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Latest News In and Around Pune

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  • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

    Rude shock! PCMC chief proposes gradual reduction in tax reliefs

    Rude shock! PCMC chief proposes gradual reduction in tax reliefs
    By PuneMirror BureauFri, 13 May 2022

    Rajesh Patil (inset) offers environment-friendly offers (FILE PHOTO)
    Reduction in tax rebates will be effective from FY 2023-24; 10% concessions for online, advance payments down to 5%; women property owners to receive only 20% relief as against existing 50%.

    By Archana Dahiwal

    The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has not only struck a major blow to the honest taxpayer by proposing a gradual reduction in general tax concessions, but decided to reduce tax exemptions to women property holders from 50 per cent to 20 per cent.

    Municipal commissioner and administrator Rajesh Patil said concessions in the general tax would reduce from the next financial year (FY) 2023-24. However, he has offered fresh rebates under environment-friendly measures.

    Meanwhile, the 10 per cent rebate in the general tax provided to those who pay online tax and to those who pay tax in advance has been reduced to 5 per cent. Around 1.5 lakh property owners will be affected by this decision.

    Citizens reacted sharply to the civic body’s move saying the civic administration cannot reduce tax without the consent of the general body (GB). Some citizens alleged that the civic body was sparing property owners who do not pay tax and also those who have built unauthorised properties.

    A property owned by a woman gets a 50 per cent rebate in the general tax. The PCMC has now decided to give 30 per cent concession in property tax in 2023-24 and 20 per cent from FY 2024-25.

    In the recently concluded FY 2021-22, 37,508 property owners availed a rebate of Rs 1.55 crore by paying tax in advance. Similarly, 1,53,206 property owners paid the tax online in FY 2021-22 and got the 10 per cent tax rebate.

    The PCMC has been offering the concessions for over a decade. Nilesh Deshmukh, assistant commissioner and head of property tax department, told Mirror, “Nearly 65 per cent registered property owners pay the tax online. Earlier, they used to get 10 per cent concession by default. However, if citizens want to avail concessions in the general tax, they will have to take some environment-friendly measures — such as composting plants, recycling or other initiatives that come under the Swachhagraha initiative of the PCMC under the Swachh Bharat Mission. It is the need of the future. The tax benefit given under this initiative ranges from 5 per cent to 50 per cent. Secondly, the PCMC has made changes in the existing tax structure under the National Property Code.”

    Explaining the new system, civic officials said if a property owner implements an onsite composting system, they will get 5 per cent concession; for sewage treatment onsite 3 per cent, 8 per cent for onsite composting and sewage treatment plants; 8 per cent for zero waste and 10 per cent for garbage segregation. If citizens execute zero waste, STP and garbage segregation, then they will get increased tax reduction. Educational institutes with zero waste, rainwater harvesting and solar energy projects on their premises will get a 10 per cent rebate.

    Madhuri Pingle, a resident of Chinchwad, said, “I recently found out that there were almost 1.5 lakh unregistered properties within the PCMC limits. Also, there are an equal number of unauthorised constructions in the twin towns. Instead of focusing on them, the civic body is penalising honest taxpayers.”

    Manish Pawar, a resident of Nigdi, said, “The GB has been dissolved. The administrator cannot impose such a decision. The tax concessions have been offered to citizens after the GB approval. It was a unanimous decision. The civic body cannot reduce the tax concessions arbitrarily. The PCMC is discouraging the common people with the implementation of this move. The tax rate is already high in the PCMC jurisdiction.”




    Rude shock! PCMC chief proposes gradual reduction in tax reliefs (punemirror.com)
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    • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

      AMC: 50 Illegal Structures Removed In Alandi

      Pune: An anti-encroachment squad of the Alandi Municipal Council (AMC) on Tuesday removed about 50 unauthorised shops and stalls from different locations in the temple town, about 30km from the city.

