Call for Action against Illegal and Unsustainable Development WorksEdit
- Email the PMC with your objections asking for all its work to be stayed till it gets all PMC roads in order immediately
- Email the JNNURM asking for transparency and citizen participation in all their projects across the country
- Email the CVC asking for a probe into the JNNURM spending and various illegal projects
Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-etxalcy as information should be! Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-etxalcy as information should be!
What are Development PlansEdit
A Development Plan (or DP) is a statutory land use plan for the city. It is created under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (MR&TP Act). It is prepared every 20 years or so keeping in mind the expected growth of the city and the need for space for various amenities, facilities and utilities that are needed to ensure the health and well being of residents.
- Urban and Town planners prepare a plan by doing various studies (demographic, socio-economic, current or existing land use etc)
- This draft plan is published for public consultations.
- The plan is then sent to the State Government for approval.
- The State Government can also make modifications to the submitted plan. But if it makes substantial changes, then it must re-publish the plan and allow 60 days for people to object to the changes that are made. Any voting citizen of India can object to the modifications.
- The State then appoints a committee to hear every objection made.
- After due consideration it can make the requisite alterations and the plan is finally approved.
- It is now the responsibility of the Municipality to implement the plan. For this it acquires the reserved lands under the plan and puts in the amenities (schools, hospitals etc), facilities (gardens, museums etc) and utilities (sewage treatment plants, roads etc).
There are several reasons why this "plan" doesn't work and we still end up with chaotic cities with inadequate infrastructure.
- The plan itself takes very long from the time it is initiated to the time it is approved. As long as 7-8 years. A lot changes during just that time period.
- The plans are notoriously sensitive to projections. In fast growing economies and rapid rural-urban migration situations, the city often grows faster and in non-predictable ways. Most provisions in the plan start falling short immediately.
- Land that is reserved in the plan is very hard to acquire. The Municipality doesn't have the resources for land acquisition and due to legal battles it takes forever.
- Worse still, land acquired is often undeveloped for the purpose it was acquired for. This is true of gardens, low income housing, sewage treatment plants, hospitals etc. This is mainly because of the lack of capacity of the Municipality to plan and implement these projects and non-allocation of sufficient funds for planned activities. A large part of the budget is spent on what is called non-planned activities, meaning ad hoc projects that are shoved in every year.
- There is a huge vested interest in people wanting to remove the reservation on their land. The State Government has the power to do this, so it leads to massive corruption. Land reserved for low income housing, schools, open spaces are regularly changed into commercial and residential use by builders who have powerful lobbies.
- Public at large is mostly unaware of the Development Plan, what it contains and hence unable to protest changes to it that will make their life worse.
- The Act provides for making changes to the plan as and when needed. While this is needed to adjust to changing conditions on the ground, it also creates opportunities for vested interests to further dilute the plan.
The 23 villages Development PlanEdit
The DP for the 23 fringe villages has been prepared and submitted to the State Government for approval. The current issue has arisen from the fact that the State Government, clearly under pressure from vested interests has deleted all reservations for public amenities. It hasn't given any reasons for this. Also the State Government failed to provide the maps with the changes. Only after a hue and cry did it make the plans available. Citizens now have 60 days to object to the modifications.
Notifications and MapsEdit
- File:Baner Balewadi notification 1.pdf Notification 1 - No.TPS-1807/39/CR-1017(A)/07/UD-13, dated 18.09.2008 notification for suggestion and objections for the changes made by State Govt (Provided by GreenPuneDP on 16 Oct 2008)
- File:Baner Balewadi notification 2.pdf Notification 2 - No.TPS-1807/39/CR-1017/07/UD-13, dated 18.09.2008 is the notification for the plan approved by State Govt, for the area excluding the changes (which are indicated in No.TPS-1807/39/CR-1017(A)/07/UD-13, dated 18.09.2008), and which will come into force on 1 Nov 2008 (Provided by GreenPuneDP on 16 Oct 2008)
Call to ActionEdit
- Download the following letter File:Citizens Objection Letter.pdf (Citizens Objection Letter. Provided by GreenPuneDP on 16 Oct 2008) which comprises of (i) Covering letter to the Deputy Director, Town Planning (ii) Signature Sheet (contact info optional) and also download File:SuggestionsObjections.pdf which is the Suggestions and Objections Note (provided by GreenPuneDP on 16 Oct 2008)to the modifications made to the DP. Also check here the objection letter File:Letter for Objections and suggestions for Baner-Balewadi zone 21st Oct.pdf sent to the authorities on behalf of the Pune Tree Watch members voicing their deep concerns about the harm that the development plan would bring from the biodiversity point of view.
- Get signatures in single or multitudes. Every signature must be preceded by the full name of the person filing objection and his postal address. Please do not take collective signatures without full name and address of the person. Please note that you can have one letter with many people's signatures along with names and addresses. You need not make a separate objection letter for each individual - we can save paper.
- The objection letter which will comprise the covering letter, points of objections and signatures will have to be submitted to the deputy director, town planning office. A single individual may collect as many letters and send it to Intelligent Pune, 304 Narayan Peth, Pune 411 030 and we will deliver it.
