Pune: Village demand merger with PMC limits, but officials have other plans
Residents from Wagholi and other areas have demanded merger of their villages in Pune Municipal Corporation limits without any further delay. On the other hand, politicians say that since the development plan for earlier merged 11 villages was not implemented, the remaining 23 villages should be merged with PMC only after basic infrastructural facilities are made available. However, this is not the only reason why some politicians are opposed to the merger at this point of time.
Which are the 23 villages to be merged
Khadakwasla, Kirkatwadi, Kondhwe Dhavade, Manjari Budruk, Nanded, New Kopare, Narhe, Pisoli, Shewalwadi, Kalewadi, Wadachi Wadi, Bavdhan Budruk, Wagholi, Mangdewadi, Bhilarewadi, Gujar Nimbalkarwadi, Jambhulwadi, Holkarwadi, Autade Handewadi, Mantarwadi, Nandoshi, Sus and Mhalunge.
The Urban Development department of the state government has asked the PMC to submit their say and feedback immediately on the issue of whether the remaining 23 villages should be merged in PMC jurisdiction or not. The state government is keen to include these villages in PMC limits in view of the upcoming civic body elections. The merged villages will play an important role in changing the dynamics and voting patterns in several PMC wards.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is the ruling party in Pune Municipal Corporation. The municipal elections are scheduled in 2022. However, political parties have started planning their strategy for these elections from right now. If the 23 villages are merged in PMC limits, it is said that this move will benefit the Nationalist Congress Party the most. Hence, the BJP is not keen on the merger of these villages.
The Congress Party has demanded that instead of merging these villages in PMC, a separate Municipal Corporation should be established for the new region. It is on this background that the state government - in which NCP is the decision maker - is striving to make the merger happen. This village merger issue may result in friction between the state government and the PMC.
Residents say merge immediately
Wagholi Grampanchayat Deputy Sarpanch Sandip Satav led delegation met Mayor Murlidhar Mohol on October 22. The delegation stated that while they are not opposed to the merger but basic infrastructural facilities should be ensured before the process begins.
The Wagholi Housing Society Association along with other citizens have stated that the development can be done for all villages simultaneously and the merging process should not be halted.
Status of merger proposal
The then state government had decided to merge 34 villages in PMC limits and accordingly on October 4, 2017 the government went ahead with merger of 11 villages in the first phase. Now the deadline for inclusion of the remaining 23 villages is also over. Hence, the Deputy Secretary of the urban development department of state government wrote a letter to the PMC on October 15 asking the PMC to file their say and feedback on the issue of merging 23 villages in PMC limits.
While merging these villages in PMC, various factors like the availability of drinking water, waste management, proposed ring road, population and available workforce with PMC for providing these services to the citizens will be taken into consideration.