Demarcation of red zone: Maps ready, to be given to defence officials

Pune district Collector Vikas Deshmukh will soon submit maps related to the demarcation of the red zone (no-development zone) around Dehu Road ammunition depot to defence officials seeking their response. Deshmukh on Tuesday said the team that conducted the recce of the area and fused the maps through satellite will hand over the images to the defence officials for their suggestions.

"The demarcation that will start from the compound wall had to be studied through satellite images and actual maps. We will demarcate the area with the help of these maps and the defence officials will assess the same," said Deshmukh after the meeting on Tuesday.

With the Bombay High Court ordering the Pune district collectorate to initiate demarcation of red zone boundaries around Dehu Road ammunition depot, the Defence Ministry had filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court claiming that the red zone area of Dehu Road ammunition depot would not be reduced for security reasons.

This came after a petition was moved by Shiv Sena corporator Seema Salve against the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) for carrying out construction activities, including a housing scheme for urban poor, in the red zone where no development is allowed as per the law.

The demarcation would affect not only the upcoming housing project but also some MIDC areas. Salve had alleged that the housing project was in violation of Works of Defence Act and did not have necessary environmental clearance. She had argued that the flats were being constructed within 2,000 yards of the depot in violation of the law.

Even as the district administration had written to the Defence authorities seeking information on the original layout before carrying out a detailed survey, the details were not provided.

Recently, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had intervened and asked the PCMC to submit all no-objection certificates of its slum rehabilitation project at sector 22 that falls in the red zone. A study of properties affected owing to the red zone was also sought by the minister during a meeting with local Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders, PCMC officials and Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju.

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