Farmers in the Pimpri region are vehemently calling for the cancellation of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (PMRDA) controversial development plan, claiming that it neglects their interests while allegedly benefiting builders.
In a press conference held in Pimpri on Friday, members of the Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC), including Deepali Hulawle, Santosh Bhegade, and Priyanka Mangade Pathare, expressed their concerns about the development plan.
The farmers allege mismanagement and authoritarian behavior in the draft plan, pointing out the significant presence of builders’ and entrepreneurs’ agents in the PMRDA’s Aundh office. This has raised suspicions that the development plan may disproportionately favor certain builders. The farmers had previously taken their grievances to the Bombay High Court, where Vasant Bhase and Sukhdev Tapkir, representing the petitioners, emphasized the adverse impact of the proposed plan on farmers.
The petition, filed in January 2023, sought the cancellation of the PMRDA’s draft development plan due to the lack of public involvement. Despite the court’s intervention by staying objections and hearings, the PMRDA continued the process, leading to the submission of a petition that resulted in the high court halting further proceedings. The MPC had earlier instructed the PMRDA to collaborate with its members in drafting the plan.
However, controversy arose as the PMRDA allegedly proceeded with the plan without involving corporators, a move deemed unlawful by committee members. Additionally, the PMRDA published the draft plan directly, soliciting objections and suggestions without following the established protocol of submission to the MPC. Decisions made by a committee appointed to address objections were implemented by the PMRDA without MPC approval