Residents in Pune against handing amenity spaces to builders – ET RealEstate

PUNE: Resident associations from across the city are readying to fight the civic body’s proposal to lease amenity space to private builders for development. At least eight resident associations submitted protest letters in this regard to municipal commissioner Vikram Kumar this week.

Citizens for Area Sabha, a citizen’s body, has also started an online petition addressed to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray against the proposal to handover more than 116 amenity spaces for private development. The petition has already received over 3,500 signatures.

Nitin Memane, president of Kharadi Residents Association, said objections from citizens’ forums of Kharadi, Baner, Pashan, Wanowrie, Sopanbaug and others, were handed to the Pune municipal commissioner on Monday. “Some of us later met the commissioner but he was only trying to counter our objections and asked why we were against the proposal. We have clarified that we do not want any sale or lease of the amenity land to private parties and want the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to develop the amenities,” Memane explained.

Vaishali Patkar, from Citizens for Area Sabha, said, “Based on media reports and the response to an Right To Information application we filed, we found out that over 116 amenity spaces in different parts of the city have been shortlisted for the proposal. We want to know who initiated this proposal to sell such prime real estate, why were citizens not included in the decision making and why PMC has not developed reservations as per the Development Plan (DP). We are compiling all the information we have collected to make a document to prevent handing over of the land to builders.”

Speaking on the issue, head of PMC’s estate department Rajendra Muthe stated that the proposal is at a nascent stage. “We have only mooted the idea now. We also want to make it clear that the said amenity spaces will be developed as per reservations for the land in the DP. If the DP states a garden or school must be developed at a particular space, it will be developed but with private partnership. The land will not be used to construct residential or commercial complexes,” Muthe clarified.



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Pune: Ready-mix cement plant in middle of Baner societies worries residents – ET RealEstate

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PUNE: At a time when the city is battling COVID-19, a virus known to affect the respiratory tract, residents of Baner, near Yogi Park, find themselves inhaling fine dust every day with a ready-mix cement (RMC) plant operational bang in the middle of a residential area and also just across the road from an old-age home.

Petrified, the local citizens have posted a complaint to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), highlighting how this worsens their vulnerability to the pandemic.

The plant, located on an open plot and flanked by residential societies such as Silver Dale and Urban Crest, has been operational for the past one month.

Worse, it is less than 50 metres away from the old-age home— Satyak — across the road. Residents have been complaining of the air becoming heavy with the tiny flying particles which has already led to respiratory issues.

“By now we all know how COVID-19 impacts respiratory functioning. Just when we need to boost our immunity to survive this pandemic, the RMC plant, running in our area for the past one month, has become a cause for concern for all residents here. The air is thick with dust and it is bound to affect our respiratory system. Should somebody get infected by COVID-19, his/her compromised respiratory functioning could even prove to be fatal,” Anuj Singh, an IT professional residing close to the plant, told Mirror.

Similarly, Suryakant Dalvi, a senior citizen from the area, complained, “We have a lush green hill in the neighbourhood which works like a local lung. But its advantage has been lost to the pollution the RMC plant is spreading. There is dust everywhere and we are facing problems in breathing.”

It may be recalled that in October 2019, Mirror had reported about an RMC plant that was running in the middle of a residential area in Balewadi. Pursuant to the report, the plant was shut down. Citing that case, the locals have urged PMC to take action against the plant in their area.
Pune: Ready-mix cement plant in middle of Baner societies worries residents“There are clear guidelines from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) against any RMC plant being set up within 100-metre distance from any human habitat and further stipulating that it should maintain a distance 200 metres from sensitive places.

However, this plant is right in the middle of residential complexes which are all within 100 metres. This makes it clear that the plant is illegal, hence it should be shut down with immediate effect,” insisted Rajan Joshi, a senior citizen from the same locality.

Drawing attention to the offending unit’s proximity to the old-age home, Deepa Navale, another local resident and a homemaker, observed, “We’ve seen the senior citizens living in the home ritualistically using its common area to take in some fresh air. However, what they are unwittingly breathing in, the past month, has been air laden with fine dust from the plant. Should any of them develop respiratory issue, it will be difficult for them to recover.”

The air is thick with dust and it is bound to affect our respiratory system—Anuj Singh, an IT professional

All efforts made by Mirror to draw out the name of the owner of the plant from the workers present at the site proved futile as they refused to divulge any detail. Interestingly, despite the online complaint lodged by the residents, PMC’s assistant commissioner, Jaydeep Pawar, who is in charge of the Aundh-Baner ward office, was clueless about the issue. “I am not aware of an RMC plant being operational in a residential area. I will ask the officer concerned to look into the matter and ensure that necessary action is taken in this regard,” he told Mirror.



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