), which has a strong hold on the city’s outskirts, has been keen on the merger ahead of the 2022 municipal polls. BJP currently has a full majority in the civic body.
Kothrud MLA and state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil said the state government’s decision to merge 23 villages was politically motivated. “The government should clarify the financial assistance it plans to provide to the civic body to tide over the additional burden of the merged villages,” he said..
NCP leader Chetan Tupe said the merger would lead to the planned development of 23 villages. “The MVA government will provide required assistance. BJP should not indulge in politics over the issue. Eleven villages were merged when BJP was in the state government. BJP leaders should give details of the funds provided for these 11 villages.”