Confusion reigns over BDP plan approval

Confusion prevailed on Saturday over nod given to the bio-diversity park (BDP) reservation plan of the PMC by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), with both the Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and the municipal commissioner Mahesh Pathak saying they were not aware of it.

While city BJP MLA Madhuri Misal confirmed the CM had decided to keep the BDP reservations intact and give 10% green transfer of development rights (TDR) to the land owners, Pawar said that he was not aware of the decision and would talk to the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan before commenting on the same. The issue of the BDP reservation has been a bone of contention between political parties and green activists for some time now.

The DP of the 23 fringe villages had put the reservation of BDP, over 1,600 hectares and had suggested that no construction be allowed on the hills of the city.

The state government had passed the DP of the 23 fringe villages, recently and had kept the BDP in abeyance. Chavan had announced the formation of a special committee headed by KB Jain, dean of Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) to study the contentious issue of BDP.

The Jain committee in its report, submitted before the state government last September had asked the reservation of BDP to be kept intact and had talked about giving 4% TDR as compensation to the land owners.

When asked about the decision of preserving the BDP, Pathak said that he was not in the know. "You need to ask the CMO or the urban development department," he said.

Misal while confirming the sanction, expressed surprise on the manner in which it was done. "The CM had talked of holding a marathon meeting with the MLAs from Pune to discuss the issue of BDP and Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). However,

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