      Encroachers had set up the structures over the last few years. The AMC carried out the drive as part of an exercise to decongest roads and junctions for smooth traffic flow in the town.

      “The annual Palkhi procession of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj will commence in the town on June 21 this year. We will have to remove all encroachments before the event so that the traffic flow remains smooth,” said Ankush Jadhav, the chief officer of AMC. In the last two years, devotees did not turn up in large numbers owing to Covid-19 restrictions imposed in the town, Jadhav said.

      “We are expecting a huge turnout of devotees this year. The illegal structures will create problems for them,” he added.











      amc: 50 Illegal Structures Removed In Alandi | Pune News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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      • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

        PMC: Pmc Answers Inadequate On Riverfront Project: Mp

        Pune: Rajya Sabha member Vandana Chavan on Thursday said the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has not provided satisfactory answers to the objections raised on the riverfront development project by environmental experts.

        “We are not against the idea of clean and beautiful rivers. But wrong technical points in the project should be addressed before taking it forward,” Chavan, in an interaction with mediapersons, said.

        She said a seminar has been organised on the project at IMA Hall on Tilak Road at 4.45pm on May 16 to enable the citizens make informed choice about the project.

        According to PMC, two tenders have been approved for the project, including a tender worth Rs 265 crore from Sangamwadi to Bundgarden stretch (3.7km) and another for Rs 604 crore for Bundgarden to Mundhwa section (5.6km).

        The activists have also opposed tunnel construction, especially near Metro route, and have demanded to scrap projects like Paud Phata to Balbharati road and HCMTR, among others. “If we will promote private vehicles nearby Metro route, it may impact its ridership,” environmentalis Pradeep Ghumre said.

        The environmentalists have alleged that the authorities have not followed the right chronological orders of design and studies of the project.









        pmc: Pmc Answers Inadequate On Riverfront Project: Mp | Pune News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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        • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

          No cement construction work to be done at Taljai hill


          Pune: No cement construction work to be done at Taljai hill: Forest department
          By PuneMirror BureauFri, 13 May 2022

          Representatives of the various environment organisations and local citizens met the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) Rahul Patil on Thursday

          The citizen had alleged that the forest department is carrying out large scale concrete work in the name of beautification

          By Ali Shaikh

          Photos: Nikhil Ghorpade

          The Forest Department has put a halt to the ongoing cement-concrete work at the Taljai Hill and has assured that it will consider citizens’ demands for future development works. This comes after the protest by residents of Sahkarnagar and several environmental activists. The citizens had alleged that the forest department is carrying out concrete work at the Taljai Hill in the name of beautification. They had planned ‘Taljai Bachao Abhiyan’ from May 15 against the forest department. Representatives of the various environmental organisations and local citizens met the Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF) Rahul Patil on Thursday. He has assured the delegation to stop the concreting work at the Taljai Hill. Photos: Nikhil Ghorpade

          “The development of biodiversity project at Taljai hill will be done with a new plan made in coordination with the citizens. No cement and concrete construction will be carried out there. The Forest department will only work on planting trees at Taljai hill with the support from citizens,” Rahul Patil said. Following the orders of Dattatray Bharne, Minister of State for the forest department, tree plantation will be done in the Taljai Hill area during the monsoon season with the participation of citizens this year. Patil said.
          The environment activists and local citizens have welcomed the decision and have decided to stop their protest 'Taljai Bachao Abhiyan' which was scheduled to start from May 15. “DCF has assured us that to avoid any such wrong work at the Taljai Hill, a detailed plan for the next 10 years will be released in the next month. There is no need to hold any protest in such circumstances and hence we have decided to call off the protest scheduled May 15,” said the delegation of environmental activists and citizens who met Rahul Patil on Thursday.









