PUNE: Reminding one of the Campa Cola incident in Mumbai of 2013 wherein 125 families were told to vacate the building owing to its illegal status, the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) has sent legal notices to 15 families of 900, Bootee Street to vacate their houses in 10 days to give way to the sewage treatment plant (STP) that is being planned on the plot. These families are living here for last 50 years.
The residents of nine houses have sought legal aid, while owners of six houses are in a fix because of financial constraints.
Speaking to Sakal Times residents said that board members were aware of the problem. During every election they asked for votes and promised basic facilities like street lights, water tap and proper toilet, but it was not done.
Resident Parvati Bakale (29), a national-level cricket player said, “All families are living here from 40 to 50 years. Suddenly, on December 30 we saw these notices stuck on our houses asking as to leave the place by January 10.”
The residents said they tried to meet the CEO of PCB, DN Yadav, but in vain. They sought help from MLA Dilip Kamble who assured them of looking into the matter. Ashok Pawar, elected member of PCB has promised to support them.
“Over the years, the PCB overlooked the encroachment of the area. Instead of finding an alternative they continued living there without any hindrance from PCB. Now a need has arrived for which administration requires the land. Earlier, due to congestion in the area, elected members of PCB had objected to building an STP there but no other alternative location was available for this project. However, we are trying to seek a solution,” said Pawar.
The residents said they are seeking alternative location.
CEO of PCB, DN Yadav said, “It is encroached land. I don’t know why the administration has previously not acted against them, maybe earlier the need to vacate the area was not there. But now, we are building a huge STP for which we lack space and these houses are closely located to the plant.
“We need to construct a connection from where the drainage is passing so it can collect water to be treated and recycled and exited from another side for various purposes.
“The slum area is obstructing the project and needs to be removed. Hence, they sent a notice six months back regarding the same. However, there is no clause of rehabilitation under Ministry of Defence (MoD).”