"The development work in and around the city is going on at a rapid pace and there is an immediate need of an authority to properly plan and ensure city’s development," Guardian Minister Ajit Pawar said at the meeting attended by senior office-bearers and administrative heads of various local civic bodies in the district. A meeting will be arranged with the Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to discuss the constitution of PMRDA and speeding up its process, he said.
The pressing need for a PMRDA was highlighted by The Indian Express through a 14-part series in August 2006. The reports had stressed that the formation of PMRDA was necessary for the integrated growth of the region. Pawar had listed it as one of the top priority after his NCP came to power at the Pune Municipal Corporation along with Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). The need of PMRDA was also brought forth by The Indian Express last month through the series "Pune in Peril."
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Planning Committee for Pune metropolitan region is likely to be constituted by March end. Divisional Commissioner Nitin Kareer said the demand for including Zilla Parishad members on the 45-member MPC will be forwarded to the State Government. He said the planning committee will be responsible for preparing a comprehensive draft development plan (DP) for the Pune Metropolitan region while taking into consideration the DP of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). The PMRDA will be the executing authority which will acquire the reserve land and ensure its development, Kareer said. The issue of revenue source for PMRDA will also be decided at the meeting with the chief minister.
The State Government had in August last year announced the establishment of the PMRDA within three months, but has failed to keep its promise, pointing out that getting clearance from the law and judiciary was the only obstacle in the way. In 1997, the government announced the formation of PMRDA and the State Assembly passed a resolution in 1999 in favour of PMRDA incorporating several municipal councils and corporations including those of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Lonavla, Talegaon, Bhor, Shirur, Saswad, the three cantonments and 100 nearby villages. Congress MLA Chandrakant Chhajjed and Shiv Sena MLC Dr Neelam Gorhe had raised the issue in the State Assembly and Legislative Council in August 2007. Chhajjed had pointed that since 1997, the government has been setting three-month deadlines.