- It is important that every signatory goes through the covering letter and the point to point objections to be convinced that he wants to file objections. If he wants to still prod further he can study the actual notification and the maps which can be sent to him by email, on request
- We need at least 1.5 lakh people submitting objections. In 2002, 80,000 citizens had filed objections when the PMC proposed in the same DP (for merged villages) to allow 8 per cent construction on hills. With the population having grown tremendously since then, it is not difficult
- We, the core members of Green Pune Movement, are willing to hold neighbourhood public meetings if you need more information about the Baner Balewadi DP and how to file objections.
- Please ask your friends, people in your housing society, offices, organizations you are associated with to file objections and each one takes out print outs to further get more people to sign. We have to make this into a mass citizen movement if we have to let the state govt know that they cannot take citizens for granted and snatch our open spaces and hills which are the lungs of this ever-growing city.
- Appealing to youngsters to take printouts of the objection letters and get your college friends and colleagues to file objections. Also, you could form groups and be in public places like outside shopping malls, multiplexes, walking plaza etc. To form the basic strategy for this, a meeting is being held at Firodia Hall of Ex-Fergussonian Association (EFA) Hall on October 19 at 10 a m. Please come in large numbers. Pl confirm your attendance to the contact emails below
- The deadline for submitting objections is December 1 (please note the last date is December 1 and not December 2)
Core members of the `Green Pune Movement' - Vandana Chavan, Aneeta Benninger, Vinita Deshmukh, Rajiv Raje, Satish Khot. Vijay Kumbhar, Sujit Patwardhan
Technical aspect looked after by Vandana, Aneeta, Rajiv and Sujit
Right to Information aspect looked after by Vijay Kumbhar
Outreach and mass communication by Vinita and Satish
Official address of `Green Pune Movement': Intelligent Pune, 304 Narayan Peth, Pune 411 030
Contact Satish Khot at firstname.lastname@example.org
Vinita Deshmukh at email@example.com
Public Meeting at Peru Gate Bhave High SchoolEdit
A large number of people gathered at the venue to listen to the perspectives of many prominent activists, media persons and politicians.
In an incredible show of strength people across party lines and from various groups came together under the Green Pune Movement banner to call upon citizens of Pune to record their objections to the large scale changes made by the State Government to the plan which will reduce public amenity spaces in lieu of residential space, thus leading to the kind of development that will not be desirable in the long run.
The following maps of Aundh-Baner area from the PMC web-site indicate a revision after making changes. These have been pointed out by Maj. Gen. S.C.N. Jatar.
This is the original map from the PMC website, while this is the revised map. Both are in PDF form. See this: http://beta.sakaaltimes.com/2008/10/01225324/Activists-allege-tampering-of.html
There are two issues here.
Steps: (1) The DP is first prepared by PMC by carrying out all the formalities like inviting suggestions/objections etc. (2) PMC submitted it to the state government for ratification. (3) The state government made changes to the proposed DP and called for suggestions/objections from public on 'the changes made by the state government' only. The state government has a legal right to do so. The Green Pune movement is working on this step by collecting signatures on objections.
Issues: It is important that after step (1) above, the very plan approved by the General Body of PMC should go to the state government for ratification.
This plan is dated 30.03.05. However it is observed that there are atleast 2 versions of the plan dated 30.3.05. First appears to be a hand drawn plan. This was available on the PMC website for many months. The second version surfaced recently showing the same date but it was drawn in Autocad software where the lines can be shifted 'at will' without leaving a trace. And indedd that has happened.
The sanctity to the DP is thus lost and the plan sent to the state government is no more the DP that was approved by GB of PMC. It is a plan reflecting the wishes of some officers in PMC. Those affected by these unauthorised changes cannot raise objections now, as the present call for objections relates only to the changes made by the state government.
There is no doubt that the Green Pune movement must garner strength but the culprits in PMC that made unauthorised changes in DP approved by GB before sending it to the state government for ratification must not be allowd to go scotfree. The original plan must be restored forthwith.
Roads appear to be shifted. Even some survey number boundaries are shifted. This will result in a chaos!
A very careful study is needed. Someone must check all 23 village maps.
The DP is based on the ‘village map’ but the village map itself is approximate. The exact shape of every survey number is obtainable from the ’Tipan’ or the ‘measurement sheet’ available with the Taluka Nirikashak, Bhoomi Abhilekh. When the ‘Tipan’ is exploded and drawn to scale, at many places the ‘village map’ –and hence the DP- shows different boundaries than actual due to approximation. Therefore it is necessary that every proposal must be reflected in details for each survey number on a map prepared from the ‘Tipan’. All such detailed maps should be included in DP as annexure for transparency
Illegal Work and Violations of the DPEdit
Despite the Baner Balewadi DP being frozen due to the controversy, the PMC is violating the freeze and the DP reservations by carrying out several construction activities illegally. One such activity is the Otta Market in Baner. A multi-story building is being constructed at the end of a 15 feet road and called an "Otta Market" under the JNNURM scheme. This needs to be stopped immediately.
- Devnadi Greening and rejuvenation