          Pune: No cement construction work to be done at Taljai hill: Forest department (punemirror.com)
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          • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

            Now, Taljai Hills won’t have to bear more concrete burden

            Now, Taljai Hills won’t have to bear more concrete burden
            By PuneMirror BureauSat, 14 May 2022

            Citizens had expressed concerns over the development of infrastructure using concrete (FILE PHOTO)

            Forest dept. calls off its eco-tourism project, but says can’t remove structures already built, to plant only trees henceforth.

            By Anup Satphale

            Vehement protests by citizens have forced the forest department to call off the planned ‘eco-tourism’ project that involved concrete roads and other infrastructure on the Taljai Hills.

            Unfortunately, some concrete structures, like artifical ponds and benches, already built on the hills and inaugurated by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar will have to stay as it is, said forest officials.

            Mirror had recently highlighted the concerns of citizens and experts over the project involving the development of infrastructure using concrete, calling it gross interference with nature.

            The residents of the area, regular visitors and members of the Tekadi Bachao Abhiyan (TBA) opposed the move and started following up with the authorities concerned. When they failed to get response, they decided to resort to an agitation. However, the forest department finally agreed to call off the project during a meeting with citizens and experts.

            The forest department has built artificial ponds, a meditation centre, pagoda-like structures and benches, all using concrete. Shockingly, a train had also been proposed to take visitors from one area to another on the hills. The project was estimated to cost Rs 5 crore.

            Indraneel Sadalage, a member of TBA, said, “We had demanded details of the projects through RTI, but failed to get the same. After repeated requests, we got some information and discovered that the project would harm the biodiversity on the hills. Hence, we, along with MP Vandana Chavan, held a meeting with the forest department. The forest officials said they will only focus on tree plantation.”

            The residents want the forest department to act fast on it. A senior citizen, on condition of anonymity, said, “The concreting work on the hills is not good because it will restrict percolation of water into the earth. The forest department should remove the concrete structures, whatever the have built so far. However, they are saying that it won’t be possible.”

            An official from the forest department, on condition of anonymity, said, “Things that are constructed on the hills were inaugurated by Pawar. Removing them won’t be easy because it will result into some political issue.”

            Deputy conservator of forest (DCF), Pune division, Rahul Patil, said, “Ponds made up of concrete is regular practice, as they quench the thirst of wild animals. However, now after the meeting, it has been decided that there won’t be further concreting works on the hills. We will only plant trees.”

            According to Patil, the development project was planned in 2018 when he was not the DCF of the division. Asked whether his department would remove the concrete structure already built on the hills, he said it is difficult.





            Now, Taljai Hills won’t have to bear more concrete burden (punemirror.com)
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            • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

              SC stays HC’s conditional nod to two buildings facing demolition order


              Clipped from: https://realty.economictimes.indiati...order/91576691



              The Supreme Court (SC) bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Vikram Nath passed an order to this effect on Friday while hearing a petition by Rakhee Sachdev and other residents of the Clover Highlands Cooperative Housing Society.

              PUNE: The Supreme Court has “kept in abeyance” the Bombay high court’s February 10 order giving a conditional nod to a city developer to proceed with the construction and sale of flats in two multi-storied buildings in Kondhwa, after a Pune civil court on April 30 last year had ordered to demolish them.

              The Supreme Court (SC) bench of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice Vikram Nath passed an order to this effect on Friday while hearing a petition by Rakhee Sachdev and other residents of the Clover Highlands Cooperative Housing Society. They are fighting from 2018 against the construction of the two buildings citing that they were not a part of the plan when the society was handed over to the residents in 2007.

              On April 30 last year, a Pune civil court had pronounced an elaborate ruling, cancelling all the revised and sanctioned plans after the handing over of the society and terming them “void ab initio” (void from the beginning). It had directed the developer to demolish the two 22-storied buildings within four months.

              The developer moved the Bombay high court by filing a couple of first appeals against the Pune court’s order. The high court on August 3, 2021, granted an interim stay on the Pune court’s order and went on to confirm it in the February 10 order while allowing the developer to proceed with the construction and sale of flats subject to certain conditions.

