Only 102 illegal structures remain on PCMC hitlist

Demolition drive From 2,300 to 900 to 480 to 102... the list gets shorter; latest reduction comes after CM calls meeting of civic officials, MLAs.

In a major relief to citizens protesting against its drive to demolish illegal structures, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has decided to raze only those structures that are either on land reserved in the development plan or those coming within the floodline. The decision was taken in a meeting convened by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and attended by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Municipal Commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi, MLAs Vilas Lande and Laxman Jagtap and senior government officials.

Pardeshi said the government had decided to bring in an amendment to the existing Act to regularise structures that have not been constructed on land reserved in the development plan or those not falling within the floodlines. He said a suggestion was made at the meeting that an FSI of 2.5 be given to regularise the structures. "The government promised it would consider the suggestions," he said.

Officials said only those structures outside the reserved land could be considered for regularisation. The government is expected to bring the amendment in the budget session of the legislature.

After Tuesday's meeting, the PCMC is left with only 102 structures to demolish. These structures on reserved land or within the floodline would be demolished in the next three to four months, said the commissioner. "From July, when we started the drive, we have demolished 179 structures. Now, for the remaining 100 another three-four months will be required," said Pardeshi.

In July, the PCMC had as many as 2,300 structures on its demolition list. After structures in the Red Zone were razed, the number came down to 900. The PCMC revised the list to 480. And now, only 102 structures have to be demolished.

MLAs Laxman Jagtap and Vilas Lande suggested that illegal structures up to December 31, 2012 be regularised. "Action should be taken only against structures that came up after December 31, 2012. This was our demand at the meeting. The chief minister has promised to look into the demand," the MLA said.

Jagtap, Lande and MLA Anna Bansode held a press conference on Wednesday to withdraw their ultimatum on illegal constructions.

Jagtap and Lande had threatened that they would not allow the general body meeting to take place unless the CM intervened and took a call on illegal constructions. After Tuesday's meeting with Chavan, the MLAs said they were satisfied with the outcome. "The general body meeting will now take place," Jagtap said.

In the last eight months, the civic administration has said that 15 general body meetings were adjourned without any serious business taking place.

"Many of the meetings were adjourned on the issue of illegal constructions as corporators raised the pitch to stop the drive," said an official.

Of the 102 structures now on the PCMC list, those coming within the floodline would be demolished on priority.

"Not only major buildings but several religious structures have also come up in the vicinity of the Pavana river that flows through town. The religious set-ups were small tents and have now turned into huge structures. Without any permission from the civic body and with support from local politicians, the religious structures have come up and are adding up with each passing day. Civic officials are afraid to touch them lest it creates communal discord," said the official.

Senior officials, however, said the religious structures would be demolished or re-located as the case may be as a Supreme Court directive in this connection was very clear on that.

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