June 16, 2024

Despite the ongoing debate, the municipality’s administration maintained their silence throughout the evening.

Pawar, speaking to The Indian Express on Tuesday stated, “I have instructed the PCMC administration to halt the Wakad project.”

According to the Deputy Chief Minister, the project will be put on hold. In response to queries regarding investigation into allegations of misconduct, Pawar stated that he would examine the matter but declined to comment immediately.

Festive offer

During his visit to Pimpri-Chinchwad the previous week, Pawar announced to the press his plans to instruct PCMC to pause the project. He subsequently met with PCMC officials for further discussion.

The municipal commissioner, Shekhar Singh, was reportedly directed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to put the project on hold, according to city sources.

Despite attempts to reach them, neither the city engineer of PCMC, Makrand Nikam, nor the municipal chief, made any statements.

It was reported that the municipal commissioner was in intense discussions with other senior officials, seeking to navigate the administrative complications that have arisen.

The contentious Wakad project, involving the construction of a 21-story commercial building, has seen PCMC engage in a partnership with Vilas Javdekar Infinitee Developers Ltd.

Allegations of a hefty financial scandal have been made by leaders from the Maha Vikas Aghadi. They argue that the existing agreement is skewed heavily in favor of the construction firm, offering them significant advantages in relation to Transfer of Development Rights (TDR).

Upon being questioned about whether PCMC had communicated any cancellation of the project, Aditya Javdekar, director of Vilas Javdekar Infinitee Developers Ltd responded, “There hasn’t been any official intimation from PCMC about the cancellation of the project as yet. I am only aware of Ajit Pawar’s statement from last week and am awaiting formal verification from PCMC. I intend to meet with the commissioner.”

Javdekar affirmed that he will comply with any decision made by the PCMC.

He suggested he would have no objections to altering building plans, saying “There’s no issue if the building is smaller or if other alterations are needed. I’m not adamant that a building of 21 stories must be constructed.”

Javdekar expressed his willingness for investigative processes, maintaining that there are no irregularities in the project. “The project has been operating in accordance with all rules and regulations. It can be thoroughly investigated from all dimensions. We’re completely open to this. The government can conduct any scrutinizing processes it deems necessary.”

This chastisement of the PCMC marks the second occurrence in just three days that the state government has reprimanded the municipal body.

Just three days prior, the Chief Minister directed the PCMC to roll back the increased rental rates of auditoriums within its jurisdiction. The municipal administration subsequently announced that the rent surge was to be rescinded only two hours later.