              The riders included that all further steps by the developer would be subject to the outcome of the first appeals pending final disposal before the HC and the developer must incorporate in the sale agreements the details of the ongoing case for the buyers to know in advance about it.

              Aggrieved by the high court order, Sachdev and other residents moved the SC, where their special leave petition came up for hearing on Friday. The apex court has directed issuance of notices to the respondents and the same are returnable by July 22, when the matter is slated for next hearing. The respondents will have to file their counter-affidavits within four weeks.
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              • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                Poor civic facilities plague Panchavati, residents oppose Pune Municipal Corporation’s tunnel vision


                Ardhra Nair / TNN / Updated: May 15, 2022, 09:15 IST


                Haphazard parking on the roads which narrows the carriageway, encroachment on footpaths by hawkers, illegal banners on pedestrian ways with sharp edges jutting out, uneven storm-water drain covers, and a waste processing plant that spreads stink and flies in the area are regular problems

                Broken footpaths and stormwater drain covers need immediate repairs in the Panchavati area

                PUNE: Haphazard parking on the roads which narrows the carriageway, encroachment on footpaths by hawkers, illegal banners on pedestrian ways with sharp edges jutting out, uneven storm-water drain covers, and a waste processing plant that spreads stink and flies in the area are regular problems Panchavati residents face. Residents say that with an increasing number of four-wheelers, parking is a headache for many inside societies, which leads to parking on the road.

                Prasad Shinde, a resident of the area, said, “There are many problems facing Panchavati area. We have no public toilets in the area. Construction workers or any outsider who comes into the area has no place to use except in the open. In many places, the drain covers are broken. Electricity cables must be completely underground. Footpaths are broken in many areas and need immediate repairs. People should stop putting up posters and banners up in the area. It degrades the beauty of this place. Posters on footpaths and fences are not just illegal, but also dangerous because they have sharp edges jutting out which can be hazardous to people who are not paying attention while walking.”

                Most of Panchavati area is animal friendly, and many citizens own pets, but not all pet owners clean up after their pets, said Sikandar Jamadar, another resident. “If people can bring home pets for Rs 50,000, hire a dog walker for another Rs 5,000 a month, the least they can do is also buy a dog-poop scooper device for Rs 1,000 and ensure they do not dirty the footpaths every day. Panchavati is a clean area and it is our responsibility to keep it clean. Secondly, there is no public transport to Panchavati despite the fact that there are two big educational institutes and hundreds of residents. Hence there needs to be bus service inside, at least during office hours,” Jamadar said.

                S J Shinde, another Panchavati resident, said that uneven roads and encroachments on footpaths are problems too. “The road in front of C-DAC as well as the one going up towards the SBI Nagar is uneven or has deep depressions where stormwater drain covers are placed. This can be really dangerous for two-wheeler drivers, especially during the monsoon. Secondly, waste processing units inside SBI Nagar society are not being operated properly which leads to a stink in the entire area. Flies that hover around the garbage are another unwelcome addition. Currently, the firm that installed the plant has been guiding the residents for a month and hence the stink is not there daily. But a permanent solution needs to be found for the same as our health is at stake here.”

                Most residents that TOI spoke to were unanimously opposed to the tunnel proposed by PMC that opens at Gokhalenagar, Kothrud, and in Panchavati. They said Panchavati is one of the last surviving pockets of green lungs that a city requires, and creating a tunnel will destroy its ecology.

