Proposed ARAI expansion on Vetal Tekdi

The Deputy Director of Town Planning, Directorate of Town Planning, Maharashtra State published in local newspapers on 12 January, 2011 u/s 37(1-AA) of the MR & TP Act,1966 a Notice for Zoning Modification No.TPS-1809/3737/CR-2252/10/UD-13, dated 20-12-2010. This is the vetal tekdi on Paud road in Pune.

The citizens of Pune City have sent letters to the Deputy Director of Town Planning to register their Objection, and record their say in the matter. They have also demanded an official hearing in the matter to lodge protest under provisions of Section 37(1-AA)(c) of the MR & TP Act,1966.

Objections[edit | edit source]

  1. The Hill-Tops and Hill-Slopes Zones, Green Zones, Green Belts, and all statutory open spaces in the Development Plan of Pune City are a part of the MANDATORY Open spaces as per Planning Norms and standards for the city’s growing population, and the only remaining breathing ‘LUNGS’ for the Citizen in view of the highly increased air pollution levels in Pune City. Any Government, Local Authority or Individual proposal to reduce this open area, and destroy the Green vegetation cover, whether in part or whole, CANNOT be in the ‘Public Interest’ as claimed in your Notice. Please note, therefore, that the claim of “public interest” stated in your Notice is primarily FALSE and malafide.
  2. It is further submitted that the Automotive Research Association of India ( ARAI ) is NOT a Government of India ( or a State Government ) undertaking, and its location and function, both are an obnoxious NON-CONFORMING Land use in the Development Plan of Pune. Any proposal for modification of the Development Plan to favour ARAI would be deemed to be a proposal for personal and individual benefit, and hence, detrimental to the larger public interest and a loss to Government.
  3. The Notice under Section 37(1AA) seeks to sanction the 24,265 Sq.M of existing UNAUTHORISED construction of ARAI under Section 47, and to allow additional construction of 35,435 Sq.M under Section 58 of the MR &TP Act, 1966. I hereby OBJECT to both reasons being forwarded in the Notice under subject. The present Un-authorised and illegal construction by ARAI should NOT be condoned as it falls in a NON-BUILDABLE Hill-Top Zone of the Development Plan, and does NOT fall in the purview of Section 58 as permissible ‘Operational’ constructions of Government listed under DC Rule 5.1.1. The illegal construction by ARAI is a Non-Conforming land use by a NON-Governmental Association which clearly violates the provisions of prevailing DC Rule 14.4.2 and 14.5.1. Appropriate action must, therefore, be taken under provisions of the Law, and NO further construction may be permitted in the Hill-top and Hill Slopes Zone as per prevailing Rules.
  4. The function of ARAI is INDUSTRIAL in nature and character, and highly polluting in operation and its location on the Hill-Top between developed residential areas is highly undesirable and harmful for residents around the hills. Both constructions, existing and proposed, are more than 20000 Sq.M is built-up area, and will require a formal Environmental Clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India (MoEF). I suggest that NO further action may be taken in this matter until formal clearance of MoEF is obtained and publicly declared by ARAI.
  5. A statutory REVISION of the Development Plan of Pune City has already commenced and Notification under Section 38 has already been issued by the Government on behalf of the Pune Municipal Corporation. There is NO apparent reason or urgency to invoke Section 37(1-AA) to favour ARAI. Any modification proposed DURING the process of Revision of the Development Plan is suspicious and NOT justified.
  6. Pune City has been listed as the Sixth Most Polluted City in India. Is it the intention of Govt. to achieve the MOST Polluted City status by promoting more pollution in the only remaining low-pollution open spaces ? The expansion and the industrial pollution by ARAI cannot be allowed on the Hill-tops zone. The Hill Tops, Hill Slopes and Green Zones in Pune City NEED to be preserved and maintained as Open Spaces for the FUTURE generations. If this precious land resource is NOT preserved in its NATURAL state now, the damage would be permanent and irreversible and completely detrimental to the future of Pune City.
  7. As the proposed construction of ARAI is MORE than the present existing unauthorised construction, It is strongly suggested, that instead of regularising the illegal construction and favouring ARAI at the cost of Public Health and Welfare, and instead of permitting MORE harmful industrial construction and further pollution of the Vetal Tekdi, the ARAI setup be discontinued and ARAI be shifted closer to the Automobile industries in a conforming Industrial Zone like Chakan or Talegaon. This proposal may be incorporated in the ongoing Revision of the Development Plan of Pune, and your present Notice under Section 37(1-AA) be immediately withdrawn.

Campaigns[edit | edit source]

  1. Save Pune Hills/ Biodiversity Park

News[edit | edit source]

  1. Govt may strip out Vetal tekdi to make space for anti-pollution body
  2. Activists oppose ARAI project on Vetal Tekdi
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