Real estate

Building by Riverside Raises Activists’ Hackles: A Comprehensive Analysis

The construction of Blue Scapes, a towering 16-storey high-rise located in the Mutha riverbed at Anandnagar on Sinhagad Road, has become a topic of heated debate and concern among citizen activists in Pune. This development has sparked controversy and raised the hackles of those who are deeply invested in the preservation of the environment and the safety of the community. The activists have swiftly taken action, addressing their grievances by shooting a notice to the esteemed Municipal Commissioner, Vikram Kumar, urging the immediate demolition of the structure due to its precarious positioning in an area known for its susceptibility to flooding.

The prime allegation levelled against the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is that they approved the construction plan and granted building permission to the developer, despite being in possession of flood line maps provided by the Irrigation Department. These maps clearly indicated that the location of Blue Scapes fell within the blue line area, which represents the highest water level reached during floods over the past 25 years. Such a blatant violation of environmental regulations has alarmed citizen activists, who demand the formation of a committee to investigate whether other building permissions have been granted in similar high-risk areas.

Anandnagar, once part of the Vitthalwadi-Hingane gram panchayat, has witnessed a surge in unauthorized constructions prior to its merger with the PMC. The area has gained notoriety due to its frequent flooding, necessitating the construction of a retaining wall along the river banks to safeguard the lives of its residents. The new tower, Blue Scapes, now stands perilously close to the site of a bridge spanning the Mutha River behind Sun City, further exacerbating the concerns raised by the activists.

The urgency of the matter is underscored by the impassioned plea of Sarang Yadwadkar, an outspoken activist who is resolute in his call for the immediate demolition of Blue Scapes. Yadwadkar insists that the safety of the community must take precedence over any other considerations. Additionally, he implores the PMC to compensate both the developer and the purchasers of flats within the ill-fated building, thereby alleviating their losses and rectifying the aftermath of this ill-fated decision.

Another prominent activist, Vivek Velankar, emphasizes the crucial importance of preventing occupancy in Blue Scapes by withholding the issuance of a completion certificate. Velankar warns that the lives and property of citizens are at imminent risk unless swift action is taken. Furthermore, he demands a comprehensive inquiry into the matter, aiming to hold all PMC officials accountable for their role in granting the building permission, thereby ensuring justice and establishing a deterrent for any future transgressions.

The response from the PMC has been swift, with the city engineer, Prashant Waghmare, refuting the allegations levelled against the corporation. Waghmare categorically states that the building does not fall within the blue line area and affirms the validity of the building permit granted to the project. The PMC stands firm in its stance that all protocols and regulations have been meticulously followed.

The Demands and the Path Forward

To address the concerns raised by the citizen activists and mitigate the risks associated with the construction of Blue Scapes, a series of demands have been put forth:

  1. Revocation of Building Permission
  2. Inquiry and Accountability
  3. Compensation for Developers and Flat Purchasers
  4. Ensuring Safety and Protecting the Environment

In conclusion, the construction of Blue Scapes in close proximity to the Mutha riverbed has ignited a passionate debate between citizen activists and the Pune Municipal Corporation. While the activists assert that the building violates environmental regulations and jeopardizes the safety of the community, the PMC maintains that all necessary permissions were obtained. The building is compliant with existing regulations. The demands put forth by the activists aim to rectify this situation and ensure accountability for those involved. It is imperative for all stakeholders to engage in open dialogue and work towards a mutually satisfactory resolution that prioritizes the well-being of the citizens and upholds the principles of sustainable development.

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