                Sandip Khalate, assistant municipal commissioner of Aundh-Baner ward said that he has told his team to look into the matter.










                panchavati: Poor Civic Facilities Plague Panchavati, Residents Oppose Pmc’s Tunnel Vision | Pune News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)

                Last edited 2 days ago.
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                • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                  Broken manhole cover on Suncity Rd raises accident risks for commuters


                  Broken manhole cover on Suncity Road raises accident risks for commuters
                  By PuneMirror BureauMon, 16 May 2022

                  The manhole had a metal cover earlier but the civc body replaced it with a cement one for no reason

                  Cement lid breaks thrice in a month; residents blame PMC for shoddy work, claim poor material used

                  By Anup Satphale


                  The safety of commuters travelling on the stretch between Anand Nagar Chowk and Suncity Road has been threatened by a manhole with a broken cover near the turn on the nullah bridge. Ironically, the manhole had a metal cover earlier that had been working fine but the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had replaced it with a cement cover recently. Suncity Road residents have blamed the civic body for carrying out shoddy work as the cement cover broke thrice just within a month. It had been repaired twice earlier.

                  Since the cover’s replacement, the manhole has been risking commuters’ life due to recurrent breakages. Local commuters smell something fishy about the quality of material used in constructing the chamber lid. Akash Salunke, a rickshaw owner who ferries passengers, said that frequent damages point to the poor quality of materials used by the PMC. He said, “The corporation should use quality chamber covers instead of cheaper ones and stop wasting taxpayer’s hard-earned money.” The stretch is one of the main roads connecting Suncity Road to hundreds of residential societies. Considering this, the road has huge traffic flow throughout the day. Such damages only increase the risk of accidents.

                  “The stretch is burdened with traffic round the clock and the manhole is right at the corner. If any commuter misses the broken chamber, the person is bound to trip and fall,” he added. Sameer Rupade, a resident of the Suncity Road, who has been following up with the PMC officials on the issue, said that he has no idea why such incidents keep occurring. He questions, “Isn’t the contractor working well? Shouldn’t the authorities be keeping a check on it?” Mahendra Bahiram, head of the drainage department at the Sinhagad Road ward office, admitted receiving several complaints about the broken chamber cover. “Heavy vehicles passing over the manhole damages the cement cover. We have planned to install an iron cover on top of it to protect it from breaking again and again,” he said.










                  Broken manhole cover on Suncity Rd raises accident risks for commuters (punemirror.com)
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                  • Re : Latest News In and Around Pune

                    Delayed master plans put on hold hill station project in Pune


                    Nisha Nambiar / TNN / Updated: May 16, 2022, 05:48 IST


                    The wait continues for the Maharashtra Valley View and Aqualand Infrastructure, as the developers are yet to submit the master plans for the two hill station projects to the PMRDA.

                    A senior town planning expert said the hill station policy might no longer be a great draw for the citizens because of other integrated projects within the city.


                    PUNE: The wait continues for the Maharashtra Valley View and Aqualand Infrastructure, as the developers are yet to submit the master plans for the two hill station projects to the PMRDA.

                    The state government had approved both the projects, which fall in line with the Aamby Valley and Lavasa projects, in the Pune district under the hill station policy of 1996. The two projects had received location clearances years ago. There is, however, a status quo on the proposals until their master plans are submitted.

                    On Thursday, a PMRDA (Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority) official said there is no progress as the developers are yet to submit the master plans with necessary clearances for the projects to be taken forward. “As of now, both the proposals are in their initial stages. The hill stations are proposed in the villages in the Mulshi taluka. They are spread over 6,000 to 7,000 acres each,” the official said.

                    The Maharashtra Valley View is spread across the Aambvane and Manjgaon villages. The Aqualand Infrastructure, on the other hand, is spread across the Lavharde, Mulshi, Varak and other villages.

                    A source in the Maharashtra Valley View project blamed the hold-up in water source clearances for the delay in the master plan. An Aqualand Infrastructure representative said while their master plan for land use is ready, they are awaiting clearances concerning the water source.

                    A senior town planning expert said the hill station policy might no longer be a great draw for the citizens because of other integrated projects within the city. The expert added that while the objective behind the projects was to decongest other hill stations, lower demand in the post-pandemic era may not entice the developers to initiate the process.











                    aqualand infrastructure: Delayed Master Plans Put On Hold Hill Station Project | Pune News - Times of India (indiatimes.com)
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