Reducing Construction Premium Along BRTS – PCMC

PUNE: Following the controversy over the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) general body’s decision to reduce premium for constructions along the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridors in Pimpri-Chinchwad, municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma said on Monday that the civic administration will give its opinion to the state government which would be in the “best interests” of the municipal body.

Sharma said, “The PCMC had approved a proposal for densification of corridors along the BRTS route. It had also received the state government’s approval for it. This was appreciated even by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). But now, the PCMC’s motive behind the corridor densification will be diluted if the demand for reduction in the premium charges is implemented. The premium charges must be linked to a dynamic factor and not a static factor,” he said.

Sharma said suggestions and objections will be invited from citizens regarding the revised proposal approved at the general body to reduce premium charges. The proposal will then be sent to state government for approval. “Citizens can give their suggestions and objections when the PCMC invites them,” he said.

At the general body meeting held on August 20, a proposal was approved to cancel the levy of premium charges as approved by the state government, and instead charge premium as per ready reckoner rates.

Shiv Sena corporator Seema Savale has alleged that the suggestion was not properly read so there was confusion among the corporators.

Savale in her letter pointed out that the PCMC will be developing the BRTS roads and feeder routes with a total length of 97 km.

She further said that as per the earlier premium policy approved by the state government, the PCMC will get premium charges of around Rs 5,000 crore.

However, if the proposal to reduce the premium charges is implemented, the PCMC will get only Rs 1,250 crore, suffering a loss of Rs 3,750, she said.

Meanwhile, Savale has demanded that the powers of the city engineer, and deputy city engineer to give building permission, development permission, building commencement certificates, should be granted to senior officials of the town planning department. Savale said the government has issued directives in this regard.

When asked for his comments, Sharma said there is no need to withdraw the powers granted to the city engineer. “We have checked with the Pune Municipal Corporation, where these permissions are given by city engineer and deputy city engineer and not by the town planning department,” he added.

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