Tenants happy, but owners raise doubts

Siddharth Gadkari
Sunday, 29 July 2018

Wadas and cluster policy part II

The city's core area development has stagnated due to neglected wadas. Now, the PMC has kept the wada at the centre and framed a policy to start development and enhance standard of living of people in old congested city area by providing better environment. In this series, Sakal Times examines the issues pestering the development. 

Pune: With Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) coming up with a cluster policy for redevelopment of the century-old wadas, the owners and tenants, whose future depends on this policy, have mixed emotions. The owners of the structures, which fall under ‘restricted zone’ for being within 100 metres from a heritage structure, are extremely disappointed, as they will not be benefited through this policy. However, other owners are happy that this policy will finally turn the wheels of redevelopment, which was otherwise a faint possibility for all these years.

Sunil Tambat, an owner of a wada located in Kasba Peth area, said, “Our wada is around 125 years old and currently 19 tenants have been staying in this wada for more than 50 years. It is spread over a 3,000 square feet area. I will not get any benefit from the cluster development policy. Our wada falls under heritage structure and is in the ‘restricted zone’ (there will be no development from 100 metres of heritage structure). 

“On the other hand, there are no other wadas adjacent to our wada where we can form a cluster of wadas. So, our destiny is to die in the wada. The government gives free homes to slum dwellers in Slum Rehabilitation Scheme despite the fact that they are not natives, but no scheme is floated for us.”

Murlidhar Deshpande, another owner of a wada, said, “It is not a practical solution. No one gets benefits from this policy. In the tenants and owners share, the builder will not get any substantial profit. So, it is only a paperwork. It is very difficult to make a cluster of wadas wherein minimum limit is of 10,000 square metres.”

Balasaheb Kulkarni, one of the tenants from Mote wada, said, “Cluster policy is the only solution for the development of wadas in Peth areas. I have studied the policy, it is helpful and beneficial to all tenants, builders and owners. But, tenants should have to change their tendency to make the policy practical. They should take a practical approach and show flexibility to make the cluster policy successful. Otherwise, there is no other way to further the development of the wadas.”

He further pointed out that tenants should not claim more tenements in the redevelopment process on the basis of their family members. In many cases, people placed sheds in open spaces in the wadas and showed that that space in their possession to claim additional space during the redevelopment process. Such an attitude will stall the redevelopment of the wadas. 

Dinesh Nale, a tenant in Gaikwad wada located in Rastha Peth area, said, “This is our fourth generation staying in the wada. We are very enthusiastic about the scheme of redevelopment. It is a good scheme for development of the wada. The government should have to approve the policy so that tenants will get their own home in the development scheme. Otherwise, it is very difficult to buy houses in the city area.”

Bhimsen Marane of Mote wada near Shaniwarwada said, “Cluster development is the only hope for us. Otherwise, owners are not ready to give us a share in their property. Corporation has mentioned about giving free 300 square feet flats after development. It is a good move for us. Now we are waiting for it to materialise.”

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