PMC Does Not Have The Money To Support Newly Merged Villages
Pune’s property market is one of the most coveted in India, attracting the interest of not only locals but non-resident Indians (NRIs) as well. To cater to this growing demand, housing supply has to grow. To make that happen, 11 villages have been added in the city’s fold recently. But, it is not as easy for a city to expand as it might seem.
In 1997, 23 new villages came into Pune’s fold. However, the state of affairs, especially with respect to amenities and infrastructure in these new areas, has been a concern. The biggest challenges so far have been water supply, garbage disposal, sewage collection, road connectivity, land acquisition, encroachments, etc.
Parts of Balewadi, Baner, Bavdhan, Kothrud, Warje, Shivane, Hingane, Wadgaon, Dhayari, Pacchgaon, Dhankawadi, Ambegaon Buddruk, Ambegaon Khurd, Kondhwa Budruk, Kondhwa Khurd, Undri, Mohmadwadi, Hadapsar,Wadgaon Sheri, Kharadi, Dhanori and Kalas that were merged with Pune in 1997 have till date been dealing with civic issues.
Now jump to the year 2017. Eleven other villages of Bavdhan Budruk, Uruli Devachi, Phursungi, Lohegaon (remaining), Hadapsar (Sadesatra Nali), Mundhwa (Keshavnagar area), Shivane (remaining), Dhayari (remaining), Undri, Ambegaon Khurda and Ambegaon Budruk were added in the city limit. Over the next three years, 23 other villages may be merged.
With 332 square kilometre within its jurisdiction, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is now bigger than its peer in Mumbai. However, the same cannot be said about its revenue. An estimate showed that to provide basic infrastructure in the new villages, the PMC requires a budget of Rs 5,740 crore. Compare this with its revenue at only Rs 5,600 crore. The civic body in Mumbai on the other hand earns is Rs 1 lakh crore annually. Considering money is an issue for the PMC, the fate of the newly added villages is uncertain.
PMC officials say that only 30 per cent of its budget can be diverted for developmental work. This includes the cost incurred in solving issues such as encroachments, land acquisition, compensations, etc.