Pune: Concerned residents, environmental activists and citizen groups came together at Murkute Garden on Sunday morning to sign the suggestion and objection letter on the issue of de-reservation of garden area at Baner.
During the signature drive, the owner of the reserved plot objected and demanded that the de-reservation should not be taken back and the same will be ensured.
The drive had started from 10 am on Sunday and more than 1,400 people, including concerned residents, environmental activists, citizen groups of Baner, Balewadi and Aundh had signed the objection letter to reserve the land for the garden purpose. According to the environmental activist, Murkute Garden situated in Baner was totally reserved for garden area and currently, only 40 per cent of the total garden area has been developed into a proper garden and the rest 60 per cent has being de-reserved which will be given to builder lobby, losing the green cover.
The people do not want to lose the green cover and according to the Development Plan (DP), the whole area is reserved for the garden only. Sudhir Kulkarni, a member of Nagrik Haqh Sanstha, said, “In the DP of 1987, it is mentioned and written that the whole area which is more than five acres, belongs to garden reservation only. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is not progressing according to the DP, they are just giving the land to the builder lobby and destroying the green cover.”
Kulkarni also shared that in Kothrud as well, survey numbers 54, 159, 160 and 161, which were reserved for a garden, playground, fire brigade and hospital were de-reserved and residential complexes were made.
Lt Col Ashok Thombre, president of Baner Citizen’s Forum, said, “There are no proper maps of the land provided by the PMC and hence, the area of the land is also confusing. We just want the land to be reserved for garden use as it has been already mentioned in the DP. We are just concerned about the environment and the green cover.”
Anupam Saraf, environmental activist, said, “There are two landowners where the de-reservation issue is going on. One landowner does not have any problem while the other has raised objections. We do not want to get into any issue, we just want the land to be reserved for the garden purpose only.”
While the signature drive was going on, the owner of the land Akshay Murkute stepped in and objected that the de-reservation will not be taken back since it is his ancestral property and he wants to build a complex over there. Murkute also claimed that there are 18 gardens in the Baner and Balewadi areas, then why do people want more gardens. Also, the society has provided the residents with a garden inside the society premises.
He said, “The garden area is about 80,000 sq ft and the rest of the land which is not developed is 1,70,000 sq ft and from that, 85,000 sq ft of land belongs to me. According to the zone certificate which I have received, the reservation is only for the half of the property in which garden has already been developed.”
“From 2007, my part of the area is in dispute. The notification is not finalised yet and the suggestion and objection will be raised by the deputy director of town planning soon and in that, I am going to raise my stand saying that the de-reservation should not be cancelled because I want to build a complex there,” Murkute added.
The land in question
Swapna Narayan, environmental activist and a member of Area Sabha Association of Pune, said, “We have come together to raise our objection to the government notification (which is notification number TPS-1812/16/CR-55/14/UD-13 of June 7, 2018 regarding land bearing S.No 35/1/2 of Baner village reserved for Site no G-3, Garden), regarding the changes in sanctioned reservation of land mentioned in the development plan in Survey No.35 in Baner, Pune. The published notification does not include the concerned map and hence, there is no clarity on it. We are requesting the government to republish the notification inclusive of the concerned map. The landowners of Survey No. 35/1/1/3 and 35/1/1/4 have already handed over the reserved area, main roads and service roads to PMC as TDR, as mentioned in Development Plan. However, PMC has only partially developed a garden on this reserved land and this is the only garden available in this area.”
“We want to request to the government that the garden should be developed and completed fully on the remaining reserved land,” she added.