Somewhere in Pune....

Now that the Maharashtra state government has asked the civic body to take care of the BDPs, environmentalists said the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) should devise a mechanism to protect the land from slums.
Eminent environmentalist Madhav Gadgil said, “The government has finally accepted the Jain committee report. Though it has taken a long time to decide, it's a good step by the government.“
Experts said protecting public lands, parks and water bodies has become difficult. Adequate involvement of people, policy makers and politicians which is most essential for effective management of common resources in the city is shrinking rapidly. “The state should have allowed owners to construct on the hills and the owners would have taken care of hills and protected them from encroachments. Now, there is fear that if allowed slums will come up as the PMC has no mechanism to curb encroachments,“ said a senior PMC official.
Illegal constructions have been coming up in areas like Anandnagar, Vishrantinagar and Mahadevnagar, which fall under the limits of Hingne Khurd and Wadgaon while slums are coming up in the BDPs in other localities.
Since 2005, politicians, leaders, developers and a section of government officials have been saying that BDPs should not be allowed as it was “impractical“.
Land owners had launched a campaign against the BDP and in December 2011, the state government approved the DP for 23 villages merged in civic limits, but then chief minister Prithviraj Chavan avoided a decision on the BDPs.
Instead, he appointed a six-member committee headed by K B Jain, dean of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology Ahmedabad to study the mat ter.
The committee strongly recommended BDP reservation and that the PMC execute it as a “mission development“ since it will improve the quality of life in Pune city Aneeta Gokhale Bennin ger, a member of the planning committee which recommended BDP and had taken lead in formation Green Pune Movement, said the government has accepted citizens' demand. “It is a big win for the citizens' movement, a rare example where thousands of citizens have joined hands to protect the city's hills,“ she said, adding that since 2005, citizens have worked hard to protect the green lungs of the city locking horns with influential people wanting to construct on hilltops and slopes.
“BDPs are important for the survival of Pune. It is the citizens' victory and this decision shows that government bodies are also seeing some light,“ said Satish Khot, another member of Green Pune Movement.
NCP city unit chief and Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan, who is with the Green Pune Movement, said, “It is a great victory and the biggest contribution to our next generation. We will be handing over a green legacy and a beautiful environment to the next generation of Punekars,“ said Chavan. However, the government has not taken a call on offering Transfer of Development Right (TDR) to owners whose land will be acquired for the BDP as compensation. “In view of the new TDR policy, the decision about utilization of TDR for the land under BDP reservation is under consideration of the government and will be published (announced) after finalizing it,“ states the government notification.

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