Pune: Citing “poor” civic services and other issues, citizens of Uruli-Phursungi villages, which were merged into Pune Municipal Corporation limits in 2017, have approached the state government to return to the gram panchayat fold.
The residents of the two villages said that they have been facing issues like water scarcity, non-availability of solid waste management and lack of public sanitation facilities since they have come under the civic limits.
“We used to get better facilities when we were under the gram panchayat. Water was available, even public health care facilities were present in the villages. But the situation worsened after we came under the PMC,” said Ganesh Pawar, a resident.
The residents of these two villages are also against any increase in property tax owing to lack of civic facilities.
They have also approached other villages to join hands in their campaign to move away from civic limits.
The citizens claimed to have received positive response from other villages.
“Hardly any development work has been carried out in the merged villages. The condition of the water supply is poor, while the roads are in a bad shape,” said Vishal Harpale, another resident. Though only two villages have expressed desire to move back to the gram panchayat fold, residents of other villages apparently share the same sentiment.
“Local residents now think that earlier arrangement was good. Now, it takes time to resolve even a small issue. The health facilities were available in the vicinity, so were the government authorities. More villages can come forward and demand separation from civic limits if they feel deprived of basic facilities,”said Shreerang Chavan, a petitioner, who had filed a petition for speeding up the merger of 34 villages.
“The civic administration should start improving basic infrastructure like road, water and solid waste management,” he added.
“Some of these villages were merged only around a year back. Building all infrastructural facilities at such a short span of time is not possible. The civic administration has carried out a number of projects in areas added into civic limits in 2017,” said a PMC official.
The PMC has allotted Rs30lakh for each merged village for carrying out development work.
As many as 11 villages were merged into the civic limits in October 2017.
The PMC has started charging property tax in the recently merged 23 villages from April 1, 2022.
The residents of these areas have been demanding funds for development work. They have blamed the PMC for not doing enough to provide basic facilities like road, water supply and drainage system.