19 of 20 villages oppose PCMC merger plan

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SummaryVillagers fear tax burden even as NCP promises development of new areas, IT and automobile hub in Pimpri-Chinchwad

Of the 20 villages that have been tipped to be merged with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), as many as 19 do not seem to be in favour of the state government’s proposal.

Except Sangavdi, no other village has till date conveyed its readiness to merge with PCMC.

Though the villages do not seem keen, the Nationalist Congress Party, which rules PCMC, is determined to get the likes of Hinjewadi IT hub, Chakan industrial area, Alandi and Dehu under its belt. NCP said the gram panchayats were not capable of doing justice to these areas which had remained underdeveloped despite the fact that they had carved a niche for themselves on the world map. “If these areas are included in the PCMC limits, they will gain as will Pimpri-Chinchwad. These areas will benefit in terms of development, while Pimpri-Chinchwad will become one of the most prominent cities in the world and will be known as the IT and automobile hub,” said NCP Pimpri-Chinchwad president Yogesh Behl.

After the state government floated the proposal to merge 20 villages with PCMC, there has been a sense of resentment in these villages. The villages held gram sabhas and sought views of the villagers. A majority of the villages elicited negative response from the villagers, who contended that they would have to face unnecessary tax burden. Villagers also said they would have to follow stringent norms vis-a-vis building construction, which were not at present followed in villages.

Sangavdi, which is located near Gahunje village in Maval taluka, seems to be the only village where its residents do not object to the proposal. The village has sent a letter to PCMC, expressing its eagerness to join the civic ranks. The PCMC administration had been waiting for positive responses from the villages, but have now said it would make its stand clear, once the corporators took a decision. “We haven’t as yet received the response of the villages. Also, from our end we are yet to convey our stand to the state government. The issue will be first discussed by the City Improvements Committee. It will be then taken up by the civic general body meeting. Till the meeting is held, we cannot comment on it...,” said PCMC commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi on Tuesday.

After the state government floated the idea, PCMC did not object to the move. In fact, PCMC officials seemed upbeat about the whole idea. Reason: PCMC was set

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